We were on vacation last week, enjoying some sun and sand. After a rather rough time with the loss of people this fall and a beloved pet especially this spring, it was good to get away for a little bit. The wonderful thing about vacations is that hopefully one finds time to think (although my joke is always that taking a trip with children is really a holiday, not a vacation! LOL).
At any rate, I was feeling a little consumed by some little words from the Book of Common Prayer found in the Baptismal Rite…In the baptism of a new member, the entire Body of Christ in the parish re-affirms his or her own baptismal vows – to continue in the tradition of the apostles in fellowship, teaching and communion; to resist evil; to be a good example of Christ’s love in the world, to love and serve all people, to strive for justice and dignity and peace among all people, to respect the dignity of all every human being. After baptism and chrismation, part of the prayer said by the priest is:
Sustain them, O Lord, in your Holy Sprit. Give them an inquiring and discerning heart, the courage to will and to persevere, a spirit to know and to love you, and the gift of joy and wonder in all Your works.
Those words always strike me as such a dovetail to what I want for my children to receive from our parenting and from our homeschooling. And this brings me to Anglican Spiritual traditions within homeschooling. This is actually not an easy subject. In the Christian homeschooling market, there are many resources for all denominations of Christianity. Yet, I think perhaps because there is such a strong and large tradition of Anglican and Episcopalian school choices, that at least here in the United States, I cannot find any single resource at all specifically directed to families of the Anglican Communion who are homeschooling. The few resources I have found and adapted I have commented upon in blog posts in the past.
We learn about the church in community by attending Liturgy and also through activities within our church body. We break bread together on our knees in community, our baptisms are in community, we love in community. Our children are involved heavily in choir and the Royal School of Church Music program. Yet, in our home time where we are together as a family and a small home church so to speak , I have to be conscious and mindful. My goals for right now when we start our school day include:
To open with prayer- which by its very nature, brings in The Book of Common Prayer, the Anglican view of time, the Saints we hold in communion, and the 5 Marks of Mission of the Episcopal Church (for example, this week we celebrate St. Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury and Martyr, 1012; we celebrate St. Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury in 1109; and St George, the Patron Saint of England; but we also celebrate John Muir, whose life story fits into one of our mission marks: “To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew life on earth”). During this time, we explore also different paths of mysticism within the Anglican tradition and within the Body of Christ, and icons.
To read the Bible together and discuss intimately. Some of the books from Cowley Publications, which is a ministry of the Society of St. John the Evangelist, a religious community for men in the Episcopal Church, have been helpful, along with books by author Vicki Black.
Lastly, we will spend a few moments each day discussing any of the following: the Episcopal Church’s tenets, tenets of good Christian living, famous Episcopalians and Anglicans through biographical format, the Visual and Musical Arts of the Church, the three Creeds we follow, and the history of the Church of England, the Episcopal Church in America and the Anglican Communion as a whole.
Many blessings and light,