In the Beginning:
“Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” (Psalm 103: 1-2)
The year 2008 was a blessed year for the CSI Malayali Community in Singapore, as after a hiatus of almost 40 years, the CSI Malayali community was able to once again worship our God in the same tradition and language that we had been brought up. We are thankful for the tenacity and faith of a small group of young believers who took a prayerful decision to organise a prayer meeting for the community with the support of the same elders in the community who were pillars of the CSI Malayali community 40 years back. God worked wonders, opened doors for us, guided us and helped us to overcome the initial difficulties to worship him in true spirit.
We gathered on 17 February, 2008 for a prayer meeting at the Chapel of St Johns Home for the Aged, Wan Tho Avenue. The meeting was attended by around 40 people and encouraged us to request the CSI Madhya Kerala Diocese to send a pastor for conducting our Holy Communion service. The diocesan bishop, Rt Rev. Thomas Samuel accepted our request and sent Rev. Dr. Shajan A Idiculla, who led our first Holy Communion service in the CSI order on 30 March 2008. About 80 people attended the service. This was followed by monthly visits by priests from Kerala, and the frequency of meetings increased from once a month to twice a month.
After complying with the formalities of registering the Church with the Registrar of society in Singapore, Bishop Rt. Rev, Thomas Samuel, on his Episcopal visit, dedicated Immanuel Congregation (Singapore) as a full fledged parish on 28th December 2008 and graciously accepted our request for a full time Pastor to minister from April 2009 onwards.
The Growing Years:
We fondly remember and are grateful for the services of Rev Shajan A Idiculla, Rev Sam T Mathew, Rev P. K. Kuruvilla, Rev Saji K Sam, Rev Jiji Joseph, Rev Jacob Chacko, Rev Jacob Johnson, Rev Prof. Itty Mathew, Rev Cherian Thomas, Rev T. M John and Rev Felix Mathew who helped us in formalizing the group during the initial days. They put a lot of effort during their short stay, in encouraging each and every family in the community to join and play an active role in the congregation. We are also grateful to the elders of the community who helped in opening the doors of the Chapel of St Johns Home for the Aged, Wan Tho Avenue for our worship service.
Rev Varghese Enathickal took charge of the parish in May 2009 as our first resident Vicar. After worshipping for a year at the Chapel at St Johns Home for the Aged, we moved to the Lutheran Church of our Redeemer, at 30 Dukes Road. The challenges of the formative years were many, yet Rev Varghese Enathickal, with his gentle and loving nature united us together in facing them. Rev Enathickal and family left us in April 2012 after finishing his 3 year term and Rev John Johnson took over as the Vicar. After completing 2 years of ministry, Rev John Johnson and family left us in May 2014 and Rev Jacob Johnson took over as the new and current Vicar. We moved our worship place to St. John St. Margerat Church's Chapel, at 30 Dover Ave and to this day we are gathering for our worship services.
Where we're going:
Let us continue to move forward as a Christ witnessing community in the years to come and look forward to making bigger commitments in terms of having a permanent place of worship and also for doing our small part in community outreach programs. We request each one of you for your sincere and wholehearted support in strengthening our congregation so that we can carry out God’s will to all around us specially serving the community in the land of Singapore.