Our Faith

We believe in one God, God the Father the Pantocrator who created heaven and earth, and all things seen and unseen.
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Our Mission & Vision

Our vision and mission is to help connect people to faith

 

Mission & Purpose

St. Mina Coptic Orthodox Church strives to fulfill the biblical verse, “whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus”, Colossians 1:28. In doing so, our mission is to perfect our congregation physically through sports ministry, emotionally through counseling and community support, mentally through providing biblical education, and spiritually through preaching Orthodoxy and church dogma. All of these ministries work together to fulfill the ultimate goal of bringing every person close to Christ Jesus.

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Our Beliefs

Worship Times

Events

Youth & Kids

Next Steps

Our Beliefs & Values

We believe in one God, God the Father the Pantocrator who created heaven and earth, and all things seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-Begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages; Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten not created, of one essence with the Father, by whom all things were made; Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy spirit and the Virgin Mary and became Man. And He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, suffered and was buried. And on the third day He rose from the dead, according to the scriptures, ascended to the heavens; He sits at the right hand of his Father, and He is coming again in His glory to judge the living and the dead, Whose kingdom shall have no end.

Yes, we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Life-Giver, Who proceeds from the Father, Who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets.

And in one holy, catholic and apostolic church. We confess one baptism for the remission of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the coming age. Amen.

God

God is the completely holy and sovereign creator and sustainer of the universe. He exists in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. All three persons are co-equal and co-eternal but are distinct from one another.

1 Samuel 2:2, 1 Chronicles 29:11-12, Isaiah 6:3, 46:10, Matthew 28:19, 2 Corinthians 13:14

Man

God created man in His image. Out of all of creation, man is set apart as God’s special image bearer which gives all people inherent worth and special responsibility. Man was created to know God and worship God.

Genesis 1:26, 2:7, Isaiah 43:7

Sin

Due to the disobedience of Adam and Eve, sin entered the world and broke God’s good creation. The effects of sin permeate all of creation including people. Sin separates a person from God, from their true selves and from others. Because of sin, man stands guilty before God, deserves punishment, and is incapable of loving, worshipping or cherishing God.

Genesis 3, Psalm 51:5, Romans 3:23, 5:12, 6:23, Ephesians 2:1-3

Salvation

The sinful state that man is in cannot be overcome by any of his own efforts. God, according to his grace, offers salvation to man as a free gift that is obtained through faith in the work of Jesus on the cross. Those on whom the work of Jesus is effective are born again: they are given a new heart that loves God, hates sin and desires to live an obedient life.

John 3:16-18, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Ephesians 2:4-10

JESUS

Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is both fully God and fully man. Jesus lived a perfect life and died as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. He rose bodily from the grave three days after being buried to display His victory over sin, Satan and death. Jesus will one day return to earth and reign as king.

Isaiah 42:1, John 1:1-5, 10:30, 14:6, Romans 6:4, Colossians 1:19-2

HOLY SPIRIT

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. He empowers believers to live the life God has called them to, inspired the scriptures, illuminates the word of God, and convicts people of sin. By the Holy Spirit believers have spiritual gifts that they use to serve the local church.

John 14:26, 16:7-15, Romans 8:26, 12:6-8 Galatians 5:22-25

 

CHURCH

A church is a localized community of baptized believers committed to one another and the mission of God who gather regularly with recognizable leadership, practice the two ordinances, and function as a team and family.

1 Timothy 3:15, Titus 1:5-9, Hebrews 10:24-25

 

BAPTISM

St Mina Church practices the ordinance of baptism. Baptism is one of the first acts of obedience for a follower of Jesus. The event demonstrates the person’s new life in Jesus. St Mina Church practices baptism by immersion.

Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38

 

COMMUNION

St Mina Church practices the ordinance of communion. Communion is taken to commemorate and symbolize the work of Jesus on the cross – the bread symbolizes His broken body and the wine or juice symbolizes His shed blood.

1 Corinthians 11:23-26

 

THE KINGDOM

The kingdom of God is His rule, reign and authority. His kingdom is present in this world but not fully expressed. When a person is born again, in essence that person’s citizenship is transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God. One day, God’s rule, reign and authority will be perfectly expressed “on earth as it is in heaven.”

Psalm 103:19, Luke 1:32-33, John 3:5-7

 

FAMILY

Marriage is a covenantal relationship instituted by God that is between a man and a woman and provides the foundation for a family. Sexual activity is to only be practiced within a lifelong, covenantal, monogamous, heterosexual marriage.

