Emmanuel Center: A Monument of God’s Victory

While I watched the workers painting the facade of Emmanuel Center’s building with the final color, a thought came across my mind, “This is a Monument of God’s Victory”. I believe there are many who need to be aware of this truth.

It had never occurred to me that financing this project would be a challenge that exposes the spiritual warfare inside us to love and serve one of the two masters. Christ said clearly, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24, Luke 16:13). Whether we admit it or not, we are in a struggle to choose between the two masters — the “Living God” and “Mammon (Wealth)” — until God gives us victory.

This building stands as a monument of God’s victory in His Cheerful Givers who stood against loving and serving Mammon; those who accepted willingly to share with us our incredible adventure of faith. Their names are recorded in heaven, and this building stands as a witness to many generations, of how God won the battle in them.

I saw God’s victory in many Cheerful Givers. Among these victorious are children who have offered their allowances, widows and new immigrants who have donated from their needs, young couples who have offered generously, and rich people who have loved God more than their wealth.

I saw God’s victory in many who wanted to express their gratitude toward St Mark’s Church for its services to them personally, and/or its services to the land of immigration, as the mother church to all churches in North America.

I saw God’s victory in loving people from many churches that have contributed and enjoyed the sense of being ONE church, regardless of where they are and where they worship. They offered their donations as to the Lord; some of whom do not even know St Mark’s Church or its priests.

I saw God’s victory in many of the Cheerful Givers, including the youth and kids, who have contributed while feeling the heart of missionary work in the middle of Jersey City.

I saw God’s victory in many Cheerful Givers who have faithfully pursued their walk with God by paying their first income and their tithes, in holy fear of God’s word (Malachi 3:8).

In all of these loving people, I saw by my eyes how God won the battle inside them against Mammon, and how He richly has blessed them. Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57).

I am sure God will continue to fulfill the needs of His Church, through His loving people, to complete the building. I hope you will not miss the opportunity of such blessing and honor. God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7).

Fr Abraam Sleman

www.SaintMark.com/donate

Message to the Deacons in the Holy Week

In the Coptic Orthodox Churches, the congregations are blessed in the divine services, not only with the participation of the priests but also of the deacons. I thank God, that I personally have been touched by the participation of the wonderful deacons, especially during the Holy Week of Pascha and the Feast of Resurrection in St Mark’s of Jersey City, for many years. I thank God for the gift of having such wonderful deacons, as they are really amazing.

I really love the deacons and value the presence and the role of every single one of them, young or old. But I fear that somehow their pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent (2 Corinthians 11:3). For this reason I wrote this message, in all fatherly love, to all the deacons in all the churches!

The rites and the prayers of the Holy Pascha Week are amazing tools in the hand of God to portrait before the eyes of the people the crucified and risen Christ (Galatians 3:1). Such remembrance of Christ’s death and resurrection is intended to bring the hearts of the worshipers into a living fellowship with Christ in His death and resurrection. We would miss the point of the Holy Week of Pascha if the portrait of the crucified and risen Lord disappeared from our conscious and hearts.

Every Divine service of the Pascha Week is a real worship before the throne of God. It has to be offered by the Spirit of grace and prayers, in fear and reverence (Zechariah 12:10). We should not be intimidated with the limit of time verses the many prayers, readings and hymns. It is better to read, pray and chant little with understanding than doing this without understanding (1 Corinthians 14:19). Moreover, let your humble voices be heard in heavens, in Spirit and truth.

The Holy week is about the Christ who emptied Himself and obeyed the Father until the death of the Cross (Philippians 2:8). So let us be in harmony with Him through emptiness ourselves. God is looking for our obedience to the priests, the elder deacons and our parents. He is also looking for our kind affections to the younger deacons and the weak with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another (Romans 12:10). Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else (Mark 9:35). In this Holy Week, and always, learn the meaning of washing the feet of your brother as Christ washed your feet (John 13:14).

