Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Nice Ideas for Christian Education

If you haven't visited Elenie's share-site for Orthodox Christian lessons plans, you should. She has shared curriculum plans for children, preteens, and teenagers. Coloring books are available too. And of course, Elenie's blog includes ideas too, like this cool "stain glass" project.

On Sylvia's Orthodox Mom blog, you can find a link to an Orthodox Kids Corner, with coloring pages and games.

If you've visited the Greek Archdiocese children site Saints Alive, but it's been a while, you might try dropping back by. They've added several games, in addition to the puzzles originally available.

Finally, if you're looking for a service project to do with your children or your Sunday School class, the St. Innocent Orphanage and Project Mexico have a nice video about their work. Little Builder loved watching how thousands of Orthodox volunteers help build houses in Mexico. They also offer a Church School Curriculum on the volunteer page. This is how they describe it:

Church School Curriculum

"Answering Christ's Call to Love Your Neighbor"

If you are looking for a fun, hands-on way to teach young people about the importance of doing acts of charity, Project Mexico has developed a three-lesson Church School Curriculum that is available at no cost. The three lessons give students an opportunity to:

* Examine what it means to be poor
* Hear what Christ instructed us to do for those in need
* Learn about Project Mexico's ministry to the poor and orphaned of Mexico.

The Curriculum binder contains lesson plans and special aids for the teacher, tips on preparation and publicity, and handouts to be copied for the students. Also included in the binder are two supplementary lessons: "The Life of St. Innocent" and "Christmas in Mexico." Use all of the lessons or tailor the curriculum to your parish's specific needs. The length and focus of the curriculum make it a great option for Vacation Bible School or a Lenten project.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Preparing for St. Peter the Aleut

On Friday we finished up our review & Lesson Book Entry for St. Peter the Aleut.

Realizing that he is commemorated this coming Thursday, September 24, we thought about ways we could celebrate. Perhaps purchase an Alaskan-shaped or themed cookie cutter? It would come in handy for several North American Saints.

Or maybe we could find out what types of foods Aleuts traditionally ate, and serve these for supper Thursday night? We do something similar to this for St. Herman's Feast Day.

According to Wikipedia:

Fishing, hunting and gathering were the only way aleuts could find food. Salmon, seal, walrus, crabs, shellfish, cod were all caught and dried, smoked or roasted. Caribou, musk oxen, deer, moose, whale and other types of game were eaten roasted or preserved. Berries were often whipped into alutiqqutigaq, which was a mixture of berries, fat and fish, or dried.

Don't think I'll try that berry dish, but we do have some deer in the freezer (my father is a veteran hunter). (Update: we had whale-shaped cheese crackers and dried berries for a snack)

Do you have a way to commemorate this teenage martyr?

I especially like this icon, with his words to his captors included.

Troparion - Tone 4

Today Alaska rejoices and America celebrates
for the New World has been sanctified by martyrdom.
Kodiak echoes with songs of thanksgiving,
Iliámna and Kenái observe the Festival of Faith.
The apostle and martyr Juvenaly is glorified
and Peter the Aleut is exalted by his voluntary sacrifice.
In their devotion and love for the Lord
they willingly endured persecution and death for the Truth.
Now in the Kingdom of Heaven they intercede for our souls.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Gifts from God: Local Treasures

A unique recipe from a local cookbook for "Breakfast Chocolate Gravy", which made for a fun Saturday morning breakfast with homemade bread.

The back right corner of the local health food store, with the faithful shelf holding the red-marked discount items. Total price? $5.

The local feed-and-seed store, which is one of my favorite places to go. Little Builder enjoyed taking along his hand-me-down camera, catching buckets of 6 types of nails (among other things) for digital immortality.