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FIRST CSI MEETING IN USA AND CANADA
                        AT CHICAGO
                              1978

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Sitting L to Rt.: Rev. K. S. George (Dallas), Rev. C. S. Philip (Chicago) & Rev. E. P. Vijayan (St. Louis) 
Standing L to Rt.:  Jacob Mathews (Chicago), Rev. Jacob George & John John (Houston) Samuel Johnson (Chicago) & Rajan Mathew (Dallas)
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SECOND CSI MEETING IN USA AND CANADA
                           AT HOUSTON
                                  1979

COUNCIL OF CSI CONGREGATIONS IN NORTH AMERICA

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Bishop Dr. M. C. Mani

 Rt. Rev. Dr. M. C. Mani encouraged CSI Churches in the USA also sent Pastors for higher studies in the USA and allowed them to help the congregations here.  He also suggested having a National Organization to have good communication between the churches.   Below is a picture of participants and their families in one of the meetings to discuss about an organization in 1992 after the sixth Family and Youth Conference in Chicago, at 3565 S. Donovan Dr. Crete, Illinois at the residence of Samuel and Suseela Johnson.  

Intro
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There was another meeting at the Hotel Continental, 505 N. Michigan, Chicago (Current Inter-Continental Hotel).  There was also one Meeting at CSI Malayalam Congregation, New York.   Delegates were accommodated by the families of the Malayalam congregation.  The Rev. Dr. Ninan Varghese and Samuel Johnson stayed at Mr. P. C. Jacob and Mrs. Mercy Jacob's house.

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Ratified by member congregations Constitution of the Council of CSI Congregations in North America Page1 THE CONSTITUTION OF THE COUNCIL OF CHURCH OF SOUTH INDIA CONGREGATIONs IN NORTH AMERICA Re-structured Constitution approved by the Council Meeting of Church of South India Congregations in North America held on 5 July 2014 (The original Constitution was adopted on July 9, 1994, by the Ad-Hoc Council of the Church of South India Congregations in North America) Ratified by member congregations Constitution of the Council of CSI Congregations in North America Page2 THE CONSTITUTION OF THE COUNCIL OF CHURCH OF SOUTH INDIA CONGREGATIONs IN NORTH AMERICA TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. Cover Page…………………………………………………………….................................. 1 2. Table of Contents…………………………………………………………............................ 2 3. PREAMBLE……………………………………………………………............................... 3 4. ARTICLE I: NAME …………………………………………………………...................... 3 5. ARTICLE II: OBJECTIVES…………………………………………………………........... 3 Section 1: Purpose ……………………………………………………………….......... 3 Section 2: General………..…………………………………………………………....... 3 6. ARTICLE III: MEMBERSHIP…………………………………………………………........ 4 Section 1: Requirements………………………………………………………….......... 4 Section 2: Rights and duties…………………………………………………………....... 4 7. ARTICLE IV: OFFICERS…………………………………………………………............... 5 Section 1: President………………………………………………………….................. 5 Section 2:Vice-President……………………………………………………..................... 5 Section 3: Secretary………………………………………………………........................ 5 Section 4: Treasurer………………………………………………………........................ 6 Section 5: General……………………………………………………….......................... 6 8. ARTICLE V: EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE…………………………………........................ 7 9. ARTICLE VI: MEETINGS……………………………………………................................. 8 10. ARTICLE VII: GENERAL…………………………………………................................... 8 Section 1: Congregations………………………………………………........................... 8 Section 2: Constitution…………………………………………………........................... 10 Section 3: Christian Ministry……………………………………………......................... 10 Section 4: Ministerial Committee ……………………………………….......................... 10 Section 5: Family and Youth Conference……………………………………................. 11 Section 6: Clergy………………………………………………………….........................11 Section 7: Election Procedures……………………………………………....................... 11 11. ARTICLE VIII: AMENDMENTS…………………………………………........................ 12 12. ARTICLE IX: DISSOLUTION…………………………………………............................. 12 13. ARTICLE X: INDEMNIFICATION OF OFFICERS……………………………................. 12 Ratified by member congregations Constitution of the Council of CSI Congregations in North America

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THE CONSTITUTION OF THE COUNCIL OF CHURCH OF SOUTH INDIA CONGREGATIONs IN NORTH AMERICA PREAMBLE Since the mid 1960's there has been a significant influx of Christians from South India to North America. Finding ourselves in the midst of great diversity on this continent due to differences in culture and language, we the Christians who follow the traditions of the Church of South India felt the need to be culturally and religiously bound together by the liturgical and ecclesiastical practices of the Church of South India. We, therefore, seek a structure to promote a unified, orderly and uniform practice among the Church of South India Congregations in North America and to equip us to achieve the formation of a CSI Diocese. To facilitate this need as well as to relate formally to the Church of South