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Explanation of the 2018 Creative Festivals Theme

“They continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship,
in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” (Acts 2:42)

Comments from the Orthodox Study Bible:

Central elements of Orthodox worship- apostolic teaching, liturgical prayer and the Eucharist- are present from the very beginning of the Church. Prayers is literally “the prayers” in Greek, referring to specific liturgical prayers. The Jews had practiced liturgical prayer for centuries; many of their prayers are contained in the Book of Psalms. The early Christians adapted these prayers for us in the Church. The breaking of bread is, of course, the Eucharist, Holy Communion.

This year’s theme beautifully illustrates how the way we worship today was based on the earliest Christian worship that has been handed down to us from ancient times, and specifically, to our Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church. “…the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.” (Acts 11:26) The students should be aware of this important legacy and make the connection that our Church “is the continuation of the Christian community founded in Antioch by the Apostles Peter (who served as its first bishop) and Paul, who are its patron saints.” (Orthodox Wiki) The Apostolic teachings from the ancient church have been passed down to us. What is right and true doesn’t change.

The early Christians met together in fellowship and prayer as we do today. The Church is not just a building but “…a living organism, composed of people who strive to live a Christian life in the Spirit.” (The Story of the Young Church Part 1) They took care of each other, just as we should be doing, by helping others and giving of our time, talent, and treasure. From the inception of the Church, believers broke bread together, partaking of the Eucharist, as we do today. We are modern day disciples of Christ, who can be witnesses of the Faith and can help bring others into the Church, just as the ancient Christians did.