Holmdel, NJ – The Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Youth Associations (SCOOYA) – in partnership with the Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America and St. Mina Coptic Orthodox Church – sponsored the visit of the renowned scholar and missionary priest Fr. Peter Farrington – of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK – to the Northeastern United States from June 20 to June 26. During his week long visit, Fr. Peter addressed Coptic Orthodox youth groups, met with local clergy, and prayed both the Divine Liturgy and vespers services at Coptic Orthodox parishes in both the Diocese of New York & New England and the Archdiocese of North America.
The culmination of his visit was the two part talk he delivered on Saturday, June 24 at the Sixth Annual SCOOYA Conference hosted by His Grace Bishop Karas – General Bishop and Patriarchal Exarch of the Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America – at St. Mina Coptic Orthodox Church in Holmdel, NJ. Fr. Peter’s topic was Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth: Using Our Orthodox Faith to Discern Truth in a Heterodox Society. The first part of the lecture dealt with theological principles for responding to ideas and practices which contradict our Orthodox Faith, while the second was a historical analysis of how the Coptic Orthodox Church of the last century – and in particular H.H. Pope Demetrios II of Thrice-Blessed Memory – put these principles into practice when meeting the challenges presented by a variety of Protestant missions attempting to lead the Coptic faithful out of Orthodoxy and into error.
During the course of the day, the attendees of the conference were treated to delicious Egyptian cuisine, lovingly prepared by the generous kitchen staff of the hosting parish, perused St. Mina’s well-stocked bookstore, and enjoyed ample time for fellowship and small-group discussion with the local Oriental Orthodox clergy and with one another. The youth also took full advantage of the opportunity to query Fr. Peter and a panel of clergy from the local Oriental Orthodox jurisdictions on a variety of topics, ranging from the unfortunate penetration of heterodox materials and music into the life of the Oriental Orthodox Church, to how the Church should address the issues of cross-cultural and inter-faith marriages, to the prospect of unity with the Eastern Orthodox Church and other Christian jurisdictions. At the end of the day, the conference attendees joined the faithful of St. Mina’s for vespers before leaving for home.
Fr. Peter Farrington serves with H.G. Bishop Anagelos and H.G. Bishop Misael in the United Kingdom and teaches Dogmatics at the St. Athanasius & St. Cyril Theological Seminary in the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Los Angeles & Hawaii under the supervision of H.E. Metropolitan Serapion and H.G. Bishop Kyrillos. He has authored several books, including Orthodox Christology, Spiritual Life: 300 Chapters, and The Orthodox Christology of St. Severus of Antioch.
A video of Fr. Peter’s address to the youth of St. Mina’s Coptic Orthodox Church on the subject of his journey from Evangelical Christianity to the Coptic Orthodox priesthood on the night before the SCOOYA Conference can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=EUwegz32Ft4 or below
Please watch scooch.org and https://www.facebook.com/
officialSCOOCH for a soon to be posted video of Fr. Peter’s address on the day of the Conference itself and an accompanying photo gallery, as well as the announcements of our upcoming events, including concelebrations of the Holy Liturgy in the Greater New York area, the Greater Philadelphia area, and the Midwest.