St. George’s, Bermuda – Despite being a small country with a total area of roughly 20.6 square miles and a population of approximately 71,000 people, Bermuda is blessed with two longstanding Oriental Orthodox traditions: Ethiopian and Coptic. On Wednesday, June 5, 2019, the recently elected president of the Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches (SCOOCH), His Grace Anba David, Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of New York & New England and Patriarchal Exarch of the Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America, made a pastoral visit to the faithful of St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Church in Pembroke, Bermuda. While on the island, His Grace ordained a subdeacon and a reader for the community and also met with H.E. Abune Thaddaeus, Archbishop of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church Archdiocese of the Caribbean and Latin America. His Eminence Abune Thaddaeus hosted His Grace Anba David and his clergy for a vespers service at Debre Genet Immanuel Ethiopian Orthodox Cathedral in the appropriately venerable venue of St. George’s, the island’s old capital. After the prayers, the two bishops led their respective delegations in a discussion concerning the state of the Orthodox Church in Bermuda. A truly historic occasion, it was the first time that two Oriental Orthodox bishops had met and prayed together in Bermuda.
As the Holy Spirit would have it, on the previous evening, the flights of the two hierarchs (originally scheduled to arrive more than an hour apart) happened to come in at the same time and the bishops were greeted by their respective flocks together at Bermuda’s L.F. Wade International Airport. A spirit of love and unity was evident throughout the visit, and the bishops announced plans to make more joint visits in the future. May God bring their vision to fruition for the sake of His Orthodox flock in Bermuda and all of the island’s people.