OrthodoxChristianity.net
November 24, 2014, 05:35:10 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Oriental Orthodox Cooperation in Evangelism  (Read 852 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Antonious Nikolas
Orthodox Christian, Miaphysite, Anagnostis
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox
Posts: 2,364


Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Bishop of Myra


WWW
« on: July 26, 2010, 06:54:02 PM »

In 1965, His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Haile Selassie I, Defender of the Orthodox Faith, summoned all of the Orthodox Churches together in Addis Ababa, overlooking the disagreements between the Coptic and Ethiopian Churches, the Armenian Houses of Etchmiadzin and Cilicia, and assembled all the Orthodox together in one convocation, in a spirit of love and brotherhood, where they agreed, among other things, to cooperate in the field of mission.

Can we not follow the example of His Majesty, Abune Theophilus, the saint Baba Kyrillos, and the other holy fathers of this council?  Is anyone interested in forming some sort of Oriental Orthodox mission society?

http://www.ethiopianorthodox.org/gallery/todaysphoto/1965addisababaconference/index.htm

http://orientalorthodox.blogspot.com/2008/12/oriental-orthodox-churches-addis-ababa.html

http://orientalorthodox.blogspot.com/2008/12/oriental-orthodox-churches-addis-ababa_15.html

http://orientalorthodox.blogspot.com/2008/12/oriental-orthodox-churches-addis-ababa_4372.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conference_of_Addis_Ababa

The Words of Our Fathers:

COOPERATION IN EVANGELISM

(a) Introduction
(1) Evangelistic work is another area in which, we feel our churches should
co-operate. Evangelism is part of our common heritage, and we recall the great
accomplishments of our churches in the past in this field. At the same time we
live in an age which calls for a fresh evaluation of the methods of evangelism.
So we should examine the experiences of the various missionary organizations in
our churches and see what can be done to co-ordinate our evangelistic efforts.

(c) THE BASIS OF EVANGELISM

(2) The basis of evangelism is to be found in the very nature and purpose of
Christ's Incarnation as manifested in His life and teaching. It must not be the
human desire to increase the number of members in one's own community. Also, it
is not a merely formal obedience to Christ's command: "God into all the world
and preach the Gospel". In His high-Priestly Prayer, our Lord said to the
Father: " As thou didst send me into the world, so I have sent them into the
world" (St. John 17: 18). Our Lord sent His disciples into the world even as His
Father sent Him into the world, namely to identify Himself with humanity in all
its misery, to bear its sin, to die on the Cross on its behalf. The Apostolate
of the Church consists in representing the Master who" came not to be served but
to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many". Therefore, the Church's
role is to convey the message of salvation to the world and to be the good
Samaritan binding up the wounds of a broken world, trying to make God's love
real to those to whom it is not otherwise real. This is not just one of the many
activities of the Church, but should be its central concern its main
preoccupation.

(3) We need well-trained and devoted preachers and workers in the field of the
evangelistic witness of our churches. However, increased evangelistic effort is
not only a matter of training larger number of eloquent preachers and sending
them out into all the world with the necessary equipment. It is also a matter of
the whole membership of the Church being moved by the redemptive love of God and
being concerned to bring succour to those who are in spiritual and material need
everywhere. The question, therefore, is what our churches can do to foster among
our members this evangelistic spirit of burden-bearing, for the love of God and
along with that, to organize the proclamation of the good news of God's love to
a world in need.



(c) WORSHIP AND EVANGELISM



(4) The life of the worshipping community is an essential witness of the Church
to her risen Lord. Loving identification with, and redeeming lover for, mankind
for whom our Lord died is expressed in worship through evangelistic
intercession. Such intercession, Prayer for the world and for the Christian work
which expresses the care of the Church, will also help to make the members of
our churches more conscious of their Apostolic or missionary calling. We have to
give this kind of evangelistic intercession an integral place in our liturgical
worship and our family prayers. This needs enlarging the intercessory parts f
our worship and introducing a programme for educating our congregations in this
respect.



(d) EVANGELISM AND STRENGTHENING OF SPIRITUAL LIFE



(5) Evangelism should make our churches better instruments of the Holy Spirit in
all aspects of their life. This is the real source of renewal of our churches.
Evangelism involves an earnest attempt to make the compassion of Christ a
reality to those in need. This calls for not only sympathy expressed through
almsgiving, but also for sacrificial giving of whatever God has blessed us with.
Our people should be taught the principle and practical ways of self-giving
through personal commitment. There are de-christianized areas in the lives of
our people which need to be evangelized. Here there is need to make the fullest
use of all the means of grace.

