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Praying for the Guidance of the Holy Spirit at the Historic Lands of Immigration

AntoniousNikolas

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http://returntoorthodoxy.com/praying-guidance-holy-spirit-conference/

https://www.facebook.com/returntoorthodoxy

I'm in!  :)

If it weren't the Holy 50 days, it'd be appropriate to fast as well as pray.
 

qawe

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Here's the official website: http://landofimmigration.org

Sessions of conference:
1 Canada
(Bishop Mina) The challenges of service in the Land of immigration:
Feasts' dates issue
General Medical Committee - To advise and help with cases sent from the Mother Church for treatment
Churches acclimating to the land of immigration

2 Bolivia
(Bishop Youssef) The service of Evangelism outside the United States

3 Melbourne
(Bishop Suriel) Theology schools, seminaries, Coptic schools, and Curricula

4 Sydney
(Bishop Daniel) Churches: Buildings, Boards, Legal issues, Bylaws and needed Policies

5 United Kingdom
(Bishop Angaelos) Communicating our Message, Mission and Identity

6 St. Shenouda Monastery - Australia
(Bishop Daniel) Monasteries of the Land of Immigration ‐ Consecration

7 Archdiocese - New Jersey
(Bishop Karas) Relationship with the Mother Church ‐ connecting the youth and educating them about the Church of Alexandria

8 Los Angeles
(Bishop Serapion) Relationships with different denominations and the Society of the Land of Immigration

9 New York
(Bishop David) The service of Evangelism inside the United States

10 Brazil
(Bishop Aghathon) Priest of the Land of Immigration: Scope of service, essential qualities, factors facilitating and others hindering his service, clothes, etc.

http://landofimmigration.org/content/sessions

^Half of these presentations appear to be presentations on identical issues named differently!
 

Volnutt

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Lord have mercy and guidance.
 

wgw

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Antonious, do you think it's likely that a degeneration will occur?

At my Coptic parish, the Priest has been stressing teaching the youth Coptic, and all three divisions of the Youth won the Excellent award.  Thus all the kids know or are learning how to sing all the hymns in Coptic and everything is super traditional.  The only thing we lack; we have a cymbalist but no one to play the triangle.

So the thought of a praise band at our parish strikes me as unimaginable.  The lay leadership is behind this as much as Abuna.  But will this model hold?
 

qawe

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wgw said:
Antonious, do you think it's likely that a degeneration will occur?

At my Coptic parish, the Priest has been stressing teaching the youth Coptic, and all three divisions of the Youth won the Excellent award.  Thus all the kids know or are learning how to sing all the hymns in Coptic and everything is super traditional.  The only thing we lack; we have a cymbalist but no one to play the triangle.

So the thought of a praise band at our parish strikes me as unimaginable.  The lay leadership is behind this as much as Abuna.  But will this model hold?
You are very lucky to have a brilliant bishop!  He and a few others will not allow this degeneration to be forced on them and their churches, but they may not have the ability to stop it elsewhere.
 

AntoniousNikolas

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wgw said:
Antonious, do you think it's likely that a degeneration will occur?

At my Coptic parish, the Priest has been stressing teaching the youth Coptic, and all three divisions of the Youth won the Excellent award.  Thus all the kids know or are learning how to sing all the hymns in Coptic and everything is super traditional.  The only thing we lack; we have a cymbalist but no one to play the triangle.

So the thought of a praise band at our parish strikes me as unimaginable.  The lay leadership is behind this as much as Abuna.  But will this model hold?
Please allow me to quote myself from another thread:

Antonious Nikolas said:
The problems are as follows:

1. Lack of education - Standard practice in the Coptic Church is to ordain the most enthusiastic and dedicated servant without sending him to seminary or disabusing him of any heterodox ideas he may hold.  After ordination, many priests are left casting about on their own with very little guidance or structure, and virtually no support system when it comes to something like "mission", so they end up sprinting down the dead end alleys of Evangelicalism and Charismatism.  Since no one has articulated Orthodox ecclesiology to them, they think the Evangelical megachurch they see on TV is in some imperfect way part of the Church and therefore worthy of emulation.

