Imagine a world where we lived together each day as the Church. It is not enough to say that we are Orthodox Christians. We have to live like Orthodox Christians. We must make our world a “Orthodox world.”
Participants learned that the Church’s most important task is to worship God—the Holy Trinity. Vacation Bible School (VBS) 2017 was filled with prayer, crafts, games, activities, and music. It was open to all children from age 4 to rising seventh graders. (Older students and parents where the helping hands and teachers.).
View photographs from this and other recent Vacation Bible Schools.
Director’s Introduction: Can We Live in an Orthodox World?
“We want to think that we have only to contemplate salvation and desire it, and everything is all set. That is not how it happens in reality. The matter of salvation is the most important thing. Consequently it is the most difficult. This is by virtue of its importance and by the labor required. Labor then, for the Lord’s sake! Very soon you will see the fruit. If you do not set to work, however, you will be left without anything and be unworthy. Deliver us, Lord, from this!”
—St. Theophan the Recluse,
Letter 51, The Spiritual Life and How to Be Attuned to It
David the Psalmist yearns for a life in which the spirit of worship is unceasing and in which the divine beauty is contemplated, and in which all investigation is to be made in the spirit of the reverent supplication. Are we willing to labor to live such a life?
Yes, we think we can, provided it is on our terms and conditions. In a world that distracts and teases us with sports, movies, TV, vacations, games, careers, etc., we often find our lives revolving around everything except for our Lord. Is this the essence of an Orthodox life? It is not enough to say that we are Orthodox Christians or that we belong to the Church. We have to live like Orthodox Christians. We need to infuse each hour of our day with Christ.
[In July] our children will once again be engaged in a week of learning, prayer, song, and fun during our annual Vacation Bible School (VBS)—a vibrant and exhilarating part of our parish life. This year’s theme is “Living in an Orthodox World,” where participants will learn that we are to love God and Christ’s Church, and live in a world dedicated to Him.
The Church must be at the center of our existence and touch every part of us and so each VBS day will highlight a service of the liturgical cycle. The Church must touch our day and our night and everything in between. Our morning is touched by morning prayers or Matins, and our evening is touched by evening prayers or Vespers with the other services in between.
Just as the Earth revolves around the sun, our lives must revolve around the Church, so that the Light of Jesus can touch every part of our life. The Light of Christ will keep us warm, and we will grow together as His Church.