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The birth of the idea. The pioneers.

It all began with the Christmas celebration of 2006-2007 in the cathedral of Holy Trinity. Little parishioners, future pupils at the center, were cheerfully preparing for the performance: they learned songs, poems, made presents for each other – drawings with touching greetings, plasticine handicrafts or bouquets of fresh flowers that are still kept as something very dear to the heart. The parents realized how important it was for their kids to spend time together.

The children’s friendship grew into a friendship between the parishioners’ families and the clergy. Thus, on the initiative of two families – Kravchenkos and Safronovs – there came an idea of founding an Orthodox family center. Even the name occurred at once – “Seed of Faith”, as in the song of deacon Mikhail Okolot:

“Our faith has awakened and is sprouting, as a seed, under the sun of God’s light will strengthen and save us”

The idea was supported by the Father Superior Igor Olzhabaev, archpriest of the St. Catherine cathedral. With him a group of initiators came to Metropolitan Isidor to ask for his blessing. The metropolitan listened out attentively, supported the idea and gave his blessing.

The pilgrimage to the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra

With the help of God, it all happened miraculously.

From 23rd to 26th of April 2007, on the blessing of Ekaterinodar and Kuban Metropolitan Isidor, father Andrey Kravchenko was sent to the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra to take part in a conference titled “Organizing centers of spiritual and moral culture”. The conference was chaired by the archbishop of Verea, Evgeniy, and the hegumen Kiprian (Yashenko).

From July 22nd to 29th, 2007, future teachers at the Center, Matushka Svetlana Kravchenko, Yulia Vladimirovna Markelova and Varvara Igorevna Nepogodova went to Moscow Ecclesiastical Academy to attend short-term theological courses. There they met Daria Aleksandrovna Pahomova from Almaty, who was also to become a teacher at the Center. And their eventful student life began!

Lectures, round table conferences, creative seminars, meetings with leading professors of Moscow spiritual schools – archimandrite Platon (Igumnov), deacon Andrey Kuraev, professor A. I. Osipov and many others.

Numerous teacher’s guides, books for children, painted wooden toys were brought from the lavra, but the most important was a touch to the greatest shrines of Russia.

Open Day

The long-awaited opening happened on the 10th of November, 2007. The Orthodox Family Center “Seed of Faith” welcomed its first guests.

The teachers got acquainted with their future pupils and their parents. Each family first filled in a questionnaire, telling what church they attended, the dates of church wedding and baptism, the number of children in the family etc. and then they had a conversation with a priest.

After that the families could sign in for learning programs: “God’s Earth” and school preparation – for preschoolers; orthodox theatre and applied art studios – for schoolers; “Meeting a Priest”, “Singing for the Soul”, liturgiology, apologetics, the history of the Books of the Old and the New Testament – for adults.

The children had a great fun together – playing, drawing, reading books or just looking at pictures, and nobody felt like leaving.

Consecration of the Center

This joyful event took place in December the 2nd, 2007, on Sunday, the day before the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple. The youngest of the children present were just 3 years old too.

“The 3-year-old Virgin on her own
Ascends the stairs to the Holy of Holies.
O, what a miracle, O Lord!
The stairs are so high for the child’s feet!
But the cherished door is open for the Immaculate Heart.”

The children prayed together with their parents, teachers and an assembly of priests headed by two archpastors – metropolitan Isidor and bishop Tikhon.

His Eminence Isidor sanctified the anointing oil, anointed the walls of Svetiolka and sprinkled everyone and everything with Holy Water.

And then the concert began! Along with small children who declaimed God-related poetry there performed the ”Soborniy” ensemble. They praised the Creator in songs and poetry so touchingly and expressively:

“And God beheld it – ‘how fine is all that I have created for you!’ ”

The children presented the archpastors and the priests with gifts and flowers. And the bishops blessed the congregation in a warm and fatherly manner, congratulating all on the occasion.

Did it all end then? No, it is still going on! Every new day at the Center is a holiday for all – the children, their parents and the teachers.

2011-02-16  |  Print version

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