My Orthodox Family


Introduction (Ages 10-12)

" For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother, and sister and mother. "    - Matthew 12:50

My Orthodox Family , a parish-wide, self-study program, is designed to help us discover and develop ways we can continue to become living examples of Christ in our lives, while we help to build up society (i.e. “the world”).   We are responsible for our behavior in all the communities and “families” in which we live:   home, church, school, neighborhood, government, the environment, etc.   Our coming together as a community in Christ is the essence of our faith. “The word church, as we remember, means a gathering or assembly of people specifically chosen and called apart to perform a particular task.”  (Hopko, The Orthodox Faith II, Worship). No matter what our background, this is what binds us as Christians, and family members of His Holy Church.

The journey begins when Christians leave their homes and beds.   They leave, indeed, their life in this present and concrete world, and whether they have to drive fifteen miles, or walk a few blocks, a sacramental act is already taking place, an act which is the very condition of everything else that is to happen.   For they are now on their way to constitute the Church, or to be more exact, to be transformed into the Church of God.  - Schmemann, For the Life of the World

As Orthodox Christians in America, we are a diverse mixture of peoples from throughout the world.  Looking back on four or five generations, many of us can trace our families to immigrants from Greece, the Middle East, Russia, Central and Eastern Europe, Siberia and the Far East.   Traveling long distances, our ancestors established new families and communities on the North American continent.  They discovered here the same Orthodox faith that Native Alaskans had adopted in 1794 from Russian Missionaries to America.  In a little over 200 years, Orthodox parishes have populated North America with more than 4-5 million people!

Our parish communities today include many new people who have found their home in the Orthodox Church.   They or their ancestors have come from a multitude of nations—Irish, Italian, English, Scandinavian and German cultures from Western and Northern Europe, as well as a mixture of traditional cultures from Africa, Asia, Mexico, and South America.   We not only live in multicultural societies, but in multicultural parishes in Canada, the United States, and Mexico.   As Orthodox Christians in America, spending time finding out who we are and where we want to go as an Orthodox community will help us see ourselves as a part of our local, regional, national, and world communities.  Along with those roles comes responsibility.   Every person within the parish community has a role to play; from the newly baptized, to the oldest.   How we see ourselves and our role as a Family of God is critical to the survival of the parish, as well as the entire Church in this world.

As God’s children we are called to witness our faith.   We are called to understand who we are as Orthodox Christians, and to bear witness to God with our families and friends by being good neighbors, reaching out to help others, and standing up and protecting those who are being mistreated, or are victims of discrimination or prejudice.   We are also called to know and live our faith; to correct misconceptions and wrong information about our beliefs, as well as to respect people of other faiths.  

Overall Objectives of the Unit

Throughout the duration of this FOCUS Unit, teachers will find it helpful to keep two main overarching objectives in mind:

  • Identify ourselves as Orthodox people, bound together as a family in Christian Love.
  • Understand that, as faithful Orthodox Christians, we must commit ourselves to His Commandment to love one another through acts of compassion and charity to all of God’s people.

Objectives are things which the students should be able to do as a result of the session. Keeping the two main obj,ectives in mind can help us, as teachers, focus on the important fact that our parishes were established for the purposes of worship, community, mission, and good works for each other, and for those in the world around us.  

God made us His People through the sacraments of the Church.   We became God’s Children in Baptism.  He anointed us with the Holy Oil of Chrism and called us to be His People; to hear, understand, and proclaim His Word as God’s prophets; to protect and care for the world as His anointed Kings—clothed in the white garment of Holiness; and to offer up to Him everything we are and do as a holy gift and service, as gifts offered by priests.   God calls us to restore the world as the Paradise He created for His people in the Garden.   He calls us to everlasting life in His Kingdom.   It is through life in the Church that we become His holy people who are called to do His work in this world!

How the Unit is Arranged

The unit is comprised of six sessions of about 45 minutes each.  The first five deal with identity, self-study, and involvement within our parish; while the last focuses on our involvement within our communities. The suggested prayers are just that.   Singing the Troparion of the parish is certainly appropriate as an opening prayer, with the closing being whatever hymn or prayer is your parish tradition for gatherings.  Students at the youngest level should probably keep the same prayers throughout the sessions for consistency.  

The lessons have been developed based on five age levels:  ages 4-6, ages 7-9, ages 10-12, ages 13-17, and 18-older.  Every age level has its own individual lesson plan.  All the lesson plans contain the following parts:

  • FOCUS Unit Title, Lesson Title & Age Level
  • Lesson Objectives
    The lesson objectives are the things measurable by the teacher.  Through questions, discussion and activity participation teachers can measure whether students were able to fulfill these objectives. If they cannot, teachers will know that review or repetition may be necessary.
  • Materials
    Materials are the various items required to teach the lesson.   These include items such as craft materials and classroom Bibles.  
  • Resources
    Resources are items the DCE has provided for use while teaching the lesson.  These include printable icons, line drawings, handouts, liturgical texts, Bible stories, planning worksheets and many other kinds of professionally developed teacher resources to aide in teaching the lesson.  The resources have been categorized into two groups: Required Resources and Supplemental Resources.  Required resources are specifically referred to within the lesson plan.  Supplemental resources are generally useful in gathering background information.  Often, the supplemental resources will be links to external web sites and suggested books for the teacher to read.
  • Lesson Procedure
    This is a step-by step outline of how the session should go. Please be aware that some lessons require advance preparation--read lessons, prepare for them, and think prayerfully about them well before you meet students in the classroom.

