ALL PARENTS

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January MARRIED PEOPLE newsletter

The Monthly Married People Newsletter shares ideas and insights you can actually apply to your marriage. So try a few of the tips in the Married PeopleNewsletter and see how little things can turn into something big. You got this... because you are better at marriage than you think!

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Fr. Anthony's Guide to Confession

 

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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CALLING ALL KIDS & TEENS:  

YOU CAN DO THIS! 

Last year, we had so many kids participating in the Bible Reading Challenge that we were blown away!  We couldn't believe they were not only keeping up with the adults, but many times, they were surpassing us!  This time, we're encouraging EVERYONE, adults and kids alike, to participate in the 2018 Bible Reading Challenge.  We will ALL be reading The Story Bible, a great, easy-to-read overview of key passages throughout the Bible.  It's broken up into 31-easy-to-read chapters so if your kid can read can read chapter books, they can do this!  To motivate them, we're having prizes just for kids and teens to win gift cards to places like Chick-fil-a, Five Below, Chipotle and other favorites.  So download the bookmark below and encourage your kids to take the challenge!

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smart mobile parental controls

Set Rules & Restrictions on iPhone, iPad, iPod, and Samsung Mobile Devices From Anywhere.

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orthodox parenting BOOK

The Orthodox Christian tradition is filled with wisdom and guidance about the biblical path of salvation. Yet this guidance remains largely inaccessible to parents and often disconnected from the parenting challenges we face in our homes. 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.


  PRESCHOOL

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Josiah and Julia love to go to church.

They love to venerate the icons, light candles, and eat the blessed bread. Sometimes they behave very well but sometimes they make mistakes.

Little ones can follow Josiah and Julia through the Liturgy and learn how even the youngest child can honor God by behaving properly in church.

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Helping Children Participate in Liturgy

Check out this great article all about how to include even the littlest ones in the Divine Liturgy. 


ELEMENTARY

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JANUARY EDITION: COMMITMENT

Do you play an instrument?  A sport?  Another hobby?   If so, chances are you are familiar with the concept of “Practice makes perfect.” The same holds true for our Christian Faith.  Just like practicing a sport or other hobby, you will never be “done” practicing… you can always get stronger and stronger in your faith.  That’s why this month we are talking about:
 
COMMITMENT: Making a Plan and Putting it Into Practice.
 
Training the Body has Some Value. But Being Godly has Value in Every Way.”  1 Timothy 4:8a
 
As Orthodox Christians, we have special “tools” that help us put our faith into practice:  SACRAMENTS.  With a focus on the first 4 “Redemptive” Sacraments, we will explore:
 
Week 1:  How Baptism and Chrismation helps us Practice Hearing what God says everyday.  Jesus told Nicodemus that unless one is Born Again through Water and Spirit, we cannot enter the Kingdom of God.  John 3:1-21.   Many times we think of this “born again” as the one-time act of Baptism.  However, we must live this out daily by practicing choosing truth over lies, and light over darkness.
 
Week 2:  How Communion helps us Confess Who God is.  Many people followed Jesus, but some were not certain who He really is.  Jesus asked an important question to His followers:  Who do You Say That I Am?  (Matthew 16:13-20).  Did you know the act of Communion is a confession of Christ’s death and resurrection? (1 Corinthians 11:26).  It can be difficult or uncomfortable to talk about who God is in our daily life – but the Sacrament of Communion, partaking of the Holy Body and Blood, helps us practice confessing that Christ is the Resurrection. 
 
Week 3:  How Confession helps us practice living a life of Repentance.  Living a life of repentance is very much about confessing our sins, but it also is about not judging others for their mistakes.  As Jesus told us in Matthew 7:1-5, focus on the Plank in your own eye before you are concerned with the speck in your brother’s eye. 

CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION AT HOME.  CHECK OUT THE MONTHLY CUE CARD FOR TIPS AND QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR KIDS. 

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The Neglected Partnership

Check out this great blog by our very own Shereen Marcus as she highlights the importance of the relationship between church and parents.

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When Kids Don't Like Church

Practical tips on what to do when your kid doesn't want to go to church

  


MIDDLE SCHOOL

 
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JANUARY EDITION: SACRAMENT OLYMPICS

We will be spending the next 4 weeks learning about the Sacraments in an Olympics-style fashion and then Week 5... we will have a friendly Olympic Competition 6th Grade Versus 7th-8th Grade SACRAMENT TRIVIA OLYMPIC COMPETITION!

Last year, the 6th graders dominated over the older kids and won a Burger Party before the start of Lent... we promise another delectable prize for the winning class.

Each week, we will go through one or two Sacraments in-depth with a take-home sheet for those extra-competitive players to keep safe.  We will play some trivia-style games for practice... 

Even though it will be a TON of fun - we also hope the class learns and truly comes to appreciate the mystery of these Holy Sacraments and how blessed we are to be part of the Orthodox Church. 

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How do you answer the question, "Are you born again?"

Sometimes it's hard to answer the Protestant question about being "born again".  Give your kids the tools they need to know and share their Orthodox faith with others. 

GOOD LISTENS

 

This month, students are learning all about the sacraments.  Check out this video together and discuss the power of the sacraments in your life.

Are there 7 sacraments? Are sacraments just symbols, or ways to receive grace? Get ready to unlearn everything you think you know about sacraments in this episode!


HIGH SCHOOL

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We need to teach our kids that no matter what they've done their Father of Confession, much like their Heavenly Father, is ready and willing to forgive them.  They need to be assured that he will not look down on them ever--in fact, their honest confession will build their relationship as he guides them closer to Christ. 

Check out this great video that teaches us why is the Sacrament of Confession so important and then discuss it with your teen.  A great next step would be to set a date where the whole family would go together for Confession.  

Good listens

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Is Infant Baptism Biblical?

Help your teens learn how to answer tough questions about their faith.  Check out this article and then discuss how your teen can respond when their friends question them about infant baptisms.  This article answers, Where can I find the earliest teachings about infant baptism? How can a baby be “born again” with no personal faith before he/she has heard the Gospel being preached? What is the point of infant baptism? 


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