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Especially for Parents

We've selected content from the Christian Education pages that is of special interest to parents.

What Our Children are Learning about the Divine Liturgy + Part 3

3 On Entering into the Divine Liturgy With Prayers and Song
By Kristina Wenger, Staff Assistant for Internet Ministry

Part 1: On the Divine Liturgy
Part 2: On Preparing for the Divine Liturgy

This is the third in a series of blogs on the Divine Liturgy from the Orthodox Christian Parenting Facebook page and blog. Consider following these to learn from the articles and the daily posts that feature related quotes, ideas and resources. The intent of the series is to remind us parents of what our children are learning about the service. That way we can all better understand what is happening around us during the service, and then together as a family we can more fully enter into "the offering of the people for the whole world!" (Photos courtesy of Teaching Pics.)

In a prior blog, we studied the first part of the Divine Liturgy: the Preparation. The second part of the Divine Liturgy is The Liturgy of the Word. It "is much like the Jewish synagogue service, which consists of prayers, psalms and hymns, scripture readings, and a sermon. Catechumens [those preparing to enter the Body of Christ, the Church] were allowed to attend the Liturgy of the Word." (OFL, 27)

What Our Children are Learning about the Divine Liturgy + Part 2

2 On Preparing for the Divine Liturgy
By Kristina Wenger, Staff Assistant for Internet Ministry

Part 1: On the Divine Liturgy

This is the second in a series of blogs on the Divine Liturgy from the Orthodox Christian Parenting Facebook page and blog. Consider following these to learn from the articles and the daily posts that feature related quotes, ideas and resources. The intent of the series is to remind us parents of what our children are learning about the service. That way we can all better understand what is happening around us during the service, and then together as a family we can more fully enter into “the offering of the people for the whole world!”

Some days I arrive at church and enter the Divine Liturgy with great determination to participate. Unfortunately, on other days, I simply walk in and hope for the best. I know how I should be entering into the liturgy: with a steadfast heart and focused mind; ready to actively participate in the communal work of offering up prayers, tithes, and my very time for the people of the whole world. After all, I should be already ready to jump in, on arrival: our family has a 30 minute drive to church, during which time we say our morning prayers and read the daily epistle, gospel, and saint-of-the-day reading. My heart should be ready: but some days, I struggle to jump right in and singlemindedly participate. Making that happen is not easy, even though I know that is exactly what I am supposed to do!

What Our Children are Learning about the Divine Liturgy + Part 1

1 On the Divine Liturgy
By Kristina Wenger, Staff Assistant for Internet Ministry

This is the first in a series of blogs on the Divine Liturgy from the Orthodox Christian Parenting Facebook page and blog. Consider following these to learn from the articles and the daily posts that feature related quotes, ideas and resources. The intent of the series is to remind us parents of what our children are learning about the service. That way we can all better understand what is happening around us during the service, and then together as a family we can more fully enter into "the offering of the people for the whole world!"

The Divine Liturgy, the work of the people, is indeed work. I don't know about you, but during the Liturgy, I often struggle. My eyes look all around me, my ears pick up all kinds of sounds unrelated to worship, my mind wanders, my feet complain, and I could go on and on about how poorly I attend to this work. In light of my own struggle, I will spend the next weeks focusing on the Divine Liturgy and sharing my learnings in this blog. Our children are learning about the Liturgy through their own experiences and observations in the context of Sunday Church School, and (if they are blessed to attend) at church camp as well. It is important that we as parents learn along with them, and add to that learning in whatever ways we can. It is my hope that whatever I encounter and share here will be helpful to all of us as we lead our families towards Christ and His Church.

Pastoral Challenges in Marriage Conference: "Oneness: Protecting and Growing the Blessed Communion"

Announcing: Pastoral Challenges in Marriage Conference, "Oneness: Protecting and Growing the Blessed Communion"
Sponsored by the Center for Family Care of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese for both clergy and lay persons.
Dates: January 28-31, 2015 at the Doubletree Hotel in Santa Ana, California.
Early bird registration due December 31.
For more information go to www.family.goarch.org/oneness.

