History of our Ministry
The seeds for mission work have long been sown in our Coptic Orthodox community in Chicago. With yearly mission trips to Africa and to Mexico, we started to ask the simple question, what about Chicago, our home town.
Well, God had His way of answering that question.
On August 12, 2011, a group of young adults and senior servants made a trip to St Maurice and St. Verena (SMSV) missionary church and its younger sibling St Moses and St Katherine (SMSK) missionary church in Toronto Canada. There we were deeply touched by the spirit of love and hospitality that was shown to us and that reflected what SMSV stood for “love, integration, and outreach”. We came back with so much enthusiasm and shared our experience with our friends in Chicago. The month of September brought the first fruits of that trip. The Sandwich Run service was started and got much interest from many young adults who wanted to offer something small to our homeless brethren in a personal way. With the recognition that for us, as Orthodox Christians, worship is the nucleus of all other activities and ministries and it is what unites us together in the body of Christ, we were so eager to start liturgies dedicated to outreach. We consulted with our local Coptic clergymen in the Chicagoland, who all gave their blessings for this initiative and were very generous with their support. As the word spread we started meeting to pray about and discuss the idea of a mission church in Chicago, and soon enough we started drafting the vision statement.
November 27th 2011, is considered a pivotal day in the history of St Paul Coptic Orthodox Mission Church of Chicago. A group of us met with His Holiness Pope Shenouda III in Cleveland OH to present the idea of starting a Coptic Orthodox Mission Church in the City of Chicago dedicated for outreach, evangelism and mission work. From the moment His Holiness gave us his full approval to start the work of establishing the mission church, enthusiasm had just pervaded the group and everyone was offering their time, effort and skills to start making this a reality. And that has been the story since, that God’s hand was with us and was moving the right people at the right time to build another block in this blessed Church.
What happens next? Well, God is writing the script for that part, and we invite you to come and see it happening in action, and more so to come and play your role.