Who We Are
Located in Arlington, Virginia—just a few miles outside of Washington, DC—St. Timothy and St. Athanasius (STSA) Church is a Coptic Orthodox Church established in 2012. Here at STSA, we aim to provide a welcoming environment that will help you and your family learn, grow, and feel the power and love of God through an ancient faith, extreme love, and real community. We are a place where people can unite to worship God as one family – regardless of ethnic, cultural or spiritual background.
STSA’s mission is to “bring an ancient faith to a modern world" by:
Presenting eternal truths in a manner relevant to modern culture
Celebrating all services entirely in English
Engaging in and serving the local community
Emphasizing the importance of evangelism
We believe that the Church of the New Testament – which is the Body of Christ – is alive today in the same way that Christ – who is the Head – is alive as well. Therefore our aim is to continue in the footsteps of the New Testament Church and follow the model given in Acts 2.
How We Do It
CORE VALUES FOR A MODERN WORLD
STSA organizes its ministry around 10 Core Values: limitless acceptance, authentic community, transformation communal worship, passionate pursuit of God, Christ-like integrity, faith-filled vision, irrational generosity, faithful stewardship of talents/gifts, personal call to evangelism and genuine love for community—that flow from its foundational tradition.
Our church strives to live out these core values through a variety of means, including:
This is our guest-friendly “second service,” which takes place weekly after the Divine Liturgy. Each week The Well brings a relevant, thought-provoking topic that challenges us to understand our faith more personally and engage in it more practically. We aim to communicate the depth and riches of our ancient faith, in simple and understandable ways that are relatable to the modern world.
We believe church should be about much more than just attending Sunday services. We believe it is a family. So, we designed a variety of groups (Life, Leisure and Learning Groups) to provide community and meet the relational needs of members.
ANCIENT FAITH CLASSES
We believe that to passionately pursue God, one must continue to grow in the knowledge and understanding of who God is and the faith He passed down to us. Ancient Faith Classes are designed to help members grow in their depth and understanding of God and the Holy Orthodox faith.
We believe that every one of us is entrusted by God with specific talents and gifts and He has given them to us to further His mission on earth. Regardless of what those gifts or talents might be, we believe that there is a place for them in our church and we encourage every member to become spiritual contributors, not just spiritual consumers.
We believe that we were sent to our community to be a blessing to it. Therefore, we make it our aim to serve the local D.C. Metro Area community, with “no strings attached.” We do not just care about spiritual needs, but physical, emotional, and social needs as well.
Fr. Anthony Messeh has served as the leader of STSA since its inception. Bringing a passion and relatability to every message he preaches, Fr. Anthony’s goal is to passionately pursue God's purpose for his life and help others do the same. Once you get used to the black robe and beard, you’ll quickly discover that he is light-hearted, energetic, and has a great sense of humor. Within his priestly duties and beyond, Fr. Anthony presents God in a way that’s relatable to just about anyone.
Who Leads Us
Fr. Timothy Fam grew up in Maryland and started attending church at STSA in early 2014. Soon after he and his wife Sherry were married, Fr. Timothy was ordained a priest at STSA in 2019. With a background in Theology, Fr. Timothy loves making seemingly complicated concepts simple and practical, and his passion is helping people understand and apply orthodox theology in their day-to-day life. He brings a fun-loving spirit to the ministry and is always available to lend an ear, be a friend or chat about life with anyone in need.
Fr. Abraham had a passion for mission from a young age. He moved to many places with his family as a child and later went on numerous mission trips throughout the US and abroad. Most recently, he has moved back to the USA from living in Zambia with his wife, Dalia, and children, Josiah and Mary Grace, doing mission work for the last 13 years. He is excited to bring his experience and be a part of the spirit of mission and evangelism at STSA.
St. Timothy and St. Athanasius Coptic Orthodox Church officially began services in April 2012. But its story begins much earlier than that.
As the original Christian church in Egypt, the Coptic Orthodox church was birthed in the first century when St. Mark the Evangelist, and author of the second gospel, traveled Egypt. He carried with him the true, apostolic faith that he sought to implant into a foreign culture, one that was openly hostile towards Christianity. He took “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3) and contextualized it to a new environment. And what began as just a seed in the first century has today blossomed into over 30 million Coptic Orthodox Christians worldwide belonging to the See of St. Mark whose seat is in Alexandria, Egypt.
STSA: PLANTING SEEDS IN AMERCA
The Coptic church remained local to Egypt for much of its history. It was not until the end of the 20th century, during the papacy of the Thrice Blessed Pope Shenouda III, that the church began to expand outside of the Middle East. This marked a new era, one in which the church would face new cultures and be challenged to discern what adaptive changes would be needed while maintaining the foundational, sacred traditions of Orthodoxy.
Pope Shenouda III established a new model for churches outside of Egypt, one that held fast to the Orthodox faith but was free from the cultural barriers that existed in the lands of immigration. He called it a “mission church,” and in one of his final acts before his departure from this earth, he blessed the establishment of a mission church in Arlington, Virginia, what is today known as the church of St. Timothy & St. Athanasius (STSA) Church.
STSA seeks to continue what St. Mark began 2,000 years ago: to preserve the Orthodox faith as handed down by the Apostles in the first century, but remove the cultural barriers that hinder its expansion in North America in the 21st century.
STSA Locally + Global
STSA In The Community
Here at STSA, one of the core values of our church is genuine love for the community: We bleed with love for the community around us – especially those who are without Christ. We don’t just care about spiritual needs, but physical, emotional, and social needs as well. To fulfill this high calling, we established Hope Multiplied, a purpose-driven organization that seeks to joyfully meet the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of the local community in the D.C. Metro area.
Every season, community, family and individual is different ‐ as are their needs. We take the time to assess the real need behind each sorrow or life hurdle and how HOPE can best love on that child, teen or adult to give them eternal HOPE and to transform communities one individual at a time.
STSA believes in staying connected and giving back to the mother church in Egypt. In February 2020, Hope Multiplied created and launched a brand-new mobile health clinic in Egypt to provide access to healthcare for thousands of underprivileged Egyptians. The clinic is sent out weekly on mobile convoys to various areas around Egypt and hosts regular clinics both in Cairo and throughout certain villages of Upper Egypt.
In 2019, STSA Ministries was launched with the goal of equipping churches and church leaders with the resources and tools to replicate and improve upon the STSA model in their local churches. This initiative was born as a direct result of the many requests from church leaders and is STSA’s way of caring not just for its own ministry, but that of churches all over the world.
The only materials you’ll find on our site, stsaministries.org, are ones that we personally use at STSA Church and have been using for years. Our staff and volunteers have spent years researching, testing, and refining the content and we pray that they’ll be as helpful to you as they have been to us. Our goal is to continuously develop new materials. Subscribe at stsaministries.org to receive monthly email updates as additional resources are developed and released.
Plan a Visit
Everyone is welcome to join us any Sunday in-person!
George Mason University
Arlington Campus Law School
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