Ecumenical meeting between the youth and their pastors

In a historical event that was a first in 40 years-times, the pastors met with the youth from their churches to hear them in an honest dialogue. The meeting took part on the 3rd of July. Remarkably, the attendees were mostly youth, around 60%. The day aimed for youth to speak about their honest opinion in the church and the liturgy in order to reduce the gap between the youth and the church.

The event started by lunch followed by an opening by Bishop Mouneer where he said that our focus as clergy should be on our youth not only for the sake of the future but also for today. He also acknowledged the Coptic Orthodox Church which managed to build the sense of belonging in their youth and succeeded.

The youth were given the opportunity to have freedom of speech, not to mention, each of them answered two specific questions “What I like in my church?” and “What holds me back from the church?” In answer to the first question, most youth expressed their gratitude to the church where they felt peace and love. “My church is a church with a vision for evangelism and encourages visionaries” Micheal said, from the evangelical church.  “My church is not full of words only but living liturgy” Marco expressed his appreciation for the Coptic Orthodox Church. “I love my church because it is humble and serves everyone in need” Francine commented on the Anglican Church. In answer to the second question, most youth expressed that they were not happy with the church because the leaders never involve them in any decisions in the church as well as lack of dialogue with the church leaders and ministers. “The church doesn’t always welcome the sinners” said Helen from “the good news team”.

After hearing the youth, the pastors started talking as well. Bishop Mouneer started the speech by asking forgiveness from the youth for not hearing them before and not being there for them. He, then, expressed his joy that the church started to fix this problem. He also acknowledged the churches that accept youth in their counsels, as a step forward in eliminating this problem forever. Later, he warned the youth from the disease of this age, Life and Business of Entertainment, that it would find its way to the church. Finally, he took advantage of the situation and gave advice to parents to care for their youth and to guide the church constantly to their needs.

“The church needs the one body of Christ; the expertise of the old age and the freshness of the young youth” said Revd Boules Garas from the Catholic Church “Love and humbleness can keep the church united and fill in the gap”.  Father Mina, from the Coptic Orthodox Church, gave 3 advices to both the church leaders and the youth; balanced mentality, one enemy and fight the spirit of isolation by discussing the ideas of the youth.  Sheikh Emil, from the Evangelical Church, reminded the audience both leaders and youth that the goal is one and also encouraged them to remember that as well as what we believe in.

The historical event ended by practical tips for leaders to take back to their churches such as imitating this meeting in the smaller gathering of each church and hearing out some of the youth who actually abandoned the church. The gathering agreed to meet again prior the next ecumenical meeting in September.

Launching of “Together We Develop Egypt” Project

On Wednesday the 5th of April, “Together We Develop Egypt” project , sponsored by the Episcopal / Anglican Diocese of Egypt and Misr El-Kehir; launched the first event between the Egyptian Muslim and Christian youth together with their leaders, the Imams and Priests.

The project aims to encourage young youth, of both religions, on the ground to be effectively engaging together to develop Egypt. The need we face in EGYPT and the success of the previous related project “Together For Egypt” were the motive behind this movement. If we can talk to each other, we can also develop Egypt with each other.

The project started for the benefit of the local communities such as El-Menya, the Canal cities, Salam city, Tenth of Ramadan city and Al Warak area. The event was full of workshops that motivate and enable our youth to use their potentials for the good of their communities.

Please pray for us and for Egypt

http://www.anglicannews.org/blogs/2017/04/please-pray-for-us-and-for-egypt.aspx

Dear Friends,

Thank you for all your messages of condolences and your prayers.

Palm Sunday this year was a sad one. As I was going to celebrate Palm Sunday at All Saints Cathedral, Cairo, I heard the news of the explosions at Mar Girgis [St George’s] Coptic Orthodox Church in Tanta, in the middle of the Nile Delta area. During the Service, I heard of another explosion at St Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria. The outcome of these terrorist attacks is that 45 were killed and 129 injured, some of whom were Muslim policemen and guards. Sadness overshadowed all Palm Sunday celebrations all over Egypt.