Genesis 2:23-24, Matthew 19:6, 1 Corinthians, 6:9-20, Ephesians 5:22-33

 

ETERNITY

Man was created to exist forever. Those who are in Christ will spend eternity on the new heavens and new earth in new life under the rule and reign of the good king Jesus, forever. Those who reject Jesus will experience the wrath of God and spend eternity separated from God in hell.

Matthew 25:41-46, 2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 John 5:11-12

 

WONDERING WHAT ALL THAT MEANS?

St Mina Groups are a great place to ask any question about God, the Bible or Christianity.

 

Who We Are

We Are Coptic Orthodox Church

An Ancient Christian Church. It is one of the most ancient Churches in the world, having been founded by Saint Mark the Apostle, the writer of the second gospel, in the first Century. The word ‘Coptic’ comes from the ancient Egyptian word ‘hekaptah’ meaning ‘Egypt’, and thus ‘Coptic’ merely means ‘Egyptian.’ As a conservative Church, the Coptic Church has carefully preserved the Orthodox Christian Faith in its earliest and purest form, handing it down from generation to generation, unaltered and true to the Apostolic doctrines and patterns of worship.

Trinitarian. She believes in the Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit (being one God); and that our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ, the true Son of God, became incarnate, was born of the Virgin Saint Mary, died for us on the Cross that He may grant us Salvation, rose on the third day that He may grant us everlasting life with Him, and ascended to heaven after forty days, sending the Holy Spirit to His disciples as He promised them, on the day of Pentecost.

Apostolic. She was founded by Saint Mark the Apostle and Evangelist who preached to the Egyptians around 60-70 A.D.

Scriptural (Biblical). Her main point of reference is the Holy Scripture, as depicted in literal translations such as King James (KJV), New King James (NJKV), and the Revised Standard Version (RSV). Although the Coptic Orthodox Church accepts any New Testament translation that is faithful to the Greek Textus Receptus translation, She prefers only the Septuagint (LXX) translation of the Old Testament and not the Masoretic text found in most Bibles today.

Traditional. One of the pillars of her faith is the teachings of the early Church Fathers as well as the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed as a statement of Her Faith.

Sacramental. She has seven primary Mysteries: Baptism, Chrismation, Confession, the Eucharist (Communion), Marriage, Priesthood, and the Anointing of the Sick.

Conservative. She does not change basic matters of Faith, Dogma or Tradition to suit current trends (this does not mean however that matters such as language and day-to day practices are not changed to suit conditions of ministry and the needs of the congregation). Holding on to such matters of Faith and practice has not been an easy task, as the Coptic Church has always lived persecution of one form or another since its establishment in the first century.

A Brief History of the Christian Church

Four historic Patriarchal centers – Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, and Rome – were established in the first century, and Constantinople in the fourth; yet all these five centers formed a cohesive whole of the Christian Church and were in full communion with each other.

There were heretical or schismatic groups going their own way, but the Church, through ecumenical councils, could keep her unity and settle the orthodox faith. The first Council was held in 325 A.D. at Nicea when representative bishops of all Christians, traditionally numbering 318, assembled to discuss the heresy of Arius who taught against the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Nicene Council condemned Arianism and gave Christianity a creed which has survived to this day. Behind the Nicene triumph stood St. Athanasius the Great, the twentieth Coptic Pope of Alexandria, Egypt (died 373 A.D.), who, still a young deacon, came to the Council with his old patriarch, Alexander. The final victory of orthodoxy was achieved at the second ecumenical Council of Constantinople in 381 A.D., when 150 bishops condemned another heresy. Macedonius claimed that the Holy Spirit is not the eternal Spirit of God but a created one. The council completed the Nicene Creed asserting that the Holy Spirit is the Lifegiving Lord Who proceeds from the Father. The following century saw St. Cyril the Great of Alexandria (died 444), who presided in 431 the Council of Ephesus where 200 bishops condemned Nestorius, the formidable Patriarch of Constantinople, who rejected the term Theotokos, the Mother of God, in regard to the Holy Virgin St. Mary.

This idea led to the inference of the dual nature of the Lord Jesus; His divinity and His humanity. This dualism was decreed in the Council of Chalcedon in 451 A.D., in spite of the objection of the Coptic Pope Dioscorus. Thence, the Church was divided into two groups: Rome and Constantinople, who accepted the doctrine of two united natures, on one side, and Alexandria and Antioch who held the belief of one nature out of two natures of the Incarnate Lord. In 589 A.D., in the synod of Toledo, Spain, the filioque, a doctrine claims that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, was added to the Nicaeo-Constantinopolitan Creed. This error was later adopted by Rome. The addition of the filioque clause, and the issue of Rome’s claim to a universal (Catholic) papal supremacy, caused a schism between Rome (surnamed the Roman Catholic Church) and Constantinople (surnamed the Greek Orthodox Church). Another schism took place in 1517 A.D. when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Roman Church of Wittenberg, Germany, starting the Protestant Reformation. Then Protestantism was divided into hundreds of Churches holding different doctrines.

