Maramon and Kozhencherry , on the banks
of the river Pampa, 16 kilometers east of Tiruvalla, have for centuries
been recognized as centres of Christian culture and influence.
Maramon is also famous as the birth place
of Palakkunnathu Abraham Maplah, leader of the reformation in the
Syrian Church of Malabar in the 19th century. This village which
developed into a town has the added distinction of being the venue
of a religious gathering known as Maramon convention, said to be
the largest Christian gathering in Asia.
It is during the month of February on the
vast sand-bed of the river Pampa below the Kozhenchery bridge that
the Maramon Convention is held every year.
The Maramon Convention displays co-operation
and union between different sections of Church in Kerala. It fosters
ecumenical outlook. It is also a source of spiritual inspiration
and enlightenment for thousands.
The 111th edition of Maramon Convention,
billed as Asia's largest annual Christian congregation, will be
held on the sand-bed of the Pampa at Maramon near Kozhencherry from
February 19 to 26. The convention is organised by the Mar Thoma
Evangelical Association (MTEA), the missionary wing of the Mar Thoma
Syrian Church of Malabar.
Fr. Mathew said that Mar Thoma Metropolitan
Philipose Mar Chrysostom would inaugurate the convention at 2.30
p.m. on Sunday. Joseph Mar Irenaeus Suffragan Metropolitan, Zacharias
Mar Theophilus Suffragan Metropolitan and other bishops of the Church
will lead different sessions during the week-long meet. He said
there would be three main sessions, at 10.30 a.m., 2.30 p.m. and
7 p.m., from February 20 to 25 and the valedictory session would
be held at 2.30 p.m. on February 26. Evangelists Bishop David J.L.
Hawkins (England), Bill Newman (Australia), Martin Alphons (U.S.)
and Sam Kamalesan (U.S.) will deliver discourses at different sessions.
An ecumenical meeting will be held at 10.30 a.m. and a meeting against
social evils at 2.30 p.m. on February 22.
The Voluntary Evangelistic Association meeting
will be held on February 23 afternoon.
The annual meeting of the Mar Thoma Sevika
Sanghom will be held at 2.30 p.m. on February 24 and a missionary
meet on Saturday afternoon.