Every Family Has a Story (Ages 10-12)

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Overview

Family is Love - Every family’s story is different, and each generation tells a different story about their traditions, music, culture, ways-of-life, joys, and hardships.
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Objectives

By the end of this Lesson, learners should be able to:

  • Recall and orally share their own family ancestry with stories, music, and traditions
  • Draw/paste pictures of family members on a page in a unit scrapbook
  • Write shared oral family stories and add to scrapbook
  • Interview parish families about their ancestors
  • Record and report parish family stories of ancestors. (Roots Oral History)
  • Identify on a world map places where their family and parish family members live or lived as part of a unit project (Roots Map)
  • Begin a Roots Coffee Hour Project incorporating all above projects.
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Materials

  • Construction paper (9” x 12”) with holes punched with 3-hole punch
  • White lined paper (8½” x 11”) with holes punched
  • Scissors (if necessary to fit photos)
  • Glue sticks
  • Pencils, pens, markers
  • Paper hole punch
  • Yarn cut into 6 inch strips, three per student
  • Large world map for “Roots” Ancestors Map
  • Large foam board on which to mount world map
  • Scissors
  • Rulers
  • Thin yarn or string in varying colors
  • Thumb tacks
  • Sewn-in notebooks for journals
  • Labels for names and captions in scrapbook and on journals
  • Interview forms for parish member interviews
  • Icon for prayer
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Procedure

1

Opening Prayer

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.   Amen.

O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth
Who art everywhere and fillest all things.  
Treasury of Blessings, and Giver of Life:  
Come and abide in us, and cleanse us from every impurity,
And save our souls, O Good One.


2

Discussion Starter

Begin by asking the following: What do you love the most about your family? (Answers should reflect student’s awareness of ways their families express their love.) As students answer, interject statements making comparison of family love with God’s love for us.

  • Ask: How does God show us He loves us? (Answers should reflect God’s love for us as His people—His giving us His Son, Jesus Christ, who taught us how to live in the Light of God’s love.)
  • Continue by stating the following: Our families have ancestors who came from different parts of the world. What did you bring in to share about your family history? (Allow students to share their stories and pictures.)
  • After students have shared their stories, continue by saying: Today we are going to begin a parish “Roots” Project. Each of us is going to have a part in this project. We are first going to begin our own Family Memories Scrapbook with the pictures and stories we have shared today. Then, in the coming weeks, we will talk to people in our parish and ask them about their ancestors. We want to record what we will learn by locating where our parishoners’ ancestors came from. We will do this on a large, “Roots” Ancestors Map. This will be part of a Parish Roots Project which we will present at coffee hour on _________(give the date.)

    Let’s get started!

3

Family Memories Scrapbook

  • Have students open their envelopes brought from home.
  • Have students place their family photos on the construction paper.
  • Write captions/labels identifying family members.
  • When students have arranged photos and captions, glue these to construction paper.
  • Have students write family stories on white lined paper
  • Mount written accounts on construction paper and add to their scrapbook.
  • You can also have students expand their scrapbook. They may want to collect and bring in favorite family photos that tell a story about something family members like to remember: vacation trips, visits to grandma's house, cousins, special events (baptisms, weddings), etc. This can be an ongoing activity throughout the duration of the unit.
  • Distribute another piece of construction paper to each student and have them write their name and title, “Family Memories Scrapbook.”
  • Take 3 sections of yarn and string through holes. Tie into bows.

4

Roots Ancestors Map

  • Print instructions from Teacher Resources-Activities: “Roots” Ancestors Map
  • Begin this activity by mapping students’ ancestors’ roots.
  • Have students use yarn to trace from city where their parish is located to the country of their origin. They may choose 2 countries each.

  • 5

    Oral History Project

    • Begin this project by stating the following: Today we are going to begin this project by planning to interview people in our parish about their ancestors. We would like to add their countries of origin to our “Roots” Ancestors map. Continue by stating that they may look at the parish list and choose whom they would like to interview. The remaining parishioners are to be assigned.
    • Hand out interview questions to the students (see attached form). They are to use one form per parishioner. They will have three weeks to finish their interviews. Explain that interviews are to be conducted at an arranged time and place and they are to be present to carry out their interviews at that time. If this is not possible, try to arrange for them to conduct the interviews by phone. Tell students they may NOT make arrangements to meet anyone outside of the parish setting without their parent’s and your knowledge!

    6

    Optional-Extra Activity

    Teacher Resources: Journals

    7

    Wrap-up

    As students are cleaning up and preparing for closing prayer, ask the following:
    • What do we love most about our families? (Allow student responses)
    • How does God show us He loves us? (Answers should reflect student understanding of God’s love and the parallels with the love of families.)
    • What do we plan to do over the coming weeks? (Answers should recall elements of “Roots” project—mapping parishioners’ countries of origin and finding out about their ancestors.

    8

    Closing Prayer

    O Lord, save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance.
    Grant victories to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries;
    And by virtue of Thy cross, preserve Thy habitation.

