Poll

Do the Oriental Orthodox Churches in Your Area Fellowship With One Another?

Yes, We Hold Regular Concelebrations and Other Events
1 (14.3%)
Sometimes, But Not Often
4 (57.1%)
Only With Churches of Our Own Ethnicity
0 (0%)
Only At Ecumenical Events That Include Various Heterodox Denominations
1 (14.3%)
Not At All.  Our Church Is Pretty Insular
1 (14.3%)

Total Members Voted: 7

Author Topic: Do the Oriental Orthodox Churches in Your Area Fellowship With One Another?  (Read 1607 times)

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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Hi Folks,

Just want to get a sense of what's going on out there.  For the record, if it's not already indicated in your profile, please state your jurisdiction and your locale.  And feel free to elaborate.  The more detailed your assessment, the better.

Thanks!
« Last Edit: July 29, 2010, 09:39:11 PM by Antonious Nikolas »
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Offline coptickev

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I'm in New York. The Bishops seem to have fellowship with each other. The faithful not so much.

Offline Antonious Nikolas

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That's been my experience too, unfortunately.
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Offline geovar

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I live in Fort Mcmurray, Alberta in Canada . We rarely meet and nor do i see any iniative from any wanting to . Recently, after living here fo 3 years , we were blessed to be invited  and partake in liturgy by the Coptic orthodox Christians ( Actaully 2 and half families and priest visited them).

George Varghese
Malankara (Indian) Orthodox Church

Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Thanks for the information, fellas.  I wonder what inspired the Coptic parish to reach out to your congregation after all this time?  It seems we might be coming out of our shells, slowly but surely.
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Offline Father Peter

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It only needs one enthusiastic, faithful and prayerful person in one parish to encourage the clergy and other members of the community to invite the clergy and members of the other local communities to some spiritual and social event.

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Offline mugwandia

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in ethiopia churches never fellowship together

Offline Father Peter

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Which Churches are there in Ethiopia?
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Offline minasoliman

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I heard there used to be an OO convention for youth in the NJ/NY area, which slowly turned into Coptic, so they don't do it anymore.  I started an undergrad club in NYIT, also sadly turned into Coptic as soon as I left.

It seems that whenever there is an encouragement to do some sort of fellowship, the groups turn into ethnic cliques, and the majority pushes the rest away.

One idea I think might work would be a spiritual retreat among the different ethnic youths, and the youths are assigned to be with the other youth of different ethnicities AT ALL TIMES (not just same bunk room, but everywhere) where they can be forced to learn from one another in a spiritual atmosphere.  This of course requires more mature youth.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2010, 04:47:29 PM by minasoliman »
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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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in ethiopia churches never fellowship together

That's very sad.  I've heard that there are a few Armenian Churches in Ethiopia that have been there a very long time.  Are there many other Oriental Orthodox Churches in Ethiopia (Coptic, Syriac, et cetera)?

I heard there used to be an OO convention for youth in the NJ/NY area, which slowly turned into Coptic, so they don't do it anymore.  I started an undergrad club in NYIT, also sadly turned into Coptic as soon as I left.

It seems that whenever there is an encouragement to do some sort of fellowship, the groups turn into ethnic cliques, and the majority pushes the rest away.

One idea I think might work would be a spiritual retreat among the different ethnic youths, and the youths are assigned to be with the other youth of different ethnicities AT ALL TIMES (not just same bunk room, but everywhere) where they can be forced to learn from one another in a spiritual atmosphere.  This of course requires more mature youth.

Also sad.  Is it that the Copts are turning the meetings into ethnic cliques, or is it just that the other youth are just being "sometimey"?
« Last Edit: August 10, 2010, 08:21:56 PM by Antonious Nikolas »
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Offline minasoliman

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From my experience in undergrad, the Copts just don't know how to reach out to other ethnic Orthodox.  It's all about knowledge and excitement for OOxy.  Instead, many of those who took my place are great club organizers, but have no knowledge of other churches like I do, and thus are just forced in a position to mostly keep it Coptic.

I have personally tried to avoid this by not making any spiritual adviser Coptic, but rather Indian.  But that seemed to have not helped.

In addition, there's also some slight differences in teaching, and many Copts tend to say things like, "Well, the Indian Orthodox priest says this, but I learned this in the Coptic Church" or "Do you see how those Syrians don't fast like we do?" and it becomes part of the discouragement of the Coptic leaders to invite them again.

