What We’re Teaching in High School

As summer comes to a close and teachers begin to prepare for a new year of Sunday School, the most common question I hear is: what are you teaching in high school? While there is no perfect curriculum, there are many good options for younger classes, but once you reach middle and high school, the options thin out significantly. The difficult lack of curriculum is compounded by the teacher’s well-founded concern that adolescents have…

Marriage & Parenting: The Life-Giving Cross

This is an excerpt from a Raising Saints podcast episode posted in June, 2014.   I attended a beautiful wedding. Our friend, Jessica, who grew up in our Sunday School and headed off to study in Boston at Hellenic College, met and has now married Scott, a seminarian from Holy Cross. They are fresh-faced and joyful, a happy and loving couple, and should God will it, they’ll be excellent parents. Scott will…

The Ancient Faith Conference (and Fr. TED!)

This summer, we gathered together in Wisconsin for the first ever Ancient Faith Podcasting and Writing Conference. There’s a whole community of wonderful people who contribute to Ancient Faith Ministries, from our brilliant behind-the-scenes business people and editors and producers to the writers and podcasters we have all grown to love, and yet — we exist as a community in isolation, each working from a different home base. Most of us have never…

Grab Your Pitchforks: Why We Attack Grieving Parents

A child falls into a gorilla enclosure. Another is dragged away by an alligator as his father fights to hold on. These are horrific, nightmarish scenes, and they make every parent’s heart seize up in horror. We don’t want to lose our children, and we really don’t want to think that our own babies could be snatched up and brutally battered, killed and even eaten by wild animals. That is terrifying. We…

Tongues of Fire: Who is the Holy Spirit?

Pentecost is on its way. Sometimes this beautiful feast gets lost in the summer season — it’s time for vacations and sunshine, and sometimes after the excitement of Great Lent and Holy Pascha, we can just slide right past these early summer feasts. There’s probably no Sunday School in session, so it’s up to the parents and the godparents and grandparents to bring the kids to church and to tell them that…

The Monastery in our Hearts

This post originally appeared as a podcast episode, in 2012. This weekend, I was reminded of it, and felt compelled to release it on the blog for those who might have missed it.   One of the great treasures of Orthodoxy is our tradition of monasticism. You know, there are Orthodox monasteries that have stood for over a thousand years, weathering storms and earthquakes, surviving political unrest and bandits and outlasting empires.…