The Weekend Agenda: Orthodox Youth Ministries and Education
My wife and I will be attending a weekend seminar hosted by Father Michael Anderson, Director of Youth and Campus Ministries
for the OCA. As I've said before, we team-teach the junior high Church School classes at St. Nicholas and we are looking forward to hearing some words of wisdom! My wife is good with kids (and she should be--she spends 8 hours a day with them teaching junior high math at a Catholic school!) But working with children, especially teenagers, is not my strong suit. To say the least!
There is a great book on how to raise children in the Orthodox Faith that I highly recommend to anyone who desires to see their children continue in the Faith. It is titled, "Conversations With Children: Communicating Our Faith" by Sister Magdalen. Sister Magdalen is a monastic at the Orthodox Monastery of Saint John the Baptist in Essex, England and is internationally recognized as being an expert in this area. This book is a must read for any Orthodox Christian parent. Even non-Orthodox will find the book very helpful, as Sister Magdalen touches on every possible aspect of the Christian Faith and how we (as parents, godparents, family, teachers etc) can transmit it to them.
Her big point is that the most important way we can do this is by actually living the faith ourselves! When we attend the Liturgy (on time!), make the Feasts and Fasts of the Church part of our daily home life, set up prayer corners in our homes and use them, and make the life of the Church a top priority in our schedule of activities, we show our children that the Orthodox Christian life is important.
Anyway, next week I will post whatever insights we take with us from the seminar this weekend.