Virtual Sunday School

SUNDAY, MARCH 29, 2020


THE SUNDAY OF THE LADDER

Today we celebrate the Sunday of the Ladder, honoring St. John Climacus and his writings on the ascetic struggle, and we think about today’s Gospel Reading, from the Gospel of Mark 9: 7-31.

This is the video version of our audio podcast, which you’ll find on Ancient Faith Radio.

If you’d like to post photos of your family doing #VirtualSundaySchool on social media, we’d love to see them!


Activities for the whole family:

Use masking or painter’s tape to shape a “ladder” on a window, wall, or mirror. Have each family member create a paper “self” and tape it up somewhere on the ladder. Leave it up all week (or even for the rest of Lent) to remind yourselves to keep climbing the Ladder!

Play The Ladder! Set up a step ladder (six-foot size would work well; or create one with chalk or tape if you don’t have a ladder) and create point cards for each rung. Attach the point cards to the rungs with the highest point values near the top and the lower point values at the bottom. Give each player three bean bags. (If you don’t have bean bags, you could fill zipper bags with beans or use sponges.) Each player takes a turn tossing their bean bags between the rungs and scoring the points shown on the card of the nearest rung. If someone manages to get a bean bag to land on a rung, she gets double the points shown.

Act out the Gospel reading. Consider recording your presentation to share with family and friends. (Here’s a script if you find it helpful!)

This page helps children to consider what it means for them to be climbing the Ladder of Divine Ascent.

What if the boy in the Gospel reading does not remember what happened to him? You can help him remember by drawing a sequence of pictures.

Play a word decoding game and think about the dad’s response to Jesus in the Gospel reading (Mark 9: 17-31).

At the end of the lesson, invite children to consider two questions that will help them apply this lesson to their own lives. They can write or draw their response on the page.


More Videos:

For Younger Kids: Kh. Gigi Shadid’s P.R.A.Y. is a fun Orthodox song about prayer.

Here’s an animated retelling of today’s Gospel reading. (Note for young ones: the boy really does look like he is foaming at the mouth, so parents of very young children will want to watch this ahead of time to make sure that their children can handle the image.)

For Older Kids: This video from Be the Bee challenges us to pray always, and right now seems to be the very best time to start:

For Teens and Parents: This Live the Word video from Y2AM ask some very profound questions:

Older kids and parents may benefit from checking out Y2AM’s annotations of this Sunday’s Gospel reading.

Today’s Hymn:

Lord of the Powers (sung here very beautifully by Eikona), is a profound Lenten Hymn we should all know by heart:


If your children are feeling anxious or afraid, you might want to read Sasha and the Dragon with them! You can see the author, Laura E. Wolfe, read it aloud on YouTube!


As always, you’ll find the audio-only version of this week’s Tending the Garden of Our Hearts weekly podcast on Ancient Faith Radio. Each episode begins with a lesson or meditation, and concludes with questions and discussion ideas to help your family grow in the faith together. You may want to look through the archives for more episodes during this quiet time at home.


It’s time to start planning for Holy Week and Pascha. What supplies do you need? Check out our Tending the Garden blog for ideas!


Did you miss one? We’ve archived all of our Virtual Sunday School lessons so that you can access them any time.