July 2023 English Newsletter Posted September 13, 2023 by admin


My Beloved the Benevolent                              July 2023    

Grace and peace, wishing you every goodness and blessing

I am pleased to congratulate you on the Fast and the Feast of the Apostles, wishing you a blessed fast and feast.

I would like to remind you of the suffering of our brothers and sisters in Sudan as a result of the internal war in Sudan – especially in Khartoum – which led to the displacement of many people outside Sudan on a difficult and dangerous journey. Many churches and homes of the believers have also been attacked, looted and robbed.  It is a human tragedy by all accounts.  If those who have been displaced have suffered, those who have not been able to get out are suffering even more.

We all pray for Sudan and the Christ-loving people and our churches there. We also appeal to you to extend a helping hand to the victims of violence there through your donations to Santa Verena Charity, where we have allocated a special fund to help our churches, our people and all those in need in the beloved country of Sudan.

We celebrate the Feast of the Apostles on Abib 5th, corresponding to Wednesday, July 12, 2023, which is the feast of the martyrdom of Saints Peter and Paul.

+ We remember the Fathers the Apostles, and their struggle and labors in preaching the Gospel to all creation according to Christ’s commandment to them, “And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.’” Mark 16:15. St. Mark the Apostle came, carrying the light of the Gospel to Egypt, so Egypt was enlightened with the light of the Gospel and our glorious Coptic Orthodox Church was established with the preaching of St. Mark, the Evangelical Apostle.

+ We remember that the Fathers the Apostles were eyewitnesses to what the Lord Christ did and taught, and they conveyed that to us through the Gospels and the Epistles, as well as through the oral apostolic tradition. St. John writes in his Epistle, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life… That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.” 1 John 1:1, 3-4

+ We remember that the church was founded on the teaching of the Fathers the Apostles, which they received from the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, in the Creed we say “We believe in one holy, catholic and apostolic church.”  The church is apostolic because it was founded on the apostolic faith.

+ We remember that the Fathers the Apostles are living examples of God’s work.  The Church in every age looks to the Church in the apostolic age as an example and model to learn from and imitate. That is why the Church dedicates a reading from the Book of Acts of the Apostles in every Liturgy, so that the model of the Church in the apostolic age would always be before us.

I would like to recall together the model of the Church in the apostolic age in serving those in need. The Book of Acts gives us a beautiful description of the apostles’ concern for the needy, “Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.” Acts 2:44-45 “neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common… Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.” Acts 4:32, 34-35

 The Book of Acts presents to us St. Barnabas as an example, “And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement), a Levite of the country of Cyprus, having land, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet” Acts 4:36-37 This beautiful picture expresses the meaning that all believers are members of one body, that is the body of Christ; if a member suffers, all members suffer with him.

The Church in the age of the apostles was not rich in terms of money but was rich in faith, oneness of spirit, and each member felt the needs of others. Money was placed at the feet of the apostles, that is, money is a servant, not a master. The Fathers, the Apostles cared about education, preaching and they also cared about the financial needs of all believers.  When the church extended beyond Jerusalem and was established in Asia and Europe, St. Paul was interested in the ministry of the congregation for the saints, especially during the period of famine that affected the believers in Jerusalem and Judea.

We pray that God will grant us the spirit of our Fathers the Apostles in caring for our brothers and sisters in need so that we may truly be members of the body of Christ.

May God bless your offerings to support Santa Verena’s charitable programs.

Metropolitan Serapion