How do we honor the Apostles?

We are in the midst of the Apostles Fast, which is surely the least popular or observed fast in the Orthodox Church. It’s not that we don’t love the Apostles, but that summer can be an especially undisciplined and travel-heavy time of year. Whether you are in the midst of traveling and find that locating lenten food is too much, or you’re home and fasting faithfully, however this season is shaping up…

Graduating Seniors – how to send them off (for parents and Sunday School teachers)

I’m reposting this from last year, because every year produces a new crop of graduating seniors who need to be connected up to the OCF at their new school!  This year, my oldest graduates, and as much as I’m excited about this new chapter of life she’s entering, I’m also well aware that I should do what I can to encourage and enable her to stay connected to the Church.   It’s…

Orthodoxy & Science, and How We Talk with Our Kids

One day, I walked into my 7th, 8th and 9th grade Sunday school classroom and asked a simple question:  do you believe in evolution?  The room fell utterly silent. Students looked at their hands, cast little sidelong glances at one another. They fidgeted and fumbled, but not one of them spoke. These kids attend science class, and they have teachers that they trust, and those teachers have told them that evolution is…

Holy Week: Entering into Grief

Within a week of the day my son died, my priest’s next door neighbor, an old Baptist preacher, also died. His widow was a good Texas Baptist lady, and she was never seen without her makeup and her hair perfectly in place — she was always pulled together. Father would see her in the yard and ask her how she was, and she would insist that she was fine. After all, she…

Time to Prepare a Holy Friday Retreat!

For those of you who might be planning a Holy Friday retreat for your parish, the Greek Archdiocese’s Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministry has just put out a new retreat plan! You can download a lesson plan for “JOY” (3rd-6th grades) and another for GOYA (6th-12th grades). In our parish, we’ll be adapting the lessons for all ages — using the JOY plan, with adjustment, for preschool through 3rd grade,…