CHRIST IS RISEN! I pray that Pascha was indeed a blessing for you and
your families. I hope that you brought your children, grandchildren
and godchildren along with you to as many services as possible, given
their age and temperament. It's never too early to bring our children
to Church during Great Lent and Holy Week.
Keep in mind that even though Pascha has come, the Church School year
is not over. A common complaint of Church School Directors is the
drop in Church School attendance after Pascha. This year there are at
still four, maybe five weeks of class yet. Do all that you can to
make sure the children are in Liturgy and class.
With the end of the school year and summer vacation often comes a
drop in Church attendance as well. I have even heard of people who
say, "We'll see you in September!" Our Faith, our Church,
is as important to children as it is to their parents. If we want
them to stay in the Orthodox Church, to get married in the Orthodox
Church, to have their children, our grandchildren, baptized in the
Orthodox Church, then it's up to us to be the best example we can be.
This includes regular, year-round, Church participation. Given all
the temptations and diversions that life in the United States offers
us, parents have to work at being diligent. It's a challenge! But
that's just the beginning.
I often speak about the role of parents in the religious education of
their children. When asked, "What is religious education in the
home?" the late Dr. John Boojamra, a well-known religious
educator of the Antiochian Archdiocese and professor at St.
Vladimir's Seminary, wrote, "First, religious education in the
home is a set of priorities about religion in life. To say it
plainly, it's parents who make their religion a part of their lives,
who assign religion a high priority in their lives. It's saying by
their actions that attending Liturgy Sunday morning is more important
than sleeping late. It's saying by their actions that love of God is
important, that forgiveness is important, that worship is important,
that the Church is important, that what the Church teaches is
important - important enough to be given number-one priority!"
[Excerpted from "What Families Can Do", Newsletter of the
Department of Christian Education, Antiochian Orthodox Christian
Archdiocese, November 1977, Vol. 8, No. 2, p. 6. John Boojamra,
editor. ] This is something to ponder!
© 2000 Phyllis Meshel Onest