India and partner churches (i.e., Churches that are in full communion with the Church of South India), we, the Congregations of Church of South India in North America, do hereby accept and adopt the following constitution for the Council of the Church of South India Congregations in North America. ARTICLE I: NAME The name of this organization shall be “The Council of the Church of South India Congregations in North America, Inc., hereinafter known as “The Council”. ARTICLE II: OBJECTIVES Section 1: Purpose This Organization is organized exclusively for charitable purposes under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding Section of any future Federal tax code. Section 2: General A. To provide a common forum for contact and communication with the Church of South India Synod, various Church of South India Dioceses, and partner Churches in North America; B. To facilitate a unified and uniform practice in Church of South India Congregations in USA, Mexico and Canada, hereinafter referred to as the C.S.I. Congregations in North America; C. To encourage spiritual growth of its members through activities such as family and youth conferences, seminars, and other programs; D. To develop better relations among member congregations; E. To foster affiliation with partner Churches; F. To engage in religious and charitable activities including social, cultural, educational, fundraising and publication activities aimed at the enhancement of the quality of lives of its members as well as others in the society; G. To promote corporate fellowship by encouraging one another, serving one another, and supporting one another’s concerns; and H. To engage in or help in missionary activities worldwide and to bear Christian witness. Ratified by member congregations Constitution of the Council of CSI Congregations in North America Page4 ARTICLE III: MEMBERSHIP Section 1: Requirements A. C.S.I. Congregations in North America shall become members of the Council, provided that the Congregation: • accept the faith, doctrine, and discipline of the Church of South India; • conducts the worship service according to the C.S.I. liturgy; • Has a minimum of 25 communicant members; and • Pay the annual membership dues as determined by the Council. B. Congregations that meet all the criteria in clause A, except for the minimum number of communicant members or under special circumstances to be determined by the council, may become associate members in the Council. C. All CSI Congregations in North America shall be under the authority of the Moderator of Church of South India and follow the discipline of the Church of South India. D. Such Congregations shall be under the charge and supervision of a Presbyter appointed or approved by the CSI Moderator/President of the CSI Council in North America. Such approvals of the Council shall be final. Section 2: Rights and Duties A. The Congregations shall be represented at the Council by the Presbyter-in-charge and lay members elected by the general body or nominated by the governing body of the congregation. B. The number of representatives to the Council shall be determined by the number of communicant members in each congregation as follows: Number of Communicant Members Number of Representatives Up to 25 One (Presbyter in-charge or one lay member) 26 to 50 Two (Presbyter-in-charge and one lay member) 51 to 100 Three (Presbyter-in-charge and two lay members) 101 to 200 Four (Presbyter-in-charge and three lay members) Over 201 Five (Presbyter-in-charge and four lay members) When the number of representative from one congregation to the Council, is more than two, at least one should be a woman; more than three, at least one should be a woman and one should be a youth below the age of 35. C. An associate member Congregation may send only one representative to the Council. D. The President of the Council in consultation with the office bearers may nominate a maximum of three members-at-large including a youth and a woman for a term of one year to the Council. E. Lay Council members are elected for a three-year term during the general body meeting of the Congregation. However, no members shall be elected consecutively for more than two terms. They shall be eligible for re-election after a lapse of one term. F. Alternate members shall be elected, for each lay council member seat, who will represent the congregation in the council in the event the lay council member is unable to attend the council meeting. Ratified by member congregations Constitution of the Council of CSI Congregations in North America Page5 G. Elected council members are required to maintain the voting membership status in their respective congregations. The representative will forfeit his/her council membership status if their voting membership status in the congregation is not maintained. H. Each member congregation shall submit a prescribed form to the Council Secretary stating the number of communicant members, names of officers of the congregation, list of the council members and alternates; along with the annual membership dues before March 31 st of each calendar year. I. All member congregations shall have equal rights and privileges in the activities of the council and shall be expected to contribute to the financial needs of the Council. They are also expected to pay an annual membership fee as determined by the general body of the Council. ARTICLE