SCHEDULE FOR SUNDAYS
- Lessons begin at 8:45 a.m.
- Designated grades attend Divine Liturgy, beginning at 8:45 a.m.
- Lessons begin at 10:45 a.m.
- Children attend Divine Liturgy for Holy Communion after lessons, followed by a chapel prayer service and homily by one of our priests.
Session I — Mrs. Alexandra Zimberg
Session II — Ms. Nancy Koulotouros
Vision & Mission
Our vision for every child is a personal love of Jesus Christ and an understanding of his mission to the world. Religious Education at St. Nicholas Church is a formation program for children. It is dedicated to inspiring an intimate knowledge of God and a 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 encourages our children to carry those beliefs into the world and apply them in their personal lives.
The mission of our Sunday Church School is
- to help our children experience the presence of God in their lives
- to learn who Jesus Christ is, by the guidance of the Holy Spirit
- to follow the ways of Jesus Christ, as witnessed by the Holy Apostles and lived by the Holy Fathers and the continuing Tradition of the Holy Orthodox Church
- to creatively engage our children in the learning process
- to give our children hope in their Salvation.
All children age 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
Church School Curriculum
Toddler THE WONDER OF IT ALL
Focus on everyday life.
Pre-K 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, and Communion, also introducing 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
A brief review of the Old Testament, which transitions to devoting a chapter to each of the Ten Commandments.
9th Grade BIBLE STUDY AND DISCUSSION
The life of Christ and contemporary issues.
10th-12th Grades THE SYNOPTIC GOSPELS OF MATTHEW, MARK, AND LUKE
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
- Confession this is required for all children ages 7 (2nd Grade) and up
- Excepting illness, attendance every Sunday is very important to the children’s growing faith.
- All grades attend the 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.
- Students of our upper classes are strongly encouraged to participate in the annual Thanksgiving and Christmas food and gift drives for needy families.
- Children in 9th grade will be asked to participate in the annual Christmas Pageant.
- Students are expected to participate in the making of crosses for Palm Sunday, and to participate in the procession of Palms on the day of the feast.
- Students are encouraged to learn the importance of stewardship to their church. Each student should present their offering every Sunday. The church school supports the Missions program of our Church throughout the world.
- Sunday dress should be modest to reflect appropriate respect and dignity.
- With the permission of parents, boys from 6th grade and up, who desire to serve in the Holy Altar, are welcome.
- Young men not scheduled to serve as altar boys on a given Sunday are to attend the Divine Liturgy and church school.
- Altar Server programs and other retreats and meetings will be held throughout the year.
- Punctuality is very important when serving in the Divine Liturgy.
- Cleanliness, impeccable conduct, and respect are required when serving in the Holy of Holies.
- A strong prayer life, and a life according to the teachings of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ are expected and encouraged.
- Sunday dress should be modest to reflect appropriate respect and dignity.
At the conclusion of the Church School year, students will receive certificates and Perfect Attendance pins for attending Church School. Perfect Attendance is awarded to students who had only one excused absence. If a student attends another parish, a letter signed by that parish priest must be submitted indicating this.
Notes to Parents
- Saint John Chrysostom observed that it is parents who 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 its rites simply cannot be imparted in a classroom setting.
- When parents treat their home as a little church, it becomes a holy place and an environment of faith, love, prayer, and fasting. It is a place where parents, by their own good and godly example, teach their children the Orthodox Christian Faith and Holy Traditions, as well as Christian values based on the Holy Scriptures and Canons of the Church.
- Sunday is the Lord’s Day (Κυριακή). By His sacrifice and commandment, it is a Holy Day, a day of worship—a family worship day. If we are spiritually prepared through fasting, prayer, and the sacrament of Confession, it is a time to receive Holy Communion with the fear of God, with faith, and love.
- It is helpful for Orthodox parents to be punctual to both worship and Church School.
- It is important for parents to respect and appreciate volunteer teachers, and to be cooperative and supportive of the Religious Education program.
- Parents with questions or concerns may contact the parish Priest or Sunday Church School Supervisors.
- Parents are encouraged to take an interest in the lessons their children are 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 school teacher is encouraged to be punctual and organized. They are to be prepared to teach the prescribed Orthodox religious materials 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 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.
- 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. He or she shall understand 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.
- He or she must be willing to meet with the parish Priest on a regular basis, and to keep him informed of everything within the Church School. He or she must bring to the attention of the parish Priest the needs of teachers and students, and any other matters of concern.
- He or she must facilitate the teachers with the necessary guidance, special programs, and seminars offered by the Archdiocesan District.
- He or she must be willing to cooperate with the Director of Religious Education of our Archdiocesan District, and promote special religious events on the diocesan level (i.e., Church School Teachers Seminars, the annual spiritual retreat, etc.)
- He or she must keep good records in the Church School on program, special events, supplies, materials, on teachers, substitutes, finances, and students.
Substitute Church School Teachers
- A substitute teacher must be willing to follow the curriculum and lesson for that specific Sunday, and not deviate from it.
- He or she must be on time and be prepared to teach the lesson.
- He or she must maintain discipline so that students do not disrupt that class or other classes.
- He or she must not introduce any new materials without the blessing of the parish Priest.
- He or she must keep attendance, and report it to either the coordinator or teacher for whom one is substituting.