Intensive security measures and regulations have been made since this last Saturday. This included security personnel emptying all the streets around the churches and cathedrals of cars with extra policemen and sniffer dogs checking all church buildings and worshippers before Services start. I believe these measures were done to safeguard all church buildings in the country. Although the security was very tight, the evildoers have their own ways and it is extremely difficult to achieve 100 per cent security. This was also the case behind the recent terrorist attacks in Sweden, Britain, Germany and France.

Both terrorist attacks were done by suicide bombers. In Tanta, the suicide bomber succeeded to enter the Church, while in Alexandria, the metal detector gates beeped as the bomber was going through and to avoid being arrested, he detonated the bomb.

As I am writing these words, the burial of the Coptic Orthodox martyrs from the Church in Alexandria are being held at Mar Mina Monastery in a mass grave.

Last evening, President Sisi conveyed his condolences and expressed his strong determination to fight and defeat terrorists. He also announced about the formation of a national council for fighting terrorism that will have all the authority to take firm action. In addition, he applied a 3-month emergency law. These terrorist attacks on Churches are not the first. More than 60 Churches were burnt in August 2013 as a reaction to the ouster of the former Muslim Brotherhood President. They aim to destabilize the country.

In view of these terrorist attacks, we expect that tourist numbers to Egypt will drop considerably although Egypt is still considered a much safer destination than other countries in the region.

Thank you again for your condolences. Please pray for us and for Egypt.

May the Lord bless you!

+Mouneer
Anglican Bishop in Egypt

The first Media production course

I was so encouraged to meet our youth from different parishes attending this workshop which equip them to use media and make films for the ministries of their parishes.   (Bishop Mouneer Anis)

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March, 2017 Deaf Unit Newsletter

The latest news from the Deaf Unit is now available online below. Take time to read, learn, and pray for those who serve Christ through this wonderful ministry.

Link: March, 2017 Newsletter

Learn more about the Deaf Unit here

 

 

 

Archbishop Mouneer Anis and the new Area Bishop Samy Fawzy in a Pastoral visit to North Africa

Bishop Anis and Bishop Fawzy are currently visiting North Africa, Tunisia and Algeria, for a pastoral visit. The aim of the visit is to introduce the new Area Bishop for North Africa to our churches in  North Africa as well as ecumenical partners. One of the responsibilities of the area bishop is to be able to engage with the authorities; this visit allowed formal introduction between the two parties for fruitful future communications.

It was great Revd. Vincent Jacob Rajan from Libya was able to travel to meet the bishops in Tunisia. The three enjoyed time of fellowship and were able to discuss ministry in Tripoli.

“The ministry is flourishing. Praise God!” said Bishop Mouneer, referring to the ministry in North Africa.

The trip didn’t involve the leaders only, but also the regular congregations. Bishop Fawzy received warm welcome through the wonderful celebrations organized by the parishes of North Africa.

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Speech of Archbishop Mouneer Anis At the “Consecration of Bishop Samy Fawzy” 27th February, 2017

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Today we are gathered to consecrate the Very Rev Dr Samy Fawzy as a new bishop for North Africa within the Anglican/Episcopal Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa. He succeeds Bishop Bill Musk, who retired last year.I am grateful to have this opportunity to give my thanks and appreciation to Bishop Bill for all of his hard work and sacrifice through his years of service in North Africa.

The word consecration means to devote a person for service of the Lord. Today we consecrate Samy to be a bishop and shepherd for the ministers of the Church of North Africa, and at the same time, a bishop in the universal Church of God. Today, Bishop-elect Samy will pray these words, “I am not for myself but for You, O Lord” because he will be consecrated for the Lord’s service.

Some people might ask, “Why did I choose Dean Samy to be a Bishop?”

In response, I’d like to make clear that for many years, it has been put on my heart to prepare leaders and shepherds from the new generation of believers to carry the responsibility of leadership in the Church.

