When Faithtree Resources began just one year ago (this week!), we had no idea God would use our little parish in Van Nuys, California and our small team of volunteers to reach people across the United States and in over a dozen countries through this work. People are accessing our materials from places like: China, Lebanon, Greece, Japan, Brazil, The Bahamas, Estonia, Canada, France. And every state in the U.S.
The one thing everybody has in common? They’re all passionate about learning to bring their faith to life. They want to know what they believe, understand why they believe it, and learn how to apply it to their daily life.
Yesterday, my friend April and I took our kids to the beach. It was a perfect day in sunny California- the kind where gentle waves danced, and a slight breeze showed up just in time to offset the heat of the sun at noonday.
While our kids played and began to engage in very serious conversations about how to make sand castles correctly, and what sandwich they were going to eat for lunch, April and I engaged in a very serious conversation of our own. It centered around one simple, but not-at-all-simple question:
2 ways changing your words changes your church culture
Did you know that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in every six persons in the United States has a disability? One in six! Other research asserts that number is even higher- up to one in three. Regardless which number is most accurate, one thing is certain: that’s a lot of us! (At least 55 million, to be exact).
However, if we were to take a look within our church congregations, most of us would not see the disability population proportionately in attendance. It begs the question, “Why?”
For some parents, sending children off to summer camp is a joyous and much anticipated experience. We are so thrilled for them to make memories and new friends. We can’t wait for them learn about the Faith, with other Orthodox Christians in a deep way. Plus, for a few days anyway, the daily grind of being a parent gets a bit lighter. There’s no homework to deal with. Date nights are easier to arrange with spouses. Younger children get even more focused attention. And there’s such a wonderful opportunity to miss our kids enormously as the house gets a little too quiet without them.
As a retired Pediatric Occupational Therapist who practiced for over 25 years, I’ve seen so many competent teachers, camp counselors and youth ministers who deeply impact the lives of children. As the mother of a brood of children who went through our Orthodox Christian camping programs, I can say with authority- the counselors at our summer camps are the finest people in the world. Period. End of Story.
Although most of our camp staffs are made up of young adults not even out of school... (Read more)