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…

Children’s Book Authors Offering Free Lesson Plans

There’s a wonderful new trend in children’s publishing that will benefit Sunday Schools, homeschoolers, and anyone who who would enjoy using a beautiful children’s book as a springboard to deeper learning: authors are creating lesson plans and suggestions for further conversation to accompany their books! Whether you are trying to find a great activity for your youth group, looking for ideas to keep Sunday School exciting, or just hoping to have great…

Ornaments for the Nativity Fast!

As my kids have grown up, I’ve been adapting ‘Jesse Trees’ to prepare us for Christmas. There is something wonderful about the idea of an Advent Calendar that moves through the Old Testament stories, carrying us toward the birth of Christ. Without an Orthodox Jesse Tree, most of us adapt Western models — which is tricky, and not just because our Advent is 40 days long while theirs is only 25. Our…