    In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

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    Life Together as a Family (Ages 10-12)

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    Overview

    Family Means Cooperation - Family members need to work together on rules, daily tasks, good habits, and relationships to “make families work” as a unit.
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    Objectives

    By the end of this Lesson, learners should be able to:

    • Give examples of rules or responsibilities they must abide by at home, school, etc.
    • Discuss from where rules, values and traditions come (home, church, Bible, school, society, workplace, etc.)
    • Identify who creates rules/responsibilities, and who changes them
    • Discuss church school rules and why they are important
    • Remaining Objectives from Lesson 1 and collect and update interviews of parish members for Roots Project
    • Record and report parish family stories of ancestors. (Roots Oral History)
    • Continue work on Roots Map
    • Plan Roots Coffee Hour Project
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    Materials

    • Large butcher chart paper
    • Examples of rules (See Procedure #3 for this lesson) 
    • Markers and/or tape 
    • Thumb tacks
    • Family Memories scrapbook and materials (See Lesson 1)
    • “Roots” Ancestors Map (See Lesson 1)
    • Journals (See Lesson 1)
    • Interview forms for parish member interviews (See Lesson 1)
    • Icon for prayer
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    Resources


    Required Resources
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    Procedure

    1

    Opening Prayer

    In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.   Amen.

    O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth
    Who art everywhere and fillest all things.  
    Treasury of Blessings, and Giver of Life:  
    Come and abide in us, and cleanse us from every impurity,
    And save our souls, O Good One.


    2

    Discussion Starter-Bridge

    Begin by asking the following: What did we discuss last week about our families? (Answers should recall ways students' families express love, and what they love most about their families.)

    • As students answer, interject statements making comparison of family love with God’s love for us. Ask: How does God show us He loves us? (Answers should recall God’s love for us as His people—His giving us His Son, Jesus Christ, who taught us how to live in the Light of God’s love.)
    • Continue by asking the following: What did you bring in to share about your family history? (Allow students to recall their stories) After students have shared their stories, continue by asking: How many of you have chores to do at home? (Allow students to elaborate) Do any of you have rules for: bedtimes, homework, TV, computer? Can you think of any other rules in your house? (Give students time to elaborate, suggesting areas previously mentioned to springboard comparison and discussion.)
    • As rules are discussed, begin writing them on the chart/butcher paper for all to see.

    3

    How To Generate Rules

    • Have rules from chart/butcher paper tacked to a wall or bulletin board.
    • Have rules collected from various institutions placed around those on the wall/bulletin board, or in a designated area
    • Ask students (working in pairs) to pick one set of rules
    • Give student pairs 5 minutes to read over rules together
    • After 5 minutes, call students together.
    • Ask them to compare rules they have read with those on the wall/bulletin board.
    • Have 1 student act as secretary and write comments on separate chart paper or on original paper.
    • Take Bible and open to Exodus30:24-10 Commandments; John 13:34; Colossians3:15; 1 Timothy3:4; 1 Timothy 3:13, 2 Timothy 2:5)
    • Discuss God’s Commandments as compared to those discussed. How do they compare? Do rules consistently show us how to live in cooperation?
    • Discuss: How are rules able to teach us responsibility?
    • Discuss: Who creates rules? Why are they important in our lives?
    • Ask students to begin writing church school class rules and responsibilities for tasks, routines, etc. Try to come up with 5-8 everyone is in agreement with.
    • Discuss why establishing class rules together is important.
    • Have students conclude why rules and responsibilities are important in maintaining loving relationships; show God’s love for us by giving us rules to love by.

    4

    Roots Ancestors Map

  • Finish mapping students’ ancestors’ countries of origin, 2 countries each.
  • Begin mapping parishioners’ ancestors’ countries of origin

  • 5

    Oral History Project

    Continue interviewing of parishioners by collecting finished interviews and updating those in progress.
    • Tell students they will have two weeks to finish their interviews. Explain that interviews are to be conducted at an arranged time and place and they are to be present to carry out their interviews at that time, or by phone, bulletin insert.
    • Tell students they may NOT make arrangements to meet anyone outside of the parish setting without their parent’s and your knowledge!

    6

    Journals

    Journals (for use with extra/extended sessions)

    Materials:
    • Sewn-in notebooks
    • Pencils, markers,
    • Labels for names
    Procedure:
    Have students label date and write about their reactions to rules and responsibilities.

    7

    Wrap-up

    As students are cleaning up and preparing for closing prayer, ask the following:
    • Why are rules and responsibilities important to our families? (Answers should reflect student understanding of love, cooperation, harmony.)
    • How do God’s laws show us He loves us? (Answers should reflect student understanding of God’s love and the parallels with the love of families.)
    • What do we plan to do over the coming weeks? (Answers should recall elements of “Roots” project—mapping parishioners’ countries of origin and finding out about their ancestors.)

    8

    Closing Prayer

    O Lord, save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance.
    Grant victories to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries;
    And by virtue of Thy cross, preserve Thy habitation.