(e) EVANGELISM AMONG THOSE OUTSIDE

(6) We have to give united thought to specific areas where evangelistic work is
urgently needed. Areas where men and women are in special need of the Gospel
message of a new life ought to engage our immediate attention. The message of
the Gospel has to be presented also to those who are attracted by atheism,
materialism, and other philosophies and ideologies, so that the truth of Christ
may be clearly and honestly faced by them.

(7) In this connection it should be specially remembered that witnessing for
Christ is not passing on our national cultures to men and women of other
nations. Those who come to Christ are to be helped to continue as witnesses to
Christ among their own people. This might involve the development of new modes
of worship in accordance with their own environment, so that indigenous churches
may be formed.



METHODS OF EVANGELISM



( 8 ) There is need to study various methods of evangelism which have been, and
are being, used to make Christ real to those in need. We must avoid such methods
as are not compatible with the Christian sprit of charity and the moral ideals
of evangelism. Our churches should use also modern media of communication and
education like popular literature, the cinema, and the radio wherever possible,
to proclaim the Gospel.

TRAINING IN EVANGELISTIC WORK

(9) while all Christians are to be evangelists wherever they are, there is
particular need for many who are engaged in full time evangelistic work. Such
people need special training. Our churches, wherever possible, ought to have
missionary training centers to give such training to full time evangelists and
others. It would be of very great help if we would build up one Missionary
Institute for all our churches together.
Logged

My sins run out behind me and I do not see them, but today I am coming to judge the errors of another.
Hiywot
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido
Posts: 149


« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2010, 03:51:33 AM »


Can we not follow the example of His Majesty, Abune Theophilus, the saint Baba Kyrillos, and the other holy fathers of this council?  Is anyone interested in forming some sort of Oriental Orthodox mission society?


My doubt is the possibility of realizing such a great ambition without the prior consent and involvement of the OO leaders themselves.

Hiywot
Logged
Antonious Nikolas
Orthodox Christian, Miaphysite, Anagnostis
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox
Posts: 2,364


Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Bishop of Myra


WWW
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2010, 10:31:19 AM »

What about starting small, like at the parish level?  I've talked to the deacons at my Church about such an endeavor, and they've expressed enthusiasm for the idea.  We could contact the local Ethiopian, Armenia, Syrian, Eritrean, and Indian Churches and see if any of their deacons or servants would want to get on board.  I know I could secure the permission of my priest and my bishop.

I'm not saying we have to facilitate a meeting between the Patriarchs.  If we all started at the local level, we could perhaps get something going.
Logged

My sins run out behind me and I do not see them, but today I am coming to judge the errors of another.
Father Peter
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: British Orthodox Church within the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate
Posts: 2,656



WWW
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2010, 01:23:09 PM »

I think that what you have suggested is the best way forward. Try to get some co-operation between all of our churches in your city, or part of the state, and see what you can pray about together. I think that what you come up with as a matter of local prayer and concern will be more fruitful than starting with some sort of national organisation not rooted in a locality. There are such riches within our tradition that it must be possible to put on even a one day event that begins to draw people.

May God bless your concern and reward your prayers

Father Peter
Logged

Lord have mercy upon me a sinner
http://www.orthodoxmedway.org

My blog - http://anorthodoxpriest.blogspot.co.uk

The poster formerly known as peterfarrington
Antonious Nikolas
Orthodox Christian, Miaphysite, Anagnostis
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox
Posts: 2,364


Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Bishop of Myra


WWW
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2010, 04:10:56 PM »

Thank you, Father, most especially for your prayers and blessings.  I'll keep you posted as to any progress we might make.  After reading your post, it occurs to me that there can sometimes be something of a disconnect between our local Oriental Orthodox Churches.  When I started floating these ideas to my fellow deacons and servants, more than a few of them were unaware of where the local Armenian, Ethiopian, and Syriac Churches were located, or indeed if there were any at all in our locale.  Even more striking, some individuals appeared confused as to exactly which Orthodox Churches we were in Communion with.  Were the Russians on the list?  The Greeks?  The Georgians?  Whatever the outcome of this endeavor may be, facilitating awareness between the Churches of the Oriental Orthodox Communion in our local parishes couldn't hurt.
Logged

My sins run out behind me and I do not see them, but today I am coming to judge the errors of another.
Father Peter
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: British Orthodox Church within the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate
Posts: 2,656



WWW
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2010, 04:49:26 PM »

Here in the UK, which I guess is the physical size of a US state, we have the Council of Oriental Orthodox Churches, which draws together the bishops and representative priests of our Orthodox Churches. We meet 4 times a year, but many of also participate together in the Catholic-Oriental Orthodox Forum, and the Anglican-Oriental Orthodox Forum. The COOC sponsors a Pan-Orthodox Liturgy and Festival each year, and we have a very warm sense of being brother priests in one Church.

