Elizabethtown’s newest congregation held its first service on Saturday, Feb. 17.
St. Monica & St. Augustine Coptic Orthodox Church of Elizabethtown meets at 8 a.m. on Saturday mornings; it does not have its own church building yet, so it is meeting in Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church. The Coptic Orthodox faith comes from Egypt and its followers are mostly immigrants from Egypt and their families.
Sam Labib, a deacon of the church who lives in Swatara, said there were already Coptic Orthodox churches in Harrisburg, Lancaster, York and Anville. Those churches conduct services in a combination of English, Arabic and Coptic, but the Elizabethtown church’s services are all in English.
Labib explained that as Copts assimilate into American society, fewer speak Arabic and Coptic, so it is hard for them to follow the services; the Elizabethtown church aims to serve Coptic Orthodox believers who speak only English.