Past Issue # 8
"A Blank Horizon"
This month is the annual commemoration of the Coptic New Year. Before 2001, this was just another rite of passage for us as Coptic Orthodox Christians. Nairouz was a time for Sunday School servants to reminisce on church history, priests to speak of the glorious age of martyrdom, and for congregations to see another year pass. It was never as memorable or occupied the same place in our hearts as December 31st.
On the level of human memory, 9/11 made this feast and this month of September a far more live event in our minds. We cannot escape it now, since 2001. The flattening of the Twin Towers seem coincidental, too coincidental to our experience as Orthodox Christians. We commemorate the 1st of Tut as the end of the age of martyrdom.
But if before we just identified ourselves a Orthodox Christians, 9/11 made us face the fact we're Egyptian, Middle Eastern, a different shade of skin and humanity than the western world. And it may be that we are now more aware of our ethnic and social heritage identity rather than our Christian character. We may speak of martyrdom and the Christian witness and the 'godless' world, but we're rather afraid of where we stand now as a people in this world.
What is in our future as a church, a people, a congregation of faithful?
What challenges us as a church?
What should we remember on the 1st of Tut and what do we end up remembering instead?
... If we could imagine our future as a blank canvas, something that we can take an active part in depicting, what would it look like?
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