But we are trying to do much more so that our people experience a real sense of unity together with all the Orthodox in the UK. So we have created a basic website to promote all of our churches together, and I have been responsible for creating a directory of all of our priests and congregations. We are also working on more combined events, hopefully an Orthodox study day later this year. A few weeks ago the Patriarch of Antioch came to consecrate the new Syrian cathedral and the bishops and many of the priests of the Oriental Orthodox communion attended and participated as brothers and members of the same Church.

We have a long way to go, but I am always blessed by spending time with members of the wider Oriental Orthodox communion and I hope and pray and expect that we will find ways of becoming more practically unified over the next years. But it starts with getting to know people.

I would strongly recommend that you yourself make the effort to compile a directory of the names and addresses of all of our bishops, priests and churches in your region. Where are you by the way? Then at least you know who you need to be dealing with. There are lots of contacts here and elsewhere so it should then be possible to advertise your concerns and gather a small group from many of the local churches, and then with prayer I am sure God will show you the next step. Perhaps it would be possible to encourage the bishops and clergy to organise a Pan-Orthodox Liturgy. But a study day could also be possible with clergy from several different local churches invited to speak on a subject that would be both interesting and which they might be comfortable presenting. This might only need the support of your own priest and bishop to allow you to invite other clergy to participate. If you can get several clergy or decent speakers from a variety of churches then this will increase the possible attendance at a study day, and this would then allow the beginning of a sense of being one Orthodox Church.

When you do have a complete directory of local churches and clergy, and especially if you have an episcopal supporter, then who knows, it might be possible to organise a clergy meeting across your region with bishops speaking and perhaps representative clergy presenting the situation of their own communities.

I am an optimist. But I do believe that this is one of the great and exciting challenges of our time in the West, that we discover what it means to be one Orthodox Church. I think we are at the beginning of this in the UK. I am so very much blessed to be known by and to know so many bishops and to think of them as being entirely bishops of THE Church, and of MY Church, and not the bishop of that other Church, or this other Church. I am so very much blessed to be able to embrace priests from all of the Churches with brotherly warmth and to consider them as entirely brother priests of THE Church and of MY Church. I pray that more and more completely the great body of the faithful might also experience this so that we can become one missional Church in the UK, supporting each other's efforts and developing coherent resources. I am an optimist.

The Lord needs enthusiastic people. He only needs one. Be that one.

May the Lord bless all of your efforts.

Father Peter
Logged

Lord have mercy upon me a sinner
http://www.orthodoxmedway.org

My blog - http://anorthodoxpriest.blogspot.co.uk

The poster formerly known as peterfarrington
Antonious Nikolas
Orthodox Christian, Miaphysite, Anagnostis
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox
Posts: 2,364


Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Bishop of Myra


WWW
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2010, 09:26:47 PM »

Thanks, Father, for your kind and thoughtful response!

Here in the UK, which I guess is the physical size of a US state, we have the Council of Oriental Orthodox Churches, which draws together the bishops and representative priests of our Orthodox Churches. We meet 4 times a year, but many of also participate together in the Catholic-Oriental Orthodox Forum, and the Anglican-Oriental Orthodox Forum. The COOC sponsors a Pan-Orthodox Liturgy and Festival each year, and we have a very warm sense of being brother priests in one Church.

But we are trying to do much more so that our people experience a real sense of unity together with all the Orthodox in the UK. So we have created a basic website to promote all of our churches together, and I have been responsible for creating a directory of all of our priests and congregations. We are also working on more combined events, hopefully an Orthodox study day later this year. A few weeks ago the Patriarch of Antioch came to consecrate the new Syrian cathedral and the bishops and many of the priests of the Oriental Orthodox communion attended and participated as brothers and members of the same Church.

