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WELCOME PARENTS!

Happy New Year! We hope you’re excited for all that God is going to do in our lives in 2019! We hope these resources are a blessing to you and your family.

  • Parenting Toward the Kingdom Learning Group

  • Book Recommendation: My First Agpia

  • 8 Small Resolutions That Can Change Your Family

  • A Parent’s Guide to New Year’s Resolutions

  • What are we learning in Sunday School this month?

    • Tots: The First Sin (Wise Choices)

    • Kids: Sacraments, Plugging into God’s Power

    • Teens: Sacrament FAQs-Why do we need the Sacraments?


RESOURCES and events

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THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR KIDS IS INVEST IN YOUR MARRIAGE

Who's ready for some fun! On Saturday, Feb 9 we are having our Married Couples Night Out event. It’s a one-night event that is going to be a lot of fun, even fun enough to invite your friends and neighbors to. No. Seriously. And guys we promise we are not going to beat you up, promise.

Our goal is simply this—to help you and your spouse connect. It’s going to be a great night for married couples!

You may be wondering who is this for? Is it for newly marrieds, couples with kids, couples without kids, empty nesters, couples in crisis? This event is for every married couple, that’s who it’s for. Can’t wait to see you there.

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disciple your teen to meet their goals

Setting, striving toward, and achieving goals is highly important, especially in regards to learning how to become a mature adult. Because of that, we parents can use the opportunity the new year affords us as a means to disciple our teens into a better understanding of themselves, others, achievement, perseverance, dreaming, life-change, setbacks, failure, celebration, and even of God Himself.

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8 Small Resolutions That Can Change Your Family

Change is difficult, particularly lasting change. Without steady, uphill determination, our resolutions are often neglected after a short time. But there are small changes that some parents have made that produced a lasting difference in parenting. Check them out here.

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What is Confession? How do I do it? Check out this great guide by Fr. Anthony that answers all your questions about what to do before, during and after Confession.

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Learning group

Sundays at 3pm

Meeting 3 weeks: January 13, 20, 27

Book: Parenting Towards The Kingdom: Parenting Toward the Kingdom will help you make the connections between the spiritual life as we understand it in the Orthodox Church and the ongoing challenges of raising children. It takes the best child development research and connects it with the timeless truths of our Christian faith to offer you real strategies for navigating the challenges of daily life.

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Book recommendation

My first Agpia teaches your children to pray like King David himself.

“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Recommended ages 3 - 7

This is "My First Agpia" which has modified and paraphrased the Psalms into their simple meaning in an age-appropriate fashion as a stepping-stone and foundation. Our forthcoming, "My Second Agpia," for older children will have the Psalms in their full form, to allow memorization.


tots

18 MONTHS  to

KINDERGARTEN

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The first SIN (wise choices)

The story of God's grace begins in the Garden of Eden. This lesson walks little ones through the first sin of Adam and Eve. The First Sin teaches your kids age 2 through kindergarten how to weigh if something is a sin or not and how to obey God because He cares for us.

Download Bible App for Kids so you can check out these stories with your kids. They can follow along in the story and have fun bringing the characters to life. Also, check out the Adventure Book we send home with your kids each week so you can help them review the verse and the question and answer that we hope they learn each week.

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It’s turtle time!

Turtle Time is an interactive book that teaches basic Orthodox concepts to our little ones. This month’s Turtle Time chapter is titled THE PERFECT GIFT. I’m sure each child was so excited to open up Christmas gifts a few weeks ago. Getting the perfect gift is so exciting! Do you ever wonder what the perfect gift would be to give Jesus? We could give Him ourselves by worshipping Him with our voices!

Our key phrase that they will hear when they Tickle Tim’s Tummy is actually a beautiful hymn we sing in the Holy Liturgy.

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, Who was born of the Virgin, have mercy upon us. Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, Who was crucified for us, have mercy upon us. Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, Who rose from the dead and ascended into the heavens, have mercy upon us. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto the ages of the ages. Amen. O Holy Trinity, have mercy upon us.

Even if the younger ones just get the first part of it, this is still a great way to redirect their attention to the Liturgy so they can join in. You’d be shocked at what 4 and 5 year olds can learn to song, so encourage them to really give it a try. You can LISTEN to it before you teach it to them in case you have as much trouble as I do holding a tune :)See if your child can repeat it back to you.


