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TTC Grade 12 Lessons 12 to 18. By Jessie Jacob St. Thomas Orthodox Church Unruh Ave, Phila., PA. Topics. Mission Mission in the Early Church Missions after Nicea Orthodox Missions Missions Today Missionary Work of Indian Orthodox Churches. Religions Human Family Religions of Mankind.

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TTC Grade 12 Lessons 12 to 18


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    1. TTC Grade 12Lessons 12 to 18 By Jessie Jacob St. Thomas Orthodox Church Unruh Ave, Phila., PA

    2. Topics Mission • Mission in the Early Church • Missions after Nicea • Orthodox Missions • Missions Today • Missionary Work of Indian Orthodox Churches Religions • Human Family • Religions of Mankind

    3. Characteristics of Jesus’ Mission No artificiality(spontaneous and directed to the need of the moment) Adapted to the audience(profound truths communicated through familiar vocabulary, metaphors, and similes) Spoke with authority(no maybe so or perhaps in the talks) Lived what He taught Intimate love for the audience(sacrificial love)

    4. Important Facts about Early Mission • Pentecost was the birthday of the Christian mission • Martyrdom of St. Stephen helped to spread the Church to Judea and Samaria • Conversion of St. Paul resulted in the missionary journeys • St. Peter’s acquaintance with the gentiles in Caesarea was the beginning of ecumenism • Roman persecution helped to grow the mission • Edessa became the first Christian city ruled by King Abgarbecause of the missionary work of apostle Thaddeus • Armenia became the first Christian country as a result of the missionary work of Thaddeus and Barthelomew, First Illuminators of Armenia

    5. Missions after Nicea-Factors that helped to spread or slow down Mission • Monasticism • Circulation of Complete Bible • Missionary fervor of the heretics such as Arius and Nestorius • Political changes in the Roman empire with the decline of power resulted in attack by barbarian tribes in the West and Muslims in the East • Growth of Papacy in the West due to the break down of Roman empire helped to spread the mission work in the west

    6. Orthodox Missions Oriental Orthodox Missions • Coptic Church Catechetical school and the trade ports of Alexandria helped the copts to spread their missionary work to Ethiopia, Palestine, Syria, Cappadocia, and Caesarea • Antioch and Jacobite Churches Monasteries helped to spread the mission work • Malankara Church HG Pathros Mar Osthathios of the Servants of the Cross worked among the low class of Kerala Eastern Orthodox Missions • Byzantium or Greek Church Southern, Central, and Eastern Europe was evangelized • Russian Church Southern and Eastern parts of Asia and Africa such as China, Japan, Korea, and Syria as well as Alaska and South America were evangelized by this Church

    7. Missions Today-Some Questions to Ponder • What is mission? Is it humanitarian service to the poor and needy? Is it purely the ‘saving of souls?’ What was the nature of Christ’s mission? Was it merely physical or purely spiritual? Did Christ feed the hungry and healed the sick to have people follow Him? Why did He visit the house of Zacheus? What was the result of His visit to Zacheus’ home?

    8. Orthodox View of Mission • Incarnation and passion of our Lord is the out-flow of the Trinitarian love towards men and women • Transformation of men and women is the reason why Christ visited Zacheus • Spiritual transformation helped Zacheus with physical transformation • Meeting with the Lord prompted him to do “justice” and not “charity.” • Mission today is the liberation of the world through spiritual transformation resulting in justice to ALL of mankind • Communion in the Body of Christ or Eucharistic communion is the way to achieve spiritual transformation and this should be the principle behind Christian mission

    9. Mission Methodologies Going out for Mission • Not a mere proclamation • Identification with the poor in their poverty • Detachment from their sins and shortcomings Calling in for Mission • Characteristic method of the orthodox mission • Life-witness of the great saints and ascetics

    10. What should be modern mission? • The two methodologies of mission must go together and complement one another • Modern mission must include fellowship, dialogue, collaboration in education and charity work • It must also include the witnessing of Christ through our lives • Christ must be introduced into the culture and language of non-Christians unlike the way it was introduced in India by the Western missionaries

    11. Indian Orthodox Missions Some examples include • Servants of the Cross Society started by HG Pathros Mar Osthathios in 1924 that converted 25,000 people from backward communities of Kerala • Mar Gregorios Balagram or Yacharam Project for the male children of leprosy patients from 1985 by HG Dr. Gheevarghese Mar Osthathios • St. Thomas Home for Childrenstarted by late Catholicose Baselios Mar Thoma Mathews II

    12. Role of laity in Missionary Activity “The charity of Christ impels us.” St. Paul (2 Cor. 5:14) “Woe to me if I do not preach Gospel.”: St. Paul (1 Cor. 9:16) -Witness Christ in personal lives, and in every walks of life (business, political, social) Evangelization and Missionary activities are not limited to clergy alone. -Support the missionary activities of the Church

    13. Human Family • God created one human family in his own image. • Belief in the Fatherhood of God requires us to believe in the brotherhood of man regardless of barriers. • Christ is the savior of the world. St Peter said, “Truly I perceive that God shows no partiality, but in every nation any one who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.” • If Church fails to make all nations one in Christ, it is failing in its primary responsibilities.

    14. Religions of Mankind-Some Questions to Ponder • Are all religions of equal value? • Is Christianity unique? • Would non-Christians go to hell? • There are inferior religions. • Christ is the objectification of God. Through incarnation, God descended to the level of man so we may discover Him. • Neither the Bible nor the Church teaches so.

    15. More on Salvation of Non-Christians • -The thief on the Cross who didn’t deserve any mercy according to common laws was given admission to paradise by Jesus. • -Jesus said, “It’s not whoever calls me Jesus will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but those who do the will of my father in Heaven.” • -Punishment and forgiveness are matters to be handled by God. Let’s leave those matters to God. Let’s simply pray to God for His forgiveness. • Jesus Christ is the only Way, Truth and Life (Jn 14: 6) • Those who never received the law or the Gospel will be judged according to their conscience (Ro 2: 12-16, 25-29, 1 Tim 2: 5) • Life on earth is decisive for choosing our destiny (2 Cor 5: 10, Mt 16:27) • but there may be a few who repent beyond the grave also (1 Pet 3: 18-20, 4:6)

    16. Good Luck!!!