Being God’s eyes and ears, His hands and feet!

13 Jan

As our parish children grow, our church school program has expanded into 2 groups: younger children are enjoying classes with Mrs. Carol Kaputa in the refurbished area of the church undercroft, and older youth are beginning instruction with Matushka DeniseTheophany image Jillions in the refurbished rectory. During the Epiphany season Matushka Denise and her group discussed the sacrament of baptism.

“We talked about their own baptism and how the priest had anointed each of them with the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit—on their hands and eyes and ears and feet and foreheads—to symbolize that they each now have the power of the Holy Spirit to see God everywhere,” noted Matushka Denise, “to hear His voice, to do good works, and to use their minds and hearts to love others, and to use their special gifts and talents for the upbuilding of the church—just as we had heard in the epistle reading for the day.

Church school youth with Fr. John at the blessing of the parish rectory

“We also brainstormed the ‘fruits of the spirit’ as listed in the Bible: love, joy, patience, et cetera—as well as contrasting them with their opposites—and we talked about these gifts as a way to work with God, who is helping us to grow up and take care of each other and the earth,” she continued.

“That discussion,” she said, “led us to talk about the importance of water for the existence of life, for cleansing by washing, and for baptism, and further, to why the priest blesses homes—even blessing a basement or attic that might be messy, because God wants to be ‘all and in all,’ in every corner of our homes and hearts and lives.”

After the lesson Father John arrived and commissioned the youth to use their gifts to help him serve the traditional house blessing at the rectory. Max being the oldest carried the candle and led the way, Chase being the youngest carried the bowl of holy water, and Madeline and Ella were the choir as they went through the house, from the basement to the very “cool” attic. They sang as Fr. John sprinkled water everywhere in the house, and then returned back to the kitchen for the final prayers.

What an exciting new beginning! What a powerful lesson!

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