A Season of Virtues

I suppose if you asked me to sum-up our 2023-2024 School Year Scope in one sentence, I would say it is the year focused on virtues; virtues most parents hope to instill on their teens before adulthood - the ones my parents instilled in me.

The lessons throughout this scope year include themes of honesty, obedience, boldness, and conviction.  

Losing my mom one year ago (hot on the heels of losing my dad a few years before) probably had a lot to do with that.  

Ringing in my ears must have been those tired lectures from my parents that once made me roll my eyes, but now just make me smile.  

To anyone who has lost someone or watched someone they love go through unspeakable suffering, it is difficult to put into words how sometimes (even most times) you are completely fine, but in a random moment it can feel as if the loss happened yesterday.  The open wound becomes fresh.

Well, if I'm honest, these moments found their way into our Bridges to Orthodoxy scope this year.

Inspired by my mom’s joy through her suffering, you will find lessons about our Martyrs and Confessors, including St. Ignatius of Antioch who being imprisoned and on his way to execution, pleaded with his friends not to interfere on his behalf but instead celebrate his martyrdom because as Christians we must join to Christ in everything – not just His goodness and love, but also His walk of fasting, service, and yes – suffering. Through suffering our faith is built, refined, and perfected.

Reflecting on my last moments with my dad, I instilled into the curriculum lessons on integrity and honesty as only one in the Bible is nicknamed the father of liars and that is someone we don’t want to be. 

This year we are challenging our teens to remember the Biblical virtues that are the foundation to unity with Christ and to answer a crucial question:  

What kind of person do they want to be? 

As you decide on your scope as a parish for the 2023-2024 school year, please do not hesitate to contact us and let us know if you need assistance in acquainting yourselves with these materials.  We hope you have a blessed school year!

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