IV: OFFICERS Section 1: President The Moderator of the Church of South India or a Bishop appointed by the Moderator with the knowledge of the CSI Synod Executive Committee shall be the President of the Council of the CSI Congregations in North America. Section 2: Vice-President A. The vice-president shall be elected for a three-year term during the annual council meeting; he/she must be an active Presbyter-in-charge of a member congregation. B. The vice-president shall function in the capacity of the President in the absence and/or with the permission of the President. C. If the elected vice-president’s position is vacant the Moderator will appoint a Pastor in consultation with the executive committee. Section 3: Secretary A. The Secretary shall be elected from the lay council members for a term of three years during the annual council meeting. B. The Secretary shall submit the annual report at the annual council meeting; a copy of the approved report shall be sent to the member Congregations, Moderator, and the General Secretary of the C.S.I. Synod. C. The Secretary shall be responsible to inform the respective parties any decision of the Council, and any follow up actions thereof. D. The Secretary shall co-ordinate the meetings of the Council and the executive committee and sends written notices in consultation with the president or in his/her absence the vice-president. E. The Secretary shall keep records of the proceedings of the Council and hand over all the records of the council before the successor assumes the post. Ratified by member congregations Constitution of the Council of CSI Congregations in North America Page6 Section 4: Treasurer A. The Treasurer shall be elected from the lay council members for a term of three years during the annual Council meeting. B. The Treasurer jointly with the vice-president and/or the Secretary shall operate the accounts for the council. The Treasurer shall have possession of the check book and other records of bank accounts. All checks shall be signed by the Treasurer and either the vice-president or the Secretary. C. The Treasurer shall collect the subscriptions from the member Congregations. Proper receipts shall be issued for all accounts received and vouchers must be kept for money spent for the purposes designated by the Council. The Treasurer shall comply with all state and federal regulations concerning non-profit religious organizations. D. The Treasurer shall submit a budget for the following year that must be approved at the annual Council meeting. E. The Treasurer, in consultation with the vice-president and the Secretary, can spend up to $1000.00 (one thousand) for any emergency and shall inform the Executive Committee about this, in writing, within two weeks. F. The Treasurer shall submit an audited financial statement at the regularly scheduled general body meeting of the council. G. The Treasurer shall submit the annual accounts to the executive committee meeting. H. The Treasurer shall hand overall the financial records and bank accounts of the council before the successor assumes the post. Section 5: General A. The Council shall be registered under the non-profit religious corporate laws of the state of New York for operation in the United States of America and in Canada. The certificate of incorporation shall be prepared by an attorney at law. The principal office of the Council shall be the parsonage of the C.S.I. Malayalam Congregation of Greater New York, 3833 Jerusalem Ave, Seaford, NY 11783 or as determined by the regularly scheduled General Body Meeting of the Council. All activities of the Council shall be according to the Federal, State and local regulations of non-profit religious charitable organizations. The council shall be registered as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization with the Internal Revenue Service. The Council shall maintain the ownership of the logo and the name “Church of South India” as registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office. B. The fiscal year of the council shall be from July 1 to June 30 th of the following year. C. The term of office-bearers shall be for three years from the installation or until their successors are elected. They shall not hold the same office for more than two consecutive terms. They shall be eligible for re-election after a lapse of one term. D. The Secretary and Treasurer of the previous council, if not already members, shall be ex-officio members of the Council for the following term but they shall have no voting rights. Ratified by member congregations Constitution of the Council of CSI Congregations in North America Page7 E. An internal auditor shall be elected at the annual meeting of the council to audit the accounts of the council. ARTICLE V: EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE A. The executive Committee, also known as the “Board of Trustees of the Corporation”, shall consist of: 1. The President 2. The Vice-President 3. The Secretary 4. The Treasurer 5. Representative from the Youth Fellowship 6. Representative from the Women’s Fellowship 7. One elected lay council member from each of the following regions: Region# Territory 1 New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and other New England States 2 New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and other neighboring States 3 Texas, California, and other Western states 4 Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, and other Mid-Western states 5 Georgia, Florida, and other South Eastern States 6 Canada and Michigan B. The Council may add new regions or alter the present set up as the number of member Congregations increase. C. In any one term the Executive Committee shall not have more than one elected council member from the same Congregation. D. The members of the Executive Committee shall be elected for a term of three years or until the successors are elected. A simple majority (50% plus one) of the elected Executive Committees shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The vote of the majority of the members present shall be the act of the Executive Committee. E. The Executive Committee shall meet at least once in six months. A special meeting shall be convened if majority of the members request for one. It will be the responsibility of the individuals or their congregations to meet the travel expenses. F. The Executive Committee may take action without a meeting if majority of the members of the Executive Committee consent in writing to the adoption of a resolution authorizing the action. The resolution and written consents thereto are filed with the minutes of the Executive Committee. Any Executive Committee member(s) may participate in a meeting of the Executive Committee by means of a conference telephone or similar communications equipment allowing all persons participating in the meeting to hear each other at the same time. Participation by such means shall constitute presence in person at a meeting. G. The Executive Committee members of the Council, during their term of office, shall serve as the Board of Directors and represent the Council in all legal and corporate matters. Ratified by member congregations Constitution of the Council of CSI Congregations in North America Page8 H. All major language groups of Church of South India must be represented in the council executive committee. Officers of the Council shall nominate additional members (clergy or lay person) with voting rights to make sure that at least one member from each major language group of CSI is represented in the Council Executive Committee. I. An elected or nominated member of the Executive Committee may be suspended or removed from his or her office by the President if at least 75% of the entire Executive Committee requests in writing showing a reasonable cause. Any member who is absent for two consecutive meetings without valid cause or permission shall forfeit his/her membership in the Executive Committee. Substitute members may be nominated by the Executive Committee, if appropriate. ARTICLE VI: MEETINGS A. Regularly scheduled general body meeting of the Council shall be held at least once every three years, on the day of or on the day before the North American annual family and Youth Conference or at a convenient time and place determined by the Executive Committee with the consent of the President. B. Written notices about the meeting shall be mailed, with agenda, to each member at least eight weeks before the meeting. C. A Special meeting of the Executive Committee/Council shall be convened, if at least 50% plus one of the members of the Executive Committee/Council request in writing for such a meeting. Such meetings shall be convened within one month after notice is given to the Secretary and/or to the President. Only items requested in the notice shall be transacted during this meeting, but no decisions can be taken at this meeting unless required quorum is available. D. Two recording secretaries shall be elected at the beginning of the General Body meeting and their recordings of the proceedings must be read and approved at the end of the meeting. If there are no objections, the Chairperson shall affix his or her signature on the draft minutes. E. The Secretary must send copies of the minutes to all the Congregations, the President, and the General Secretary of the C.S.I. Synod, within one month after the meeting. F. The quorum for all meetings shall be 50% plus one. The decisions shall be made by a simple majority. G. Visitors without voting rights maybe allowed to attend the Council meeting at the discretion of the President. If any disruption in meeting occurs, President may send visitors out of the meeting. Visitors may speak during the meetings only at the expressed consent of the President. ARTICLE VII: GENERAL Section 1: Congregations A. Presbyter-in-charge of a Congregation shall be appointed or approved by the Moderator/President in consultation with the Congregation and with the knowledge of the Council Executive Committee. Ratified by member congregations Constitution of the Council of CSI Congregations in North America Page9 B. Congregations may request for a Presbyter-in-charge from a particular diocese in South India in consultation with the Moderator. C. No C.S.I. Presbyter, except under official capacity, shall be allowed to participate actively with any other Congregation or an organization, if such participation would be detrimental to the continuance of a member Congregation. D. New C.S.I. Congregations shall be approved by the Moderator/President only after obtaining the recommendation from the Executive committee and the approval of the Council. E. The Council shall not recognize the formation of a new Congregation in the same geographical area, if the formation of such a congregation