Beloved Deacons, please be aware of this: Either we are going to work with Holy Spirit to portrait the crucified and risen Christ or we are going to be deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent and portrait a false image of ourselves. I am looking forward to the day when I kneel down kissing and washing the feet of every one of you. I wish you a blessed Holy Pascha Week and the joy of His Holy resurrection.

Fr Abraam Sleman

frsleman@CopticChurch.net

(732) 718-4129

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emmanuel Center: Where God Rejoices With His People مركز عمانوئيل: حيث يفرح الله مع شعبه

مركز عمانويل Emmanuel Center هو عطية من الله لشعبه، ويقع في أرض كنيسة مارمرقس الكنيسة القبطية الأرثوذكسية في جيرسي سيتي. وبنعمة ربنا، سيكون مكانا مقدسا لإقامة القداسات الإلهية، والمؤتمرات، وفصول مدارس الأحد، والمناسبات الاجتماعية، فضلا عن العديد من الأنشطة الأخرى الروحية والكرازية والاجتماعية والرياضية للأطفال والشباب والبالغين وكبار السن. وسوف يكون مكانا مكرسا لله ليفرح فيه مع شعبه وليفرح شعبه بخالقه.

أرجو مساعدة الكنيسة بالصلوات والتبرعات لاستكمال أعمال التشطيبات. الرب يباركك، وشكرا لك.

Fr Abraam Sleman
frsleman@CopticChurch.net
(732) 718-4129
Donation by Credit Card:
www.SaintMark.com/donate
Donation by Check:
Coptic Orthodox Church of St Mark
PO Box 4397
Jersey City, NJ 07304

Emmanuel Center: Where God Rejoices With His People

Emmanuel Center is a gift from God the Almighty to His people, where there is much need of such community center. It is located in the premises of the Coptic Orthodox Church of St Mark’s church of Jersey City. It will be a holy place for worship, conferences, Sunday school classes, social occasions as well as the many other spiritual, missionary, social and sport activities of all ages. It is a place for God to rejoice with His people and for His people rejoice with Him.

I kindly request your help to the church with your prayers and donations to complete the construction of the building. God bless you and thank you so much.

Fr Abraam Sleman

Donation by Credit Card:

www.SaintMark.com/donate

Donation by Check:
Coptic Orthodox Church of St Mark
PO Box 4397, Jersey City, NJ 07304

 

التدبير الالهي في قصة الميلاد

في موسم الكريسماس نتذكر ميلاد ابن الله ربنا يسوع المسيح، ومعه نتذكر الحبل المعجزي والميلاد البتولي وغير ذلك من المشاهد والشهود للميلاد، وكل هذا صحيح وطبيعى. ولكن الذي هو غير صحيح ولا طبيعي أن يغيب عن الوعي تدبير الله – بروحه القدوس – في ميلاد وحياة الرب يسوع المسيح. الله هو “أبو ربنا يسوع المسيح” (2  كورنثوس 1 : 3، 2  كورنثوس 11 : 31، افسس 1 : 3، 1 بطرس 1 : 3)، وهو الذي دبر قصة الميلاد كلها.  وتم ذلك بحكمة وقوة إلهية خاصة.

بعيدا قبل الزمن، كان ميلاد الرب يسوع في فكر وتدبير الله، فالمسيح منذ الأزل هو “كلمة الله” الذي كان عند الله (يوحنا 1:1، رؤيا 13:19). وقد أحب الله الآب أبنه قبل ميلاده بالجسد، بل وقبل إنشاء العالم (يوحنا 17 : 24)، واختاره ليكون حمل الله الذي “بِلاَ عَيْبٍ وَلاَ دَنَسٍ” الذي “يَرْفَعُ خَطِيَّةَ الْعَالَمِ” (يوحنا 1 : 29، 1 بطرس 1 : 19).

وبعد السقوط وعد الله حواء أن يأتي السيد المسيح من نسلها ليسحق رأس الحية (تكوين 3 : 15). وتكلم الله – بروحه القدوس – في الأنبياء ليعلن عن ميلاد السيد المسيح من عذراء (اشعياء 7 : 14، متى 1 : 23)، وعن ميلاده في بيت لحم (ميخا 5 : 2، متى 2 : 5-6)، وغير ذلك كثير.

