Welcoming the Christ Child: My Jesse Tree Board

Now that we have the book and ornament set ready to go, I’ve been trying to decide where we’ll be hanging our ornaments to count down to Christmas. You may have seen my earlier post in which I searched Pinterest and contemplated various cool trees we might make…   In the past, we have hung our ornaments along a ribbon, but this year I wanted to find a way to really count — I’d…

When Kids Don’t Like Church

When we talk about children in the church, we usually mean babies and toddlers — the youngest ones who cannot seem to sit still. That’s a big challenge for parents and for the rest of the parish. But what happens when those kids get a little older?  We don’t talk a lot about what to do when your ten-year old declares that he just doesn’t see the point of church or when…

Sasha & The Dragon – new children’s book with online lesson plans

Sasha and the Dragon is the latest in the series of Ancient Faith Publishing’s very beautiful children’s books. Laura E. Wolfe based the story on one of my favorite anecdotes from Fr. Stephen Freeman. In fact, the two of them will be live on Fr. Barnabas Powell’s Faith Encouraged Live Ancient Faith Radio call-in show on Sunday, October 8th at 8:00 pm EST, talking about the book and the prayer that inspired the story.…

Preparing for Nativity: Practical Ideas for a Jesse Tree

The Nativity Fast will be coming sooner than we think — it begins on November 15 on the new calendar, and November 28 on the old calendar. We’ll be taking 40 days to prepare ourselves and our families for the coming of Christ on Nativity. We’ll fast, we’ll pray and we’ll give alms — and most families will try to work in something special for the children, so that they’ll take in…

Are you doing a Nativity Pageant this year?

As Fall begins, Orthodox parishes all over the nation will be planning Nativity Pageants or Christmas shows. It can be challenging, because there are not a lot of Orthodox scripts out there. If you’re in the market for a new plan, I have two ideas for you. My friend, Summer Kinard, has written an Orthodox Nativity Pageant and you will find it on amazon. I wrote a Nativity Pageant called The Living…

New on your To Do List: Live the Word

The Youth and Young Adult Ministry department of the national Greek Orthodox Archdiocese (Y2AM) is lead by Steven Christoforou of the wonderful Beetreats and #BeTheBee. Sunday Schools and families have benefitted from their videos immensely. Y2AM has come out with a brand new video series that will benefit all of us. Every Sunday, there’s an epistle reading and gospel reading in church. Those readings are announced well in advance, but we don’t…