On Sunday, March 4, 2012, H.G. Bishop Serapion celebrated the first Divine Liturgy for the newly established parish of St. Paul American Coptic Orthodox Church. Also celebrating with His Grace were the reverend fathers, Fr. Gregory Bishay, Fr. David Abdelsayed, and Fr. Kyrillos Ibrahim. By the grace of God, over two hundred people came to participate in the celebration.
Welcoming packets which included information about the Coptic Orthodox Church and the mission of St. Paul parish were distributed to guests. Following the Divine Liturgy, there was a welcoming reception and Agape meal which included talks by a member of the forming committee, one of the clergy, and finally His Grace Bishop Serapion.
In his speech, His Grace reiterated the mission of the parish of St. Paul American Coptic Orthodox Church, “to be an open multi-cultured community where people of all ethnic backgrounds who join our Church can feel welcome and at home.” The mission of St Paul Church is rooted in the Living Tradition of our Holy Orthodox Church. The Holy Orthodox Church is the Body of Christ and all Her members are a new creation in Christ, as St Paul wrote to the Colossians “and have put on the new man who is renewed in Knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all” (Col. 3:10-11). The Holy Orthodox Church is the Household of God and all Her members are equal fellow citizens as St. Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the Household of God” (Eph. 2:19).
His words were followed by a question and answer session where His Grace addressed questions related to the future work and plans of the church. The joy-filled day was concluded with prayer and the final blessing by His Grace.
St. Paul American Coptic Orthodox Church is temporarily located at 12702 9th Street in Garden Grove. The parish website is located at http://stpauloc.org/ and any questions may be directed to (714) 681-2292 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.