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
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)
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.
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.
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
Johnny Joseph (1995-1996) Achen served our Congregation
early months of 1996. Achen is continuing his ministry in Atlanta.
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.
T. S. Ninan served us briefly in 2006. Achen is staying
in Staten Island, NY and continue to
serve some Congregations.
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
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.
children Rohan and Ronia are students.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
Rev. Pretheesh Babu Kurian
2017 - present