The annual seminar of the Coptic Orthodox Church’s Holy Synod has this year been held 19 – 21 November at the Logos Centre in Anba Bishoy Monastery in Wadi al-Natroun in Egypt’s Western Desert.
Sponsored by Pope Tawadros II, the seminar witnessed 97 Holy Synod members tackle five topics: the Orthodox faith and challenges of the 21st century; the Coptic identity; youth ministry; communication technology; and ecumenical relations.
“This is the 6th Holy Synod seminar,” Pope Tawadros said in his opening speech. “It is an opportunity for spiritual togetherness; listening to one another, and discussing many issues in brotherly love.”
The Pope stressed the Bible teaching on true love: “And above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). He said ministry constitutes a multitude of gifts that ought to be used as fits their being granted and empowered by God.
Under “Youth Ministry”, the seminar tackled problems common among young Copts, and proposed methods to deal with them.
“Coptic identity” came under the spotlight as attendants discussed the definition of ‘identity’; its features; the importance of belonging to a well-defined identity, Coptic on-the-ground reality, and challenges of preserving the Coptic identity. They discussed the features of Coptic identity: faith, creed, and culture; Coptic ethnic identity versus Coptic spiritual identity; and the spread of the Coptic Church and identity worldwide.
“Ecumenical participation” tackled the concept of ‘unity’ in the Holy Bible; in Liturgy; Patristics; and ecumenically. It discussed the ecumenical work of the Coptic Orthodox Church in modern times; ecumenical dialogue; and forms and reasons for unity and separation as in unity, heresy, and rift.
The seminar also tackled “Technology, communication, and satellite channels”. Participants discussed the use of modern technology in Church ministry; the Coptic Church and technology; the Church and satellite channels; and reviewed advanced ideas on how to upgrade the exploitation of modern technology in the Church’s ministry.
As the seminar concluded, Pope Tawadros opened the central Coptic library at the Logos Centre. The library is reported to include an impressive collection of titles in all fields, and the largest collection of Coptic manuscripts in the world. It also features well-equipped reading and lecture halls.
27 November 2018