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 Departure of St. Pelagia

October 21, 2014
Paope 11, 1731

Today's Readings

October 23, 2014
Paope 13, 1731

We are commanded to worship, not on special days, but continuously - all our life through, and in all possible ways.
St. Clement of Alexandria

readings

Coptic Year Sunday Readings Program

Arabic


Who Can Bind the Plunderer?

During the month of Mesore, which is next to the last month on the Coptic calendar, through each of the four Sunday readings as well the Sunday of Little Month, our beloved church keeps on reminding us of the end of this life on earth and the inevitable return of our Lord Jesus Christ.

On the first Sunday of Mesore, the Holy Gospel reading from Luke 20:9-19 is the parable of the reckless vinedressers. "Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy those vinedressers and give the vineyard to others" (Luke 20:15-16). Thus the church establishes the similitude between the vinedressers and us being stewards over what God has given us in the form of gifts and talents, and the day will come when He will inevitably ask for fruit from the vineyard He has entrusted us with, and for an account of our stewardship. So, the church leaves us with this tremendous warning message to meet us the following Sunday with a more encouraging one.


On the second Sunday of Mesore, the Holy Gospel reading from Luke 5:27-39 is about the calling of Levi, the tax collector. Through this reading the church lifts our eyes up to the hope existing in repentance. Levi, who later became St. Matthew the writer of the first Holy Gospel, is Jesus Christ's words in action. "For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance" (Matthew 9:13).
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What is That in Your Hand?...The Lord is in Need of It

"Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord of Sabaoth, heaven and earth are full of Your glory." These words prayed in the Divine Liturgy and Agpeya are Isaiah's exact words describing what he had seen in a vision. "In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said: 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!' And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke" (Isaiah 6:1-4). The prophet was taken so much by the grandeur of the scene; and feeling so small having nothing in his hand to offer he cried out, "Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts" (Isaiah 6:5).

That is Who God is: Holy, His glory fills heaven and earth and His greatness is revealed in His creation. Did God have any specific intention behind all that is created in heaven and on earth? Did He have a mission and a commission for everything and everyone?
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Kindness: the Fruit-Bearing Branch

Trees, green pastures, vineyards and vines are often used in the Holy Bible to symbolically represent life, lusciousness and growth. The Holy Book of Isaiah's prophesies concerning the blessings of Christ's Redemption and our salvation are revealed in this verse, "'They shall feed along the roads, and their pastures shall be on all desolate heights. They shall neither hunger nor thirst, neither heat nor sun shall strike them; for He who has mercy on them will lead them, even by the springs of water He will guide them.'" (Isaiah 49:9-10).

David, the psalmist, refers to God as "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters" (Psalm 23:1-2). He also refers to a righteous man as "He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither;" (Psalm 1:3).He also says, "Blessed is every one who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways. When you eat the labor of your hands, you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you. Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine" (Psalm 128:1-3).

In the New Testament we read the parable of the vineyard and the stewards working there in. Our Lord Jesus Christ describes Himself as the Vine and us being the branches. St. Paul refers to the virtues as fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) This series will discuss each fruit of the Spirit in a separate article. This article deals with Kindness.
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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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St. Reweis, A Life of Humility

On the 21st of Paope our Coptic Orthodox Church celebrates the departure of a great man, St. Reweis. Poor, illiterate, homeless and a defamed Christian, St. Reweis endured all afflictions for the glory of God. His life reminds us of the living example St. Paul has given us in his letter to the Corinthians "We are fools for Christs sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored! To the present hour we both hunger and thirst and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now" (1 Cor 4:10-13).

St. Freig, commonly known as St. Reweis, was born in a small village called Meniyet Yameen, Gharbia Province, in the Egyptian Delta region. His parents Isaac and Sarah were poor farmers. They were pious people who brought him up in the fear of God.

At an early age, St. Freig had to work selling salt. He transported the salt on the back of his camel named Reweis (which means small head). It is said that this camel was so friendly and obedient that it used to bow down its head whenever it heard its name called.
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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)

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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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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

OneCopt Convention

Oct 30 - Nov 2, 2014
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Family Convention

TX: Nov 26-29, 2014
more info
FL: Nov 26-29, 2014
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THY College Convention

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

Winter High School Girls Convention

FL: Dec 21-24, 2014
TN/GA: Dec 22-25, 2014
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
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FL: TBA
TX: Dec 29-31, 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
more info coming soon

Crossroads Graduate Convention

Feb 19-22, 2015
more info coming soon

CPAR Convention

Feb 26 - Mar 1, 2015
more info coming soon

Arabic Youth Convention

FL: Mar 6-8, 2015
TX: TBA
more info coming soon

SUS Diocese Mission Experience Trip 2015 - Ethiopia

Jul 12-24, 2015
Flyer
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