    In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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    God's Story and God's People (Ages 10-12)

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    Overview

    God's faithful family became God's people - When God created people, He created family. Some of God’s people were faithful; others turned away from God. They sinned against Him, doing evil and separating themselves from God and each other. God appointed many leaders and prophets from among His people to call them away from their evil ways and return to God, but still some did not listen or change. God sent His Own Son, Jesus Christ, to bring His people back to Him. Jesus taught us to repent, turn away from evil, and change our lives.
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    Objectives

    By the end of this Lesson, learners should be able to:

    • Research in the Bible the following Old Testament events in the life of Gods people: Passover
    • Crossing the Red Sea
    • Moses and the Israelites wandering through the desert to the Promised Land of Canaan
    • The giving of the Law or Commandments
    • Illustrate, in a Picture Time Line, events researched in the Bible.
    • Determine that these events and giving of the Laws and Commandments helped the Hebrew people to understand they were God's people, chosen to do His will and follow His ways
    • Report and illustrate by mapping, dioramas, or murals, some of the journeys made by people in the New Testament: Mary, Joseph, and the child, Jesus from Bethlehem to Egypt and Nazareth
    • Jesus and His parents from Nazareth to Jerusalem
    • Christs Journey to the Cross
    • Connect the laws researched with the rules discussed last week as being important to us in our daily lives.
    • Recognize the importance of our obedience to Gods laws, as His People
    • Remaining Objectives--See Session 1 Collect and update interviews of parish members for Roots Project
    • Continue recording and reporting parish family stories of ancestors. (RootsOral History)
    • Continue work on Roots Map from interviews
    • Continue planning the Roots Coffee Hour Project
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    Materials

    • Large butcher chart paper
    • Bibles
    • Markers
    • Old and New Testament Maps
      • Can enlarge to poster size by putting on an overhead and tracing on chart/butcher paper. (See Resources.)
    • Rulers, yardsticks
    • Colored yarn (3-4 colors)
    • Glue stick
    • Shoeboxes
    • Construction paper
    • Transparencies for copy machine
    • Copy machine
    • Overhead projector
    • Pencils
    • Thumb tacks/tape
    • Family Memories scrapbook and materials (See Session 1)
    • "Roots" Ancestors Map (See Session 1)
    • Journals (See Session 1)
    • Interview forms for parish member interviews (See Session 1)
    • Icon for prayer
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    Procedure

    1

    Opening Prayer

    In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.   Amen.

    O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth
    Who art everywhere and fillest all things.  
    Treasury of Blessings, and Giver of Life:  
    Come and abide in us, and cleanse us from every impurity,
    And save our souls, O Good One.


    2

    Discussion Starter-Bridge

    Begin by asking the following: What did we discuss last week about families and rules? (Answers should recall ways their families express their love, and how rules bring harmony and cooperation within families and groups working together.) As students answer, interject statements making comparison of family love with God’s love for us. Ask: How does God show us He loves us? (Answers should recall God’s love for us as His people—His giving us His Son, Jesus Christ, who taught us how to live in the Light of God’s love.) Continue by asking students to recall rules discussed, showing the chart/butcher paper from Session 2. Ask students: How many of you know the story of Moses and the Ten Commandments? Passover? Journey to the Promised Land? (Allow students to recall what they know, or ask what they would like to know.)


    3

    Illustrated Timeline

    These projects can be done in the Cooperative Learning Style. Each student will be designated a position/task and will execute it in an organized and “cooperative” manner, working together with other students as a unit. As each person is assigned a task from the list below, he or she should set about a plan and work it to completion. 

    Illustrated Timeline

    • Have one student place chart paper on table or tape to wall.
    • Have another student get supplies (Bibles, markers, pencils, paper to write information and sketch, scissors).
    • Students should then act as the researchers and begin to look up assigned Bible passages (Ex. 12-15, Deut. 6, 11). Working in pairs, one should read aloud the events, while another acts as secretary and writes.
    • When information is gathered, students should begin to put events in time order on their paper.
    • A student who enjoys drawing can make/plan sketches.
    • While coordinating proper sequence of events and sketches, a student measures out the number of lines needed for the timeline. Draw lines across for date and event.
    • Write dates and events on their timeline. Save space for any illustrations
    • Display on wall and also at “Roots” Coffee Hour

    4

    Mapping

    Earlier: Photocopy map from Bible or New Testament Maps and Charts (OCEC) onto a transparency for copiers. Place transparency on overhead projector, hang chart paper on wall. Focus map transparency on chart paper and trace map. Label countries, areas, cities, etc.

    • Using cooperative learning, have one student look up passages in New Testament (Matt. 2:13-15, 19-23, Luke 2:22-24,39-50, 24:1-56 ) which tell of the following Journeys of Christ:
      • Mary, Joseph, and the child Jesus from Bethlehem to Egypt and Nazareth
      • Jesus and His parents from Nazareth to Jerusalem
      • Christ’s Journey to the Cross.
    • Have another student trace journeys by using colored yarn and glue stick to hold in place (1 color for each different journey).
    • Display on wall and use as part of “Roots” Coffee Hour display.

    5

    Roots Ancestors Map

    • Continue mapping students’ ancestors’ countries of origin, 2 countries each.
    • Begin mapping parishioners’ ancestors’ countries of origin.

    6

    Oral History Project

  • Continue interview of parishioners by collecting finished interviews and updating those in progress. Students will have two weeks to finish their interviews. Explain to students that interviews are to be conducted at an arranged time and place and they are to be present to carry out their interviews at that time, or by phone, or using bulletin insert. Tell students they may NOT make arrangements to meet anyone outside of the parish setting without their parent’s and your knowledge!

  • 7

    Extra Activities

    Dioramas:

    • Shoebox with a scene depicted inside. (Students can take any of the above events they researched.) Can be colored, figures can be cut from construction paper; yarn, and/or other materials may be used. Cut a narrow rectangular opening in the top of the box to let in light.

