Sultanate of Oman
MUSCAT — A young Indian Orthodox (Malankara) Church is clearly bitten by the gadgets the tech world has to offer.
Ahmedabad Diocese Metropolitan Pulikkottil HG Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios, uses Apples iconic devices Ipad and Amazon Kindle, for liturgical services and ministry work.
Dr Mar Yulios perhaps is the only one among Indian Orthodox Metropolitans to use these devices and its apps so conveniently. His Grace has thus opened new areas of interaction with the faithful.
Beyond the pulpit and the pews, the popular tablet is useful for ministry purposes too and that has been proved in the case of Dr Mar Yulios. The Metropolitan uses this for day-to-day work at the St Mary’s school campus at Naroda Road (Ahmedabad Diocesan office) or often during his tours outside the country.
The unique strength of the iPad is that it gives full access to data and workflows while maintaining personal mobility. And this is what the Metropolitan has made the best of it during the last two years now.
During one of his trips to the United States, Dr Mar Yulios chanced upon the Ipad and has now become addicted. It has now become a part and parcel of baggage during tours to various parts of the country and abroad.
Explains Dr Mar Yulios: “Ipad is used for browsing emails, preparing my programme diary and for explaining others about my dream diocese development projects for which I also use the Google Earth.”
Using his Ipad, His Grace points to Dacore via Google Earth, a little known place about 70kms away from Ahmedabad and Baroda, where the proposed Ahmedabad Diocese HQ will come up.
Dr Mar Yulios points that he however does not prefer to use the gadgets as mere ‘show pieces’ but more effectively to pursue his ministry and to promote diocese development works in an unhindered manner.
His Grace uses them for liturgical services like the order of the Holy Matrimony, reading Holy Eucharist, Taksa, intercessory prayers, special prayers, and during occasions like house blessing, marriage celebrations, funerals, and during baptism.”
For day-to-day work of the Metropolitan, the IPad has become more effective than a laptop though he uses both.
During the recent Good Friday services at the Muscat Mar Gregorios Maha Edavaka, the Metropolitan used the Amazon Kindle with ease during the occasion of the Veneration of the Cross or the Sleeba Vandenam. The pages in the Kindle can save both texts in English, Malayalam and Syriac with an option to download PDF pages. An advantage with Kindle is that it can adjust the reading preferences such as the font size and screen orientation and can be easily placed on the altar. The Metropolitan has downloaded different versions of the Holy Bible and others for his use.
The Metropolitan also extensively utilizes i-library and has downloaded books namely the Gitanjali, the Holy Quran, Upanishads and many other philosophical books from reputed authors.
Dr Mar Yulios has thus set a trend for others to follow. His Grace’s love for the church and technology has fuelled his curiosity about how the iPad might change the way for his ministry as his exploration for newer possibilities continues.