St. Nicholas Sunday Church School
Lessons begin 8:45a.m.
Divine Liturgy for Church School (designated grades each Sunday) 8:45a.m.
Lessons begin 10:45a.m.
Children attend Divine Liturgy for communion after lessons
Followed by a chapel prayer service and homily by priest
1st Session Supervisors: Mrs. Christina Pashos & Mrs. Alexandra Zimberg
2nd Session Supervisor: Mrs. Helen Misthos
Our vision for every child is a personal love of Christ and an understanding of his mission to the world. Religious Education at St. Nicholas Church is a religious formation program for children dedicated to inspiring a thorough knowledge of God and witness of Christian love. It desires to build an understanding of the basic beliefs of the Greek Orthodox Church, which is the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ, and encourage our children to carry those beliefs out into the world and apply them to their personal lives.
The mission of our Sunday Church School is to ultimately help our children of the parish experience the presence of God in their lives and to learn who Jesus Christ is by the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It aims to follow the ways of Jesus Christ as witnessed by the Holy Apostles and lived by the Holy Fathers and the Tradition of the Holy Orthodox Church, creatively engage them in the learning process, and to give them hope in their Salvation.
All children three and older (through High School Twelfth Grade) are invited to attend Sunday Church School. The basic curriculum and supplemental programs are listed and described below.
“Of all holy works, the education of children is the most holy.”
-St. Theophan the Recluse
Catechetical Students and Their Conduct
- All students receive the Daily Bible Guide to help encourage the reading of Holy Scripture.
- Parents can help their children prepare for Holy Communion through 1) prayer, 2) fasting and 3) confession. This is required for all children ages 7 and up. (2nd Grade)
- Attendance every Sunday unless ill is very important to the children’s growing faith.
- All grades attend Divine Liturgy on a rotational basis.
- Children will be taught with the help of Parents and Teachers to live according to the teachings of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
- The students of our upper classes are strongly encouraged to participate in the annual Thanksgiving and Christmas food and gift drive to needy families.
- Children in the ninth grade will be asked to participate in the annual Christmas Pageant.
- Students will be asked to participate in the making of crosses for Palm Sunday and will be asked to participate in the procession of Palms on the Feast.
- Students are encouraged to learn the importance of stewardship to their church. Each student should have their offering every Sunday. The church school supports the Missions program of our Church throughout the world.
- Sunday dress should be modest to reflect the appropriate respect.
- With the permission of parents, young men from sixth grade who desire to serve in the Holy Altar are welcome.
- On Sundays that the young men are not scheduled to serve as altar boys, they are to attend church and church school.
- Acolyte Programs and other retreats and meetings will be held throughout the year. The young men will be welcome to attend.
- Punctuality is very important when arriving to serve for Divine Liturgy.
- Cleanliness, conduct and respect are key when serving in the Holy of Holies.
- A strong prayer life and living according to the teachings of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ are strongly recommended for a healthy spiritual life.
- Sunday dress should be modest to reflect the appropriate respect.
At the conclusion of the Church School year students will receive their awards of certificates and Perfect Attendance pins for attending Church School. Perfect Attendance is awarded to students who had only one excuse Absence. If a student attends another parish a letter signed by the Parish Priest must be submitted indicating this.
Notes to Parents
- Saint John Chrysostom observed that parents, are primarily responsible for “handing on the Faith” to their children. Participation in liturgical worship, in the feasts and fasts, and in the Sacraments is crucial to the molding of Christian minds and souls. The lessons learned through chanting the Church’s hymnography and celebrating it rites simply cannot be imparted in a classroom setting.
- When parents treat their home as “the little church”, of “the home church” it becomes a holy place and an environment of faith, love, prayer and fasting. It is a place that parents by their own good and godly example teach their children their Orthodox Christian Faith and Holy Traditions as well as, Christian values based on the Holy Scripture, and Canons of the Church.