would be detrimental to the existence of a member Congregation unless justified otherwise. F. The Council or the Executive Committee may appoint a mediator(s) who shall be a C.S.I. Presbyter or a lay person to mediate disputes within or between member Congregations. The decision of the Council or the Executive Committee based on the recommendations of the mediator and the Moderator/President shall be binding. G. Any disputes that cannot be resolved responsibly and promptly shall be referred to the President and his or her decision shall be final and binding. H. The salary for the prospective candidate for appointment as the Presbyter-in-charge of any congregation shall be settled between the Congregation and the Diocesan Bishop or Moderator and shall be completed before the Presbyter-in-charge takes charge of the Congregation. The Moderator may seek recommendation on this matter from the Executive Committee. I. CSI Congregations may affiliate or associate with a partner Church, but must meet all the requirements of this constitution and abide by the authority of the Moderator of Church of South India. J. Each congregation is financially independent of other congregations. It may own, acquire, or dispose of assets as directed by the General Body of the Congregation. A Congregation may subsidize or financially assist the efforts of other Congregations. K. In the event of dissolution of a congregation all funds/assets remaining on account may be transferred to the account of the Council or dispose of as per the applicable IRS codes or local government regulations. L. In the event, when a member or associate member Congregation cannot locate a clergy to conduct worship services; the officers of the council, upon request, may assist to locate a pastor for that congregation. A Presbyter-in-charge may be appointed jointly with another congregation. Any financial burden for this arrangement must be borne by the recipient congregations. Congregations that are financially not viable to support a minister may be asked to join other congregations in the geographical area. M. The Moderator and the officers of the council shall facilitate strengthening of CSI Congregations by combining small congregations, wherever possible or starting new congregations wherever needed. Ratified by member congregations Constitution of the Council of CSI Congregations in North America Page10 Section 2: Constitution A. This Constitution and the amendments thereof shall not conflict with the Constitution of the Church of South India and must be ratified by the C.S.I. Synod Executive Committee or Working Committee. B. The Constitution of all member congregations and other C.S.I. organizations in North America shall be amended to conform to the constitution of the Council and the constitution of the Church of South India. C. The General Body of each member Congregation shall formulate a set of rules and regulations, called bylaws, to meet the legal requirements, of the respective state. However, such bylaws shall not conflict with the constitution of the Council or the constitution of the Church of South India. D. The name “Church of South India” and the logo of Church of South India (CSI) are registered trademarks of the Council of CSI Congregations in North America and shall be used only by CSI Congregations that are bonafide members of the Council of CSI Congregations in North America. Section 3: Christian Ministry A. Any C.S.I. member, who is called for Christian ministry and wishes to be ordained, may forward his or her application to the ministerial committee with the recommendation from his or her Congregation. B. The Bishop-in-charge may also encourage a person, who has proved to be a good Christian leader, to seek ordination, if that person meets all other qualifications such as a theological degree from an institution approved by the Church of South India or other adequate qualifications and extensive experience in Christian ministry. C. Such individuals must be legal immigrants or citizens of the United States or Canada and must have been a member of a CSI Congregation in North America for at least 5 years. Section 4: Ministerial Committee A. The Council shall elect a Ministerial Committee for a term of three years at the annual meeting of the Council. It shall consist of the officers of the Council and four elected members of whom two shall be lay persons and two shall be Presbyters. B. The Ministerial Committee shall examine the credentials of the candidates for Christian Ministry and send its recommendation to the President within three months. C. The President shall preside over the Ministerial Committee meetings. In his or her absence, the Vice-president of the council shall function as the Chairperson with the approval of the President. D. The Vice-president of the council shall be the Convener for the Ministerial Committee. He or she shall receive applications and supporting materials from persons seeking ordination. Ratified by member congregations Constitution of the Council of CSI Congregations in North America Page11 E. The Ministerial Committee shall prepare a set of guidelines and standards for recommending candidates for ordination to the President. These guidelines and standards shall be approved by the Council and circulated among the congregations. F. Potential candidates for ministry should be encouraged to pursue theological studies and