في ملء الزمان أرسل الله أبنه مولودا من أمرأة (غلاطية 4 : 4)، و”الكلمة صَارَ جَسَداً وَحَلَّ بَيْنَنَا وَرَأَيْنَا مَجْدَهُ مَجْداً كَمَا لِوَحِيدٍ مِنَ الآبِ مَمْلُوءاً نِعْمَةً وَحَقّاً” (يوحنا 1 : 14). فقد أرسل الله روحه القدوس وحل على العذراء القديسة مريم، وقدسها، وتم الحبل المقدس بقوته في أحشائها (لوقا 1 : 35)، وكون الجنين في بطن البتول (مزامير 139 : 13)، ودعي اسم المولود “ابن الله” (لوقا 1 : 35). وحفظ الله بتولية العذراء القديسة مريم قبل وبعد ميلاد الطفل يسوع (حزقيال 44:2). وأضاء الله بمجده يوم الميلاد المجيد، وصارت الملائكة تنسب له المجد في الأعالي (لوقا 2 : 9، لوقا 2 : 14).

ارشد الله المجوس بالنجم إلى مكان الطفل المولود، وأرشدهم إلى طريق آخر في عودتهم (متى 2 : 1-12). وأرسل الله ملاكه برسالته إلى يوسف ليحفظ الطفل المولود من مذبحة هيرودس لأطفال بيت لحم (متى 2 : 16-21).

دعى الله اسم ابنه “يسوع” لكي يخلص شعبه من خطاياهم (متى 1 : 21). كما دعى اسمه “عمانوئيل” ليذكرنا بمعية الله معنا في المسيح يسوع (أشعياء 7:14، متى 1 : 23). ودعي الله اسم مولود بيت لحم “عجيبا” (اشعياء 9 : 6)، ليس لأنه كان عجيبا في ميلاده فقط، بل وعجيبا أيضا في حياته من جهة حلول الله فيه واتحاده مع الآب السماوي ومحبته له. الله حل بملء لاهوته في المسيح يسوع ربنا (يوحنا 14 : 10، كولوسي 2 : 9). وأعلن الرب يسوع المسيح عن اتحاده العجيب مع الله الآب وقال: “أَنَا وَالآبُ وَاحِدٌ” (يوحنا 10 : 30).

وهو أيضا عجيب من جهة محبة الله الآب له، ومحبته للآب. فقد شهد الله الآب بصوت مسموع من السماء – بعد ذلك – أن الرب يسوع هو أبنه الحبيب (مرقس 1 : 11، لوقا 9 : 35)، كما شهد عنه أنه الابن الوارث كل شيء (مزامير 2 : 7-8، اعمال 13 : 33، عبرانيين 1 : 2،5). كما أعلن الرب يسوع عن محبته للآب: “لِيَفْهَمَ الْعَالَمُ أَنِّي أُحِبُّ الآبَ وَكَمَا أَوْصَانِي الآبُ هَكَذَا أَفْعَلُ” (يوحنا 14 : 31). وكلمنا الله في ابنه يسوع المسيح بعد أن كلم الأباء بالأنبياء بأنواع وطرق كثيرة (يوحنا 14 : 10، 24، عبرانيين 1 : 1-2).

الله مسح الرب يسوع بروحه القدوس ليبشر المساكين، ويشفي منكسري القلوب، ولينادى للمأسورين بالإطلاق وللعمي بالبصر، ويرسل المنسحقين في الحرية  (اشعياء 61 : 1-2، لوقا 4 : 18)، وجال الرب يسوع يصنع خيرا ويشفي المتسلط عليهم إبليس لأن الله كان معه (أعمال 10 : 38). وكان الله الآب يعمل الأعمال في المسيح يسوع ربنا (يوحنا 14 : 10)، ولذلك قال الرب يسوع: “صَدِّقُونِي أَنِّي فِي الآبِ وَالآبَ فِيَّ، وَإِلاَّ فَصَدِّقُونِي لِسَبَبِ الأَعْمَالِ نَفْسِهَا” (يوحنا 14 : 11).

