Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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The Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States is composed of 44 priests serving the 38 churches and 28 Coptic communities. More

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The Season of the Church

The Feast of the Cross

September 27-29, 2014
Thoout 17-19, 1731

Today's Readings

September 23, 2014
Thoout 13, 1731

Every action of Christ glorifies the Church, but the cross is the glory above all glory… The glory of the cross, by contrast, has enlightened all those who were blinded by ignorance. It has set free all those who were slaves of sin. It has redeemed the whole human race.
Let us glory in the cross of the Savior...
Cyril of Jerusalem

readings

The Sabbath: A Hallowed and Holy Day

I find myself most at peace during the Holy and Divine Liturgy on any day of the week, but exceedingly so much more on Sundays. Although difficult for some to integrate the Sabbath into a day of rest, we must honor this day for what it purposes. When we are at rest—free of worries of impending work and executing tasks, we seem to bring forth our most faithful of intentions, spiritual contentment, and completeness, just by abiding in worship in the House of our Lord.

In man's restful state of awareness, it is without difficulty to offer one's best, pray more earnestly and fervently, and to give of oneself more freely and willingly. This brings to mind the angels of heaven—how effortlessly they move about the heavens with wings of soundless motion—worshiping the Lord our God with exaltation and perfection.
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The Transformed Holy Cross

Crucifixion was an ancient form of capital punishment. It was degrading, humiliating, and caused agonizing pain. Ultimately the HOLY CROSS symbolized absolute failure and death. Due to its barbaric nature, crucifixion was reserved for the lowliest of criminals: the slaves' death or the murderers' punishment. Today, many still look upon the HOLY CROSS with profound horror as a cruel way to inflict punishment or bring about death.

It probably took our Lord Jesus Christ's followers years to accept the symbol of Him on the HOLY CROSS as a symbol of their faith. Now, accepted as a symbol of faith by all Orthodox Christians, the HOLY CROSS has come to mean limitless love, triumph of good over evil, and hope for eternal life. From the past to present day, the HOLY CROSS steadfastly remains the cornerstone of our Orthodox faith.

How important is the HOLY CROSS? Made of wood, not glittering gold nor shining silver, the HOLY CROSS represents the Savior's greatest and most wonderful blessing. This blessing is threefold. First, through the HOLY CROSS we can attain the ultimate of treasures, the gift of our salvation. Secondly, the HOLY CROSS allows us to realize the true glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. A third significant fact about the HOLY CROSS is that it is a strong motivator for service as it makes us keenly aware of the Lord's service and sacrifice.
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The Nayrouz and Christian Testimony

The word 'Nauruz' is a Persian derivative from the second century AD. It literally means new day, from nau new + ruz. The Persian New Year's day is celebrated at the astronomical vernal equinox as a day of great festivity since it marks the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere.

On September 11, our Coptic Orthodox Church celebrates the Nauruz (El Nayrouz) feast, the beginning of the Coptic New Year, in which we commemorate our fathers the martyrs who have shed their blood an offering on the altar of love for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Martyrdom is the highest degree of testimony for the Lord Jesus Christ whereby a martyr accepts to shed his blood for the sake of proclaiming the right faith and testifying to his Savior who had shed His blood on the cross out of love for us. So, martyrdom is the most sublime application of the Lord's command to His disciples and us saying, "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth" (Acts 1:8).
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Contemplations on the Historical Significance of the Cross

Crucifixion, as a method of punishment, was in use among the Egyptians in the Old Testament, "Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head from you and hang you on a tree and the birds will eat your flesh from you" (Genesis 40:19). The Holy Book of Esther (7:10) reveals that the Carthaginians and Persians also utilized crucifixion to punish their criminals. "So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the kings' wrath subsided." It is commonly known that the Greeks and Romans used crucifixion from the earliest of times. That is why perhaps many scholars believe that the Jews learned the concept of crucifixion from the Romans.

In addition to its being documented in the Old Testament as a painful instrument of death the cross is also documented in the New Testament and in the writings of Church Fathers.