We have a long way to go, but I am always blessed by spending time with members of the wider Oriental Orthodox communion and I hope and pray and expect that we will find ways of becoming more practically unified over the next years. But it starts with getting to know people.


There is, in fact, an analogous organization here on the East Coast of the United States (which also answers your question about where I am located, by the way) called the Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches (SCOOCH).  The hierarchs, priests, and laymen involved meet once a year, I believe, and also host an annual concelebrated liturgy.

I had thought about contacting this organization, but the problem is that they have no website or contact info to speak of.  I used to know the Coptic priest who was tasked with serving as our chief representative there, but his mobile number has apparently changed since I’ve seen him last.

I’d love to become involved with this service, but I’ll have to put on my Hercule Poirot hat and track them down, because their meetings (and even the concelebration, unfortunately) are only announced in the churches near the epicenter of the event, which is usually in the Metropolitan New York area, and the rest of the East Coast remains not only unaware of the goings on, but also woefully disconnected from the other Oriental Orthodox Churches and communities in their immediate area.

I’m sure that this can be corrected with God’s help, over time.

I would strongly recommend that you yourself make the effort to compile a directory of the names and addresses of all of our bishops, priests and churches in your region. Where are you by the way? Then at least you know who you need to be dealing with. There are lots of contacts here and elsewhere so it should then be possible to advertise your concerns and gather a small group from many of the local churches, and then with prayer I am sure God will show you the next step. Perhaps it would be possible to encourage the bishops and clergy to organise a Pan-Orthodox Liturgy. But a study day could also be possible with clergy from several different local churches invited to speak on a subject that would be both interesting and which they might be comfortable presenting. This might only need the support of your own priest and bishop to allow you to invite other clergy to participate. If you can get several clergy or decent speakers from a variety of churches then this will increase the possible attendance at a study day, and this would then allow the beginning of a sense of being one Orthodox Church.

When you do have a complete directory of local churches and clergy, and especially if you have an episcopal supporter, then who knows, it might be possible to organise a clergy meeting across your region with bishops speaking and perhaps representative clergy presenting the situation of their own communities.

These are all great ideas, and I’ll be sure to incorporate them into all I do.  Thank you so much for your guidance.

I am an optimist. But I do believe that this is one of the great and exciting challenges of our time in the West, that we discover what it means to be one Orthodox Church. I think we are at the beginning of this in the UK. I am so very much blessed to be known by and to know so many bishops and to think of them as being entirely bishops of THE Church, and of MY Church, and not the bishop of that other Church, or this other Church. I am so very much blessed to be able to embrace priests from all of the Churches with brotherly warmth and to consider them as entirely brother priests of THE Church and of MY Church. I pray that more and more completely the great body of the faithful might also experience this so that we can become one missional Church in the UK, supporting each other's efforts and developing coherent resources. I am an optimist.

I agree.  For generations our communities, while sharing a common Faith, were separated by geography, language, and oftentimes, hostile overlords.  Now, here in the “Lands of Immigration”, sharing the lingua franca of English, we can begin to act as the One Church you’ve so eloquently described.

The Lord needs enthusiastic people. He only needs one. Be that one.

May the Lord bless all of your efforts.

Thank you again, Father.  I shall be happy to set my shoulder to the wheel.  I’ll do my utmost, and I promise to keep you posted.
Logged

My sins run out behind me and I do not see them, but today I am coming to judge the errors of another.
Father Peter
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: British Orthodox Church within the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate
Posts: 2,656



WWW
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2010, 03:32:59 AM »

Dearest to Christ, Antonious Nikolas,

Yes, I know about SCOOCH, and it would be good for that to become a vehicle for change. But I was thinking especially of what you could prayerfully do within your own area, unless you are in the New York Metropolitan in any case. Indeed it would be easier, I imagine, to try and work with the ten or twenty local churches to you, even if only 3 or 4 responded. Indeed where two or three churches from the various traditions are gathered together Christ is in the midst. Even some joint event between your congregation and one other would be a start. I have con-celebrated the Liturgy with the nearest Coptic Orthodox priest to me, and a bit later this year we will shut my own congregation and we will all go there so that we can express our unity of faith in a real way.

Be bold, be strong, for the Lord your God is with you.