- Sunday is the Lord’s Day and is His commandment that it is a Holy Day, a day of worship, a family worship day and if spiritually prepared through fasting, prayer and the Sacrament of Confession to receive Holy Communion with “the fear of God, with faith and love.”
- It is helpful for Orthodox parents to be punctual at both worship and Church School.
- It is important for the parents to respect and appreciate volunteer teachers and be cooperative and supportive of the Religious Education Program.
- Parents with questions or concerns may feel free to contact the Parish Priest or Sunday Church School Supervisors.
- Parents are encouraged to take interest in the lessons their child is being taught and to discuss what they are learning in Church School.
Church School Faculty and Staff Responsibilities
- A church school teacher must be of the Orthodox Christian Faith and a practicing Orthodox Christian.
- A church schoolteacher is encouraged to be punctual, organized and prepared to teach the prescribed Orthodox religious materials that come from the Department of Religious Education of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and the set curriculum of the school.
- When meetings are called by the Priest and Supervisors attendance is obligatory.
- A church school teacher should keep good records of attendance and a good communication with the parents of his/her students.
- A church schoolteacher should communicate with the substitute as soon as possible if he/she is to be absent.
Substitute Church School Teachers
- The Church School Supervisor must be an Orthodox Christian who practices his/her Christian faith daily, is responsible, respectful to the Parish Priest and is willing to work closely with him and the faculty, staff and parents. Is one who understands the spiritual objectives and goals of the Parish Religious Education Program and is willing to follow the guidelines set by the Department of Religious Education of our Archdiocese.
- Should be a person who is willing to meet with the Parish Priest on a regular basis and to keep him informed of everything within the Church School. To bring to the attention of the Parish Priest the needs of teachers and students and any other matters of concern.
- To facilitate the teachers with the necessary guidance, special programs, seminars for teachers held at the Archdiocesan District.
- To be willing to cooperate with the Director of Religious Education of our Archdiocesan District and promote the special religious events on the diocesan level i.e., Church School Teachers Seminars, the annual spiritual retreat etc.
- To be willing to keep good records in the Church School on program, special events, supplies, materials, on teachers, substitutes, finances and students.
- The substitute teacher must be willing to follow the curriculum and the lesson for that specific Sunday and not to deviate from it.
- He/she must be on time and be prepared to teach the lesson.
- To maintain the discipline so that her students do not disrupt the class or other classes.
- May not introduce any new materials without the blessing of the Parish Priest.
- Keep attendance and report to either coordinator or the teacher form whom one is substituting.
Toddler: THE WONDER OF IT ALL. Focus on every day life.
Pre-Kindergarten: THE ROAD TO JESUS AND NEAR THE LORD.
Kindergarten: WHAT WE SEE AND DO IN CHURCH.
1st Grade : GOD LOVES US. God's love and care for all people, especially the child; giving and sharing forgiveness and celebration.
2nd Grade : COMING CLOSER TO GOD. Presents the Sacraments of Baptism, Chrismation & Communion. Then introduces students to Sacrament of Confession.
3rd Grade: WE WORSHIP IN CHURCH. Features the first complete introduction to the Divine Liturgy.
4th Grade : JESUS, THE PROMISE OF GOD. The study and teaching of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ.
5th. Grade: OUR LIFE IN THE CHURCH. The description and meaning and practice of the Sacraments.
6th Grade: IN THE BEGINNING. The Old Testament of the Bible is explained. Why the Old Testament? The Law; History, and the Prophets.
7th Grade: THE YOUNG CHURCH. The early years of the Church from Pentecost to the early Fathers.
8th Grade: TEENAGE TEN COMMANDMENTS. Brief review of the Old Testament and then devotes one chapter of each of the Ten Commandments.
9th Grade: BIBLE STUDY AND DISCUSSION. The life of Christ and contemporary issues.
10th-12th Grade: THE SYNOPTIC GOSPELS OF MATTHEW, MARK, AND LUKE.