I'd say the problem is from Coptic Sunday schools.  From our youth, we are taught more Coptic pride than Orthodox pride.  I did not know we had "sister churches" until I actually went to undergrad.
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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Boy, the Copts and the Ethiopians are truly cut from the same cloth in this regard!  I can't tell you how many times I've heard Ethiopians making the same complaints regarding fasting, et cetera, in our sister churches.  (However, I've also heard Ethiopians getting on the Copts about not being strict enough with making sure that every woman's head is covered and everyone has removed their shoes before entering the Church.  "They've been too long in America!" is the usual chorus. LOL!)  At any rate, I think it's important that we're made aware of one another's histories and the fact that although we all share the same Faith, our churches have taken very different historical paths and so our traditions manifest themselves in different ways.  Perhaps these young and zealous Copts could consider being a leaven to their Oriental Orthodox brothers and sisters in regards to strengthening their spirituality regarding a life of prayer and fasting, et cetera.  One friend of mine, an Armenian deacon now serving in the Armenian Patriachate of Constantinople, has told me that since Armenian monasticism was nearly wiped out in the genocide (God have mercy), many young Armenian novices are studying in the monasteries of Egypt with an eye to strenghtening monasticism in Armenia.  This sort of "cross-pollination" could be beneficial all around.  Perhaps it could be made clear to these young Copts that they're doing their brothers and sisters a disservice by overwhelming them with their ethnicity.  I'd want to ask them where they think these young Oriental Orthodox students are fellowshipping now that they've been (unintentionally) driven out?  Probably nowhere.  :(
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Offline geovar

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While in a physical location, the fellowship is not there as much as we want, Let us give thanks to God  and praise that right here we see each other not so much in different boxes as Indian, Syrian , pathrekeese(note1), orthodox(note1), Ethiopian ,Copt , but as Orthodox Christians . I beg that we atlaest sigh and ask God to remove any and all prejudices

note1- This is a sad state that I have been listening alll days of my life , dividing the one Church  in India by ourselves trying to show diffference on whom each group consider as the prelate - the Catholicose of East in India or the Syrian Patriach in Syria , slandering the holy truth that both share the same faith and are part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church
« Last Edit: August 15, 2010, 10:56:02 AM by geovar »

Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Amen.
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Offline Didymus

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To some degree yes. Here in Australia it's not uncommon to see Ethiopians and Eritreans in Coptic Churches. While in Sydney a few weeks back I saw a white man and thought he was Australian but it turned out he was Armenian! An elderly convert I know often keeps in touch with the Syrian Church as well. I've heard the Indian Orthodox make use of the Coptic Church in Brisbane too.

Please pray for us all, especially those converting ;)
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Offline mike

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http://socmnet.org/News_Mor_Gabriel_Church_Mount_Lebanon_consecrated.htm

In the Old Country they do not. You can see Armenian Hierarch that do not concelebrate with the Syrians.

Offline Antonious Nikolas

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To some degree yes. Here in Australia it's not uncommon to see Ethiopians and Eritreans in Coptic Churches. While in Sydney a few weeks back I saw a white man and thought he was Australian but it turned out he was Armenian! An elderly convert I know often keeps in touch with the Syrian Church as well. I've heard the Indian Orthodox make use of the Coptic Church in Brisbane too.

Please pray for us all, especially those converting ;)

May God guide and keep you!  :)

This is encouraging news.  I wonder, is there any official cooperation?

http://socmnet.org/News_Mor_Gabriel_Church_Mount_Lebanon_consecrated.htm

In the Old Country they do not. You can see Armenian Hierarch that do not concelebrate with the Syrians.

Hmmm...that's odd.  I wonder why the Armenians weren't invited to concelebrate?  I've seen the Armenians and the Syrians concelebrate numerous times before.  The two churches always seemed to be very close.  I hope this wasn't a case of nationalism, as in, "We want our people to see our clergy consecrating our new church, so our fellow Orthodox can go and sit down with the Catholics!  Grrr!"

Well, without the "grrr", probably.  ;)
« Last Edit: August 15, 2010, 02:52:58 PM by Antonious Nikolas »
My sins run out behind me and I do not see them, but today I am coming to judge the errors of another.