Father Peter
Logged

Lord have mercy upon me a sinner
http://www.orthodoxmedway.org

My blog - http://anorthodoxpriest.blogspot.co.uk

The poster formerly known as peterfarrington
Seafra
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: British Orthodox hopeful
Posts: 240


It's in the shelter of each other that people live

Mr.Dougherty
WWW
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2010, 06:07:21 AM »

I personally am not Orthodox, however am really leaning to converting, but evangelism is something that has been an important part of my Christian walk. I did my first street evangelism when i was 11 years old on the streets of Atlanta, since then it has been my primary mode of growth in my faith. I would really enjoy seeing something like this take off within orthodoxy especially if i were to convert. ATM i attend a Greek Orthodox church and have mentioned this many times as here in the West orthodoxy is a myth. I remember first time i heard about a "Greek Temple" I immediately thought of the old pantheon and that was the extent of greek and spirituality to me. with the motto "Come and See" you need to have people know your there to see! and with Protestant evangelism, what i call modern Evangelism, being so rampant and no true message being pushed of the need of repentance and Christ as deity, so many people are really just joining the local "prosperity club" at least in my encounters with other evangelists in the protestant world.
Logged
Antonious Nikolas
Orthodox Christian, Miaphysite, Anagnostis
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox
Posts: 2,364


Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Bishop of Myra


WWW
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2010, 12:23:43 PM »

Dearest to Christ, Antonious Nikolas,

Yes, I know about SCOOCH, and it would be good for that to become a vehicle for change. But I was thinking especially of what you could prayerfully do within your own area, unless you are in the New York Metropolitan in any case. Indeed it would be easier, I imagine, to try and work with the ten or twenty local churches to you, even if only 3 or 4 responded. Indeed where two or three churches from the various traditions are gathered together Christ is in the midst. Even some joint event between your congregation and one other would be a start. I have con-celebrated the Liturgy with the nearest Coptic Orthodox priest to me, and a bit later this year we will shut my own congregation and we will all go there so that we can express our unity of faith in a real way.

Be bold, be strong, for the Lord your God is with you.

Father Peter

Thanks, Father.  This is indeed what I was thinking of doing.  The only reason I mention SCOOCH is because I didn't want to give the impression that the Oriental Orthodox are totally devoid of contact with one another here the the wilderness of the "barbarian lands".  Operating locally would certainly make the most sense.

I personally am not Orthodox, however am really leaning to converting, but evangelism is something that has been an important part of my Christian walk. I did my first street evangelism when i was 11 years old on the streets of Atlanta, since then it has been my primary mode of growth in my faith. I would really enjoy seeing something like this take off within orthodoxy especially if i were to convert. ATM i attend a Greek Orthodox church and have mentioned this many times as here in the West orthodoxy is a myth. I remember first time i heard about a "Greek Temple" I immediately thought of the old pantheon and that was the extent of greek and spirituality to me. with the motto "Come and See" you need to have people know your there to see! and with Protestant evangelism, what i call modern Evangelism, being so rampant and no true message being pushed of the need of repentance and Christ as deity, so many people are really just joining the local "prosperity club" at least in my encounters with other evangelists in the protestant world.

Be encouraged, Seafra, authentic evangelism, and the idea of a truly Orthodox witness, is on the hearts of more than a few of us here in the Oriental Orthodox Communion.  Have you seen the following?:

http://www.suscopts.org/evangelism/

And by the way, I couldn't agree more about the need for an alternative to the spiritual poison of the "prosperity gospel".  Teaching Christians to pray for a big, white house and a Mercedes Benz?  What could be more repugnant?
Logged

My sins run out behind me and I do not see them, but today I am coming to judge the errors of another.
Father Peter
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: British Orthodox Church within the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate
Posts: 2,656



WWW
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2010, 12:55:30 PM »

I would also urge every Oriental Orthodox in North America to visit this site and join this fellowship whether Coptic or not.

I entirely commend its efforts in mission at home and abroad. Antonious this group is active with Father Shenouda at the monastery in New York doing urban evangelism.

http://evangelismcopticorthodox.org/

Father Peter
Logged

Lord have mercy upon me a sinner
http://www.orthodoxmedway.org

My blog - http://anorthodoxpriest.blogspot.co.uk

The poster formerly known as peterfarrington
Antonious Nikolas
Orthodox Christian, Miaphysite, Anagnostis
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox
Posts: 2,364


Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Bishop of Myra


WWW
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2010, 01:01:13 PM »

Wow!  Thanks!  I had no idea this fellowship existed.  I'll certainly look into this.
Logged

My sins run out behind me and I do not see them, but today I am coming to judge the errors of another.
Tags: missions 
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.088 seconds with 38 queries.