Truly the Church needs trustworthy shepherds who love the Lord with all their hearts and who will exert every effort to guide the people of God through spiritual teaching and encouragement to live out the message of Christ… the message of love. I have seen this in Dean Samy. Heloves the Lord and is humble. His desire to serve the Lord was evident when he put aside his career as an engineer after graduating from the School of Engineering, Cairo University in 1985. He was led to study at the School of Theology at the University of Wales and Birmingham in the United Kingdom, continuing until he completed his Doctorate Degree in Theology. He returned to Egypt to serve in the church of Alexandria. He is distinguished in his pastoral care for his congregation, including for the wounded, the oppressed and marginalized. He grew the church in Alexandria. This has encouraged me to choose him as Dean ofSt. Mark’sCathedral in Alexandria and Dean of the Anglican/Episcopal School of Theology. Samy has used all of his gifts and talents in the service of Christ and His Church. He has done so with joy and without hesitation. He became my real partner in vision and service. Jesus Christ taught us that those who invest their gifts and talents for the Kingdom of God will be given even greater responsibility. For this reason, we have chosen Dean Samy to be Bishop for North Africa, making him the first Egyptian Bishop in North Africa.

Few days ago, I have prayed that God would give me a message for Bishop Samy today, as well as for myself and for all ministers of the Church. The Spirit has guided me to focus my meditation todayon Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd, because the main ministry of the bishop is shepherding.

If we desire to be trustworthy shepherds of God’s people, we must fix our eyes upon the Good Shepherd, who has been our model in His life and His care, in order to fulfill our responsibility towards the Church, of Christ.

Jesus Christ has given us a clear description of the Good Shepherd, which we read in the Gospel of John:

Firstly, the Good Shepherd knows His sheep and His sheep know His voice.Jesus said, “The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” (John 10:3, NIV). This is made possible only after the Shepherd has spent a long time with those in his care, guiding them to green pastures and to sources of water, giving them medicine when they fall sick, and carrying them on his shoulders when they grow tired. It is true that we can’t shepherd well the Flock of God unless we spend good time in their midst.

There’s no doubt that we, as Bishops, receive many invitations from around the world to visit other churches and dioceses. These attractive offers to travel abroad and visit new churches and new places can be tempting. It can be hard to turn these offers down, but travel separates us from those in our care and prevents us from being able to provide for their needs. Thiscan weaken the church and lead to deeper problems. When the Shepherd is not present, those in his care scatter, as is written “I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.”(Matthew 26:31, NIV). This happened in a neighboring country, wherethe church was facingtribal conflict. The Diocesan Bishop happened to be traveling during this situation, and his absence during the conflict resulted in thescattering of his congregations and the loss of his diocesan office.

It is our first responsibility as servants of the Lord is to be among the flock.

Secondly, the Good Shepherd leads his flock.Jesus said when describing the good shepherd, “When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.”(John 10:4, NIV)Bywalking in front of His sheep, the shepherd does three things:

  • One,he determines the vision and the goals that work for the flock. He knows the way to proceed ahead of those in His care.The Shepherd mustask for the vision and wisdom from God as promised in Psalm 32:8 (NIV), “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”
  • Two;by walking in front of the flock, the shepherd sets an example for all who follow him. St. Paul said to his disciple Timothy, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12, NIV). We need to be a role model and example, hence we are in need of the rich grace of God to help us because of our weakness as humans and supports us when we fail to live up to this model.
  • Three;by going in front of the flock, the shepherd protects the sheep from danger. He faces the difficulties before his flock.

Thirdly, the Good Shepherd sacrifices himself for the sheep.

Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it.” (John 10:11-12, NIV). The Shepherd must always remember what Jesus has done to save us from death which is the wage of our sin. He sacrificed himself upon the cross to be our ransom, and this puts on us the responsibility as Shepherds to give it our best effort to save sinners from eternal death. Jesus said “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15: 13, NIV)

The Good Shepherd protects his sheep from false teaching and promotes correct teaching, as was given to us by our Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ the Lord, for example, when he rejected the teaching of the Pharisees and the false Jewish teachers.“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.” (Matthew 23:27, NIV).One of the examples which we know well here in Egypt is St. Athanasius;who stood firm against the Arian heresy which was supported by the emperor at that time. However, Athanasius stood against the heresy, to the point that he was called contra mundum.