their path for ordination should be guided by the Ministerial Committee. G. Ordination of CSI members in the North America shall be conducted by The Moderator or a CSI Bishop assigned by the Moderator and it should be as per the CSI Constitution. H. Discernment of individuals for ordination as honorary pastors maybe entertained on a case by case basis. Section 5: Family and Youth Conference A. All activities of the Family and Youth Conference shall be under the guidance of the Council. Section 6: Clergy A. A clergy who conducts Holy Communion service in a CSI Congregation in North America must have been ordained in Church of South India or in a partner Church whose ordination has been approved by the Moderator of Church of South India. B. A Presbyter-in-charge of a CSI Congregation in North America must have been appointed or his/her appointment approved by the Moderator/President. C. A Presbyter-in-charge of a CSI Congregation in North America must be under the supervision of an active Bishop of a Diocese of Church of South India. D. The term of a Presbyter-in-charge coming to North America on a deputation shall be three years but not more than five years. E. Clergy who came to North America on a deputation basis must return to his/her original diocese immediately after completing his/her assignment. F. The term of a Presbyter-in-charge that is in North America not on a deputation shall not be more than 5years. Extensions of one year at a time may be granted only if at least twothird majorities of the members in the voters list of the congregation request the President of the Council in writing. G. Only clergy in active duty, who meets all the criteria set forth in the constitution of the CSI Diocese he/she originally hails from or that he/she is currently an active member of and that of the Church of South India Synod, is eligible to hold an office in the Council. H. Full time Presbyters-in-charge should be provided with adequate remuneration including two weeks of vacation per year. Section 7: Election Procedures A. Executive Committee may present a panel of nominations prior to the council meeting. B. Open nominations from the members shall be invited during the appropriate time for all positions. Ratified by member congregations Constitution of the Council of CSI Congregations in North America Page12 C. Only individuals present at the General Body Meeting of the Council shall be considered for all positions. D. If balloting is required to determine the winner for a position, democratically accepted practices for secret balloting shall be followed. ARTICLE VIII: AMENDMENTS A. This Constitution may be amended, at the regularly scheduled General Body meeting of the council by two-third majority of the members present and voting, provided the quorum requirements are met and the written copies of the amendments were distributed to the members at least two months prior to the meeting. B. The amendments shall be final only after approval by the Executive Committee or Working committee of the C.S.I. Synod. C. Amendments to the Constitution can be proposed by a member of the Council or a member Congregation and must be submitted to the Secretary or Vice-president of the Council for distribution. D. The Secretary shall circulate copies of the approved amendments to all member Congregations. ARTICLE IX: DISSOLUTION Approval of the resolution for dissolution shall be contingent upon the justified determination, according to the approval procedures of ARTICLE VIII. Amendments to execute the dissolution clause stated below under the supervision of the officers of the Council: To wit: Upon approval of the resolution calling for the dissolution of the said corporate body, and according to a schedule specified by the resolution for dissolution, all assets of the Council shall be converted to cash to liquidate any outstanding debts of the corporate body. All assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal code, or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government, for a public purpose. No member on record or prior member or relative of a member, either present or past may receive any share of the assets of the corporation upon dissolution, except by reason of bonafide claim for payment of debt owed by the corporation to said member and A written report summarizing the dissolution activities, including disposition of all records of the Council, shall be prepared and distributed to all members on record as of the time of adoption of the resolution of dissolution. ARTICLE X: INDEMNIFICATION OF OFFICERS The Executive Committee, subject to the approval of the general body of the Council, may authorize the Council to pay the expenses incurred by or to satisfy a judgment or a fine rendered or levied against a present or former officer or employee of the Council, provided the activities that caused the expenses or fines were in line with his or her duty as such office and were authorized by the Council or the Executive Committee

Finding Inspiration in Every Turn

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Some of the participants are
Back Row: Jacob Mathew (Chicago), Rajan Mathew (Dallas) John John, A. M. Abraham, Abraham Mathew and Mathew Jose (Houston) 
Front Row: Samuel Johnson and Rev. C. S. Philip (Chicago), Rev. K. S. George (Dallas) and Rev. Jacob George (Houston).
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