My Church, Our Home: Session V: In Deed and In Truth
This session will develop the understanding in the participants, that we are called by Christ to “love our neighbors”. We should live our lives in our homes, our schools, and our places of business, etc. as messengers who reflect Christ’s teachings. Participants should explore ways they may be part of outreach as a member of their parish and family.
These are the understandings we will teach in this session.
- Our lives should reflect God’s “house rules” in our deeds towards our neighbors, our families and for those who hate and oppose us.
- Our parishes provide opportunities for outreach in which we should take Our own homes should be a reflection of our life in “God’s home”.
These questions, when answered and discussed, will lead back to the understandings for this session.
- How can we make our own homes like “God’s house?’
- How are we expected to act and behave in our own homes? Should it be different than the way we are expected to act in Church? In our communities?
- How can we take the teachings of the church and live them at home?
- When Jesus teaches us to “love our neighbor,” to whom is He referring?. Can we take the teachings of the church and share them with others who are not of our faith? How do we do this?
- Have you ever hurt anyone, or have you ever been mean towards a person?
- What was it that made you behave this way?
- Should we practice intercessory prayer for all people? Why or why not?
- What does Jesus teach us about how to do for others? Why do you think it is taught this way?
- Is it difficult to love the people who treat you poorly?
- Why are you expected to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven?”. (Matthew 5:44-48)
- When we do something good for others, and it makes us “feel good,” is this a bad thing or a good thing?
Using the understandings and the essential questions, begin a discussion about how we are expected to act and behave in different circumstances. How is our behavior a reflection on who we are? What are we expected to be like as Orthodox Christians? What is it that Christ calls us to do for our fellow man? How do we see Christ reflected in the faces of our friends, our neighbors, our enemies? When the discussion is finished, have the students brainstorm ways that Christ calls on us to minister to one another. Then when the lists are written, post them up for all to see, and have them work on the activities listed.
– Create a triptych, a tri-fold, free standing poster that depicts three
different outreach activities in which we may become involved. They can be
activities we may participate in our own homes, they may be something we do
at school for others, and they may include something we might participate
in at our own parishes. Each scene may be drawn; the participants may use
the collage approach, or may even use a symbol to represent what they might
do. (For example-, the picture of a plate of food could symbolize feeding
- Newspaper – Create a “Good News” newspaper or magazine. You are the editor of this publication, and it is your job to make sure it is filled with “interviews” of people who are doing good works for others. You may interview other participants, teachers, staff, parents etc. and ask them to describe one time when they did a good work. Be sure to ask them why they did it, and then ask them how it felt to be a participant in this activity. Be sure to write one interview about yourself in this publication. The newspaper or magazine may be constructed from newsprint, or white construction paper, and should also include some illustrations of the editor’s choosing. These may be hand drawn, cut out and pasted, or copied from another source.
Define the word outreach- should be defined for each group- How do we participate ourselves, how do we participate in outreach at home, and how do we participate in outreach as a parish?