Welcoming the Christ Child: what are you doing?

The Nativity Fast is moving by quickly, and many of us are nearly halfway through Welcoming the Christ Child! In past years, I’ve posted ideas for “jesse trees” on which we can hang our ornaments as we count down to Christmas, journeying through the Old Testament on our way to Christ’s birth. Those ideas are still good, but now I have a few more! I’ve heard from a few families this year…

YES: Youth Ministry During the Pandemic

I’ve been telling you all about how wonderful YES trips are for our youth for years; Youth Equipped to Serve comes to your town and teaches your kids what it practically and truly means to love your neighbor, and equips them to become servant leaders in your community. YES sends leaders to your town and gathers your kids together and brings them face-to-face with the various kinds of poverty in your own…

Welcoming the Christ Child, Second Edition

I’m excited to say that it was necessary to have a second printing of Welcoming the Christ Child! That gave us an opportunity to switch up the cover a bit — I’m so excited to be offering this beautiful book and the matching ornament set again, so that Orthodox families can count down the Nativity Lent while truly preparing hearts to receive Christ on His birthday! The set is sold online at…

A Toolkit for Spiritual Growth

I think the best teaching is simple and elegant, and Fr. Evan Armatas never disappoints. I’ve enjoyed his talks at our Metropolis’ Camp Emmanuel and his commentary on his live call-in show, Orthodoxy Live (which is essentially a grown-up version of every camper’s beloved Stump the Priest.) Fr. Evan has just released a new book, Toolkit for Spiritual Growth, and I think it would be great for a book study! Because the…

Tips for Teaching Online

Are you teaching Sunday School classes online, perhaps over Zoom or another video conferencing software? Many of us are embarking on Zoom classes for the first time, so here are some thoughts to help you get started. Take a deep breath, and remember that our goals have not changed. The material has not changed. The students are the same, and you’re the same. The difference is this mode of communication, which has…

Parenting: A Struggle Toward Salvation

I received a really lovely email from a podcast listener who recently heard a Raising Saints episode from March of 2017, and noted how helpful it was during this strange pandemic period. So many children who usually attend school are home all the time, and so many people who used to go into an office are working from home. It’s a lot of family togetherness! In many ways it’s a blessing, but…