Finally, in the 1990s, the two Orthodox families, the Chalcedonian Churches, including the Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, Serbian, etc., and the Non-Chalcedonian Churches, including the Coptic, Syrian, Armenian, Ethiopian, etc., came to an agreement of one faith that the Lord is perfect in His divinity as well as in His humanity, and the unity between both natures is real.

By the great effort of His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, the recent Coptic Pope, and his fellow Orthodox Patriarchs, this agreement was achieved and the unity of Orthodoxy was accomplished, but it has yet to be formally recognized by the Holy Synods of both families of churches.

Overview of the Coptic Orthodox Church

Four historic Patriarchal centers – Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, and Rome – were established in the first century, and Constantinople in the fourth; yet all these five centers formed a cohesive whole of the Christian Church and were in full communion with each other.

There were heretical or schismatic groups going their own way, but the Church, through ecumenical councils, could keep her unity and settle the orthodox faith. The first Council was held in 325 A.D. at Nicea when representative bishops of all Christians, traditionally numbering 318, assembled to discuss the heresy of Arius who taught against the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Nicene Council condemned Arianism and gave Christianity a creed which has survived to this day. Behind the Nicene triumph stood St. Athanasius the Great, the twentieth Coptic Pope of Alexandria, Egypt (died 373 A.D.), who, still a young deacon, came to the Council with his old patriarch, Alexander. The final victory of orthodoxy was achieved at the second ecumenical Council of Constantinople in 381 A.D., when 150 bishops condemned another heresy. Macedonius claimed that the Holy Spirit is not the eternal Spirit of God but a created one. The council completed the Nicene Creed asserting that the Holy Spirit is the Lifegiving Lord Who proceeds from the Father. The following century saw St. Cyril the Great of Alexandria (died 444), who presided in 431 the Council of Ephesus where 200 bishops condemned Nestorius, the formidable Patriarch of Constantinople, who rejected the term Theotokos, the Mother of God, in regard to the Holy Virgin St. Mary.

This idea led to the inference of the dual nature of the Lord Jesus; His divinity and His humanity. This dualism was decreed in the Council of Chalcedon in 451 A.D., in spite of the objection of the Coptic Pope Dioscorus. Thence, the Church was divided into two groups: Rome and Constantinople, who accepted the doctrine of two united natures, on one side, and Alexandria and Antioch who held the belief of one nature out of two natures of the Incarnate Lord. In 589 A.D., in the synod of Toledo, Spain, the filioque, a doctrine claims that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, was added to the Nicaeo-Constantinopolitan Creed. This error was later adopted by Rome. The addition of the filioque clause, and the issue of Rome’s claim to a universal (Catholic) papal supremacy, caused a schism between Rome (surnamed the Roman Catholic Church) and Constantinople (surnamed the Greek Orthodox Church). Another schism took place in 1517 A.D. when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Roman Church of Wittenberg, Germany, starting the Protestant Reformation. Then Protestantism was divided into hundreds of Churches holding different doctrines.

Finally, in the 1990s, the two Orthodox families, the Chalcedonian Churches, including the Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, Serbian, etc., and the Non-Chalcedonian Churches, including the Coptic, Syrian, Armenian, Ethiopian, etc., came to an agreement of one faith that the Lord is perfect in His divinity as well as in His humanity, and the unity between both natures is real.

By the great effort of His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, the recent Coptic Pope, and his fellow Orthodox Patriarchs, this agreement was achieved and the unity of Orthodoxy was accomplished, but it has yet to be formally recognized by the Holy Synods of both families of churches.

Introduction to the Coptic Orthodox Church

Four historic Patriarchal centers – Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, and Rome – were established in the first century, and Constantinople in the fourth; yet all these five centers formed a cohesive whole of the Christian Church and were in full communion with each other.