In the New Testament times, in particular, crucifixion was purposefully meant to be a demeaning way in which to die. It was reserved for the vilest of criminal acts, as an emblem of a disparaging slave or servants' death, and a murderers' punishment. Degradation was an added dimension of the cruel infliction. The cross was to all a symbol of the profoundest horror.
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Deborah the Judge: Godliness Produced Strength of Character and Modesty

The era of the judges was marked by sin and more sin. The Israelites reverted to the ways of the ungodly in their midst and to idol worship. The pagan peoples they allowed to remain in Canaan after the conquest proved to cause turmoil in their life by their living amongst and association with them. It is apparent that God allowed the Israelites through their ungodly actions and deeds to become so oppressed by the pagans they assimilated with, to experience so much overwhelming distress, that they were forced to turn back to Him and pray for relief. An age old lesson for us all is that we knowingly and unknowingly take on traits of those we associate ourselves with. When the Israelites did earnestly turn back to God, God raised up a judge among them, who was strong, who would lead the Israelites, and continue to keep them faithful to the Lord their God. Deborah was this judge. Deborah would become the only woman to judge Israel. Not just a woman, Deborah was also described as a prophetess and a wife.
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Previous Articles

Mary Magdalene of Magdala: The First to See Our Resurrected Lord
We Are More Than Conquerors Through Him Who Loved Us (Romans 8:37)

news and events

Press Release

2014 High School Teen Photography Competition

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Mighty Champions Magazine: A New Teen Publication

Southern Coptic Diocese "Youth for Christ" 2014 Winners

New Project: Triumphant Christian Mission

New Location for the St. Mary & St. Demiana Convent

The Mentoring Program - A Helping Hand

Mighty Arrows Magazine - Spring 2014 Edition

From Trepidation to Glorification
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St. Moses Bookstore

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Diocese Programs

Asaph Hymns Institute

(AHI) is the first ever online hymnological seminary.
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Family Ministry Program

(FMP) Spring Registration deadline: Dec 10, 2014
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Watch video

LEAD Program

A program for learning Christian leadership principles.
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Theological Seminary Program

Program Registration deadline: March 15, 2015
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Theological Seminary Program - Nashville

An Arabic theological program located in Nashville.
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Theological Seminary Boarding Program - Abbey

A 2 year live-in program located at St. Mary and St. Moses Abbey.
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Archangel Raphael Ministry (A.R.M.)

A program designed specifically for individuals with special needs.
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H.O.P.E. Social Services

A social services program designed to help those in need.
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St. Clement Christian Academy

This is a learning community dedicated to meeting the needs of each learner within its walls.
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St. Mark Festival Program

This is a spiritual competition among the Coptic Churches doing the same activity world wide.
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St. Verena Resource Ministry

(SVRM) Professionals networking together to make a difference and provide resources to our Coptic community. To make a request or to volunteer as a consultant.
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TIPS: Search for Job & Education Opportunities


Diocese Events

Pre-Marital Retreat

TX: Nov 14-16, 2014
FL: Jan 9-11, 2015
GA: Jun 12-14, 2015
more info

CPAR Convention

Sept 18-21, 2014
more info

Family Convention

TX: Nov 26-29, 2014
more info
FL: Nov 26-29, 2014
more info coming soon

THY College Convention

FL: Dec 17-20, 2014
more info coming soon

Winter High School Girls Convention

FL: Dec 21-24, 2014
TN/GA: TBA
TX: TBA
more info coming soon

Winter High School Boys Convention

GA/TN: Dec 21-24, 2014
FL: TBA
TX: TBA
more info coming soon

Winter Kids Camp

GA: Dec 21-24, 2014
FL: TBA
TX: Dec 29-31, 2014
more info coming soon

Winter Middle School Convention

GA: Dec 26-29, 2014
FL: Jan 1-3, 2015
TX: Dec 26-28, 2014
more info coming soon

Crossroads Graduate Convention

Feb 19-22, 2015
more info coming soon

Arabic Youth Convention

FL: Mar 7-9, 2015
TX: TBA more info coming soon

Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States

P.O. Box 1005
Colleyville, TX 76034

Tel: 817-841-9353
Fax: 817-704-2389

admin@suscopts.org

St. Stephen Retreat Center

4951 S. Washington Ave.
Titusville, FL 32780

Tel: 321-567-4961
Fax: 321-567-4955

retreatcenter.suscopts.org

St. Mary & St. Demiana Convent

153 W. Borgfeld Rd.
San Antonio, TX 78260

Tel: 210-390-9819
Fax: 817-704-2389

convent.suscopts.org

St. Mary & St. Moses Abbey

101 South Vista Drive
Sandia, TX 78383

Tel: 361-547-3257
Fax: 817-231-0135

abbey.suscopts.org