The Antiochian Orthodox Department of Christian Education (AODCE) supports church school directors, teachers, parents, and all who participate in the work of Christian education on the local level. Read more.
Weekly Writing Prompt/Subject:
- Write about a service project in which you helped those in need. Explain the details of the project and how it made you feel to participate.
by Rosemary Shumski
This year’s Creative Arts Festival theme is “The End of History…The Last Judgment.” The Scripture quotation that accompanies the theme is “I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you welcomed Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.” (Matthew 25:35-36)
Because this is a very tangible theme, there are many ways in which students can express themselves in art, photography, creative writing, and poetry. The most natural way to inspire creative expression relating to this theme would be to get the students involved in service projects in your parish or community. Suggestions for service projects can be found on the Creative Festivals webpage. Another way to inspire students is to use the theme throughout the church school year. Use the logo and symbols on room signs, letterhead and bulletin board displays. The Department of Christian Education also has posters available for downloading that can be displayed in classrooms.
Prior to having the students create their entries, the theme should be discussed in depth. Lesson plans are provided for various grade levels on the Creative Festivals webpage. After the lesson is taught, it’s usually helpful to have a brainstorming session in which the students explore various ways they might interpret the theme.
The following article was taken from the “Orthodox Family Life” archives. May it provide motivation, encouragement, and direction in your journey through Great Lent.
by Matushka Nadia Koblosh
When asked to write an article about what we do in my family to prepare for Pascha, my initial reaction was to decline for I felt vaguely uncomfortable writing on such a subject. It is my feeling that Lent is, be definition, more a time of doing than of talking.
But on second thought, I decided to go ahead. I think there are legitimate questions and problems all Orthodox parents have who sincerely desire to keep Lent and instruct their children in its meaning. And this includes priestly families as well as lay, for there is no special Lent for rectories as opposed to "normal" families! I think that these common questions naturally call for a common discussion and sharing and it is in this vein that I share my thoughts.
First is the whole reality of Lent as such. I think it is very important to approach Lent not as some period of "religious intensity" as opposed to some other period that is not so "religious." In a real sense, the whole Christian life at all times is naturally "Lenten" because the whole Christian life is a preparation for death, resurrection, and judgment. In a way, all Christians are monks and pilgrims. Lent only serves to focus and intensify this basic element of Christian life. I think that if we really experience Lent in all its beauty and power, its spirit always remains with us - even sitting on a beach during a July vacation! This is one goal our family strives for and what we try to cultivate in our children.
Published by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America’s Department of Religious Education
“The Department of Religious Education has embarked on a new line of resources for teaching junior high and high school students. Called "zines" (from magazine), each one explores one topic of the Orthodox Christian Faith in easy-to-read bites of information and accompanying images, with many interactive elements, such as questions for reflection or things to look up in the Bible.
The zines are not grade-specific, but work at a middle school / junior high (grades 5–9) or senior high (grades 10–12) level. Each zine also has a Teacher Guide for classroom use over several weeks as a unit of study.
The zines are a part of the Department's development of a “menu” of topics, allowing teachers and Church schools to select however many units they need for a Church school year.
In addition, the zines can be sent home, distributed to all parishioners, or placed in the narthex for parishioners or visitors.”
“Embark on this year’s Lenten journey with junior high students as the Church opens the Triodion on February 24 this year. This nine-week unit spans the Great Fast with clear, vivid introductions to the season’s Scriptures, Traditions, saints and services.
Throughout the exploration of our page, we have discovered many valuable archived articles, resources, links, and activities that pertain to Great Lent. These may prove to be quite beneficial to you in the coming weeks and months. These offerings have been gathered and organized below, for you to explore, read and utilize.
- A Summary of Lenten Offerings
- Journey through Holy Week and Pascha
- Meditation on the Prayer of St. Ephraim (PDF)
Crafts and Activities
Ukrainian Easter Egg Wall Decorations
Great Lent: Do More/Do Less
- Start with a piece of white paper
- Print out “DO LESS…”, “DO MORE…” and “GREAT LENT”
- Fold piece of paper in half, writing the above words or gluing the words in the appropriate areas
- Cut out pictures printed from clipart, or magazines that show what we should be doing more or less of during Great Lent.
- Hang paper as a reminder during Great Lent