Goodness, but it took me forever to write this post. We’re remodeling the main bathroom and we have an older house so the surprises are proving to be quite the adventure!
Anyhow, this post is not about our work in progress. This post is about the St. Emmelia Orthodox Homeschooling Conference. Last year, a change was made: due to various circumstances, the conference planning was turned over to the participants. An amazing, dedicated group of mothers took on the daunting task of organizing an entire conference for our kids this year. Barli gave us guidance and helped with the transition and it looks like this year’s conference might be the best yet!
My family has only missed one of these conferences, and we look forward to it every year. My daughter will declare loudly to anyone that she looks forward to events of the year in this order: “Pascha, St. Emmelia’s Conference, Christmas.” She loves it that much. She has connected to friends through this conference, and so have I. I could write a lot about how thought-provoking and helpful the workshops and seminars are (they are great!), but what really brings us back is the community of families. There is NO OTHER PLACE where I can go and worship with so many Orthodox Christian families who are choosing the challenging path of educating their children at home, and not just so they can add, but so they can raise saints. The conference rejuvenates my homeschooling at just the time of year when we are ready to throw in the towel, and the worship and community edify my soul when the temptation to think I’m not doing the right thing might overwhelm me. I come back like a lion from this conference.
Professor Christopher Veniamin is the keynote speaker. Let me tell you something about him. In seminary, they would have a lecture series every year and I attended them. I don’t remember ANY of the talks, even Jaroslav Pelikan’s, except Dr. Christopher’s. LOL. His talk had me fully engaged, and I still remember what he said about the nous. This is a great opportunity to hear him speak, and I bet he’ll come with his books (he is the man behind Mount Thabor Publishing). He’s been releasing some wonderful translations of Saint Gregory Palamas’s writings.
If you haven’t been, this is the year to do it. This is the year when we have to say, “It is important to me that my children and I have a retreat to somewhere we will be surrounded by understanding and support. I have to put my money and time where my mouth is and go.” This almost didn’t happen this year people. If you’ve been saying to yourself, “One day, one day…” … Well stop that and say, “Today.” The conference is March 27-30. Go over here and register. (Scroll down to the links in March.)