Sunday Church School News
On behalf of the Sunday school Teachers, Advisors and Volunteers, I would like to wish you a Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year 2020! December was a busy month for SS. This year’s Christmas Lenten Retreat was scheduled on December 21st and the theme is: “Angles and our Faith”. I would like to thank all of the Sunday School Teachers for taking the time to prepare for the retreat and especially Lilliane Dugan, Evy Apostolatos and Elizabeth Piteo for coordinating this event. The Christmas Play program was scheduled the following day, December 22nd and it included the reenactment of nativity along with live animals on stage accompanied by the church choir and the cherubs youth choir. I would like to thank all of the SS Teachers and volunteers who helped with this event and especially, the choir director, Mr. Ryan Kiel, who coordinated all the musical aspects of the play.
Our parish’s visit to St. Michael’s was scheduled on December 28th, the giving tree had been decorated by angels made by 5-7th graders under the guidance of Mrs. Dugan. A very special thank you to our Philoptochos president, Mrs. Panagiotopoulos for helping us to co-coordinate this special visit.
We are looking forward to continuing our activities, along with the rest of the ministries of St. Athanasios, and promoting our faith to our children. On January 26th we will be having a celebration of Greek Letters in church and on February 9th, SS will be hosting the annual Godparent Sunday Breakfast after the Divine Liturgy. Please mark your calendars for this special day, so that we can all attend and show our appreciation and respect to all of the godparents in our lives.
Lastly, in preparation for the 2019 Oratorical Festival, please encourage your children to participate, either in the Junior Division (7-9) or Senior Division (10-12). The topics, along with guidelines, were presented in SS classes by the Chairperson of the Oratorical, Mrs. Cleo Yannitsadis in early December.
The following are the upcoming Sunday Church School Events:
Celebration of Greek Letters – January 26th
Godparent Sunday – February 9th
Preparations for 2020 Oratorical Festival
Eliana Antoniou, Ph.D.
Sunday School Director
For more information firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday Church School Introduction
Sunday Church school is held during the regular school year. Grade levels are “Little Angels” through 12th grade. Registration will be held on Sunday, September 11th . Please see enclosed registration form. We ask all parents to enroll their children in Sunday Church School and have them attend on a regular basis so that they may become close to the Church and learn more about their faith. The first day of Sunday Church School will be September 4th.
The Importance of Sunday School
“Let the children come to me, so not to hinder them; for to such belongs the Kingdom of God. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” Mark 10: 14-15
Christian education is a challenge to the work of the Church. Not only did our Lord and Savior continuously teach the word of God during His early mission, but the Church as well from the earliest times looked upon Christian education as one of its essential ministries. As the first Christians joined the Church “they devoted themselves to the apostle’s teaching and fellowship to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” Acts 2:42
The greatest gift, the most precious inheritance that we have to give to our children is our Greek Orthodox Faith. Jesus makes it clear that He wants children to come to know Him, and the He considers it a grave offence for an adult to hinder this process or lead child astray: “whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matt 18:6
The Central aim of Christian education in our Church is to evoke and nurture faith in Jesus Christ according to the Orthodox phronema (vision) out of which issues a genuine Orthodox way of life. The Church nurtures a living awareness of the risen Christ in our midst, who is the true Celebrant of Sacraments and the true Teacher of His people, and makes Himself known to use by the grace of the Holy Spirit. The whole range of Orthodox educational material- books, filmstrips, visuals, Bible Studies, lives of saints contemporary discussion of Christian values- becomes effective to the degree that communicates the love and sprit of Christ.
The focus of our efforts to educate our beloved children in the Orthodox Christian Faith must remain in our Sunday School program. When we bring our children regularly to Sunday School we provide them with a gift of knowledge that has lifelong value and significance.
The need of Christian education is as immediate as when the disciples first appealed to Jesus: “Teach us to pray.” Luke 11:1
Christian education is an essential and abiding ministry in the Church. As other important ministries, it is never finished. It can be as vital and meaningful as the whole body of the Church makes it through provision of adequate personal, spiritual and financial resources.
The validity of Christian education is demonstrated by the truth that a well informed Christian is a spiritually committed Christian within the greater body of the Church. The commission of Christian education comes from the Lord Himself:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you, and lo I am with you always, to the close of the age.” Matt 28: 19-20
Our St. Athanasios Sunday Church School Program begins on September 3rd at 10:00 A.M. Parents: Bring your children to Sunday School. Your personal example and involvement in the religious education of your children are extremely important. The priest and teachers can not do the job alone. Here is how you can help develop the spiritual life and moral upbringing of your children.
- Register your child to our Sunday Church School Program.
- Bring them to Church on time.
- Stay and worship at the Divine Liturgy in the Church.
- Be positive about Church.
- Discuss with them what they learned each Sunday.
- Teach them to bring their weekly stewardship offering.
- Give your personal example of Christian living.
- Emphasize regular repentance and Holy Communion.
- Put Church before every other activity on Sunday.
- Avoid criticism of others.
- Let your love for Our Lord Jesus Christ radiate.
Church and School Guidelines
- Church Etiquette
- Church School Guidelines
- Fasting Guidelines
- Church School Curriculum
- Church School Goals
- The Importance of Sunday School
- The Lord’s Prayer
- The Confession of the Faith (The Nicene Creed)
Sunday Church School Faculty
- Spiritual Advisor: Protopresbyter Anargyros Stavropoulos
- Director: Eliana Antoniou , Ph.D.
- Advisors: Presbytera Christina Stavropoulos, Vasiliki Karamitos, Maria Zalokostas & Stella Dimatos
- Little Angels and Pre-K: Dina Burke & Helen Antonopoulos
- Kindergarten: Aphrodite Panagopoulos, Effie Sofos, Demetra Stathis Binder
- First and Second Grades: Stella Backos & Eleni Backos
- Third and Fourth Grades: Nick Joannides & Maria Peponias
- Fifth and Sixth Grades: Lillianne Dugan
- Seventh and Eighth Grades: Cleo Yannitsadis
- Ninth, Tenth & Eleventh Grades: Evy Apostolatos
- Twelfth Grade: Paul Roumantzas
- Substitute Teachers: Marika Dugan, Alicia Pallikaropoulos & Sophia Kourliouros