Blueprints for the Little Church: Creating an Orthodox Home by Elissa Bjeletich and Caleb Shoemaker (Ancient Faith Publishing 2016) is an inspiring resource designed to help families create a nurturing Orthodox environment for their children that will help them keep their faith as they mature.
As Orthodox parents we bring our children to church, teach them about our faith, and try to instill good values. We tenderly help them to love God and to feel the love Christ has for them, but it’s still scary to know they will someday grow up and venture out into a world that is hostile to much of what we’ve taught them. Statistics show that many of our children leave the faith as adults. Will we have given our kids what they need to stay strong in their faith?
Blueprints for the Little Church is full of simple and lovely ideas, resources and advice on how to create a little church in your home- a loving Orthodox Christian environment designed to help you and your children grow in your faith. It has quotes from saints and church fathers alongside modern day stories from a variety of moms and dads. Topics such as creating sacred space, finding a prayer rule, fasting as a family, and raising good stewards are explored ,while giving practical ideas for living our faith right now and raising children who will stay Orthodox later.
Crafts, recipes, and other family activities to do throughout the liturgical year are listed at the back of Blueprints for the Little Church.These meaningful activities give our children hands on ways of growing in their faith. Many creative ways to help children connect what happens in church to their life at home are offered in this section of the book
I wish I had had this book when I first became Orthodox because it would have eased our transition and helped us create an Orthodox home without feeling so intimidated and overwhelmed by all the new things we were learning- especially fasting rules and Orthodox traditions. The ideas and resources presented in this book will guide many Orthodox families as they create their own little church. What a helpful, encouraging, and useable resource!