إنه أمر صحيح وطبيعي أن نتذكر ونعترف بعمل الله الآب – بروحه القدوس – بينما نحن نحتفل بميلاد أبنه ربنا يسوع المسيح. المحبة الحقيقية للمولود في بيت لحم تستلزم محبة للوالد، “كُلُّ مَنْ يُحِبُّ الْوَالِدَ يُحِبُّ الْمَوْلُودَ مِنْهُ أَيْضاً” (1 يوحنا 5 : 1)، ولا يمكننا أن نأتي بصدق إلى مولود بيت لحم مالم يجتذبنا الآب إليه (يوحنا 6 : 44).

الميلاد هو إعلان ظهور الله – الذي لم يراه أحد – في شخص الرب يسوع، مولود بيت لحم (يوحنا 1 : 18). أتمنى لكم عيد ميلاد سعيد.

 Fr Abraam Sleman

frsleman@CopticChurch.net

Dios El Padre En Navidad

En Navidad, recordamos el nacimiento de nuestro Señor Jesucristo. Recordamos la milagrosa concepción y el nacimiento virginal. También recordamos las escenas y los testigos de la Natividad y muchas otras cosas. Todo esto es correcto y natural. Pero lo que no es correcto y no natural es perder la conciencia del papel de Dios Padre – por Su Espíritu Santo – en el nacimiento y la vida del Señor Jesucristo.

¿No es Él Dios “el Padre de nuestro Señor Jesucristo (2 Corintios 1: 3, 2 Corintios 11:31, Efesios 1: 3, 1 Pedro 1: 3)?” ¿No fue Dios el Padre que envió a su hijo, nuestro Señor Jesucristo, nacido de una mujer en la plenitud de los tiempos (Gálatas 4: 4)? ¿No fue Dios el Padre quien planeó toda la historia de la Navidad y lo reveló a su debido tiempo?

¿No es el niño nacido de Belén el Verbo eterno de Dios, que estaba en el principio con Dios (Juan 1: 1, Apocalipsis 19:13)? ¿No era él “El Verbo de Dios” que “se hizo hombre y habitó entre nosotros. Y hemos contemplado su gloria, la gloria que corresponde al Hijo unigénito del Padre, lleno de gracia y de verdad” ((Juan 1:14, NVI).

Muy lejos antes el tiempo, antes de la creación del mundo, Dios Padre amaba a su hijo (Juan 17:24), y lo eligió para ser el Cordero de Dios, que es “sin mancha y sin contaminación” con el fin de quitar el pecado del mundo (Juan 1:29, 1 Pedro 1:19). Después de la caída, Dios el Padre prometió a Eva que Cristo vendría de su descendencia para aplastar la cabeza de la serpiente (Génesis 3:15). Fue Dios el Padre que hablaba, por su Espíritu Santo, en los profetas a la profecía del nacimiento de Cristo de una virgen (Isaías 7:14, Mateo 01:23), y Su nacimiento en Belén (Miqueas 5: 2, Mateo 2 : 5-6), y mucho más.

Dios el Padre es el Dios Altísimo, que descendió con el poder de su Espíritu en la Virgen Santa María y la llevó a ser concebido con el Santo (Lucas 1:35). Formó el niño en el vientre de su madre (Salmos 139: 13). Se mantuvo la virginidad de Santa María antes y después del nacimiento del niño Jesús (Ezequiel 44: 2). Dios el Padre es el que brillaba con su gloria y los ángeles glorificados en el día del nacimiento de Cristo (Lucas 02:14). Dios Padre ha declarado en voz alta que el Señor Jesús es su Hijo amado (Marcos 1:11, Lucas 9:35).

Dios el Padre es el que guió a los Reyes Magos por la estrella al lugar del niño nacido. También, y los guió a otra carretera, en su regreso (Mateo 2: 1-12). Dios el Padre es el que envió su ángel con un mensaje a José que salva al niño nacido de la masacre de Herodes de los niños de Belén (Mateo 2: 16-21).