2. Lack of episcopal oversight - Notice that most of the problem areas in the Coptic Church (see qawe's post) are in unicorporated territory, i.e. territory without a seated bishop belonging to the nebulous "Archdiocese of North America".  The bishop of these priests is nominally the Pope of Alexandria, but in reality each is, for all intents and purposes, his own bishop.  No one can call him on his errors in any authoritative way.

3. Scholasticism - The idea that worship is theology hasn't penetrated here, so the idea that as long as I maintain a minimum of intellectual ideas I hold to be Orthodox somewhere up in the old memory banks (the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, praying with the saints, etc.) I can worship any way I like prevails.

4. Lack of courage - Other than H.G. Anba Abanoub, H.G. Anba Suriel, and a handful of other courageous hierarchs (may God preserve their lives), most authority figures are afraid to call priests they disagree with out in public for fear of upsetting their rabid teenage fanclub (or more accurately, the rich parents of said teenage fanclub - thanks for the correction, Stavro!) and are fearful of causing a schism, so they allow the wound to fester rather than taking decisive action.

It's truly a sad state of affairs.  Conscientious laity have to begin to get involved.  I'm truly loathe to name names - I'd rather address the problem than the man - but the conversation needs to take place.  Orthodoxy and heterodoxy can't coexist in the same body, and the Coptic Church needs to decide which side of the fence it is on.
Your Church is likely safe because - as qawe has opined - you are in territory belonging to a seated Orthodox bishop with the power, the will, and the desire to make corrections as needed no matter how popular the individual in error might be.

 

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I don't understand why so many Copts want to emulate the worst aspects of Evangelical Protestant culture.

It seems like if they want to contextualize the faith in the west, it'd be better to add a Western Rite or something with which middle-of-the-road Roman Catholics might be familiar. If there was a church that was like Catholicism except that it:

  • focused solely on the faith while avoiding political/culture war distractions as much as possible
  • didn't have the sex scandals, historical baggage or corruption in the hierarchy that Rome does
  • avoids both the extremes of SSPX/Lefebre/Feeneyist type traditionalism on one hand, and "clown mass" stuff on the other

then a lot of disaffected Catholics, as well as Anglicans and other mainline Protestants, might join as well. As far as keeping the youth engaged, Catholicism has a youth culture too, not everything about it is commendable, but it'd certainly be better to look to that than to Evangelical stuff. It might also be worth looking into the example of SOYO (which is Antiochian), although I admittedly don't know very much about that group.
 

wgw

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I'm in the Diocese of Los Angeles; I've met Bishop Serapion once and he seemed a very holy man, so I hope he's on your list of good bishops, then.

But I have heard of churches with charismatic things going on down in Irvine, from my parish priest in fact.  But that might be part of the SUS Diocese rather than the Los Angeles diocese.
 

qawe

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wgw said:
I'm in the Diocese of Los Angeles; I've met Bishop Serapion once and he seemed a very holy man, so I hope he's on your list of good bishops, then.

But I have heard of churches with charismatic things going on down in Irvine, from my parish priest in fact.  But that might be part of the SUS Diocese rather than the Los Angeles diocese.
Yes HG Bishop Serapion is on my list of good bishops: http://returntoorthodoxy.com/bishop-serapion-protestant-worship/

Irvine is part of the LA diocese, but I doubt those allegations in the absence of evidence, since a very Orthodox priest, Fr Moses Samaan (this is his blog http://becomeorthodox.org), serves there.
 

minasoliman

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Some notable priests of the southern diocese include Fr. Moses, Fr. Bishoy Brownfield, Fr. Kyrillos, Fr. John Paul, and some of the priests of St. Paul's Brotherhood all of whom work very close with HG Bishop Serapion.  That is why I have no doubt the LA diocese is in good hands and will flourish.
 

AntoniousNikolas

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Minnesotan said:
I don't understand why so many Copts want to emulate the worst aspects of Evangelical Protestant culture.