    Murals:

    • Students can take any of the above events they researched and draw a mural of one or more of those events for display.

    Journals:
    Materials:

    • Sewn-in notebooks
    • Pencils, markers,
    • Labels for names

    Procedures:

    • Have students label date and write about their reactions to their activities today. Use Wrap-Up questions (#5) as writing prompt.

    8

    Closing Prayer

    O Lord, save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance.
    Grant victories to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries;
    And by virtue of Thy cross, preserve Thy habitation.

    In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

     


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    Members of God’s Family (Ages 10-12)

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    Overview

    Every Parish Has a Story - We become members of God’s family when we are baptized. We are made clean in the waters of baptism. The white robe is a sign of a new life in Christ. We are sealed with the gift of God’s Holy Spirit when we are anointed with the oil of Holy Chrism. We become “living temples” of God.
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    Objectives

    By the end of this Lesson, learners should be able to:

    • Research and outline the main actions in the Service of Baptism and Chrismation
    • Describe what each Sacrament says about us as members of the church
    • Using the 1st Ode of the Paschal Canon, tell how our baptism and Chrismation is related to the meaning of Pascha
    • Reflect in journals on how to become members of Christ's Holy Church by recalling our Baptism and Chrismation as our death, Resurrection (Pascha), and Pentecost
    • Remaining Objectives--See Session 1 and collect and update interviews of parish members for Roots Project
    • Continue recording and reporting parish family stories of ancestors (RootsOral History)
    • Continue work on Roots Map from interviews
    • Continue planning the Roots Coffee Hour Project
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    Materials

    • Large butcher chart paper
    • Bibles
    • Markers
    • Rulers, yardsticks
    • Pencils
    • Tape
    • Family Memories scrapbook and materials (See Session 1)
    • Ode 1 of Paschal Canon written on Chart Paper
    • “Roots” Ancestors Map (See Session 1)
    • Journals (See Session 1)
    • Interview forms for parish member interviews (See Session 1)
    • Icon for prayer
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    Procedure

    1

    Opening Prayer

    In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.   Amen.

    O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth
    Who art everywhere and fillest all things.  
    Treasury of Blessings, and Giver of Life:  
    Come and abide in us, and cleanse us from every impurity,
    And save our souls, O Good One.


    2

    Discussion Starter-Bridge

    Begin by asking the following: What were some of the journeys of God’s People we researched last week? (Point to the maps and Time Line for prompts. Answers should recall Moses, Passover, Ten Commandments and Journey to the Promised Land. As students answer, interject statements making a comparison of family love with God’s love for us.) Ask: How did God show His love for the People of Israel? (Answers should reflect an understanding of His protecting them during the Passover, their escape form bondage in Egypt, the fulfillment of the Promised Land.) Ask: Do you know why Jesus’ Resurrection from the Dead is called the “New Pascha” or “Passover”? Explain that Pascha is Greek for Passover and that Christ’s Resurrection gave us the new Passover from death to life. After this explain to students: Today we are going to examine our Baptism and its impact on our lives as God’s family. We will see how our Baptism and Chrismation are related to the meaning of Pascha.

    3

    Outline

    This project can be done in the Cooperative Learning Style . Each student will be designated a position/task and will execute it in an organized and “cooperative” manner, working together with the others as a unit. As each person is assigned, he or she should set about a plan and work it to completion.
    • Have one student place chart paper on table or tape to wall.
    • Have another student get supplies (copies of Service of Baptism, markers, pencils, paper to write information).
    • Students should then act as the researchers and begin to look up and outline the following parts of the Baptism and Chrismation service on chart paper:

    Our Holy Baptism and Chrismation into God’s Holy Church and Parish Family

    I.  Reception into the Catechumenate:

    • Exorcism prayers
    • Expelling of evil spirits
    • Renouncing of Satan
    • Symbol of Faith (Nicene Creed)—resurrection, movement towards God’s Kingdom.

    II. Order of Holy Baptism:
    A. Candles (Light of Christ)

    • Anointing with oil
    • Blessing of water
    • Baptism—immersion; death to life
    • White Robe—purity

    III. Order of Chrismation
    A. Chrismation—anointing with Holy Chrism

    • Procession around Baptismal font (“As many as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ.”
    • Epistle (Romans 6:3-11)
    • Gospel (Matthew 28:16-20)

    IV. Tonsuring

    • Churching

    A. Prayer of St. Simeon

    Note: It is better to have students look things up for themselves in the service books than to
    simply read off the parts of the service. This hands-on learning keeps their
    interest as they are doing the research.

    • As students are researching, have one student read from portions of the introductory pages explaining the symbolism of each action in both sacraments. You may want to highlight these ahead of time.
    • Take pictures of students while they are working. Use these for an additional display, or to enhance charts and displays for “Roots” Coffee Hour.
    • When students have finished, ask: What does Baptism say about us as members of the church? (In Baptism we are brought from death to life. In Chrismation we are made members of Christ’s Holy Church.)
    • Students may add their own baptism picture to decorate the outline.
    • As students are finishing, have them look at Ode 1 of the Paschal Canon which is on chart paper:
    The Canon of Pascha

     Ode 1

    This is the day of Resurrection. Let us be illumined,
    O people. Pascha, the Pascha of the Lord. For from
    death to life and from earth to heaven has Christ our
    God led us, as we sing a song of victory.
    • Ask students, How are our baptism and Chrismation related to the meaning of

    Pascha? (Answers should reflect our passing from death to life. Our going into the baptismal water is the death and our immersion and rising is the resurrection. Our Chrismation is the bestowing of the Seal and the gift of the Holy Spirit.) You can go on to quote from p.12,
    “Easter and Pentecost are inseparably related in the whole of the
    Christian message. Baptism is the personal Easter and Pentecost.”


