When Chanters Don’t Chant: How We’ve Lost Sight of the Meaning of “Deaconship” in the Coptic Church

WhenChantersDon'tChantUpdate 6/1:

Looks like the Holy Synod may actually address the matter of chanter ordinations, if I’m reading the following correctly:

From copticworld.org article regarding the May 2015 Holy Synod meeting: “Committee of Pastoral Care and Service: 1- Review the regulations of chanters and celibate consecration for a vote next November.”

https://www.copticworld.org/articles/4745/

Original post:

“I am not a deacon!” That is what I asked a room full of “deacons” to say during a meeting that included the entire gamut of “deacons” from my parish, young and old alike.

“Repeat after me. I am not a deacon!” I exclaimed. Many participated, but there were a few who had an eyebrow raised while responding, and some who did not want to utter a word (and after the meeting, some expressed that they were actually quite offended).

I walked up to the young kids, pointed to one of them and asked, “I am not a deacon, but I am a ???”

Someone blurted out: “Chanter!”

“Yes, that’s right,” I said. Then I pointed to someone older, and asked, “I am not a deacon, but I am a ???”

Understanding better the point of my question, he excitedly responded, “Reader!”

Why all of this? Because the truth is, there is a systemic issue in the Coptic Church that has skewed the meaning of “deaconship,” and I earnestly pray for improvement. But first, we need to see the problem.
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5 Lessons on Obedience You May Have Missed In the Book of Joshua

Joshua-Obedience-Cover-forBlog

As I was preparing to speak to the Adult Sunday school group at my church on the subject of obedience as it can be found in the Book of Joshua, I feared this would be a difficult task. When I think of the Book of Joshua, I think of the Israelites going into Canaan and taking over the place and all its inhabitants, and then dividing their new promised land (present day Israel) among all the tribes. That’s what this book is about in a nutshell, so where will I find stuff about obedience? In the few chapters (5–7) assigned to me to speak about, I was surprised to find at least 5 ways we can extrapolate practical lessons on obedience. Continue reading