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Fifth North American Knanaya Association/Committee

Major activities since August 2007
By:  Jacob Thomas Puthiamadathil, NAKA Secretary
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The Committee started its activities with the first meeting on September 01, 2007, followed by two meetings of the Association, and several meetings of the Committee. The two bodies discussed in detail almost all the major concerns and issues that exist within our community, its relationship with the parent Samudayam, and reached at unanimous decisions in all matters. These decisions are being addressed systematically and professionally according to their importance. During this short period, budgets for 2007 and 2008 were prepared and approved; accounts and report for 2007 were also presented and passed. Most of the member parishes have cooperated with NAKA’s activities. The Association has decided to give priority to various projects in North America for the benefit our children, youth and the community at large than supporting projects in Kerala.


Resolution: First meeting of the Committee, and subsequently the Association unanimously adopted a resolution reflecting all our concerns and demands, and the requirements for straightening the relationship between the two, and communicated to the Archbishop and managing committee officials. This was followed up by further discussions and clarifications in person and through telephone with the MSKC members. NAKC officials and committee members met with the bishops separately and together, and discussed ways and steps to resolve the issues, and to withdraw the cases filed at Chengannoor.

MSKC discussed the resolution and replied with their suggestions in January, and the same was discussed at a meeting of NAKC along with a draft proposal for an additional chapter to the constitution of MSKS to incorporate NAKC, its parishes, Association, and committee in to the mainstream and sent to Chingavanam. MSKC asked for a few more clarifications, and they were discussed at the meeting of the NAKA on March 1st, and a reply was sent. We were told by the Secretary and a few committee members that our reply is satisfactory and that they are going to present the same in a meeting of the MSK Association by the end of April 2008 for approval. But, due to certain local issues after the selection of two bishop candidates and shortage of time, another meeting of the Association could not be held. Hopefully, the new Association and committee would take appropriate steps to approve our proposals, and the Bishops also have agreed to expedite that. (In the meantime, steps were taken to withdraw the case at Chengannor, and association members to MSKA from North American parishes are also being elected along with all other parishes under the Archdiocese).

A national essay competition for senior Sunday school kids from various parishes in North America was conducted in November 2007 for the first time in the history of NAKC in which 55 students participated. First three cash awards ($1750) and an ever rolling trophy were sponsored by Mr. Rajan Ammanathu in memory of Prince Chacko. These awards and eight consolation prizes were given away in December by the Archbishop. First two essays were published in Knanaya Deepam so far.

First round of Alter boys training was completed at our churches (Boston-Philadelphia) under the leadership of Dn. Jose Parathodathil. Our boys took it seriously, and are evidenced by their performance since then. Under the different Ex-officio presidents elected by the Association: a national level organizational structure has been achieved for the women’s association;  youth organization achieved better networking and has conducted more programs; networking of senior youth is being pursued; and a centralized curriculum committee constituted for Sunday schools initiated activities and is hoped to implement centralized exams.
   
24TH Family Conference conducted very successfully on May 24, 2008 in New York in which about 650 people attended. Separate sessions for youth, women and early settlers were organized. First time in the history of NAKC, our early settlers up to 1980 were identified, recognized and honored for their contributions to the community. Seven parishes presented cultural programs very high standard, for which awards were presented.

Uniform application forms for membership and transfer of membership were adopted by the Association for all the member parishes and distributed, and they are being used nowadays.

A committee has been constituted to review NAKA constitution and KMS Fund by-laws and propose suggestions for amendments, and the process is in progress.

Association decided to purchase land for building a Knanaya Community center, and started collecting pledges/contributions from our community members by visiting various parishes. So far, five parishes were visited and raised/collected pledges for more than $120,000.

K M S Fund management has been regularized, and now interest from the whole fund is being deposited in to its account. So far Rs. 1, 02, 050 have been distributed to 9 deacons/priests. The Board met twice, and a new application form for financial assistance has been adopted.

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