    4

    Journals

  • Have students label date and write about their reactions to their activities and above discussion today. Use Wrap-Up questions also as writing prompt.

  • 5

    Roots Ancestors Map

    • Insert “Roots” Ancestors Map from Activities as FlashPaper
    • Continue mapping students’ ancestors’ countries of origin, 2 countries each.
    • Begin mapping parishioners’ ancestors’ countries of origin

    6

    Oral History Project

  • Continue interview of parishioners by collecting finished interviews and updating those in progress. They will have two weeks to finish their interviews. Explain that interviews are to be conducted at an arranged time and place and they are to be present to carry out their interviews at that time, or by phone, or using bulletin insert. Tell students they may NOT make arrangements to meet anyone outside of the parish setting without their parent’s and your knowledge.

  • 7

    Wrap-up

    As students are cleaning up and preparing for closing prayer, ask the following:
    (Have Baptism Service outline from chart/butcher paper tacked to a wall or bulletin board.) What did we learn about our Baptism today? (Answers should reflect our personal Pascha and membership into Christ’s Holy Church) How does our Baptism and Chrismation make us a family? (Answers should reflect the love we have for each other is part of our membership in His Holy Church.)

    8

    Closing Prayer

    O Lord, save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance.
    Grant victories to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries;
    And by virtue of Thy cross, preserve Thy habitation. 

    In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


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    Being an Orthodox Christian (Ages 10-12)

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    Overview

    Members of God’s Family Together - We become members of God’s family when we are baptized. God calls us to love all people. Our “neighbor” is any person who stands before us at any given moment. A personal inventory helps us become more aware of who we are, what strengths we need to build upon, and what weaknesses we need to correct.
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    Objectives

    By the end of this Lesson, learners should be able to:

    • Discuss how St. Paul's words (in Romans 12:3, 9, 14-18) relate to our interactions with people in our daily lives (family, school, activities, mall, etc.)
    • Work together in cooperative effort to solve a problem
    • Reflect that, when working in groups, we each have a role to play
    • List ways we can better know our classmates who come from different backgrounds or schools
    • Reflect in journals on how to become more understanding and accepting of other's differences
    • Remaining Objectives--See Session 1 and collect and update interviews of parish members for Roots Project
    • Continue recording and reporting parish family stories of ancestors (RootsOral History)
    • Continue work on Roots Map from interviews
    • Continue planning the Roots Coffee Hour Project
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    Materials

    • Large butcher chart paper
    • Bibles
    • Markers
    • Peace Group Puzzle Piece statements (See Activity Resource at end of session)
    • Pencils
    • paper
    • Tape
    • Scissors
    • Disposable camera
    • Family Memories scrapbook and materials (See Session 1)
    • “Roots” Ancestors Map (See Session 1)
    • Journals (See Session 1)
    • Interview forms for parish member interviews (See Session 1)
    • Icon for prayer
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    Procedure

    1

    Opening Prayer

    In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.   Amen.

    O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth
    Who art everywhere and fillest all things.  
    Treasury of Blessings, and Giver of Life:  
    Come and abide in us, and cleanse us from every impurity,
    And save our souls, O Good One.


    2

    Discussion Starter-Bridge

    Begin by asking the following: What did we learn about baptism last week in relation to Pascha? Becoming God’s People? (Point to the Baptism outline for prompts. Answers should recall Baptism as death to Resurrection, Pascha, Pentecost) As students answer, interject statements making a comparison of family love with God’s love for us. Ask: How does God show His love for us as members of His Church? (Answers should reflect an understanding of His love by giving us a place in His Kingdom through our Baptism and Chrismation.) Ask: Do you know why Jesus asked us to live in peace?
    Why is this important for us as God’s people?

    3

    Cooperation Puzzle

    This project is a group dynamics and cooperation exercise, and is an excellent activity for enhancement of the Cooperative Learning Style. Students must work together to, first, find the problem, then try to solve it by examining all the information. 

    The problem is: Who will go to Vespers and the concert at church next Saturday?

