The OCA’s Department of Christian Education, chaired by Valerie Zahirsky, is collaborating with the Antiochian and Greek Orthodox Departments of Christian Education in this year’s Orthodox Institute. The Institute is an innovative, highly regarded Christian Education training program pioneered and hosted by Antiochian Christian Education Director Carole Buleza. Held at Antiochian Village in Ligonier, Pennsylvania, the Institute draws Orthodox educators from around the US for an intense weekend of both basic and advanced courses on a wide range of topics.
This year’s Institute, themed “Scripture through the lens of the Holy Land,” is slated for November 3-6. The Very Rev. Thomas Hopko, Dean Emeritus of St. Vladimir’s Seminary, is the keynote speaker. In addition to presenting the keynote address, Fr. Tom will also teach two of the three core courses: “Overview of the Bible,” and “The New Testament,” with the latter focusing on the Gospels.
Fr. Tom believes that the Scriptures should be the foundation for all Christian Education within the parish. “My guess is that not many of our Orthodox parishes have a Bible-based and Bible-centered educational program….As far as the Bible is concerned, I believe that the most important thing is that Church members be exposed to Holy Scripture, beginning with Bible stories told to little children.”
Notes Valerie Zahirsky, “Our OCA Department of Christian Education deeply appreciates the opportunity to collaborate with the Departments of the Antiochian Archdiocese and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in presenting the Orthodox Institute. It’s always an enriching and enjoyable time for those who take part.”
Parish educators can contact Valerie at the OCA’s Department of Christian Education for more information about the Institute.