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Events Archive

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Don’t just look for good culture. Go make it!

Dn. Nicholas Kotar

Due to a video glitch, we are only able to provide the audio recording for this session.

Summary of Session:

What is the purpose of a Christian life? We get asked this question all the time. And there are so many answers that it can get bewildering. But what if the answer was something we never considered at all? What if the purpose of a Christian life was to create Christian culture?
That’s exactly what Russian writer and philosopher Ivan Ilyin thought. And He didn’t mince his words: 
“The Gospel teaches not flight from the world, but the Christianization of the world.  Thus, the sciences, the arts, politics, and the social order can all be those spiritual hands with which the Christian takes the world.  And the calling of a Christian is not to chop off those hands, but to imbue their work and toil with the living spirit of Christ.  Christianity has a great calling, which many do not ever realize.  This purpose can be defined as the creation of a Christian culture.”
In this lecture, we will break down Ilyin’s handbook for the creation of Christian culture in a post-Christian world. Not only will you come away with a renewed appreciation for the role of art and culture in your life, but hopefully you will be inspired to go and create something beautiful yourself!

Caring for Health as a Spiritual Discipline

Rita Madden

Archived Event

Date: Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Related resources from host:

Summary of Session:

Examining how the Eastern Orthodox Christian Tradition provides the guidance we need to aid us in caring for everyday health. Teachings will be shared from the Holy Fathers, Saints and modern-day spiritual fathers and mothers melded with established science to highlight:

  • What foods did God intend for us to eat?
  • What should our relationship with food look like?
  • Self-care and how exercise and stress management should be a daily part of life and how to do this with putting our faith first.
  • How all the areas mentioned above tie together to help us fast healthfully.

“They Shall All Know Me”: Seven Best Practices for Therapeutic Homeschools

Summer Kinard

Archived Event

Date: Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Summary of Session:

Whether you’re an established homeschooler or just beginning, teaching children with disabilities requires shifts in strategies, teaching spaces, and priorities. This interactive talk will help you set expectations and rethink the scope of your teaching so that all children can thrive in your homeschool and grow in knowledge of Christ. You will come away with tools to evaluate your child’s goals and progress as well as practical tips for simple changes that allow your child’s strengths to emerge.

Summer Kinard:

Summer Kinard is the author of Of Such is the Kingdom: A Practical Theology of Disability. As an autistic mother rearing and homeschooling autistic children in the Faith, Summer knows firsthand many of the gifts and challenges of life with disabilities. She brings her extensive background in patristic theology and catechesis (B.A. in religion, M.Div., Th.M. in early church history and theology) to skillfully weave together the healing patterns of Holy Tradition with the daily patterns of life with disabilities. Summer has become acquainted with hundreds of Orthodox families with disabilities through sharing on her website ( the resources she has developed to make faith accessible to them. At a time when at least twenty percent of people live with disabilities and two percent are autistic, there is an urgent need to apply Church teachings to questions about the care and inclusion of persons with disabilities as full members of Christ’s Body and full participants in learning environments. Summer brings the grace, kindness, and insight of an experienced teacher and mother to begin answering those questions. An engaging speaker and dynamic workshop leader, Summer shares her hard-won wisdom with her audience, walking with them through the narrow places of community life with disabilities. Summer Kinard is an Antiochian Orthodox Christian in the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America. She lives with her husband, Andrew, and their five children in Texas.

Lessons from the Womb: What Childbearing Says About Lifelong Growth

Laura S. Jansson

Archived Event

Date: Dec. 6, 2019

Related resources from host:

Fertile Ground: a Pilgrimage Through Pregnancy



Session Summary:

Growth is a thread running through every aspect of our lives – as parents, as home educators, and as Christians. But what can we do to foster the growth we seek? In this talk, Orthodox doula, mother of four and former home educator Laura Jansson presents the experience of childbearing as a universal model for human growth. Pregnancy and birth take us on a journey of growth which has an obvious physical aspect – the growth of our bellies as the day of birth approaches. But this physical expansion is not just functional; it is in fact an icon or image of the growth that happens within our hearts as we are shaped into the people we will need to be. In this way, the experience of pregnancy teaches us not only how to become parents but also how to grow as people, whether we are parents or not. Laura presents the five lessons childbearing has taught her about how humans grow, but it might surprise you to learn that these lessons are not just for mothers. They’re for anyone wanting to discern the deep meaning that childbearing has in the world.

Laura S. Jansson is an Orthodox Christian doula, childbirth educator, and mother living and writing at the intersection of birth and faith. She earned her Masters degree in Theology and Philosophy from the University of Oxford, UK, and has also resided in the USA, Serbia, Germany, and Fiji. Since 2005 she has guided scores of expectant mothers on the path to parenthood, witnessing with wonder as bellies and souls grow along the way.

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