    Each student will be given several cards, each with a written statement. There are 18 “puzzle pieces” in all. They are as follows: (These are not numbered on the cards)
    • John doesn’t like to go to church concerts, but he likes hanging with Alex and will go if Alex goes.
    • Sarah will be going to Vespers and the concert as long as Mrs. Allen doesn’t need a babysitter. Sarah’s regular job is to baby-sit, so that comes first.
    • Vespers and the concert are scheduled Saturday, from 7:00-9:00pm.
    • Anna rarely misses Vespers.
    • Alex did not do well on his last science quiz and has to study every night for an upcoming test, unless someone can help him understand photosynthesis.
    • Elizabeth had an argument with Anna, and Anna stomped off without working it out. Now Elizabeth will not go to Vespers and the concert unless Anna apologizes and resolves the argument.
    • Tom wants Alex to be able to go to Vespers and the concert, since Alex likes liturgical music. Tom will help out by explaining photosynthesis to Alex. Also, Tom knows the choral director and might be able to introduce Alex.
    • Who will go to Vespers and the Concert?
    • Tom loves liturgical music, but his parents have a rule that he can only be out three nights a week. They rarely allow exceptions. He has three basketball games to play this week, because he has a make-up game.
    • Anna feels badly about walking out on the argument with Elizabeth. She has decided to call to apologize and to settle the argument, once and for all.
    • Mary is new to the parish and only knows one person, Elizabeth. Mary will go if Elizabeth goes.
    • Mrs. Allen would like to go to the concert, and will need a babysitter.
    • Tom and his parents never miss a service, unless he has a basketball game.
    • One of the Allen children has come down with a fever, and Mrs. Allen has decided not to go.
    • Paul would like to go to the concert, but he will need a ride, since his parents are out-of-town, and his grandmother is watching his baby sister.
    • The church school teacher, Mrs. Miller, has offered to pick up anyone who needs a ride to Vespers and the concert Saturday night.
    • George is grounded because he was late coming home from last week’s soccer match. He can’t be out past 9:00 pm on week nights.
    • Tom’s parents are attending Vespers and singing in the concert.
    Shuffle and hand out the cards face down, instructing the students they are not to look at them until you say so. How many cards each students receives depends on the size of your class. Give the following instructions: This is a problem-solving exercise. Everyone has information. There is a question to be answered. You will have to figure out what the question is, before you can answer it. You may read the cards aloud, but you cannot show them to each other, or trade them. Be ready to explain your answers. Use pencil and paper to help answer the questions, if you wish. You will be given 15 minutes to complete the exercise. You may turn over your cards and begin. Students will find this awkward at first. They may just sit there for a while. They may argue, even get upset. Try not to interfere unless they get out-of-hand, or need some assistance. Offer suggestions like: Who do you think is having a hard time going? Why? Students should locate and recite the following:

     Problem: Who will go to Vespers and the concert at church next Saturday?

    Answers: John Tom
    Alex Paul
    Sarah Mary
    Elizabeth Mrs. Miller
    Anna Tom’s parents
    George
    • John will go because Alex can go.
    • Alex will go because Tom will help him with photosynthesis.
    • Sarah will go because Mrs. Allen can’t. Her child is sick and Sarah doesn’t have to baby-sit.
    • Elizabeth will go because Anna will apologize.
    • Anna is going because she regularly attends Vespers, and will work things out with Elizabeth.
    • George is going because he is only grounded on weeknights, and Vespers and the concert are on Saturday.
    • Tom is going because his parents are singing. His parents have made exceptions for their rule about nights out, and, since they all love liturgical music, this would be an exception.
    • Paul can go because Mrs. Miller will give him a ride.
    • Mary will go because Elizabeth will go.
    • Mrs. Miller is going, and she is driving Paul.
    • Tom’s parents are going and singing in the concert.
    •  Have one student place chart paper with Group Roles on table or tape to wall.
    • Ask students to identify who played what role; have another student list names next to roles

    4

    Discussion and Listening

    • Ask students to look up St. Paul’s words in the Romans 12:3, 9, 14-18. Have one student read each verse. As they read, stop and ask, How does this affect us in our daily lives? (Give examples as prompts for discussion: Verse 3—not putting ourselves above others; Verse 9—doing what is good, choosing friends wisely, staying away from people who are a bad influence; Verses 14-18—pray for those who bully you, don’t fight back or try to harm those who are trying to harm you, feel empathy toward those around you, do not think yourself above other, treat all those around you with kindness, don’t take revenge on anyone, live in peace.) Ask, When do you think you might have a hard time doing these things? Allow time for responses. How can you accomplish this? (Give students a chance to respond.)
    • Have students list responses on chart paper as they are given. Take a class picture and display with list.

    5

    Journals

  • Have students label date and write about their reactions to their activities and above discussion today. Use Wrap-Up questions (#8) as writing prompt.

  • 6

    Roots Ancestors Map

    • Continue mapping students’ ancestors’ countries of origin, 2 countries each.
    • Begin mapping parishioners’ ancestors’ countries of origin

    7

    Oral History Project

    Continue interview of parishioners by collecting finished interviews and updating those in progress. They will have two weeks to finish their interviews. Explain to students that interviews are to be conducted at an arranged time and place and they are to be present to carry out their interviews at that time, or by phone, or using bulletin insert. Tell students they may NOT make arrangements to meet anyone outside of the parish setting without their parent’s and your knowledge.

    8

    Wrap-up

    As students are cleaning up and preparing for closing prayer, ask the following:
    (Have Baptism Service outline from chart/butcher paper tacked to a wall or bulletin board.) Ask: What did we learn about our Baptism today? (Answers should reflect our personal Pascha and membership into Christ’s Holy Church) How can we incorporate what St. Paul said about living with others? (Give time for student response) How can we use what St. Paul said to help us find out more about each of us here? What can we do to make help us get to know and respect each other? (Give time to reflect. Answers should include talking to one another, getting to know differences and similarities, looking toward the positives in each other, treating each other with respect, perhaps get ting to know each other by seeing each other outside of the classroom.) Let’s keep the words of St. Paul with us this coming week as we grow together in God’s love for us.

    9

    Closing Prayer

    O Lord, save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance.
    Grant victories to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries;
    And by virtue of Thy cross, preserve Thy habitation.