There were heretical or schismatic groups going their own way, but the Church, through ecumenical councils, could keep her unity and settle the orthodox faith. The first Council was held in 325 A.D. at Nicea when representative bishops of all Christians, traditionally numbering 318, assembled to discuss the heresy of Arius who taught against the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Nicene Council condemned Arianism and gave Christianity a creed which has survived to this day. Behind the Nicene triumph stood St. Athanasius the Great, the twentieth Coptic Pope of Alexandria, Egypt (died 373 A.D.), who, still a young deacon, came to the Council with his old patriarch, Alexander. The final victory of orthodoxy was achieved at the second ecumenical Council of Constantinople in 381 A.D., when 150 bishops condemned another heresy. Macedonius claimed that the Holy Spirit is not the eternal Spirit of God but a created one. The council completed the Nicene Creed asserting that the Holy Spirit is the Lifegiving Lord Who proceeds from the Father. The following century saw St. Cyril the Great of Alexandria (died 444), who presided in 431 the Council of Ephesus where 200 bishops condemned Nestorius, the formidable Patriarch of Constantinople, who rejected the term Theotokos, the Mother of God, in regard to the Holy Virgin St. Mary.

This idea led to the inference of the dual nature of the Lord Jesus; His divinity and His humanity. This dualism was decreed in the Council of Chalcedon in 451 A.D., in spite of the objection of the Coptic Pope Dioscorus. Thence, the Church was divided into two groups: Rome and Constantinople, who accepted the doctrine of two united natures, on one side, and Alexandria and Antioch who held the belief of one nature out of two natures of the Incarnate Lord. In 589 A.D., in the synod of Toledo, Spain, the filioque, a doctrine claims that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, was added to the Nicaeo-Constantinopolitan Creed. This error was later adopted by Rome. The addition of the filioque clause, and the issue of Rome’s claim to a universal (Catholic) papal supremacy, caused a schism between Rome (surnamed the Roman Catholic Church) and Constantinople (surnamed the Greek Orthodox Church). Another schism took place in 1517 A.D. when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Roman Church of Wittenberg, Germany, starting the Protestant Reformation. Then Protestantism was divided into hundreds of Churches holding different doctrines.

Finally, in the 1990s, the two Orthodox families, the Chalcedonian Churches, including the Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, Serbian, etc., and the Non-Chalcedonian Churches, including the Coptic, Syrian, Armenian, Ethiopian, etc., came to an agreement of one faith that the Lord is perfect in His divinity as well as in His humanity, and the unity between both natures is real.

By the great effort of His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, the recent Coptic Pope, and his fellow Orthodox Patriarchs, this agreement was achieved and the unity of Orthodoxy was accomplished, but it has yet to be formally recognized by the Holy Synods of both families of churches.

History of the Coptic Orthodox Church

Four historic Patriarchal centers – Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, and Rome – were established in the first century, and Constantinople in the fourth; yet all these five centers formed a cohesive whole of the Christian Church and were in full communion with each other.

There were heretical or schismatic groups going their own way, but the Church, through ecumenical councils, could keep her unity and settle the orthodox faith. The first Council was held in 325 A.D. at Nicea when representative bishops of all Christians, traditionally numbering 318, assembled to discuss the heresy of Arius who taught against the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Nicene Council condemned Arianism and gave Christianity a creed which has survived to this day. Behind the Nicene triumph stood St. Athanasius the Great, the twentieth Coptic Pope of Alexandria, Egypt (died 373 A.D.), who, still a young deacon, came to the Council with his old patriarch, Alexander. The final victory of orthodoxy was achieved at the second ecumenical Council of Constantinople in 381 A.D., when 150 bishops condemned another heresy. Macedonius claimed that the Holy Spirit is not the eternal Spirit of God but a created one. The council completed the Nicene Creed asserting that the Holy Spirit is the Lifegiving Lord Who proceeds from the Father. The following century saw St. Cyril the Great of Alexandria (died 444), who presided in 431 the Council of Ephesus where 200 bishops condemned Nestorius, the formidable Patriarch of Constantinople, who rejected the term Theotokos, the Mother of God, in regard to the Holy Virgin St. Mary.

This idea led to the inference of the dual nature of the Lord Jesus; His divinity and His humanity. This dualism was decreed in the Council of Chalcedon in 451 A.D., in spite of the objection of the Coptic Pope Dioscorus. Thence, the Church was divided into two groups: Rome and Constantinople, who accepted the doctrine of two united natures, on one side, and Alexandria and Antioch who held the belief of one nature out of two natures of the Incarnate Lord. In 589 A.D., in the synod of Toledo, Spain, the filioque, a doctrine claims that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, was added to the Nicaeo-Constantinopolitan Creed. This error was later adopted by Rome. The addition of the filioque clause, and the issue of Rome’s claim to a universal (Catholic) papal supremacy, caused a schism between Rome (surnamed the Roman Catholic Church) and Constantinople (surnamed the Greek Orthodox Church). Another schism took place in 1517 A.D. when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Roman Church of Wittenberg, Germany, starting the Protestant Reformation. Then Protestantism was divided into hundreds of Churches holding different doctrines.