It seems like if they want to contextualize the faith in the west, it'd be better to add a Western Rite or something with which middle-of-the-road Roman Catholics might be familiar. If there was a church that was like Catholicism except that it:

  • focused solely on the faith while avoiding political/culture war distractions as much as possible
  • didn't have the sex scandals, historical baggage or corruption in the hierarchy that Rome does
  • avoids both the extremes of SSPX/Lefebre/Feeneyist type traditionalism on one hand, and "clown mass" stuff on the other

then a lot of disaffected Catholics, as well as Anglicans and other mainline Protestants, might join as well. As far as keeping the youth engaged, Catholicism has a youth culture too, not everything about it is commendable, but it'd certainly be better to look to that than to Evangelical stuff. It might also be worth looking into the example of SOYO (which is Antiochian), although I admittedly don't know very much about that group.
+1

wgw said:
I'm in the Diocese of Los Angeles; I've met Bishop Serapion once and he seemed a very holy man, so I hope he's on your list of good bishops, then.
He's on mine.

wgw said:
But I have heard of churches with charismatic things going on down in Irvine, from my parish priest in fact.
That is disturbing.  What specifically does Abouna say is going on?  I don't doubt what qawe and Mina are saying, but I have personally dialogued with some servants and even some priests from LA that see nothing wrong with the incorporation of heteropraxis in their youth meetings.
 

wgw

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There was an implication of a church using a more Western style of English.  It was mentioned in the context of evangelizing Americans to Orthodoxy and Abuna seemed untroubled by it, despite his traditionalism.  Note that Abuna, who is one of the most highly regarded priests in this diocese, is of the professional who became a priest; in fact he did not feel called but was rather "drafted." 
 

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wgw said:
There was an implication of a church using a more Western style of English.
What do you mean?  English is already Western.
 

Minnesotan

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qawe said:
wgw said:
There was an implication of a church using a more Western style of English.
What do you mean?  English is already Western.
Maybe he meant Western as in the Western United States?
 

qawe

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wgw said:
I am sorry, I was distracted, I meant to type Western style of hymns, more in English.  Epic typographical fail.
You're still not clear - are they Orthodox or Protestant hymns in English?
 

wgw

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On this point Abuna himself was not clear, and I didn't oress the issue, but I got the implication that the music was of a Western style rather than a Coptic style.  This might have been the parish in Covina btw that Antonious Nikolas mentioned as having been previously Protestant-inclined.
 

qawe

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wgw said:
This might have been the parish in Covina btw that Antonious Nikolas mentioned as having been previously Protestant-inclined.
That seems a lot more likely than something like that happening at Irvine.
 

AntoniousNikolas

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qawe said:
wgw said:
This might have been the parish in Covina btw that Antonious Nikolas mentioned as having been previously Protestant-inclined.
That seems a lot more likely than something like that happening at Irvine.
Do you have any details about the corrections Anba Serapion implemented in Covina?  Are they no longer singing Protestant songs in the youth meetings and conferences?
 

qawe

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Antonious Nikolas said:
qawe said:
wgw said:
This might have been the parish in Covina btw that Antonious Nikolas mentioned as having been previously Protestant-inclined.
That seems a lot more likely than something like that happening at Irvine.
Do you have any details about the corrections Anba Serapion implemented in Covina?  Are they no longer singing Protestant songs in the youth meetings and conferences?
Here is where I read it on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/326301304066841/permalink/605740032789632/?comment_id=605746926122276&offset=200&total_comments=232&comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22R9%22%7D

You have to join the group "Orthodox Christian Apologists" to be able to read it.

But basically the commenter says: "I pray at St. John. This has been addressed. It doesn't happen there anymore." in response to this article being posted: http://dissidentcopts.blogspot.com.au/2009/06/things-to-straighten-protestant-thought.html
 

AntoniousNikolas

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Thank you.  There are some interesting comments in this discussion, particularly from the poster named Thilo who you referenced.  It is a telling fact that those arguing against the intrusion of heteropraxis into the Church are mostly laymen (and converts) and those arguing for it are Egyptian-American priests!!!  :-[
 
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