We hear it all the time…
“Wouldn’t it be great if our infant and toddler church programs were stronger?”
“I wish I had some time to relax without any other obligations.”
“I feel that life is passing me by, and the days all blend in a blur with kids.”
Family Life Ministry is working on strengthening your resources. We would like to remind you that the solution to some of these problems can be found while rediscovering a piece of our Orthodox faith. Sometimes we are slave to our smartphones, but if you make efforts to connect with other Orthodox Parents within your parish and your metro area you will find lifelong fellowship.
One-on-one playtime between parents and their children is the most important way for parents to bond with their children. This form of interaction can encourage creativity, enhance cognitive and social growth and develop motor skills. So, as Orthodox Christians, not only would we have an opportunity to strengthen our children’s minds, with a faith based group, we are enriching Orthodox Christians right in our very own parish.
Not only do Mommy & Me (and Daddy too) classes help children, parents can also benefit from their participation. These meetings/classes are a great way for them to meet new people in their parish who are experiencing the same changes to their lives as they are. Forging new friendships is an important process for new parents and can result in a vital source of support – especially for those living far from their support network.
How to Grow Your Own Mommy & Me (Daddy too) Program
- Create a local team of Moms & Dads in your parish
- Reach out to local businesses to obtain sponsors for creative classes (Whole Foods, My Gym, local libraries, bakeries, Gymboree, Music Together). You want your gathering times to be fun and creative, with a twist of faith and tradition. After inquiring, we have worked out a partnership between our church and local businesses.
- Set up a rotating playdates based on your group’s schedule
- Have a pamphlet/handout like this (coming soon) to distribute in a bulletin.
- Have a Mommy & Daddy night out with other Orthodox couples.
The structure is set up for anyone with a newborn to 3 Years of Age. The group ideally would benefit from setting up separate playtime for the 18+ months to allow those children that are on the move.
This group is a special time for parents and children to spend time together without outside distractions. Seldom do Moms and Dads have this uninterrupted time with their little ones. This class allows Mom and Dad to focus their attention on playing, singing, sharing and loving together with their special little person. The class consists of gym time, free play, arts and crafts, snack and circle time.
** Detailed Template to Starting a Program (coming soon) **
Our research shows that some of our parishes currently have a small structure in place. If you have one please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current Ongoing Mommy & Me (and Daddy too) locations
- Phoenix, AZ: http://holytrinityphx.org/ministries/little-lambs
- Long Beach, CA: http://www.assumptionlb.org/youth-ministry/panagias-little-lambs/
- Salt Lake City: http://gocslc.org/ministry/lambs-hope-joy
- Flushing NY: http://www.stnicholasflushing.org/littleangels.htm
- Niles, IL: http://www.saintharalambosgoc.org/organizations/little-angels
- Merrik, NY: http://www.saint-demetrios.com/little-angles.aspx
- Lauderdale, FL:http://stdemetrios.org/ministries/
- Houston, TX http://www.agoc.org/youth-ministries/faith-group-infants-toddlers