Finally, in the 1990s, the two Orthodox families, the Chalcedonian Churches, including the Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, Serbian, etc., and the Non-Chalcedonian Churches, including the Coptic, Syrian, Armenian, Ethiopian, etc., came to an agreement of one faith that the Lord is perfect in His divinity as well as in His humanity, and the unity between both natures is real.

By the great effort of His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, the recent Coptic Pope, and his fellow Orthodox Patriarchs, this agreement was achieved and the unity of Orthodoxy was accomplished, but it has yet to be formally recognized by the Holy Synods of both families of churches.

Liturgies of the Coptic Orthodox Church

Four historic Patriarchal centers – Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, and Rome – were established in the first century, and Constantinople in the fourth; yet all these five centers formed a cohesive whole of the Christian Church and were in full communion with each other.

There were heretical or schismatic groups going their own way, but the Church, through ecumenical councils, could keep her unity and settle the orthodox faith. The first Council was held in 325 A.D. at Nicea when representative bishops of all Christians, traditionally numbering 318, assembled to discuss the heresy of Arius who taught against the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Nicene Council condemned Arianism and gave Christianity a creed which has survived to this day. Behind the Nicene triumph stood St. Athanasius the Great, the twentieth Coptic Pope of Alexandria, Egypt (died 373 A.D.), who, still a young deacon, came to the Council with his old patriarch, Alexander. The final victory of orthodoxy was achieved at the second ecumenical Council of Constantinople in 381 A.D., when 150 bishops condemned another heresy. Macedonius claimed that the Holy Spirit is not the eternal Spirit of God but a created one. The council completed the Nicene Creed asserting that the Holy Spirit is the Lifegiving Lord Who proceeds from the Father. The following century saw St. Cyril the Great of Alexandria (died 444), who presided in 431 the Council of Ephesus where 200 bishops condemned Nestorius, the formidable Patriarch of Constantinople, who rejected the term Theotokos, the Mother of God, in regard to the Holy Virgin St. Mary.

This idea led to the inference of the dual nature of the Lord Jesus; His divinity and His humanity. This dualism was decreed in the Council of Chalcedon in 451 A.D., in spite of the objection of the Coptic Pope Dioscorus. Thence, the Church was divided into two groups: Rome and Constantinople, who accepted the doctrine of two united natures, on one side, and Alexandria and Antioch who held the belief of one nature out of two natures of the Incarnate Lord. In 589 A.D., in the synod of Toledo, Spain, the filioque, a doctrine claims that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, was added to the Nicaeo-Constantinopolitan Creed. This error was later adopted by Rome. The addition of the filioque clause, and the issue of Rome’s claim to a universal (Catholic) papal supremacy, caused a schism between Rome (surnamed the Roman Catholic Church) and Constantinople (surnamed the Greek Orthodox Church). Another schism took place in 1517 A.D. when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Roman Church of Wittenberg, Germany, starting the Protestant Reformation. Then Protestantism was divided into hundreds of Churches holding different doctrines.

Finally, in the 1990s, the two Orthodox families, the Chalcedonian Churches, including the Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, Serbian, etc., and the Non-Chalcedonian Churches, including the Coptic, Syrian, Armenian, Ethiopian, etc., came to an agreement of one faith that the Lord is perfect in His divinity as well as in His humanity, and the unity between both natures is real.

By the great effort of His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, the recent Coptic Pope, and his fellow Orthodox Patriarchs, this agreement was achieved and the unity of Orthodoxy was accomplished, but it has yet to be formally recognized by the Holy Synods of both families of churches.

The Feasts of the Church

Four historic Patriarchal centers – Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, and Rome – were established in the first century, and Constantinople in the fourth; yet all these five centers formed a cohesive whole of the Christian Church and were in full communion with each other.

There were heretical or schismatic groups going their own way, but the Church, through ecumenical councils, could keep her unity and settle the orthodox faith. The first Council was held in 325 A.D. at Nicea when representative bishops of all Christians, traditionally numbering 318, assembled to discuss the heresy of Arius who taught against the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Nicene Council condemned Arianism and gave Christianity a creed which has survived to this day. Behind the Nicene triumph stood St. Athanasius the Great, the twentieth Coptic Pope of Alexandria, Egypt (died 373 A.D.), who, still a young deacon, came to the Council with his old patriarch, Alexander. The final victory of orthodoxy was achieved at the second ecumenical Council of Constantinople in 381 A.D., when 150 bishops condemned another heresy. Macedonius claimed that the Holy Spirit is not the eternal Spirit of God but a created one. The council completed the Nicene Creed asserting that the Holy Spirit is the Lifegiving Lord Who proceeds from the Father. The following century saw St. Cyril the Great of Alexandria (died 444), who presided in 431 the Council of Ephesus where 200 bishops condemned Nestorius, the formidable Patriarch of Constantinople, who rejected the term Theotokos, the Mother of God, in regard to the Holy Virgin St. Mary.

