Guest Post from Maura Oprisko. Unaskable Questions Answered: an open letter to Sunday School teachers from an autism mom (plus: free printable)

As Sunday School resumes and teachers prepare to receive their students, a difficulty we’ve discussed before rears its head: many of our students have special needs, but our volunteer teachers are untrained and don’t know what the kids will need to maximize their experience in our classrooms.  We’re afraid to ask for fear of offending or upsetting parents, and so often the parents keep quiet.  We need to communicate lovingly and openly, and…

Simple, Powerful Self-Examination

As we help our children prepare for confession — or as we do so ourselves — we often struggle to identify those sins which most need confessing.  On the one hand, we mustn’t leave anything out, but on the other hand, a long repetitive laundry list seems a waste of time. How can we engage in real repentance ourselves, and how can we lead our children to serious self-examination and a really…

Curricular Resources for Parents

As the school year comes to a close and the long summer opens up on our horizons, parents may be looking for some Orthodox lessons to share with their children over the break (or at any time when the opportunity presents itself!) Those of you not involved with Sunday Schools may not be aware of the Greek Archdiocese’s Department of Religious Education and its excellent, extensive catalog. You’ll find all of the…

What The Numbers Tell Us

The Pew Research center recently released its latest numbers on religious affiliation in the United States, finding that the number of people who identify themselves as Christian is declining significantly. In 2007, 78.4% of Americans were Christian, and only seven years later, in 2014, that dropped to only 70.6%. That is a significant decrease, and a sign of the times. America is becoming more secular and less Christian, and this is not…

Great & Holy Friday Youth Retreat

On Great and Holy Friday, our parish offers a day full of beautiful services, and we encourage families to attend all of them. We begin with the Royal Hours in the morning, and then we gather to decorate Christ’s tomb and to place flowers around the church. Christ’s Descent from the Cross (in which Father will invite the kids up to help him wrap our Lord’s body) will happen at 3:00, and the…

Rewarding the Effort

In God’s eyes, the effort is equal to the achievement. Our bishop said that last week, and it’s been on my mind ever since. Our Lord rewards our efforts regardless of whether they are effective. Whether or not we achieve our worthy goals, God sees and rewards the effort. It’s a good message for Lent, as we begin to see whether we’re accomplishing the goals we set out for ourselves. We probably…