Blueprints for the Little Church: Creating an Orthodox Home


How do we as Orthodox parents keep our children in the Church throughout their lives? It all begins with involving them in the life of the Church from birth onward—in the parish and also at home. Blueprints for the Little Church provides practical ideas and encouragement—without judgment—for incorporating the primary practices of Orthodox spirituality into your family life at every stage of its growth and throughout the church year.

Elissa Bjeletich is a wife and mother, raising five daughters and working in the Sunday school at Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church in Austin, Texas. She converted to Orthodoxy in 1999 and now writes and speaks primarily on parenting and Christian education. Elissa’s Ancient Faith podcast, Raising Saints: Educating Our Youth in the Orthodox Faith, Both at Home and in the Parish, encourages and equips us for the important conversations through which we pass on the faith to our young people. Elissa's other books include: In God’s Hands: A mother’s journey through her infant’s critical illness (Elissa's testimony to Christ’s faithfulness in the midst of trials and uncertainty, offering comfort and inspiration for those who struggle) and Welcoming the Christ Child: Family Readings for the Nativity Lent (Sebastian Press; a journey through the Old Testament, with 40 stories from Scripture to read aloud and questions to inspire conversation in the family).

Caleb Shoemaker is the father of four children. A graduate of Gordon College with a BA in Youth Ministries and an MA in Biblical Languages from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Caleb has worked in church and parachurch ministry for seventeen years. He and his wife Emily converted to Orthodoxy in 2012. He blogs very sporadically about the importance of bringing the life of the church and the life of the family together at This is his first book.

Author: Elissa Bjeletich and Caleb Shoemaker

Format: Paperback

Pages: 232

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