The iconic CSI All Souls’ Church in Coimbatore witnessed a rare event on Sunday.
“Our service to humanity is a real opportunity to prove our genuine love for God, and God alone,” said Shehanaz Parveen, the invited speaker at the Sunday service in the church.
During the sermon of the 8.30 a.m. service, presbyter and church chairman Rev. Charles Samraj took a break and invited a woman in hijab to the lectern.
“We do not have words to explain our happiness. I truly believe that this type of gesture among different faiths is what we [the country] need right now. After all, all religions emphasis love and harmony,” said Ms. Parveen of Jeeva Shanthy Trust, which has arranged last rites for more than 10,000 persons, including for unclaimed and abandoned bodies, to honour them for their service to the society.
The congregation gave a standing ovation as Ms. Parveen ended her three-minute address with a verse from the Bible, “One who is gracious to a poor person lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his good deed (Proverbs 19:17).”
She thanked the church for the rare honour and giving a glimpse of the trust’s services to the congregation.
The trust has members and volunteers from different faiths. Trust founder Mohamad Saleem said the appreciation they received during the Sunday ceremony had given them more strength to continue their services.
The church administration felicitated all representatives from the trust with shawls. The church administration had invited six persons, including Ms. Parveen.
According to Rev. Samraj, the service rendered by the trust and its volunteers to society, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, deserved appreciation as they worked irrespective of the religion, caste, creed or social status of people who were in need.
“We have a theme for every Sunday service. This Sunday’s theme was ‘God: For people of all faith’. We found that it was appropriate to invite key people from the trust and honour them as the services they do go well with the theme,” he said.