Fue Dios el Padre, que llamó a su hijo: “Jesús,” para salvar a su pueblo de sus pecados (Mateo 1:21). Él también puso por nombre “Emmanuel” que nos recuerda con su presencia entre nosotros, por medio de Jesucristo (Mateo 1:23).

Dios el Padre es el que vive con su plenitud, en su Hijo Jesucristo (Colosenses 2: 9). El Señor Jesús declaró su unidad con el Padre: “Yo y el Padre somos uno” (Juan 10:30). También reveló su amor a su Padre: “pero el mundo tiene que saber que amo al Padre, y que hago exactamente lo que él me ha ordenado que haga” (Juan 14:36, NVI).

Fue Dios el Padre que ungió al Señor Jesucristo con el poder de su Espíritu Santo para predicar la buena noticia a los pobres, a sanar los corazones rotos, publicar libertad a los cautivos (Isaías 61: 1-2, Lucas 04:18) . El Señor Jesucristo pasó haciendo el bien y sanando a todos los oprimidos por el diablo, porque Dios estaba con Él (Hechos 10:38). El Padre estaba haciendo las obras en Cristo Jesús, nuestro Señor (Juan 14:10). Por lo tanto, el Señor Jesús dijo: “Créanme cuando les digo que yo estoy en el Padre y que el Padre está en mí; o al menos créanme por las obras mismas” (Juan 14:11, NVI).

Es justo y natural de reconocer y amar a Dios el Padre, al celebrar el nacimiento de su Hijo, el Señor Jesucristo. Todo el que ama al Niño también ama a su Padre (1 Juan 5: 1). No podemos venir sinceramente al Niño de Belén, a menos que el Padre nos atrae hacia Él (Juan 6:44). Les deseo una feliz Navidad llena de alegria.

Fr Abraam Sleman

frsleman@CopticChurch.net

God the Father at Christmas

At Christmas time, we remember the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. We remember the miraculous conception and the virginal birth. We also remember the scenes and the witnesses of Nativity and many other things. All of this is right and natural. But what is not right and unnatural is to miss the awareness of the role of God the Father – by His Holy Spirit – in the birth and the life of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Is it not He God “the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 1: 3, 2 Corinthians 11:31, Ephesians 1: 3, 1 Peter 1: 3)?” Was it not God the Father who sent His son, our Lord Jesus Christ, born of a woman at the fullness of time (Galatians 4: 4)? Was it not God the Father who masterminded the whole Christmas story and revealed it in time?

Is not the child born Bethlehem the eternal Word of God, who was in the beginning with God (John 1: 1, Revelation 19:13)? Was not He the “Word of God” who “became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14)?

Far away before time, before the creation of the world, God the Father loved his son (John 17:24), and chose Him to be the Lamb of God, who is “without blemish and without spot” in order to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29, 1 Peter 1:19). After the fall, God the Father promised Eve that Christ would come from her offspring to crush the head of the serpent (Genesis 3:15). It was God the Father who spoke, by His Holy Spirit, in the prophets to prophecy the birth of Christ from a virgin (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23), and His birth in Bethlehem (Micah 5: 2, Matthew 2: 5-6), and much more.

God the Father is the Most High God, who descended with the power of His Spirit on the virgin St Mary and caused her to be conceived with the Holy One (Luke 1:35). He formed the child in the womb of His mother (Psalms 139: 13). He kept the virginity of St. Mary before and after the birth of the baby Jesus (Ezekiel 44: 2). God the Father is the one who shone with His glory and the angels glorified on the day of the birth of Christ (Luke 2:14).

God the Father is the one who guided the Magi by the star to the place of the child born. He also and guided them to another road, in their return (Matthew 2: 1-12). God the Father is the one who sent his angel with a message to Joseph to saves the child born from Herod’s massacre of the children of Bethlehem (Matthew 2: 16-21).

It was God the Father who called His son “Jesus,” to save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). He also called His name, “Emmanuel” to reminds us with His presence among us, through Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:23). God the Father has declared aloud that the Lord Jesus is His beloved Son (Mark 1:11, Luke 9:35).

