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Mar Thoma Diocese of North America and Europe
raised $131,775 for Haiti earthquake relief

New York, April 30, 2010 -- The Mar Thoma Church Diocese of North America and  Europe has raised $131,775  for recovery efforts in earthquake-devastated Haiti.

The Diocesan Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Geevarghese Mar Theodosius, presented a check for that amount to the Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon on April 17 during the Diocesan Assembly in Atlanta.

"This is a remarkable example of ecumenical cooperation," said Kinnamon. "The Mar Thoma Church has no congregations in Haiti, yet as members of the body of Christ they felt obligated to do whatever they could do to help sisters and brothers in Haiti. Church World Service has been doing important work in Haiti -- before and after the earthquake -- and this generous contribution will make an enormous difference."

Kinnamon added, "I wish other churches would do more of their relief work through CWS as an expression of our common life in Christ and the common calling we have received to help those in need in his name."

The check, designated for Haiti relief efforts of the NCC's sister agency, Church World Service, was presented to CWS Executive Director and CEO, the Rev. John L. McCullough by the NCC's Deputy General Secretary and Chief Operating Officer, Clare J. Chapman.

Upon receiving the check, Rev. McCullough said, "On behalf of the many we serve in Haiti - children, the disabled, and others - we are grateful to the Mar Thoma Church and to Bishop Mar Theodosius for their extraordinary effort, answering Christ's call to help the needy."

The NCC and CWS, while no longer joined in a common legal structure, share a common history and are composed of the same 36 member communions.

Two days after the January 12 earthquake, Diocesan Bishop Mar Theodosius issued a letter to members of the Diocese, urging them to send contributions for Haitian relief.

"I have directed our Mission Board and Planning Board to find ways by which the Mar Thoma Church can offer a helping hand to the people of Haiti to rebuild their lives," Mar Theodosius wrote.

The result of the process was the presentation of the check to Church World Service.

The Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church in India traces its origins to the missionary work of the Apostle Thomas in 52 A.D. The Mar Thoma Diocese of North America and Europe, one of the 36 member communions of the National Council of Churches and Church World Service, was established in 1972.    

NCC News contact:  Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228 (office), 646-853-4212 (cell),

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