The inclemency of the Chicago snow storm could hardly ebb the reigning festive spirit of the Christmas celebrations that were held with full compliments of melodious carols, dance presentations, canticles, inspiring remarks and yuletide sermon marking the Grand Christmas Banquet hosted by United Christian Cultural Association [UCCA] on Friday, December 16, 2016 at the Bristol Palace in Mount Prospects, Illinois.
The Christmas carols singing with an ensemble of musical accompaniments including sounds of traditional indian ‘Dhol’ with families and children relishing the joyous canticles of the Christmas augmented by the presence of Ambassador Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India and Movie/TV Actress & Gospel Speaker Divya Vani from India enhanced the evening celebrations of songs, dances, music, worship and dinner.
The evening celebrations set off with the lighting of the Advent Lamp led by Ambassador Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General, Telugu Movie Actress Divya Vani opened the evening accompanied by a graceful musical carol. Addressing the guests, Ambassador Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General extolled the festival of Christmas and reflected on the exceptional contributions made by Christians in India in the field of education, health care, charity, social empowerment, emancipation of women socioeconomic conditions and participation in public life and added that Christianity has profoundly helped strengthen the social fabric in India. Ambassador Dr. Ausaf Sayeed sincerely expressed his appreciation to the UCCA leaders for inviting him and his wife to Christmas celebrations and complimented them for showcasing the spirit and celebrations of Christmas.
Movie/TV Actress Divya Vani in her short yuletide sermon explained the significance of Christmas as a day of celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ into this world and that which symbolizes Jesus Christ as the personification of Divinity. Divya Vani ‘s message which was interspersed with singing said Christmas is a season of great joy as it emphasizes the incredible mystery of the Lord’s coming to earth in the form of a child and destined to offer salvation to the humanity. In appreciation of her presence and sermon, Divya Vani was honored with a shawl and a flower bouquet.
Earlier, Keerthi Kumar Ravoori, Director of UCCA welcomed the gathering and introduced the chief guest Ambassador Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India and later joined by UCCA leaders honored the Ambassador and his wife by presenting traditional shawls and flower bouquets. Raju Enoch Pasumarthi, UCCA President thanked the gathering of the families. Emmanuel Neela Vice President, Vasanth Charles, Director. Suneeta Christina, Satish Dadipogu Austin D’Souza, Nandan Thogaru, Pravin Neetipudi & Karunakar Mondithoka offered the Christmas greetings and seasons compliments; while Renee Thogaru arranged the Christmas carol choir singing.
The event was emceed by Anitha Tandur and music was provided by Johnson Kodipally, Vijay & Athyun Nagelli. Several church pastors were also present including Mrs. Subhadra Vipparathi, Rev. David Vidyasagar, and Rev. Samson Purohit who participated in the ceremonies. The evening celebrations concluded with entire hall shimmering in candle lights sang together the traditional Christmas carols “Silent Night” which was followed by the serving of the festive dinner.