EXPLORING ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY is a six-week experience for anyone interested in understanding better the faith, teachings, history, worship and practices of the Orthodox Christian Church. This Lent Unit (Saturdays Mar. 7 – Apr. 11) is complemented by an Advent Unit held in the Fall.
This evening program begins with 5pm Vespers on Saturday night, followed by a common potluck fasting meal (roughly 6pm, no meat or dairy, please), a short presentation and discussion. One or more church members will give the presentation(s) and moderate the discussion. Each evening’s program should wrap up by 7-7:30pm.
This program is recommended for all interested (including Orthodox Christians, non-Christians or non-Orthodox Christians) and is also part of the standard preparation for formally enrolled catechumens of the parish (those who have made a commitment to become Orthodox Christians).
TOPIC SCHEDULE FOR LENT 2020 (subject to adjustment as needed):
March 7: How to Interact with Your Priest
When should you call the priest? What is the proper relationship with your priest? What are realistic expectations of him? What are the major life events where he needs to be notified and asked for help? What does healthy obedience to a father-confessor look like?
March 14: How to Fast
What is the purpose of fasting? What kind of fasting is normal for most Orthodox Christians? What are the foods one can and cannot have during a fast? How do the fasts throughout the year differ? What if you have a medical condition that makes it hard to fast?
March 21: How to Be a Good Steward
What does it mean to tithe? What is really expected of a Christian by God? How do we love one another? How do you find your ministry in the church community? What is the right amount to give of one’s time, talent and treasure?
March 28: No class this evening due to the Lenten retreat happening all day
April 4: How to Interact with Saints and Angels
Who are the heavenly hosts? What is the Divine Council of God? How does someone become a saint? How do you venerate saints and angels? Do we pray to them or pray with them?
April 11: How to Pray at Home and Church
What is prayer? What is a prayer rule? (Is it necessary to have one?) How do you make Christ’s presence apparent at home? How do you keep from getting distracted during prayer? How do you pray the Jesus Prayer? (Is it necessary to have a prayer rope?) What does it mean to meditate?