CSI logo CSI Congregation of Hudson Valley

 

 

About Our Church


Our Purpose
Valhalla
We have come together to worship and spread the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in our community and throughout the world. We choose to be a model congregation worshipping in the Church of South India (CSI) tradition and to uphold the motto and ideals of the CSI - "That they all may be one."

The Early Years

The formation of the Hudson Valley Congregation was the result of the humble prayers of a few families worshipping at the CSI Malayalam Congregation of Greater New York, then at Woodhaven, NY, who wished to have a place of worship closer to their homes. Therefore, a unanimous decison was taken to establish a new congregation closer to those dwelling in the northern and western suburbs of New York City. After 14 years, the growth and unity of the Congregation proves that it was under a divine plan. 

Our Congregation was formally inaugurated on Sunday, April 10, 1994 during a Special Worship Service at the West Center Congregational Church UCC, Bronxville, NY. After the formation, people who have roots in CSI, but were not regularly attending CSI worship due to the distance and other constraints, became part of this Congregation.

Our Vicars/Presbyters (Achens)

Rev. Sam Samuel (1994-1995) Achen served as the First Vicar of our Congregation. Currently Achen is serving the CSI St. Thomas Church, Tholasserry as its Vicar.

Rev. Philip Johnson (1994) A Pastor from CSI South Kerala diocese. Achen was a student in Princeton University, NJ and served few months. Achen is continuing his work in the CSI South Kerala Diocese.

Rev. Dr. George Ninan (1995) A dynamic Pastor from CSI North Kerala diocese served few months in 1995. Achen is retired and living in Ernakulam.

(Late) Rev. C. George Koshy (1995)  A senior Pastor of Madhya Kerala Diocese; Koshy Achen served few months in 1995. Achen went to eternity in 1999

Rev. Johnny Joseph (1995-1996) Achen served our Congregation early months of 1996. Achen is continuing his ministry in Atlanta.

Rev. Prof. Thomas Ninan served two times as the interim Pastor of our Congregation. Achenís humble nature  will always stay in our hearts. Achen is living in Philadelphia and continue to serve Tampa (Florida) CSI Congregation.

Rev. T. S. Ninan served us briefly in 2006. Achen is staying in Staten Island, NY  and continue to serve  some Congregations.

Rev. Dr. P. K. Kuruvilla, our first full-time Vicar. Very energetic and committed Pastor. Achen served here from 1996-1999. Kuruvilla Achen is in Kottayam serving as the Vicar of the CSI Trinity Cathedral Church. Achen is also a member of the CSI Synod. He is also serving in various  committees of the diocese and working  as the Secretary of the Financial Board. Susan Kochamma is a teacher and also serving as the Vice President of the CSI Diocesan Womenís Fellowship. Achenís children, Wesley and Winny are students and very active in CSI Youth Fellowship. Wesley is an accomplished pianist and singer.

Rev. Dr. Jacob Chacko, another multi-talented Pastor who served here from 1999 to 2002. Achen took initiative in raising funds for our Building fund which enabled us to buy the parsonage. We started area prayer meetings during Achenís term. Achen and Kochamma are singers and Mini Kochamma was a member of our Choir.  Achen and Mini Kochamma are in Kollam CSI Parish. 

Their children Rohan and Ronia are students.

Very Rev. P. U. Paulose, well-experienced senior Pastor of the Madhya Kerala Diocese, who served here from 2002-2005. Achen is known for his deep knowledge in Scriptures especially in New Testament. Achenís noble character is always in our hearts. Achen and Mercy Kochamma are staying in Kottayam. Achen is the Clergy Secretary of the diocese and doing a wonderful service in the diocese. Achenís children, Annie is married to Rev. Benny Thomas, who is also a Pastor of the diocese. Achenís son, Arun is employed. Mercy Kochamma was also a member of our choir and known for her embroidery work. Paulose Achen is the one who started the Sunday morning Bible Study classes.

Rev. Mathew P. George, served here from 2006 to 2009. Achen is an eloquent speaker who enjoyed working in Christian Education Ministry. Achen was elected as the  Vice President of the CSI Council in 2007. Very hardworking, committed pastor. Achen is now serving as the Manager of the CMS Press and also the Missionaryóin Charge of the Thotta Pradesh mission of the diocese.  Jegy Kochamma, a good singer, is the Principal of the CMS College  Higher Secondary School.  Achenís children, Shalom, Smyrna, Salona are students.

Rev. Binu T. John served our Congregation from 2010ó2013. Known for his affable nature, Achen  dedicated for Lordís work at a very young age. Achenís sermons are very inspirational filled with new thoughts. Bindu Kochamma is a talented musician who was very active in our choir. Achen went back to the diocese and serving as the Vicar of the Kannetti CSI Parish.

Rev. Robin K. Paul was in charge of our Congregation from May 17, 2013 to April 2016. Out of his ten years as a Pastor, Achen served our mission field in Charkkari, Uttar Pradesh, India for six years. Achenís commitment to missions is noteworthy. During his days in Charkkari, God used him to build a strong foundation for our mission field. Anu Kochamma is a higher Secondary school teacher. 


Fellowships

From the beginning our congregation recognized the need for quality Christian education for our children. Therefore, the Sunday School was organized immediately after the congregation was established under the leadership of Mrs. Shanthi Sam, our first Sunday School Superintendent.

