Subscribe

 

Monday, August 10, 2020

Being a Lenten Apprentice  

Hellenic News
Hellenic News
The copyrights for these articles are owned by HNA. They may not be redistributed without the permission of the owner. The opinions expressed by our authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of HNA and its representatives.

Latest articles

Η Αγία Σοφία, οι Συμβολισμοί και η Τουρκία ως Καταστροφέας Πολιτισμών

Γράφει ο Ιωάννης ΜπαλτζώηςO  Τούρκος δημοσιογράφος Ραμί Τουράν σε  ένα τολμηρό του άρθρο στην εφημερίδα Σοτζιού της 14ης Ιουλίου έγραφε: «Οι οικονομικές κρίσεις και...

The destruction of civilization, the other side of the Conqueror and conquest

By Ioannis MpaltzoisThere are more mosques in Turkey than there are schools. To the existing 84,684 mosques, one more was added. Hagia Sophia became...

Αντισταθείτε!! Ο αγώνας είναι για την Θεομάνα μας, την Παναγία

“Σαν την καταστολισμένη νύφη, έτσι είναι η Ελλάδα μας γεμάτη από εκκλησίες, μοναστήρια και ερημοκλήσια της Παναγίας, πνευματικά παλάτια της ταπεινής αυτής Βασίλισσας. Στο...

My parents own property in Greece

My parents own property in Greece, but I do not know if they have the right documents to prove their property rights. Also, I...

HANC pushes for a coordinated effort for Hellenic National issues

July 18, 2020, Old Bridge, NJ.- The Hellenic American National Council (HANC) hosted its annual National Conference on July 18, 2020, at the Grand...

Claiming the Prophet’s Mantle, 21st-century Style

By Anastasios (Tasos) M. Ioannides There are three modern contenders to the prize of a re-created Islamic Empire (caliphate): Saudi Arabia, Iran and Turkey. What...

Michael Beas talks about CEO Club International recognition

Michael Beas, CEO of Atlas Elite Partners and Raver Magazine, chatted with HNA's Markos Papadatos about becomes one of the youngest members named to...

Great Lent is often called a time to return to basics because we focus on central dimensions of our Christian faith: we read from Scripture to remind us of the need for a Savior; we become more focused on matters of prayer and worship; we increase our philanthropic and charitable efforts; and, of course, we follow the ascetic discipline of fasting from certain foods.

 

In some ways, we return to being novice Christians, doing things we were taught years ago. To borrow a concept, we become apprentices once again. According to the dictionary, an apprentice is someone who is “learning by practical experience from more skilled workers.” Parish life could and perhaps should be thought of as an “apprenticeship program” in Christian life.

 

We learn how to be an Orthodox Christian by participating in the life of the Church with more experienced teachers. The experienced share what they have learned with new generations of participants. The wisdom of experienced people is really important. They have internalized the wisdom of the community through their practice of the Faith. This is best shared in face-to-face encounters.

Thanks for reading Hellenic News of America

 

Who are the “more experienced” in our parishes?  First, of course, are the clergy. They have been educated in the Faith at a fairly high level and should be considered the chief teacher of the Faith in a parish (of course the bishop is the chief teacher in the Church). Second, there are the adults in the community who have years of experience living as Orthodox Christians. Don’t underestimate the influence of grandparents and senior citizens. Studies have repeatedly shown that grandparents have enormous influence on the religious lives of the young. Third, there are the teachers and youth advisors. They are a specialized group because of their focus on intentional instruction, class work, discussions, and activity.

 

Who are the apprentices? First, the young. They are learning and need a great deal of guidance. Second, there are the new to the Faith. They may have read about Orthodox Christianity in a book, but are now trying to apply what they’ve read to their lives. Finally, all of us are apprentices to one degree or another. We are continually learning. We are always disciples – students — of Christ and the way of life He invites His followers to observe.

 

How we do this?

Work together, alongside one another. We don’t just bring prosforo to church; we can bake it together. It’s learning by doing.

 

Advice and guidance. There’s a great deal that is learned “on the job,” especially what’s unwritten or can’t be explained easily. Apprentices are often observed performing their jobs by more experienced teachers, and if possible, being corrected or reminded of things along the way. To continue with the prosforo baking example, someone probably has to show us when the dough has been kneaded adequately. That part of the process can’t be found in a book.

 

Small jobs, in time, become large jobs. Being a GOYA officer can lead to Parish Council membership. Serving on a committee leads to chairing the committee. Small liturgical roles can become larger ones in time. In this approach, the lived work of the Church is handed on to newer generations, little by little.

 

Classes are useful. Apprentices often take classes, to learn the theory about their job and to deepen their knowledge of an area. It’s often in preparation for performing a new task. Let’s not underestimate the power of teaching groups. Jesus often His disciples, privately, apart from the crowds. He explained his teachings to them.

 

Great Lent offers opportunities to place all of these qualities into practice in our parishes, teaching one another, but especially the young and new to the Faith, the way of Christian living.

The copyrights for these articles are owned by the Hellenic News of America. They may not be redistributed without the permission of the owner. The opinions expressed by our authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hellenic News of America and its representatives.