God the Father is the One who dwells with His fullness, in His Son Jesus Christ (Colossians 2: 9). The Lord Jesus declared His unity with the Father: “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). He also revealed His love to His Father: “The world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do” (John 14:31, NKJV).

It was God the Father who anointed the Lord Jesus Christ with the power of His Holy Spirit to preach the good news to the poor, heal the broken hearts, proclaim liberty to the captives (Isaiah 61: 1-2, Luke 4:18). The Lord Jesus Christ went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him (Acts 10:38). The Father was doing the works in Christ Jesus our Lord (John 14:10). Therefore, the Lord Jesus said: “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves” (John 14:11, NKJV).

It is right and natural to acknowledge and love God the Father as we celebrate of the birth of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Everyone who loves the Child also loves His Father (1 John 5:1). We cannot come sincerely to the Child of Bethlehem unless the Father draws us to Him (John 6:44). I wish you a happy and merry Christmas.

Fr Abraam Sleman

frsleman@CopticChurch.net

Biblical Vision of Marriage

If you are in Christ, then you are a new creature and your perspective and vision to everything is new, including your vision of marriage (2 Corinthians 5:17). Sadly, we may have been taught about traditional marriage, but not the biblical vision of marriage that is part of our character as a new creation in Christ.

Surpassing Goal:

People in the world tend to have seemingly appealing goals for marriage—goals such as intimacy, being served in illness or old age, children, and others. All these goals are self-serving goals, coming out of selfishness. In Christ, there is only one surpassing goal, “Marriage is for the Glory of God.”

Ultimately, everything that exists here in life, including marriage, is intended to be for the glory of our God, the Heavenly Father. “For all things were created by Him, and all things exist through Him and for Him. To God be the glory forever! Amen” (Romans 11:36). Those sons and daughters, including the couple to be wed, who are called by the name of God, have been created, and formed for the glory of God (Isaiah 43:6-7).  God is great and greatly to be praised (Psalms 145:3).

Marriage, in good times and bad, is intended to show God’s glory.  Its aim is His glory, not ours. The real disciple of Christ, grows to love God more and to love his own life less (Luke 14:26-28). He who loves anyone more than God, does not deserve God (Matthew 10:37-39). Thus, in Christ, the focus in marriage is not serving the self and fulfilling one’s own selfish needs, but serving the Lord with his whole house (Joshua 24:15).

How To?

In biblical symbolism, to show the glory of God in a marriage, colors are chosen to symbolize the marriage bed.  One might think that, in the old biblical times, “green” was the best color of the marriage bed. That is why it is said, “Our bed is green” (Song of Songs 1:16). In fact, “green” in the Bible is often a symbol of death (Psalms 37:2, Revelation 6:8). This may sound shocking.

Christ lived His life on earth to bring glory to God. He said to His Father to God, “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do” (John 17:4). All His good deeds and righteousness have been to bring glory to His Father. He came to do the will of His Father, not His own will (John 6:38). On His time of love and intimacy, the Father chose for Him the green bed, the cross, to be perfect and bring many to share the glory of God (Hebrews 2:10). On the cross, Christ “loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:25-27).

The green bed, that brings glory to God, is to love your wife as Christ loved the church and died for here, sacrificial and unconditional love. “Husbands love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her. Husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself” (Ephesians 5:25-28). You are married to die for the wife you choose that you can be perfect and bring others to share the glory to God.

On the other end of the green bed is the wife. Through her husband, she is showered with the sacrificial and the unconditional love of Christ when she submits to her husband as to the Lord. “Wives submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything” (Ephesians 5:22-24).

On this green bed, every spouse offers love to the other unconditionally and without any strings attached. The commitment to the Lord God in the sacrament of marriage necessitates that every spouse unconditionally loves following the example of our Lord Jesus Christ who loved us in an unconditional way. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8).

 

What About Marriage’ Challenges?

