News from the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo
news update from the Presbyterian seminary in Egypt
The Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Egypt is observing the Lenten Season in unity with our Coptic Orthodox Sisters and Brothers in our country. Our Western partners have entered the season following the celebration of the Resurrection of our Savior. We have witnessed significant signs of unity among the Christians including the presence of Pope Tawadros and five Coptic Orthodox Bishops at the investiture of the new Catholic Bishop on March 12. “At a time when Egyptian Christians are extremely discouraged by the fundamentalist Muslim leadership of the nation and feel marginalized and threatened, it was wonderful for two of the key leaders of the Egyptian Church to express their solidarity for one another and share a common vision for effective witness and the co-existence of all in Egypt.” (Egyptian Bible Society) The outbreak of violence at St. Mark’s Cathedral this past Sunday continues to draw Christians together alongside moderate Muslim voices.
Last week we celebrated the dedication of the Center for Middle Eastern Christianity on the campus of ETSC. This very special occasion provided another opportunity for Egyptian Christians to strengthen their common bonds. The vision that was cast by Dr. Atef Gendy and Dr. Kenneth Bailey in 2005 culminated in opening our beautifully designed space on the third floor of the original Cairo campus building. A growing library of books and documents will encourage serious study of the earliest centuries and growth of Christianity in our context. It is the mission of the CMEC to encourage Christians of the Middle East to appreciate their Christian history, heritage and tradition. Dr. Bailey, Dr. Samir Khalil, and Dr. Mark Swanson were the first three scholars to join in our celebration. We invite your prayers for the future impact of CMEC.
The first neighbors in the high rise office building next door are moving in to their spaces. Our proposed space on the second floor is the next strategic step forward toward increasing our capacity for
- continuing Education for pastors
- consolidating cooperation for Distance Learning with other Middle Eastern Seminaries
- establishing a Center for Strategic Studies to provide critical information for wise decisions regarding future opportunities to spread the Gospel in Egypt.
The adjacent location provides safety and convenience as well as the assurance that outright ownership will enable us to move forward in these uncertain times.
Every gift toward the purchase phase of the second floor of the building adjacent to the ETSC Campus brings us closer to our
$683, 456 (USD) purchase price. We thank God for generous gifts and pledges we received from our friends and partner organizations inside and outside Egypt. Seventy five percent of the total price is already secured. In addition, we received an incentive pledge of $30,000 which will be ours if we receive all of the pledges needed by August 1. Please pray that God will touch the hearts of our generous supporters for the remaining $137,511 we seek in gifts and pledges in the next four months. When all of the pledges are paid and gifts-yet-to-come are added to this $30,000 incentive pledge, the final installment to purchase the entire second floor will be covered.
We will celebrate Easter on May 5. Other Christians will remember the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost on May 19. Together we rejoice in our common bond in the Resurrected Christ and the Holy Spirit as we look for signs of new growth in our Christian communities.