Growth of Orthodoxy
Hi everyone. I'm new to the forum. I live in Australia where I was baptised into the Coptic Orthodox Church about 8 years ago. I was raised a Lutheran but didn't feel completely comfortable with a sense that something was missing. Having found orthodoxy I felt like I had finally 'come home'. I serve as a deacon and play an active role in our church community.
However as much as I love orthodoxy, the history of the early church, the sound doctrine and the wonderful liturgy, I am saddened by the noticeably slow pace at which our Coptic Orthodox Church is growing in Australia. I have given it a lot of thought and prayer and have come to realise that although we have pseudo English services, we are not really appealing to our culture but are stlll focussing the liturgy and accompanying church services on the immigrant Coptic community and their offspring.
Many Coptic Orthodox churches in Australia have introduced English into the liturgies and although they may not use Arabic they insist on retaining quite a bit of Coptic in the liturgical responses, psalmadies and hymns.
Passion week is especially rich in coptic but it has become a real stumbling block for me as I am not enjoying one of the most important seasons in our church calendar. I have tried to follow and join in but because the language and drawn out Coptic tunes are not natural to me I find myself objecting to the foreigness and feeling quite isolated to the point of feeling like an outsider.
I find the BOC to be an inspiration as everything is based on sharing the truth of orthodoxy to the British community. I pray that perhaps a similar "Australian Orthodox Church" could be set up where the Coptic ethnicity was not promoted and instead the pure beauty and spirituality of Othodoxy prevailed. I pray it may one day become a reality.
I would appreciate anyone's thoughts on this.
- Neville (Shenouda)