For St Paul, the mystery of Christ and the church is a great mystery (Ephesians 5:32). Children of God are married to live out this mystery to bring glory to God. It might sound against the human logic but it is coded in Christ’s teachings, “He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 10:39). In all your life, including you marriage, the choice is yours to find or lose your life, but on Christ’s terms.

For those who are in Christ, challenges and difficulties in marriage are for them not against them. “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). You are married to be refined with fire and transformed into the image of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:17-18). The disciple of Christ must carry his own cross and follow Him (Luke 14:27). Only the narrow gate leads to life. “Go in through the narrow gate, because the gate to hell is wide and the road that leads to it is easy, and there are many who travel it. But the gate to life is narrow and the way that leads to it is hard, and there are few people who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14, GNT).

 

 

SCOTUS‬ Ruling on ‪Same Sex Marriage

SCOTUS‬ ‪‎Ruling on ‪Same Sex Marriage: As Christians, we should not panic (John 16:33). Choices are always there, Godly and ungodly. God said, “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19). Christian marriage, between man [husband] and woman [wife], is the icon of, and the home of practicing, the Godly love between Christ and the church that leads to life (Ephesians 5:25). This is the message of the gospel that we should preach in love, without twist, and live it out.

Jerusalem of North America Churches

There is no exaggeration in saying that St. Mark church, in Jersey City, to North America Coptic Churches is as the church of Jerusalem in the apostolic era, the mother church. God has used St. Mark church, in Jersey City, since its establishment in 1970, to bless many in North America in several ways:

  • God empowered Late Very Reverend Fr. Gabriel Abdel-Sayed, the first ordained priest of St Mark Church, to visit many states, serving the communities, praying liturgies and planting seeds for churches and dioceses that would be established in these states.
  • God has gifted St. Mark church to help thousands of families that have come from Egypt, to achieve a decent standard of living in USA. Many of these families have migrated to other areas and/or states looking for an even better life and have become loving members of many churches.
  • God has blessed St. Mark church to raise thousands of young adults who have become successful professionals and remained loyal and loving to the Coptic Church. These loving youth have migrated to other areas and/or states looking for an even better life and have become loving members of many churches.
  • Serving hundreds of youth through the campus ministry of the universities close to the church is a major part of the mission of St Mark Church. Many of these youth have been wonderful members and loving to their churches in many areas.
  • With technological advances, God has used the church to bless many people all over the states and the world by its live broadcast of its services and broadcasting many spiritual and biblical, prayers, praises programs through Satellite TV, IPTV and online.

To those who have been touched by the blessings of God, it is time to show gratefulness to God’s grace through St. Mark church. Such truth is encouragement to appeal to God, through His loving people, to help St. Mark Church, especially these days.

As many may know, St. Mark Church, with God’s grace, has been working on a project for a new service building. The old buildings, to be removed soon, are deteriorated and are not suitable for the church’s many services. The new building will include Sunday school classes, a fellowship hall, and a multipurpose hall for all the church services and activities. At this point in the project, the church is in need of $2,000,000.00 to proceed.

Originally, it was planned to get loan for the amount of $2,000,000.00  from a bank, but some terms, in the latest contract presented to us, are not reasonable in the light of the church’s current situation and would jeopardize the future of the church.

We believe that the financing of the new building can be easily achieved by the Almighty God through the “cheerful givers” or any other way He sees  (Ephesians 3:20; Nehemiah 2:20).

As a humble estimate, when God speaks in the hearts of 400 “cheerful givers”, and each one donates just $5,000.00, the church would collect the $ 2,000,000.00 In this case, the church would build without loan entirely. The glory would be due only to God the Almighty.

We are kindly appealing to all the loving people to remember St. Mark church in its recent needs. Any offering of love of any amount is appreciated. Remember this, a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop (2 Corinthians 9:6, NLT).

This message is intended to be as a personal message as well as special message to all the churches and congregations in North America. May the Almighty God give this message the grace and grant to St. Mark church according to His good hand (Nehemiah 2:8).

Please make your donation payable to:                    

Coptic Orthodox Church of St. Mark

P.O. Box 4397, Jersey City, NJ 07304

 

Online Donation:                                      

www.copticchurch.net/donate