Materialism: Stealing Our Children?

by Kristina Wenger

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal (Mt. 6:19)

In this age in the United States of America (and, indeed, throughout the world), the acquisition of "stuff" is what society embraces as the goal for life. With the forthcoming holiday season, in particular, the fight-to-convince-everyone-to-acquire-more-stuff will be intensifying all around us. But is more stuff really what we or our children need?

Let’s Know and Support Those Who Teach

by Kristina Wenger, M.A.
Staff Assistant for Internet Ministry to Parents

It is the beginning of a new school year in the Northern Hemisphere. This is a good time to set goals and also begin good habits for the year. As our children participate in school, homeschool groups, library or park classes, clubs, Sunday Church School, and other such groups, let us as parents be mindful of those who are leading and teaching the children in these groups. This school year, let us set a goal to do a better job of knowing and supporting these teachers, and let us also begin the habits that will help us to meet that goal.

Training Up a Child: Educational Options for Orthodox Christians (His Grace Bishop Thomas)

My son Timothy, you have observed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions, my sufferings, what befell me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra, what persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. Indeed all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceivers and deceived.

Theophany Troparion

In preparation for the January house blessings, here is a handout for children to learn about this feast.

Click below for various versions of the Theophany troparion, from various jurisdictions.

Antiochian.org

Oca.org

Goarch.org

 

 

Raising Godly Children (Bishop THOMAS)

These notes are from a presentation by His Grace Bishop THOMAS at Orthodox Institute 2009, Antiochian Village Heritage and Learning Center, Bolivar, Pa., November 5-8, 2009. Download a printer-friendly version.

 

Parents, take the initiative to find out what your children are learning in Church School.  Build upon the weekly lessons at home with supplemental teaching. 

Under the Grapevine

Under the Grapevine Podcast: Readings for Children by Chrissi Hart

Inspirational Stories for Children of All Ages

Enjoy readings by Dr. Chrissi Hart, author of Under the Grapevine and The Hermit, The Icon and The Emperor published by Conciliar Press. This program concentrates on Orthodox Christian books and other classic literature from a variety of sources.

The Orthodox Kids Corner (Potamitis Publishing)

At their Orthodox Kids Corner website, Potamitis Publishing offers hundreds of free coloring pages (including icons), dot-to-dots, mazes, puzzles, and other activities, available for free download for personal and Sunday Church School use. You can also send e-cards. NOTE: you'll need to set up a log-in to access the Kids Corner.

Potamitis Publishing

Potamitis Publishing publishes Orthodox children's books, in both English and Greek. Filled with lush and vibrant images, praised by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew the 1st, these books offer engaging stories that make Orthodox teachings accessible for little ones and adults alike.

 

 

Church Etiquette or Some Things You Should Know While in Church (Fr. David Barr)

In the Orthodox Church, there are a lot of customs and traditions that are important parts of our worship. Some are cultural; some are pious customs. Some are essential; some are not. From time-to-time, we need to address some of these various etiquette issues to inform our communities how we can best understand each other and work together to worship the all-holy Trinity.

Children's Bible Reader

Children's Bible Reader

We finally have an Orthodox Children's Bible Reader in full-color, and wonderful quality. The Old Testament selections number 75 and include seven of the stories of redemption heard on Holy Saturday. I was pleased to see these as they form the context for understanding Christ's death and resurrection.

Fruits of the Spirit (Gigi Shadid)

Fruits of the Spirit. Kids and adults alike will enjoy this production. Renowned youth worker Gigi (Baba) Shadid produced this awesome folk CD to teach children and to help them grow in their faith in Christ and their love for His holy Church.

My Prayer Journal

My Prayer Journal from International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is a good start to helping our children learn about what the IOCC is doing, both in our country and abroad. It helps the children learn about other places, recognize the needs there, and formulate prayers to ask God to meet those needs.

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