This idea led to the inference of the dual nature of the Lord Jesus; His divinity and His humanity. This dualism was decreed in the Council of Chalcedon in 451 A.D., in spite of the objection of the Coptic Pope Dioscorus. Thence, the Church was divided into two groups: Rome and Constantinople, who accepted the doctrine of two united natures, on one side, and Alexandria and Antioch who held the belief of one nature out of two natures of the Incarnate Lord. In 589 A.D., in the synod of Toledo, Spain, the filioque, a doctrine claims that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, was added to the Nicaeo-Constantinopolitan Creed. This error was later adopted by Rome. The addition of the filioque clause, and the issue of Rome’s claim to a universal (Catholic) papal supremacy, caused a schism between Rome (surnamed the Roman Catholic Church) and Constantinople (surnamed the Greek Orthodox Church). Another schism took place in 1517 A.D. when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Roman Church of Wittenberg, Germany, starting the Protestant Reformation. Then Protestantism was divided into hundreds of Churches holding different doctrines.

Finally, in the 1990s, the two Orthodox families, the Chalcedonian Churches, including the Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, Serbian, etc., and the Non-Chalcedonian Churches, including the Coptic, Syrian, Armenian, Ethiopian, etc., came to an agreement of one faith that the Lord is perfect in His divinity as well as in His humanity, and the unity between both natures is real.

By the great effort of His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, the recent Coptic Pope, and his fellow Orthodox Patriarchs, this agreement was achieved and the unity of Orthodoxy was accomplished, but it has yet to be formally recognized by the Holy Synods of both families of churches.

An Introduction to Coptic Music

Four historic Patriarchal centers – Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, and Rome – were established in the first century, and Constantinople in the fourth; yet all these five centers formed a cohesive whole of the Christian Church and were in full communion with each other.

There were heretical or schismatic groups going their own way, but the Church, through ecumenical councils, could keep her unity and settle the orthodox faith. The first Council was held in 325 A.D. at Nicea when representative bishops of all Christians, traditionally numbering 318, assembled to discuss the heresy of Arius who taught against the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Nicene Council condemned Arianism and gave Christianity a creed which has survived to this day. Behind the Nicene triumph stood St. Athanasius the Great, the twentieth Coptic Pope of Alexandria, Egypt (died 373 A.D.), who, still a young deacon, came to the Council with his old patriarch, Alexander. The final victory of orthodoxy was achieved at the second ecumenical Council of Constantinople in 381 A.D., when 150 bishops condemned another heresy. Macedonius claimed that the Holy Spirit is not the eternal Spirit of God but a created one. The council completed the Nicene Creed asserting that the Holy Spirit is the Lifegiving Lord Who proceeds from the Father. The following century saw St. Cyril the Great of Alexandria (died 444), who presided in 431 the Council of Ephesus where 200 bishops condemned Nestorius, the formidable Patriarch of Constantinople, who rejected the term Theotokos, the Mother of God, in regard to the Holy Virgin St. Mary.

This idea led to the inference of the dual nature of the Lord Jesus; His divinity and His humanity. This dualism was decreed in the Council of Chalcedon in 451 A.D., in spite of the objection of the Coptic Pope Dioscorus. Thence, the Church was divided into two groups: Rome and Constantinople, who accepted the doctrine of two united natures, on one side, and Alexandria and Antioch who held the belief of one nature out of two natures of the Incarnate Lord. In 589 A.D., in the synod of Toledo, Spain, the filioque, a doctrine claims that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, was added to the Nicaeo-Constantinopolitan Creed. This error was later adopted by Rome. The addition of the filioque clause, and the issue of Rome’s claim to a universal (Catholic) papal supremacy, caused a schism between Rome (surnamed the Roman Catholic Church) and Constantinople (surnamed the Greek Orthodox Church). Another schism took place in 1517 A.D. when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Roman Church of Wittenberg, Germany, starting the Protestant Reformation. Then Protestantism was divided into hundreds of Churches holding different doctrines.

