Director of the Department of Christian Education, Carole Buleza, shares her thoughts at the beginning of the 2012-2013 Sunday School year.
Back to the Bible
As our last Festivals theme asserted, the Bible fills us with eternal joy; by my account: eternal and yet ever-new are the lessons it teaches, and joy comes from knowing Jesus Christ can speak to each of us through its words. Lately I have been reading St. Paul’s words in his epistles to the early Churches. In every one of them, his hope is that young Christians learn more and more about the Way of salvation. Even I, a Christian for over half a century, find a lesson each time I pick up my Bible.
As the Director of the Department of Christian Education, I would urge all of us to make the 2012 Creative Festivals theme an abiding theme for our lives. If only for a few minutes, open and read each day. I keep our Bible at the dinner table, and after we pray and everyone is served, I open and read a passage from the Gospels so my family will hear the name of Jesus, and His words, every day. I don’t “unpack” the message, I just read and close the Bible. Sometimes I begin with a phrase like, “Let’s see what Jesus is doing now.”
As a mother, I want my home centered on Christ, and this small effort—sometimes less than two minutes—opens the door so Christ can be present with us at our evening meal. If I could issue a directive to all Orthodox mothers to do the same, I would. If you need help in getting started, let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org , or via our Facebook page, “Orthodox Christian Parenting.” 
“Connecting our Kids to the Reality of Christ!”
Our conversion, our faith, is not based on a set of commandments or a philosophy—rather, our faith is in a person, who lived 2,000 years ago, and lives still. We need to keep that person in front of us at all times. I have begun a campaign, “Connecting our Kids to the Reality of Christ,” to keep the reality of Christ in front of our kids in their church school classrooms with posters of sites in the Holy Land. The campaign began when I observed that the reality of Christ is being subtly but surely challenged by the distraction of electronic media. Cell phones allow our children to be constantly “on” to receive facebook updates, twitter feeds, and texts (just to name a few applications). When is their quiet time to hear God’s voice? Can they hear God speaking to them if they sleep with their cell phones?
Although we have our students for a short time each week, let’s surround them with the reality of Christ and their faith, through posters, andthrough their own works of art and writing produced for the Creative Festivals. Four posters are currently available . For a donation of $5 (plus shipping and handling) you can receive two posters for $5 plus shipping.
I think the cork “bulletin bars,” which are 1” x 36” strips of cork, are the most efficient use of space for hanging posters. You can buy these most economically online. Google shop for “bulletin bars,” and look for the quantity discounts. Transform your classroom and connect our kids to Christ!