At the recent annual meeting of Christian Churches Together in the USA, a fellowship of 36 churches and religious organizations in the United States, from January 12-15, 2010, church leaders gathered to deepen their fellowship with one another and present a united front in the face of recent events and tragedies that have affected the Christian community, as St. Paul says, “And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it” (1 Cor. 12:26). The Coptic Orthodox Church was represented by His Grace Bishop Serapion and the Reverend Father Daniel Habib.
At the conclusion of the annual meeting, Christian Churches Together in the USA issued an official press release discussing the devastating earthquake in Haiti and the martyrdom of seven Coptic Orthodox Christian parishioners in Nag Hammadi, Egypt.
Concerning the devastating earthquake in Haiti, the press release states:
We grieve the devastation and loss of life caused by the January 12, 2010, earthquake in Haiti. We mourn the death of brothers and sisters, including Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot of the Catholic Church and other faith leaders. In the face of devastating scenes of the “living walking among the dead,” we seek to be icons of the living Christ. We pray that our affected brothers and sisters will be comforted and encouraged by our pastoral presence that includes prayers, visitation and physical aid that our churches have rushed to provide. Such a presence seeks to give witness to Christ’s work of healing and hope.
Concerning the martyrdom of Coptic Orthodox Christians in Nag Hammadi, it states:
Likewise, as we “mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15), we are one with our brothers and sisters in the Coptic Orthodox Church who have suffered when parishioners were gunned down in Nag Hammadi, Egypt, after Christmas Eve services. We lament the use of violence in the name of God.
In response to these profoundly tragic events affecting the Christian community in the United States and throughout the world, Christian Churches Together in the USA offers the following prayer based on the Litany of the Sick from the Coptic Liturgy of St. Basil the Great:
We bow our heads in prayer to Him “Who loosens the bound and uplifts the fallen, the Hope of those who have no hope and the Help of those who have no helper, the Comfort of the fainthearted and the Harbor of those in the storm”, to look, with a compassionate eye, on those who are suffering, and to be as He is, full of mercy, full of compassion, full of love. For He grants us more than we ask for, and more than we need, and more than we understand.
To read the full press release, please click here.
|Press Release – A Pastoral Prayer of Comfort and Hope for Haiti and Egypt January 15 2010.pdf||56.2 KB|