Finally, in the 1990s, the two Orthodox families, the Chalcedonian Churches, including the Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, Serbian, etc., and the Non-Chalcedonian Churches, including the Coptic, Syrian, Armenian, Ethiopian, etc., came to an agreement of one faith that the Lord is perfect in His divinity as well as in His humanity, and the unity between both natures is real.

By the great effort of His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, the recent Coptic Pope, and his fellow Orthodox Patriarchs, this agreement was achieved and the unity of Orthodoxy was accomplished, but it has yet to be formally recognized by the Holy Synods of both families of churches.

Who We Are

Pope of Alexandria

Pope Tawadros II (Coptic: Ⲡⲁⲡⲁ Ⲁⲃⲃⲁ Ⲑⲉόⲇⲱⲣⲟⲥ Arabic: ‏البابا تواضروس الثاني‎) (born November 4, 1952) is the 118th Coptic Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark since he took office on 18 November 2012, a fortnight after being selected.

Pope Tawadros II was born Waǧīh Ṣubḥī Bāqī Sulaymān (وجيه صبحى باقى سليمان) on 4 November 1952 in the city of Mansoura in Egypt. He studied at the University of Alexandria, where he received a degree in pharmacy in 1975. After a few years of managing a state-owned pharmaceutical factory, he joined the Monastery of Saint Pishoy in Wadi Natrun and was ordained priest in 1989.

On 15 June 1997, he was consecrated as a general bishop by his predecessor, Pope Shenouda III, with the Greek name of Theodoros, which translates to Tawadros in Coptic or Theodore in English. Arabic spelling: تاوضروس. He was assigned to serve in the Eparchy of Behira in the northwestern Delta.

Pope Tawadros II

Pope Tawadros II

Pope of Alexandria

His Eminence Metropolitan Serapion

His Eminence Metropolitan Serapion

Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Los Angeles, and the first Metropolitan in North America

He was ordained as a priest on July 18th, 1981 at El-Sourian Monastery. H.H. Pope Shenouda III then sent him to serve the Coptic community in Switzerland December 1983 to June 1985. On June 2, 1985, he was ordained as a bishop for the Bishopric of Public, Ecumenical, and Social Services at St. Mark Cathedral in Cairo.

Ten years later, on November 14th, 1995, His Eminence was called to be the Bishop of the Diocese of Los Angeles and Southern California, and was later enthroned as the Bishop of the Diocese of Los Angeles on December 23, 1995 at Holy Virgin Mary Church in Los Angeles.

He is on the Governing Board of the National Council of Churches of Christ and the Steering Committee of Christian Churches Together in the USA. For many years he served on the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches and the Life and Service Committee of the Middle East Council of Churches, and as Vice President of the All Africa Conference of Churches.

On Sunday, February 28, 2016, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II elevated Bishop Serapion to the episcopal dignity of Metropolitan. His official title is Bishop of Los Angeles and Metropolitan of Southern California and Hawaii.

F.A.Q.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are non-Orthodox vis­i­tors welcome?

Yes, absolutely. We are a com­mu­nity made up of both cradle-born Ortho­dox Chris­tians and those who have con­verted to the faith. We are very com­fort­able with new­com­ers, inquir­ers, and vis­i­tors. Any­one who wishes to dis­cover ancient Cop­tic Ortho­dox Chris­tian­ity is welcome. If you have ques­tions, the parish priest will be happy to answer them. So don’t be afraid to ask ques­tions about what we do and why.

When you enter a church, some­one will greet you and direct you to a place to sit. We have books of our Divine Liturgy in Eng­lish, Cop­tic, and Ara­bic to every­one. In addi­tion, we have a large Pow­er­point pre­sen­ta­tion that updates con­tin­u­ously dur­ing the Liturgy with the prayers. You may fol­low the ser­vice text, or, if you pre­fer, sim­ply close your eyes and enter into the Church’s beau­ti­ful wor­ship of God.

Fol­low­ing the Sun­day Divine Liturgy, you are invited to join us for a “cof­fee hour” which is a good time to get to know our parish mem­bers and meet our priests

How long are the services?

On Sat­ur­day evenings, the Evening Rais­ing of Incense ser­vice (Ves­pers) is gen­er­ally 30–45 min­utes in length, includ­ing a short homily in Ara­bic or Eng­lish. On Sun­day morn­ings, a sim­i­lar ser­vice is cel­e­brated before the Divine Liturgy. After­wards, the Divine Liturgy is approx­i­mately 3 hours in length with an Eng­lish homily at approx­i­mately 9:30 a.m. and the Dis­tri­b­u­tion of the Mys­tery of the Eucharist from 11:00–11:30 a.m. We under­stand this may seem like a very long ser­vice, but we know that when you have par­tic­i­pated in an Ortho­dox ser­vice you will feel like you have truly wor­shipped the liv­ing God.