     In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

     


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    The Work of God’s People (Ages 10-12)

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    Overview

    Following God in Our Lives - Building community in our local and in the neighborhood where our church is located is an important form of witness, mission, and outreach. As Orthodox Christians we need to: bring new life in Christ to others outside our parish community, support and assist in up-building, and address critical needs of community as we reveal our commitment to God through steadfast integrity, compassion, and responsibility to all of God’s people.
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    Objectives

    By the end of this Lesson, learners should be able to:

    • Compare the description of the first Church in Acts 2:41-47 with the life of our parish today and describe how the members of this first community influenced the people around them, and how our parish community continues this witness
    • Give one or two examples of a way that we have helped someone by being faithful, responsible, or trustworthy
    • Describe how you felt about what we did, or why faithfulness, responsibility, and trust are important in society
    • List ways we can make a difference in our local communities as Orthodox Christians and contributing members of society
    • Reflect in our journals how we can continue to help those within our parish and our surrounding communities by doing deeds which bring out our compassion, integrity and responsibility as Gods people.
    • Remaining Objectives--See Session 1 and collect and update interviews of parish members for Roots Project
    • Continue recording and reporting parish family stories of ancestors. (Roots Oral History)
    • Continue work on Roots Map from interviews
    • Continue planning the Roots Coffee Hour Project
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    Materials

    • Large butcher chart paper
    • Bibles
    • Markers
    • Pencils
    • paper
    • Tape
    • Scissors
    • Family Memories scrapbook and materials (See Session 1)
    • “Roots” Ancestors Map (See Session 1)
    • Journals (See Session 1)
    • Interview forms for parish member interviews (See Session 1)
    • Icon for prayer
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    Procedure

    1

    Opening Prayer

    In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.   Amen.

    O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth
    Who art everywhere and fillest all things.  
    Treasury of Blessings, and Giver of Life:  
    Come and abide in us, and cleanse us from every impurity,
    And save our souls, O Good One.


    2

    Discussion Starter-Bridge

    Begin by asking the following: What did we learn about baptism last week in relation to becoming God’s People? (Point to the Baptism outline and class list and picture from last week for prompts. Answers should recall Baptism as our personal Pascha, Pentecost, life together as God’s people.) Ask: How do the words of St. Paul show us how to live together as members of His Church? How do we now know and respect each other? (Answers should reflect the love and respect St. Paul prescribed to us as children of God.) Ask Students, How can we put in action some of the things we have learned in our parish? Our neighborhoods? Our communities?

    3

    Beginning Parish Communities

    In the Cooperative Learning Style, have students use Bibles to look up and read Acts 2:41-47. Have another students list the actions newly baptized Christians took (i.e. breaking of bread, sold, divided possessions, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, braking bread from house to house, with simplicity of heart.). Ask students how they as a class can mirror the actions of those early Christians. Have a student list suggestions. Suggest activities to help in: parish, neighborhood, deanery, diocese, national church.

    4

    Parish Model

    • Begin by showing Venn Diagram
    • Explain how parish, community and liturgy tie in together as one.
    • Pass around the information you have collected about various parish organizations. Discuss what they are, how they operate, who they serve, and how to become involved.
    • Ask students what they can do to help. As you discuss this, have a student list ways discussed, and start those all agree would be feasible to work on.
    • Ask for a student volunteer to oversee the implementation of the actions students wish to take. For example, students could decide to be on the grass-cutting rotation, sign up to run coffee hours several Sundays per year, or for upcoming special events run off bulletins in the office or clean the church or hall, offer to have someone who needs a ride picked up for church or special occasions.
    • Please note that it is vital students stick to their commitment, so be realistic in what they can handle. One project is probably best. This can be worked on with the senior group as well.
    • Do the same with Deanery/Diocesan program, national church program, and local community program. Be realistic in choosing, as students could feel overwhelmed and react negatively. If they are excited about one church, and one community project, it would be an excellent start.
    • Have students list their choices on chart paper and appoint themselves to their tasks. You can keep track of these as the times for action progress.

    5

    Journals

  • Have students label date and write about their reactions to their activities and above discussion today. Use Wrap-Up questions (#8) as writing prompt.

  • 6

    Roots Ancestors Map

    • Finish mapping students’ ancestors’ countries of origin, 2 countries each.
    • Finish mapping parishioners’ ancestors’ countries of origin. They should be ready for display for Roots Coffee Hour.

    7

    Oral History Project

  • Finish recording interviews of parishioners by collecting finished interviews and updating those in progress. They should be ready for final display for Roots Coffee Hour

  • 8

    Wrap-up

    As students are cleaning up and preparing for closing prayer, ask the following:
    (Have Baptism Service outline from chart/butcher paper tacked to a wall or bulletin board.) Ask: What did we learn about our tasks as Orthodox Christians and members of God’s family today? (Answers should reflect our personal commitments to those around us as membership into Christ’s Holy Church) How can we incorporate what the Book of Acts said about parish community? (Give time for student response) What are we going to try to do to show our faithfulness, responsibility, and trustworthiness? (Give time to reflect. Answers should include list of what they have committed to.) Let’s keep the words of St. Paul and the Acts of the Holy Apostles with us this coming week as we grow together in God’s love for us.

    9

    Closing Prayer

    O Lord, save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance.
    Grant victories to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries;
    And by virtue of Thy cross, preserve Thy habitation.

     

    In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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