O Most-good Lord! Send down upon us the grace of Thy Holy Spirit,
Who granteth gifts and strengtheneth the powers of our souls,
so that by attending to the teaching given us, we may grow
to the glory of Thee, our Creator, to the comfort of our parents,
and to the service of the Church and our native Land.
+from the Jordanville Prayer Book
The aim of education in the Orthodox Church is to nurture, instruct, and direct each member of the community of faith, the Church, in Christian living, or as Orthodox writers typically call it, "the Life in Christ," so that each person grows "in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18) and becomes "a partaker of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4). The real curriculum for learning the Orthodox Faith is the life of the Church as experienced in a dynamic, faith-filled parish. Our education in faith is a lifelong journey.
+Dr. Anton Vrame, Director of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Department of Religious Education
Church School News | Schedule for Summer Church School Day
A Letter from Jen Paulin:
What a wonderful church school year we've had! I wanted to share updates and news for our church school program for the summer and upcoming year. The first day of church school is Sunday, September 22, 2019.
I am exceedingly grateful for all the volunteers who assist with our church school program. Last winter, Anthony Paulin joined our teaching staff as the primary teacher for the Saint Jacob Netsetov teacher. Volunteers are always welcome; please let me know if you're interested in joining us!
We continue to refine the loft design. I am particularly excited for the upcoming addition to our reading nook this summer. Having plenty of room for each class to spread out has allowed each class to develop its own identity and focus on their work with minimal distractions. Our classes break down as follows:
*St. Anna - High School (independent study and teaching assistant)
*St. Mary of Egypt - Fourth grade and up (church school time)
*St. Jacob Netsetov - Third grade and younger (church school time)
Our St. Jacob students will continue to use the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese elementary curriculum; they are progressing to the second grade series: loving God. The St. Mary class will use the Orthodox Christian Education Commission's fourth grade series: Jesus, the Promise of God. While not all our students are at these grade levels, the selected level is a good median point for each class. Additionally, in coordination with Father John Bacon, we will be preparing all students for their first confession. Lessons relating to confession will be incorporated into the church school year. We hope to schedule a special time for all students to make their first confession and then commemorate this special occasion with a celebration.
For our elementary students, church school will begin immediately following Divine Liturgy. As previously, we will do our best to wrap up as coffee hour is beginning. I am looking for a few simple, healthy, non-messy (and non-perishable) snacks that could be kept in a secure tote in the loft. Examples would be fruit snacks, goldfish crackers, and granola bars. If your child has a food allergy, please let me know.
This summer we will offer for the first time a Summer Church School Day on Saturday, August 3rd. This day will begin at 9:30 AM with breakfast and run through dinner in the evening followed by August Vespers. Our theme is "Defenders of the Faith," and the children will participate in a variety of education, indoor and outdoor activities. On Sunday, August 4th the chidlren will share their experience with the parish. I hope your child can join us for this special day!
We will continue with our tradition of doing special craft projects and activities to commemorate Nativity and Pascha, in addition to an end of the year presentation. A few other important dates to put on your calendar now:
*Saturday, August 3rd: St. Mark Summer Church School Day 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM (followed by Vespers)
*Sunday, October 27th: (TENTATIVE - pending Council) Harvest Festival - No church school
*Sunday, December 8th: Vist from St. Nicholas and special Nativity craft & activities
*Sunday, June 21: Last Day of Church School AND Parish Presentation
Throughout church school and these events, we will be taking photos. If you have any objection to your child's image being used in church publication (including
social media), please be sure to let me know in writing (email counts).
I am looking forward to another Church School year! We are blessed beyond measure with such wonderful students and greatly appreciated your willingness to share them with us for a short period of time on Sundays! Please let me know what questions you have!
Director, St. Mark of Ephesus Church School