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1ST-6TH GRADES

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SACRAMENTS: PLUGGING INTO GOD’S POWER

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.” 1 Cor. 6:19

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Happy New Year! As you unwrap (or possibly return) those computers, blenders, instant pots, and toasters–ask yourself what do they all have in common? Well–they don’t work very well unless they are plugged into a power source. Just like those gadgets, we as God’s children also don’t work so well unless we are plugged into our Power Source. This month we will be exploring: “THE SACRAMENTS: Plugging into God’s Power!”

The Sacraments are such a blessing of the Orthodox Church, but often we do not appreciate them as the POWER source they are!

January 20, Week 1: We will see that the Sacraments give us the POWER of the Holy Spirit. The Feast of the Epiphany in our Church is a big deal because it is when God manifested Jesus as His Son! Jesus was baptized by John-the-Baptist, and the heavens opened up and declared, “This is my Son with whom I am well pleased.” When we partake of the Sacraments–we get to partake of this amazing power too!

January 27, Week 2: We will see that the Sacraments give us the HEALING of the Holy Spirit. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, all of humankind fell ill, and our sickness would cause us to die. God did not want that to happen, so He created a way that we could be healed. This week we will see that every Redemptive Sacrament is designed to heal us from death.

February 3, Week 3: We will see that the Sacraments UNITE us to CHRIST. Jesus explained in John chapter 6 that He IS the Bread of Life and unless we partake of His Body and His Blood, we can have no part in Him. The Holy Sacraments do not just connect us to Christ; they UNITE us to Christ.

We will put these lessons into action by encouraging our kids to participate in the Sacrament of Confession. If your child has never confessed, this is a great way to start off. Fr. Anthony will hold a special confession time just for kids on Saturday, January 26th at 6pm at CUMC. Check out this article about How to Confess to help prepare your child for confession.


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SACRAMENT FAQs

Key Verse:  “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.”  1 Cor. 6:19

Happy New Year!  We hope this holiday season was blessed for your family.  This new month we will be focusing on the Sacraments, but in a unique way.  There are a lot of misconceptions as to why we as Orthodox Christians need to partake of the sacraments, and that’s why this year we are doing a 3-week series entitled, “SACRAMENT FAQs.” We will be answering an important question: Why Do We Need the Sacraments?

JANUARY 20, WEEK 1: WE WILL SEE THAT WE NEED THE SACRAMENTS FOR SALVATION OF OUR SOULS AND BODIES.

We talk a lot about our souls. But what about our bodies? Are they important? Are they saved?

As Orthodox Christians we do not believe that only our souls matter – we believe that both our souls and bodies will be saved in heaven through unity with Christ / the Sacraments.  Check out this Be the Bee video that answers the question, “What about our bodies?”

JANUARY 27, WEEK 2:  WE WILL SEE THAT THE SACRAMENTS ARE NEEDED FOR HEALING (ANCESTRAL SIN VERSUS ORIGINAL SIN).

Jesus Christ is our Savior, but what does He save us from? To answer that, we need to take a closer look at Creation and the Fall. God made us neither mortal nor immortal, but with freedom: we could choose to either move closer to God, the source of life, or away from Him, and find death.

As Orthodox Christians – we do not believe in the idea of “original sin” – that God is punishing us to hell because of what Adam and Eve did and, therefore, we need to partake of the Sacraments to be free of Original Sin.  Rather – think of the Fall more like God as a Father warning His children not to touch the hot stove or they will burn.  It is not that God is punishing them by burning them, it is just that He was trying to warn them of the natural consequence of their actions. When they did it anyway – all of human nature got “burned” – or fell ill.  So – the Sacraments are necessary to be healed from that sickness. Watch this video and discuss it with your teen.

February 3, WEEK 3:  WE WILL SEE THAT THE SACRAMENTS ARE NEEDED FOR UNITY WITH GOD AND EACH OTHER.

As Christians, we're called to union with each other and God. Yet we're constantly stuck in divisions, both external and internal. So how are we supposed to achieve true union? The answer is forgiveness: God's invitation to share the same space with Him.

As Orthodox Christians we do not believe that the Sacraments are individual acts designed to earn us a place in heaven.  Rather, the Sacraments make us members of the Church, unite us as part of the Body of Christ.  When we hold a grudge against another member of that Body, then it disrupts our unity.   We must confess our sins, but we must also forgive others their trespasses to maintain our unity with the Body of Christ. Check out this video and discuss it with your teen.

 


 


Have any questions, comments or suggestions? We'd love to hear from you! Email smattar@stsa.church