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CSI CONGREGATION OF GREATER CHICAGO

In the early 1980s other denominations like Marthomite, Orthodox and others started their own church. On March 11, 1984, the CSI members also decided to have a CSI Church. On March 18, 1984, they started their first CSI service under the name of CSI Congregation of Greater Chicago, at 835 W. Addison St. Chicago, IL 60613. Rev. Dr. Ninan Mathew and Rev. Dr. K. K. Cherian were the Vicars at that time. 

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Photos Added: (Left) Mr. Jacob Thomas (Thampi) (Right) Mr. Varghese P. John (Thampi)

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After a few years, both vicars completed their studies and had to go back to their diocese. Fortunately, at that time, another pastor Rev. George Isaac from Vellore Medical college came for higher studies and Samuel Johnson came to know about him from John Mathew (Babu) and informed that to the committee and the committee requested him to conduct the worship service and accepted him as the pastor in charge. Soon after we communicated the committee's decision to Rev. Isaac, we received a letter from the Rt. Rev. M. C. Mani, the bishop of the Central Kerala Diocese, stating that Rev. Christopher Kurian was coming to a seminary for higher studies. So, the committee requested him to be the associated pastor and he agreed.
After a while, the members found the worship time is inconvenient to majority of them. Children had to go to school the next morning, they were not getting enough rest and needed more time on Sunday evening. Hospital employees expressed their inconvenience. 

So, the church committee decided to look for another church for a Sunday morning service. 

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Rev. Dr. K. K. Cherian

Rev. Dr. Ninan Mathew and Kochamma Annamma Mathew 

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Rev. Dr. Abraham Stephen and Kochamma

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Rev. Dr. Abraham Stephen and Kochamma

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Members start looking for a place for Sunday morning worship. At the same time, some members did not like the morning service.

A few members and Rev. Dr. George Isaac saw the Wesley Church, Oak Park, Illinois with a parking lot and met the pastor and the committee members of that church. They agreed to give their church for our Sunday morning worship.

During the next Sunday worship time Achan made the announcement that the pastor from the Wesley Church called and told our pastor that one of our members Mr. Thomas Thiruvella, may be the “True Servant “called Wesley pastor and told him .that the members of the CSI Congregation of Greater Chicago are members of the Indian Communist Party.  So, the Wesley Church committee change their decision and they are not interested to share their church with a group of communist party members.

 

During the next Church committee meeting someone suggested that anyone can search and identify a church for the morning service but should not announce the members before a written agreement from the hosting church. But Samuel Johnson said that even for renting an apartment both husband and wife must see it, otherwise there could be disagreement later about the place.

 

After a couple of weeks, the Rev. Isaac George told the committee. that he had located a place and requested the committee to meet there. As per his request, the committee saw that place and agreed to rent that place.  Then the Rev. Issac George said that he had already signed the lease, received the key, and gave a $200.00 deposit to them, before the so-called committee meeting.

That was a shock to most of the committee members. Next Saturday the Vice President Mr. M. G. Cherian called and said to other committee members, that he is planning to resign the vice President position, because other members of the committee do not trust him. At the same time Secretary Mr. Jacob Mathew said he will also resign then three other members Mr. John Mathew, Mr. Babu M. Philip, (committee member and the choir master) and Samuel Johnson, another committee member also decided to resign. But never had a discussion between us or a plan to start a new church, until they brought the books and communion sets back to the old worship place. Then we had no option other than to continue the service there with the five families.

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From March 18, 1984, until December 1990 the CSI Congregation of Greater Chicago held their service at the Lake View Lutheran Church on Sunday Evenings. In December 1990, the congregation moved to the Episcopal Church of Epiphany, 201 S Ashland, Chicago and began Sunday morning Services. The Congregation later moved to the Anderson Center in Oak Park in May 1992 which is convenient to the majority families. In May 1994, the Congregation decided to buy a church convenient to members to use the church organ while relaxing after lunch, easy for members to walk from home, remove snow in the winter, and mow the lawn in the summer. "Uchakku Kanji kudichittirickumbol, choir masterk onnu kottanamennu thonniyal nadannu poyi kottan pattunna dooram, memmbersnu pulluvettanum snow mattanam kazyiyunna sthalm aayiriukkanam" Rev. K. T. Kurian. One member said that location should be a convenient one, so, if and when two churches wanted come together, location should not be an issue and church building will not move, but families moves so the location should be convenient to future generation and so look for  geographically convenient to many. Right way the True Servant said that, the main reason for selecting this location is not to join with them. That day one family walked out from there.

We recognize with sincere gratitude, the Rev. Dr. K.K. Cherian, Rev. Dr. Ninan Mathew, Rev. Dr. George Isaac, Mr. M. G. Cherian, Rev. Dr. Abraham Stephen, Rev. Dr. Retnadas Christudas and Rev. K. T. Kurian for their dedicated service at the CSI Congregation of Greater Chicago.

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