Praying for the Guidance of the Holy Spirit at Conference

Please Join Us in Praying for the Guidance of the Holy Spirit at the Historic Lands of Immigration Conference

As has been previously announced on this site, next week the Coptic Orthodox Church will convene a historic “Lands of Immigration Conference” which will determine the course the Coptic Orthodox Church will chart in the English-speaking West for the next 50 years. A number of presentations will be given by clergy and laity serving in the West on topics such as:

-Whether or not the calendar should be adjusted so that the Coptic Church celebrates the Nativity and the Resurrection with Western heterodox confessions with which she is not in communion, in the process falling out of sync with the celebrations of those feasts by her sister churches in the See of St. Mark: the Ethiopian and Eritrean Orthodox Churches

-How the Orthodox Faith might be culturally contextualized in the West, including discussions on whether or not heterodox (specifically Evangelical Protestant) practices, materials, and modes of worship (such as so-called “praise & worship” or “Contemporary Christian Music”) can be “baptized” into the life of the Church at our youth meetings and at other times

-Whether or not it is appropriate to sing such songs during the Holy Liturgy, specifically after the chanting of Psalm 150 during the time at which the faithful receive the Holy Body and Precious Blood of Christ

Although some churches presently utilize Evangelical Protestant songs and materials as described above in an unofficial way – in contradiction to the decisions of the Holy Synod as described here: http://returntoorthodoxy.com/formal-measures/ and without the express approval of the hierarchy – if the Church should officially endorse such practices it would be catastrophic and very hard to undo, and this generation would go down in history as the generation that dropped the baton and allowed for the incorporation of heteropraxis into the Divine Liturgy and the daily life of the Church, a situation that will surely be reversed by those who come after us since the gates of hell shall not prevail against God’s Church (St. Matthew 16:18) and such a change could only be a temporary and much lamented aberration.

Because this conference is so important, the St. Jacob Baradaeus Orthodox Christian Fellowship asks you to join us (with the permission of your Father of Confession) in praying three times daily – during the Third Hour (9 AM), the Sixth Hour (12 PM), and Compline (9 PM) – for the cessation and reversal of Evangelical and Charismatic influence in the Coptic Orthodox Church and the triumph of Orthodoxy and orthopraxis at the “Lands of Immigration” conference. We will be praying in this way for the duration of the Conference, from May 18 to May 24, 2015, and will also be praying at all liturgical services we attend during that time. We are doing so with the permission of our Fathers of Confession, many of whom – along with other priests – have indicated that they will join their prayers to ours during this time and are praying that God will bless and accept our petitions.

Pray for the peace of the one holy catholic and apostolic Orthodox church of God. Confirm her in her in the foundation of faith and practice imparted unto her by the Holy Apostle St. Mark. The oneness of heart in love and faith, may it be rooted in her, in all of her priests, and in all of us. Let the righteousness of faith grow; straighten for us the path of godliness. The shepherds do Thou control; and those whom they shepherd confirm. The elders confirm in Orthodoxy; the youth instruct in Orthodoxy. The unbelievers restore; let the schisms of the Church come to an end. Strip the vanity of the heretics; and count us all in the unity of righteousness. All offences and their instigators, abolish. May all dissensions and corrupt heresies cease. Bring them to naught, O Lord.