Church of the week: St. Mary & St. George, Tally, FL

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"Spring Break" is the long awaited and practically sacred time in the life of a student. This year a group of young Coptic people, like you...chose to give a part of it away. The group from Tallahassee flew all the way to New York and chose to spend their time washing the feet of the poor and the lonely. They teamed up with FTFT! for a missionary service weekend; the third of it's kind that FTFT! has arranged.

Throughout that weekend, they hit the streets of New York City and Jersey City to feed the poor, to stand beside the broken, to listen to the story of those who have no one to listen to. If you're familiar with the City, you know that a poor person on the street might as well be a part of the pavement. The sight of a barefoot woman sleeping on cardboard has somehow become...part of the scenery- but not for this group. They were here to say with their actions that this is NOT OK. While handing out simple peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that they made, they took time to speak God's truth into the lives of God's hurting children. They took time to notice NYC's invisible population. They heard enough sermons telling them "Go, and do likewise." (Luke 10:37) So they came...and showed mercy to their neighbor in the example of a familiar Samaritan.

The youth group of Tallahassee, Florida currently consists of 90 college youth from various churches around the diocese of the southern united states. Churches represented; Atlanta Ga, Nashville Tn, Dallas Tx, Clear water Fl, Tampa Fl, West Palm Beach Fl, Miami Fl, Orlando Fl, Melbourne Fl, and of course Tallahassee Fl. The Church had humble beginnings, praying in the basements of university campus buildings, office buildings, and or sister Greek Churches until 2001, when God granted them the the blessing of building their church on the names of St. Mary and St. George. Pre-2001, the church was served by over 15-20 priests and bishops (and one monk) from around the USA and Egypt. On Nov 17th, 2002 they were blessed with the ordination of the Reverend Father Abouna Gerges Gerges.

By the blessing and guidance of His Grace Bishop Youssef and Father Gerges Gerges, the Tallahassee youth formed the missionary service group S.A.L.T. (Serve and Love Together) The group is doing tremendous work right in their very backyard of Florida in serving both the poor and the orphaned of their community! And they're inspiring other youth to start the same kind of work in their church across the Southern Diocese of the United States!

We thank His Grace Bishop Youssef for His prayer and support of this group's local missionary work in Florida as well as their work on this mission trip. We also thank Father Gerges Gerges for his guidance and support of the group. We commend this inspirational youth group for the great initiate they took, especially to their servants Bishoy and Melissa Ragheb, and Marlene Bishay in their labor in coordinating this trip.

Way to go, SALT servants and the Tallahassee youth group! Our spotlight church of the week...Now, lets all "Go, and do likewise."

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