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 Nativity Fast

Nov 25, 2014 -Jan 6, 2015
Hathor 16 - Kioahk 28, 1731

Today's Readings

December 22, 2014
Koiahk 13, 1731

How, then, was He manifested to the world? A star shone forth in heaven above all the other stars. The light from this star was inexpressible, and its uniqueness struck men with astonishment.
Ignatius (c. 105, E), 1.57

readings

Church Readings

Koiahk Sunday Readings
Arabic

Coptic Year Sunday Readings Program
Arabic


"Goodwill Toward Men"

In the Holy Gospel of St. Luke we read "And suddenly there was with the angels a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men" (Luke 2:13-14).

What does this tell us? It tells us that the Lord Jesus Christ came not only to bring peace into the earthly world but also to bring to humanity -- "goodwill toward men". This is how the Lord Jesus would reconcile humanity to God through peace and people's actions to one another through good will. Through the actions of peacefulness and goodwill, the Lord will save His people from the power of sin and death. The dedication to and magnitude of the meaning of peace and goodwill further impact not only the announcement of the immaculate and Holy birth but the far reaching implications of the Lord Jesus Christ's saving grace would be realized.

From the very inception and announcement of the Lord Jesus Christ's birth we are called to peace and good will towards others. From this announcement we are called upon in the truest sense to lead a life of holiness and not resist the Holy Spirit's work in us. Is it not true that if we are in communion with the Holy Spirit we are in peace and have good will towards others? As did Elijah and as did St. John the Baptist, the Lord Jesus Christ grew strong in Spirit. How do we know the Lord Jesus Christ Himself grew strong in the Spirit? He demonstrated peace and good will towards men.
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The Adoration of St. Mary

As Biblical history has recorded, St. Mary is the central figure in the two Gospel accounts of the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. The "Mother of God" is seldom mentioned in the New Testament outside of the birth narratives in the opening chapters of St. Matthew and St. Luke. The name of St. Mary is mentioned only once in the Holy Gospel of St. Mark and the Holy Book of Acts. The Blessed Virgin is never explicitly named in the New Testament Letters. The name of St. Mary is only "referred to" in two episodes written by St. John in his Holy Gospel.

Why then has St. Mary carried a name that has long been remembered as the JOY OF GENERATIONS? It is through her enduring example of obedient faith, strong will, and spiritual purity that we come to understand why she is REJOICED OF ANGELS. It is through the Lord Jesus Christ's love for His mother and her complete trust in Him that we are capable of realizing the true meaning of, "Honor thy father and thy mother." With these thoughts in our hearts, let's explore the inspiring, heavenly nature of the Blessed St. Mary.

Despite the Virgin's few Biblical references, we learn that she experienced many emotional peaks and valleys within her sixty years of life. We are told of many hardships the Blessed Mary faced in her lifetime-- the possibility of a divorce, a long, long journey to Bethlehem while great with a child, giving birth to her Son in a shelter for animals, placing her newborn child in an animal's feeding trough for His first bed, angelic warning that King Herod the Great wanted to kill her infant, and finally watching her only Son being taunted and crucified on a cross.
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Incarnation of the Word

Upon the Feast of the Incarnation of the Word, it is important to reflect upon the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ and what He represents. St. John in His Holy Gospel wrote, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1) and the Apostle also wrote, "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:14). Through these Holy Scriptures we learn that the Lord Jesus Christ is God, for He was with God before all times. This is the reason we recite, "We believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only begotten Son of God" in the Nicene Creed.

Lactantius (c.304) wrote, "He who hears the Son of God mentioned should not conceive in his mind so great an impiety as to think that God begat Him by marriage and union with a womanIn what manner, then, did God beget Him? First of all, divine operations cannot be known or declared by anyone. Nevertheless, the sacred writings teach us that this Son of God is the speech or even the reason of GodWith good reason, therefore, He is called the Speech and the Word of God...."
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Joy: A Domain of the Feeling Function

Joy is an integral part of a harmonious life lived out for the glory of God and our personal fulfillment and satisfaction. Nowadays, one of the most common problems is the lack of joy, especially among young people who are constantly bombarded with pressure from the surrounding; and the stresses that their concerns about life incur. If those serving in the Kingdom of God have their feeling function of joy undeveloped; it will be difficult for them to relay that joy to those whom they serve. To say we experience joy is to be able to live joyfully even during the most difficult situations; not only so, but to be able to communicate it biblically, psychologically, traditionally, and ritually to those whom we serve.

As extroverts, introverts or both, depending on circumstances, maturity level, and exposure, we have been created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26). There is a difference between Gods image and His likeness. The former is what we have been created in; the latter is what we have the potential to develop into. The term "likeness" denotes the fulfillment and realization, which we aspire for through spiritual and psychological growth and maturity. Actualizing and fulfilling this image is what St. Paul described as "till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Ephesians 4:13), thus we reach the likeness of God, which is our ultimate goal.
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Abu-Seifein: Loyalty Perseveres

Loyalty to God means being true in word, faithful in deed, and free from betrayal. In Genesis, the first Holy Book of the Holy Bible, loyalty is given importance. "And you know that with all my might I have served your father" (Genesis 31:6).

The martyrs conquered the fears associated with persecution and always remained loyal to the Lord. They taught us that we must either conquer fear or be its slave. The Holy Bible confirms this ancient lesson again in the first of its Holy Books, Genesis. "I was afraidand I hid myself" (Genesis 3:10). We must stand for what is right when in its ranks there are only a few. We must not be frightened to defend our faith, when the masses believe differently. Only the fearless are truly free in this earthly world.
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Previous Articles

Voyage Into the True Deep: Discovering the Kingdom of God
Who Can Bind the Plunderer?
What is That in Your Hand?...The Lord is in Need of It

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Diocese Educational Programs - Board of Education

Asaph Hymns Institute

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

(FMP) Spring Registration deadline: Jan 10, 2015
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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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Diocese Programs

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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Diocese Events

Pre-Marital Retreat

TX: TBA
FL: Jan 9-11, 2015
GA: Jun 12-14, 2015
more info

Winter High School Girls Convention

FL: Dec 21-24, 2014
more info
TN/GA: Dec 22-25, 2014
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TX: Jan 1-4, 2015
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Winter High School Boys Convention

FL: Dec 25-28, 2014
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TX: Jan 1-4, 2015
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Winter Kids Camp

GA: Dec 21-24, 2014
FL: Dec 27-30, 2014
TX: Dec 28-30, 2014
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Winter Middle School Convention

GA: Dec 26-29, 2014
FL: Jan 1-3, 2015
TX: Dec 26-28, 2014
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Texas Winter College Convention

Jan 9-12, 2015
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Crossroads Graduate Convention

Feb 19-22, 2015
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CPAR Convention

Feb 26 - Mar 1, 2015
more info coming soon

Florida Youth Convention

Mar 6-8, 2015
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SUS Diocese Mission Experience Trip 2015 - Ethiopia

May 26 - Jun 5, 2015
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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

330 Village Dr.
Dawsonville, GA 30534

Tel: 706-925-0895
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