Is child­care provided?

Each par­ent is respon­si­ble to take care of their child. We encour­age chil­dren to be present in Church for the ser­vices. This par­tic­i­pa­tion is part of a child’s spir­i­tual for­ma­tion. How­ever, if your baby or child gets fussy, talk­a­tive, or has a melt-down, please take him or her out of the nave until he or she is ready to return quietly.

Light­ing candles?

Light­ing can­dles is an impor­tant part of Ortho­dox wor­ship and piety. We light can­dles as we pray, mak­ing an offer­ing to accom­pany our prayers. Ortho­dox typ­i­cally light can­dles when com­ing into the church, but there are times when can­dles should not be lit. Can­dles should not be lit dur­ing the Epis­tle or Gospel read­ings, and dur­ing the ser­mon. You do not have to be an Ortho­dox Chris­t­ian to light a can­dle and pray!

What are Ortho­dox wor­ship hymns like?

Between 65–75% of the tra­di­tional Cop­tic Liturgy involves con­gre­ga­tional singing. Cop­tic Chris­tians do not use musi­cal instru­ments with the excep­tion of the cym­bals and tri­an­gle, which are used sim­ply to keep musi­cal time. A choir of dea­cons leads the con­gre­ga­tion in har­mo­nious chant, usu­ally in Cop­tic, Eng­lish, and Arabic. Our hymns are solemn, prayer­ful and intended to lead the faith­ful to wor­ship the liv­ing God.

New vis­i­tors will find there are many new things to expe­ri­ence in a Cop­tic Ortho­dox Church ser­vice. Feel free to go at your own pace, ask any ques­tions you want, and know you are most wel­come to “come and see.”

Is there a dress code?

The gen­eral rule for men and women is to dress appro­pri­ately, mod­estly and respect­fully, as before the liv­ing God. We ask that you not wear shorts, mini-skirts, tank tops, low-cut or strap­less dresses (unless cov­ered by a sweater, etc.).

Is Sun­day school for chil­dren available?

On Sun­days, we pro­vide Sun­day school in small groups for chil­dren in grades K through twelve. Sun­day school begins after the chil­dren have received the Mys­tery and lasts for 30 minutes.

Stand­ing or sitting?

The tra­di­tional pos­ture for prayer and wor­ship in the Ortho­dox Church is to stand, as before the King of the uni­verse! In many churches in Egypt, there are typ­i­cally no pews in the churches. Chairs or benches on the side walls are usu­ally reserved for the elderly and infirm. In Amer­ica, we build our churches with pews or chairs, so you may sit. How­ever, it is appro­pri­ate to stand dur­ing the Gospel read­ing, the Anaphora through the Insti­tu­tion Nar­ra­tive, the dis­tri­b­u­tion of the Holy Mys­tery, when the priest gives a bless­ing, and at the Dismissal.

Can non-Orthodox receive the Holy Eucharist?

Ortho­dox priests may only serve the Holy Eucharist to bap­tized mem­bers in good stand­ing of the canon­i­cal Ortho­dox Church, who have recently con­fessed, and fasted before par­tak­ing of the Holy Eucharist. This is the ancient tra­di­tion of the Holy Church for the 2,000 years of its his­tory. The Ortho­dox Church under­stands the Holy Eucharist as a mys­tery of the real pres­ence of Christ in the Eucharist, not sim­ply as a memo­r­ial, or merely in a spir­i­tual sense, as many other non-Orthodox Chris­tians do. Rather than try­ing to accom­mo­date to often vary­ing “inter­pre­ta­tions” or revi­sions of this and other doc­trines of the ancient faith, we sim­ply ask that you respect the ancient, apos­tolic tra­di­tion and join us in receiv­ing the Eulo­gia (blessed bread), at the end of the Divine Liturgy.

Our Mission

St. Mina Coptic Orthodox Church strives to fulfill the biblical verse, “whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus”, Colossians 1:28. In doing so, our mission is to perfect our congregation physically through sports ministry, emotionally through counseling and community support, mentally through providing biblical education, and spiritually through preaching Orthodoxy and church dogma. All of these ministries work together to fulfill the ultimate goal of bringing every person close to Christ Jesus.
Support our Mission

St. Mina Coptic Orthodox Chruch

22700 St. Mina Ct, Colton, CA 92324

sminacoc@gmail.com

(909) 422-1085

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