Participating in the Life of One Another’s Churches: The Ordination of a SCOOCH Delegate to the Holy Diaconate

Medford, NJ – At a recent meeting of the Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches, H.G. Bishop David of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of New York & New England remarked that our unity as Oriental Orthodox Christians should manifest itself in our daily lives and not exclusively at annual concelebrations of the Divine Liturgy and other related events.  His Grace suggested that the hierarchs and their priests should begin inviting one another to participate in parish feast days, weddings, the ordination of clergy, and other special celebrations, as well as simply to offer homilies in one another’s churches.

His Grace’s vision recently came to fruition with the consecration of his own Ecumenical Officer to the Holy Diaconate.  By the grace of God, and at the hands of Their Graces Bishop David, Bishop Makarios, and Bishop Karas, and in the presence of clergy members representing the Coptic, Eritrean, Ethiopian, and Armenian Churches, Reader Nicholas Siniari, Ecumenical Officer of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of New York & New England, was elevated to the rank of Deacon with the name of Gebre-Kristos Nicholas on April 29th, 2017 at St Anthony Coptic Orthodox Church in Medford, NJ.

In addition to his duties as Ecumenical Officer of the Diocese of New York & New England, and with the Secretariat of the Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches, Deacon Gebre-Kristos Nicholas will continue in a cross-jurisdictional service he has been a part of for the past several years, working with the youth and young adults of the canonical Eritrean Orthodox Diocese of North America.

The Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches congratulates Dn. Gebre-Kristos Nicholas, and also prays that events such as his ordination – which bring together the hierarchs and clergy of our various jurisdictions – become more commonplace as time goes on and we truly begin to live out our unity at every level of the Church in this country.  At SCOOCH’s most recent meeting – on April 21, 2017 – a special subcommittee was formed to work towards the implementation of that goal, through God’s grace.