Bishop’s Recent Visit to Port Said

Great Encouragement; Great Growth

Every time I visit port Said, I receive a lot of encouragement, and every time I visit the Church of the Epiphany, I see growth happening in the church.

On this most recent visit, I was able to confirm 15 new members, all of whom have grown up in the church since childhood. This means that, while many people are joining the church (for example, from other denominations), new generations are also growing up from within the church and finding their place in the church family! The church is also actively engaged in the community (rather than being isolated), with many outreach events and opportunities for the local people to feel welcome. 

The Church of the Epiphany in Port Said tends to be more charismatic, and at the same time they keep the Anglican way in regard to liturgy, especially on Sundays. They have a Wednesday meeting for healing prayer every week and people from different churches, different places in Port Said, and even Muslims, come to this meeting for the healing prayer. 

Summer Youth Ministries

The other thing which was very impressive is that during the summer months of July, August, and September, the church decided to do something in order to invest in the young people (11-16 yrs. old).   The church established three “summer schools” to encourage and develop their young people in a variety of ways: 

  1. A school of music: The church hired a music teacher to teach the young people, about 17 in total and mostly girls. These students were able to buy their own simple keyboards and, during my visit, played three songs for us! 

  2. A school of praise and singing: The students learned to play instruments, sing, and lead worship! The leader of this school, Hany, is a young adult who leads worship in the church and is an experienced praise leader and teacher.

  3. A school of sports: This sports program sought to encourage the youth to use their physical gifts! The church rented a football pitch and went twice a week during the summer break to teach them skills and to scrimmage one another. They did not ignore the spiritual, however, and they had a small tent there for prayers and for Christian education during the breaks. Many of the teens were so excited about football, and they played many matches. Some of them now are part of the Port Said Sporting Club, not just the church. This is another way the Church of the Epiphany is engaging with the society, rather than being isolated from the society.

Discipleship Training

Another thing that impressed me is the discipleship training happening in Port Said! This year, there are 2 women leading 2 discipleship classes; they started 2 classes because there were too many for just one class and they wanted to divide them in order to provide better training.

Focus on the Families

While in Port Said I attended the 8th anniversary of the Family Meeting. This is a weekly meeting specially organized to support families, and they now they have 55 families attending regularly! I was impressed because husbands and wives come to this together, weekly, to have spiritual encouragement and fellowship with one another. As a result of these weekly meetings, the church itself is like a big family. The Church of the Epiphany is full of wonderful, Godly relationships and I could see love binding them in perfect harmony and in perfect unity. 

A Healthy Church

The Church of the Epiphany is not only growing but is very healthy spiritually and ministerially. I noticed that Canon Hany (the priest in charge) has been very successful in forming a team of ministers, each who carries a responsibility and who plays a role. He does not do everything by himself, but delegates to and encourages his team! The other thing (and this was a very obvious thing to me) is that the church council is very supportive of Canon Hany and very encouraging. This is not always the case in churches and is such an important factor in the spiritual health of a church.  A lot depends on the council.  The Church of the Epiphany is also financially self-supporting which is a very healthy sign!

130 Years of Experiencing God’s Faithfulness

Next year, the church will celebrate its 130-year anniversary! We talked about making a celebration of thanksgiving on this occasion. 

Hands clasped over a bookRequest for Prayer

As the church grows, it is struggling with space! They are currently using both the church and the hall, and they still have the dream to raze the vicarage and build a multi-story building that can accommodate all the activities of the church. Please pray that the Lord would provide guidance in this matter and funds to see this dream become a reality.