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Author Topic: Regarding basketball clubs, church camps, sunday school etc.  (Read 1257 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: March 01, 2011, 03:26:51 AM »

How did these things originate, are they derived from Protestantism? And things like Greek School, and these other clubs inside the Church.

On a sidenote, I have fond memories of AWANA.
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« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2011, 11:21:07 AM »

Mostly, I think they are derived from Protestantism. Sunday School definitely. I've heard that not many Orthodox parishes in the US have a Sunday School program (I'm usually not a fan of Sunday Schools myself). My parish does have one, and it's okay, though I usually don't attend. However, several times I've been visiting another parish and when I'm asked where I go and tell them, they say, "Oh! That's the parish with the Sunday School program!" It's strange!

Greek school, I think, is more like Hebrew School than any Protestant innovation. I grew up with a few Jewish families around, and they are very dedicated to having Hebrew School, usually an all-day or half-day event on Sundays for young boys and girls preparing for their mitzvah. It has theological instruction, but also serves the purpose of educating them on Jewish culture and the Hebrew language. It's a preservation of culture, which is often what Greek schools are about, as well.

Most youth-type programs done by Orthodox here in the States are also heavily influenced by Protestantism. I try to keep up with our youth leaders at the parish (two laymen) and they attend various youth conferences. Most Orthodox here in the States don't seem to have a clue about how to handle youth, and take a lot of their tips from Protestant youth pastors.  Sad

I have no clue about how this stuff works in traditional Orthodox countries. I'd actually be interested to hear about that!
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« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2011, 11:39:19 AM »

Goodness gracious, people think of the oddest things.
 
In the old world prior to the 20th century, life centered around the village or the neighborhood. At the center of the life cycle of the community  stood the Church and her cycle regulated and defined the social order and calendar of secular life. The Church often provided the outlet for both spiritual and temporal fellowship. Education was handed within the family and by the Church and its pastors and bishops.

These 'innovations' that some of you apparently fear due to your prior religious affiliations are nothing more than a contemporary adaptation of ancient norms. Let's not romanticize the past or life as a poor peasant or impoverished urban worker in prior centuries.

If you spend any time in most of the 'old world', especially if you still have family there, you will come to realize that their modern life is not all that different than the one we live in the states.
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« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2011, 12:05:33 PM »

"Sunday school" is just religious education. There's nothing at all unOrthodox about it. In Orthodox countries, students receive religious education in school. In America they do not, so the Church helps educated them, together with parents.

As for camps, again, there are Orthodox camps in Orthodox countries. Why think Protestants came up with all these things?
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« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2011, 12:42:18 PM »

Basketball is surely satanic since it originated in the YMCA.
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« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2011, 02:54:46 PM »


My church does not have a "Sunday School", because being in church and attending Divine Liturgy on Sunday with their parents is the best school the kids could attend.

However, we do have a Ukrainian School on Saturdays from 9 to 2, where the children have classes studying the Ukrainian language, culture, reading, etc.  They also have a class on Orthodoxy....(which sometimes gets interesting as many children are Ukrainian, but, not Orthodox.)

As for Church Camp, we have one each summer for a week.  It's always based on a Biblical Theme and teaches Orthodox values, morals, prayers, etc.  It's a good way for the kids to get together, learn and build lasting friendships.

As for basketball.... it's "satanic" only in that it pulls our youth (and some adults) away from God.  Instead of coming to church, they watch the game, play the game or have practice.  Anything that distracts one from God, is evil.  However, all things in moderation.  Playing basketball is fine, as long as it doesn't dominate one's life.

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« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2011, 03:19:25 PM »

Sunday School isn't necessarily bad, I just think we need to re-evaluate our approach.  Yes, the idea came from the West, but only because we weren't able to continue our own tradition of giving that education out in regular, M-F day school.

Camp is a fantastic tool - because it brings the kids together in an intimate environment (praying & living together), it opens their hearts to greater understanding of the message, and it allows them to be immersed in an Orthodox environment, where all things (prayer, eating, sleeping, learning, playing, et al.) are baptized.

IME, Camping programs in other Orthodox countries sprung up because of their success in this country; I may be wrong on this, as I've not studied the subject extensively, but this is the impression I've been given by a few people who are more familiar with the subject.
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« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2011, 03:34:37 PM »

As for basketball.... it's "satanic" only in that it pulls our youth (and some adults) away from God.  Instead of coming to church, they watch the game, play the game or have practice.  Anything that distracts one from God, is evil.  However, all things in moderation.  Playing basketball is fine, as long as it doesn't dominate one's life.

If you happen to attend an OC.net meet-up in Indiana or Kentucky, for my safety, could you please keep this sorta talk to a minimum?
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« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2011, 03:44:35 PM »

Do they have camps for people in their 20s?
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« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2011, 04:09:01 PM »

Do they have camps for people in their 20s?

Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) has several get-togethers and conferences. There also other groups for post-college age singles.
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« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2011, 04:22:05 PM »

Do they have camps for people in their 20s?

