Riverbed of Pampa at Maramon near Kozhencherry, traditional venue of the century-old religious retreat, is all set for the 117th annual convention that begins on Sunday.
MTEA as well as various Government agencies have made elaborate arrangements for the smooth conduct of the annual event.
A large pandal (thatched shed) which could accommodate as many as one lakh people has been erected at the convention venue. According to MTEA general secretary, Fr Abraham P. Oommen, various parishes of the Church in and around Kozhencherry and Maramon have supplied men and materials for constructing the pandal.
Various missionary units and other agencies like the Christian Agency for Rural Development-Krishi Vigyan Kendra and Department of Sacred Music and Communications attached to the Church have also set up their stalls at the convention venue.
A co-ordination committee chaired by Thiruvalla Revenue Divisional Officer has been constituted to oversee the official arrangements for the annual meet which is regarded as Asia’s largest annual Christian religious retreat.
The ecumenical spirit and the reformation ardour of the 19th century was what led to the birth of the Maramon Convention way back in 1895.
This spiritual retreat is a week of prayer, meditation, singing sharing and hearing Bibilical discourses by prominent speakers.
‘Arise, let us be going’ is the MTEA theme for his year’s religious convention, says Fr Abraham.
The Mar Thoma Metropolitan, Joseph Mar Thoma, will inaugurate the annual meet at 2.30 pm on Sunday.
Philipose Mar Chrysostum, senior Metropolitan, will lead the opening worship and Thomas Mar Themotheos Episcopa, MTEA president, will preside over the inaugural function.
Evangelists to address
Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana from South Africa, Rev Kang-San-Tan from Malaysia and Rev Martin Alphons from United States of America, all evangelists, will be the main speakers at this year’s Maramon Convention, Fr Oommen said.
The convention will have three sessions at 10 am, 2 pm and 6.30 pm from February 13 to 18. Bible classes will be held separately for men and women at the convention venue from 7.30 am to 8.30 am from February 13 to 18.
The Ecumenical meet as part of the annual meet will be held at 10 am on February 16 and the meet against social evils will be held, later, at 2 pm.
Fr Abraham said a family meet will be held at 4 pm from February 13 to 15.
The Mar Thoma Metropolitan will deliver the valedictory message on February 19 afternoon.
Department of Sacred Music and Communication (DSMC) attached to Mar Thoma Church will present music sessions on all the eight days.
KSRTC special service
KSRTC would operate special services to Maramon from its depots at Thiruvalla, Pathanamthitta, Adoor, Pandalam, Konni, Mallappally and Ranni during the convention period.
Kerala Water Authority, Kerala State Electricity board, Water Resources Department, Public Works Department, Police, Fire and Rescue Force, and Health department have also made arrangements for the smooth conduct of the annual meet.