The Choir was organized within a year of our founding under the leadership of Mr. Arun Andrews Punnen, our Choirmaster. The choir was formally dedicated by Bishop Sam Mathew in August 1995. Our organists have been Mr. Sam Kuruvilla, Ms. Julie Ipe, Mr. Aji Sam Mathew (Roshan), and our current organist, Ms. Carol Kuruvilla.

We have an active and growing Youth Fellowship in our church. They are regularly conducting Bible Studies, Praise and Worship Nights, and participate in various programs hosted by the neighboring parishes. They also participate in various charitable events such as the "Souper Bowl of Caring" and fund-raisers to benefit charities such as the Midnight Run, Salvation Army, and the United Church of Christ Wider Ministries. They have also contributed funds to build one house for a poor family to live in Kerala, India under the 'Shalom Housing project' of the Madhya Kerala Diocese in 1999. This generous donation was given to the Bishop on the day when ten of them were confirmed. They are also sponsoring a small girl's education and upbringing in Uganda since 2000 through Feed the Children International.

The Women's Fellowship is very active in our church and they conduct Bible Study classes, Fasting prayer meetings, and retreats regularly. They have helped various charitable projects here, as well as back in Kerala.

The Laity Fellowship was formed in 2000 for the spiritual needs and development of our lay leaders, both men and women. They conduct the bible study meeting at 10:45 AM every Sunday before the worship service. They also meet on the fourth Sunday of every month. They also lead the weekly teleconference prayer meetings where church members come together over-the-phone to pray for the needs of our church and our world.

Missions and Charity

Since our inception, we are actively involved in missionary works. We are supporting the Missionary doctor in the Charkari Mission field of the Madhya Kerala Diocese. We have financially supported the Paradi Church, out-station of the Mundiapally CSI Church, Kerala. Our Sunday school children established a scholarship fund for the eligible students of our institutions in Kerala. In 2000, we raised funds to construct a church building for the Parayanali CSI Church, an out-station of Omalloor Parish of the Madhya Kerala Diocese. We had raised $7000 for this project and the Bishop, Rt. Rev. Dr. Sam Mathew formally dedicated this church building on May 16, 2000 with a plaque at the site naming our congregation as donating the funds for the church's construction.

Each year, during the Thanksgiving season, our youth fellowship conducts a food and clothing drive to help the needy in our society. The donations usually go to a local Salvation Army depot. The youth fellowship also conducts yearly "breakfast runs" and "midnight runs" with the help of the Midnight Run organization to prepare food and go as a group to deliver it personally to the homeless men and women of New York City.

In addition to the above examples, over the years our church has sent financial support for numerous emergency and ongoing needs of the CSI Madhya Kerala Diocese, East Kerala Diocese, and other charitable organizations in India and USA.

Partnerships

We are part of the Council of CSI Congregations in North America and regularly attend programs hosted by our sister churches.

From our inception, we have recognized the Bishop of the CSI Madhya Kerala Diocese as our spiritual head. Former Bishop Sam Mathew took a special interest in the affairs of the Congregation and provided pastoral care ever since its inception and we are grateful to the current incumbent, Bishop Thomas Samuel, for continuing in that tradition.


The new millenium and a glorious future

In August 2002, our congregation moved to a new worship place at the White Plains Presbyterian Church, White Plains, NY, after 8 years of worship at the West Center Congregational Church UCC, Bronxville, NY.

In July 2005, we purchased a beautiful and spacious Parsonage (a home for our Presbyter and family) in New City, NY. We also hold prayer meetings, retreats, bible studies, and some of the regular meetings of the auxiliary fellowships there from time to time. We are grateful to all those who have contributed to this important cause. We are still faithful that God will fulfill our dream of owning a suitable place of worship in our future.

On January 1, 2006, we started worship at the Valhalla United Methodist Church, Valhalla, NY.

ON November 2015, we moved to St. Mary's Episcopal Church in BriarCliff Manor. NY.

Former Moderators who visited the congregation: the late Most Rev. Dr. Vasanth P. Dandin (1996) and Most Rev. Dr. K.J. Samuel (2000). Rt. Rev. Dr. Sam Mathew, former Bishop of Madhya Kerala Diocese, visited and conducted the Confirmation services in 1995 and 1999. Rt. Rev. Dr. P. G. Kuruvilla, Bishop of the North Kerala Diocese visited the Congregation in 1997. Rt. Rev. Thomas Samuel, current Bishop of Madhya Kerala Diocese, visited our congregation in 2003, 2004, 2005, & 2006. Bishop also conducted the dedication of our Parsonage in 2005. The Rt. Rev. K.G. Daniel, Bishop of the East Kerala Diocese, visited our congregation in 2007. The Rev. Michael Caine, Conference Minister of the Southeast NY conference of the UCC, visited our congregation in 1999, 2002, 2006, and 2007.

Now, after 17 years, our Congregation stands tall with its sole purpose of glorifying God through worship and actions inspired by divine guidance. When we look back, we can say with joyful tears that God showered his blessings upon us and sustained us in everything. Therefore, we are joining the psalmist and proudly stating that "this is God, our God forever, He will be our guide even to death."

 

 

Full-Time Presbyters Who Have Served Our Church

 

Rev. Dr. P.K. Kuruvilla

1996 - 1999

Rev. Dr. Jacob Chacko

1999 - 2002

Very Rev. P.U. Paulose

2002 - 2005

Rev. Professor Thomas Ninan

2005 - 2006

Rev. Mathew P. George

2006 - 2009

Rev. Professor Thomas Ninan

2009 - 2010

Rev. Binu T. John

2010 - 2013

Rev. Robin K Paul

2013 - 2016