Check out a nearby college or university to see if they have an OCF chapter. Even if you are not a student, the advisor might welcome your participation!
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« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2011, 11:15:25 AM »

Sunday School or religious education is actually pretty common in Orthodox churches in our area - I can't think of one that doesn't have it.
As a Sunday School teacher, I may not be objective, but based on what I hear from my students, if you think they're "getting" it by attending the Liturgy, they're not. Especially if the Liturgy is conducted in a language that they don't understand. Or understand well.
Why wouldn't we do everything we can to educate and inform our children about the Faith?
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« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2011, 11:33:49 AM »


Most definitely we should educate our children about the Faith, but, not during Divine Liturgy.  They need to be in church with their families.  They are missing out if they are not there.   Why deny them the grace and blessing bestowed upon them during the service?

Class should be after Liturgy, while the parents drink their coffee and chit-chat, or on another day.

As I mentioned, we have classes on Saturday, so that works out very well.  However, we also hold sessions Sundays for the children who do not attend school on Saturdays.  The class is only a half an hour or so.  We cover the Gospel reading and anything that's pertinent to the time period - Lent, etc. 

We also have special classes for children preparing for their First Confession.  This is also Sundays after the Liturgy.


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« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2011, 12:12:04 PM »


Most definitely we should educate our children about the Faith, but, not during Divine Liturgy.  They need to be in church with their families.  They are missing out if they are not there.   Why deny them the grace and blessing bestowed upon them during the service?

Class should be after Liturgy, while the parents drink their coffee and chit-chat, or on another day.

As I mentioned, we have classes on Saturday, so that works out very well.  However, we also hold sessions Sundays for the children who do not attend school on Saturdays.  The class is only a half an hour or so.  We cover the Gospel reading and anything that's pertinent to the time period - Lent, etc. 

We also have special classes for children preparing for their First Confession.  This is also Sundays after the Liturgy.




Growing up, we always held Church School AFTER liturgy during a coffee hour for the parents and other congregants. In ACROD I don't know of any parish which conducts school during Liturgy. I was surprised when I was in college and saw that practice in a Greek parish and I learned that it was commonplace, at least back then.

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« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2011, 12:24:07 PM »


Most definitely we should educate our children about the Faith, but, not during Divine Liturgy.  They need to be in church with their families.  They are missing out if they are not there.   Why deny them the grace and blessing bestowed upon them during the service?

Class should be after Liturgy, while the parents drink their coffee and chit-chat, or on another day.

As I mentioned, we have classes on Saturday, so that works out very well.  However, we also hold sessions Sundays for the children who do not attend school on Saturdays.  The class is only a half an hour or so.  We cover the Gospel reading and anything that's pertinent to the time period - Lent, etc.  

We also have special classes for children preparing for their First Confession.  This is also Sundays after the Liturgy.




Growing up, we always held Church School AFTER liturgy during a coffee hour for the parents and other congregants. In ACROD I don't know of any parish which conducts school during Liturgy. I was surprised when I was in college and saw that practice in a Greek parish and I learned that it was commonplace, at least back then.



St. Michael's Carpatho Russian Church in Niles, Illinois conducts school during Liturgy. Fr. Sam Sherry is the priest.

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« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2011, 12:32:30 PM »

Our church school is every other Saturday before vespers, and vespers is also part of the curriculum.
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« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2011, 12:42:13 PM »

Our church school is every other Saturday before vespers, and vespers is also part of the curriculum.

I LOVE that idea!  That's actually great!  This way more folks show up for Vespers, as well.
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« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2011, 12:42:17 PM »


Most definitely we should educate our children about the Faith, but, not during Divine Liturgy.  They need to be in church with their families.  They are missing out if they are not there.   Why deny them the grace and blessing bestowed upon them during the service?

Class should be after Liturgy, while the parents drink their coffee and chit-chat, or on another day.

As I mentioned, we have classes on Saturday, so that works out very well.  However, we also hold sessions Sundays for the children who do not attend school on Saturdays.  The class is only a half an hour or so.  We cover the Gospel reading and anything that's pertinent to the time period - Lent, etc.  

We also have special classes for children preparing for their First Confession.  This is also Sundays after the Liturgy.




Growing up, we always held Church School AFTER liturgy during a coffee hour for the parents and other congregants. In ACROD I don't know of any parish which conducts school during Liturgy. I was surprised when I was in college and saw that practice in a Greek parish and I learned that it was commonplace, at least back then.



St. Michael's Carpatho Russian Church in Niles, Illinois conducts school during Liturgy. Fr. Sam Sherry is the priest.

-Nick

Like I said, I didn't know of any but I will take your word on that one as they are on the 'other side of the universe' to those of us from Pennsyltucky (includes PA, WVa, NJ, Md., Ohio and central NY...  LOL!  Wink  )

BTW, congratulations to Fr. Sam on his recent elevation to Protopresbyter! He is a wonderful person and priest! Axios! Many Years!
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« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2011, 04:18:00 PM »

I'm one who does not have a problem with these things....  So long as they are taken in "fellowship".
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