In this day and age, we find that many leaders find it difficult to oppose false teaching, for truth has become relative, and it’s no longer appropriate to speak against false teaching, as it contradicts with the trends of inclusiveness, which welcomes any and all views, even those which go against the Bible.

That’s why we need to remember that the Bishop makes vows in front of God to guard the faith so he needs to fulfil this responsibility without any compromise or hesitation.

Fourthly, the Good Shepherd leads His flock towards an abundant life.

Jesus Christ said (John 10:10, NIV) “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.No doubt that the true shepherd is the one who leads his people towards the abundant life. We can find this life when we meet Jesus Christ and accept Him in our lives. He said: ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life’ (John 14: 6, NIV). This means that the shepherd should lead his people to Christ and help them to become spiritually mature disciples and faithful in their life and ministry.

Fifthly, the Good Shepherd searches for His sheep.

Jesus said in the parable of the lost sheep “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?” (Luke 15:4, NIV). The good shepherd should look for his lost sheep. Those who went astray in the worries of this world, when he found them, he should share the good news of Jesus Christ with them and give them the hope they had lost. We sometimes forget as we become busy in administration that we as shepherds have the responsibility to give a message of hope to the broken world around us. Hope helps us to persevere through all the difficulties we face and to look for the good.

St Clement of Alexandria wrote: “If you don’t have hope, you would not find what is beyond your hopes”. He also said “Christ transformed all our sunsets in our lives into dawns.” Our Middle Eastern people are in desperate need for, hope. This is why we should bring hope to them all the time.

My beloved Samy, I believe that today that you would receive special grace from the Lord. This grace will accompany you on your journey as a bishop. With this grace, you can shepherd the flock of Christ that is entrusted to you.

Finally, I would like to share with you one of the dear gifts that was given to me at the time of my consecration. I put this in front of my eyes every day. It is a quote from St Augustine of Hippo which was written for me by one of the nuns and the quote is: “For you I am a bishop but with you I am a Christian. The first is an office accepted, the second is a gift received. One is danger, the other is safety. If I am happier to be redeemed with you than to be placed over you, then I shall, as the Lord commanded, be more fully your servant.”

St Augustine sees here a potential danger linked to the office of a bishop if the people around us glorify the bishop to a degree that he becomes proud. We all need to keep the words of St Augustine in front of our eyes so that we do not forget that we, by the end of the day, are servants for the flock of Christ. I pray from my heart that;“The Lord bless youand keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”(Numbers 6:24-26, NIV)

 

The Ordination of Dr. Donald Collett as an Anglican Priest

IMG_5610On Tuesday, the 21st of February, we celebrated the ordination of a new priest, Reverend Doctor Donald Collett, in All Saint’s Cathedral, Zamalek.  .

Dr. Don Collett is a visiting professor in the Alexandria School of Theology and professor of the Old Testament in Trinity School of Ministry, an evangelical seminary in the Anglican tradition. He is specially equipped to lecture on the relation of the Old Testament to the New Testament.

Dr. Collett graduated from Montana State University in 1992 with a bachelor degree. He got his MDiv degree from Westminster Seminary (CA) in 1997. At 2007, he obtained his PhD degree in UK, at the University of St. Andrews.

Fifteen of the clergy from the dioceses were present; in addition to Bishop Mouneer, Bishop Grand LeMarquand and Canon Huw Thomas, for the ordination.

We look forward to having Reverend Dr. Collett to serve with us here in the diocese of Egypt.

 

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Deaf Unit, 2016 Newsletter

The latest news from the Deaf Unit is now available online below. Take time to read, learn, and pray for those who serve Christ through this wonderful ministry.

Link: Deaf Unit Newsletter

Learn more about the Prison Ministry here.

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