Sunday School

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.

Sunday Church School News

Dear Parents,

I hope you had a blessed and relaxing summer. Our Sunday school teachers and myself, are very excited to start the new ecclesiastical year and witness the growth of our children. As you already know, Sunday school started on September 3rd and we are currently accepting registrations. Please join me to welcome a new addition to our teachers, Alicia Pallikaropoulos who is going to be our new Kindergarten teacher. Please let me know if you are interested in co-teaching or substituting in any of our classes. Your help is much needed and appreciated.

Let us all make an effort to remind our children the importance of Sunday school and actively live our Greek Orthodox faith at home, so that the children will learn to have their faith at the center of their life. If we live our faith at home, then church will not be another “Sunday activity”, but a way of life. 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.

The Sunday Church School teachers have distributed the stewardship envelopes to our children and they were taken home, so that each child has one package for the year. Every Sunday, the children are expected to bring one in class and hand it to their teacher’s, so that from an early age they can learn and understand the meaning of giving back. Stewardship, as explained in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America site, is to promote spiritual growth and strengthen faith. Becoming a Steward begins when we believe in God, to whom we give our love, loyalty and trust and act on those beliefs. Please remind your children every Sunday to bring one in class.

Sunday Church School Events:

  • Thanksgiving Food Drive – it begins on October 15th
  • Class Pictures – October 29th

The Sunday Church School Staff wishes everyone a blessed and spiritually enriching ecclesiastical year!

Respectfully,

Eliana Antoniou, Ph.D.
Sunday School Director

For more information churchschool@stathanasiosnj.org

Church and School Guidelines

Sunday Church School Faculty

  • Spiritual Advisor: Protopresbyter Anargyros Stavropoulos
  • Director: Eliana Antoniou , Ph.D.; Stella Dimatos
  • Advisors: Presbytera Christina Stavropoulos, Vasiliki Karamitos & Athena Georgotas
  • Little Angels and Pre-K: Dina Burke & Stella Dimatos
  • Kindergarten:  Anna Zalokostas
  • First and Second Grades: Stella Backos & Maria Zalokostas
  • Third and Fourth Grades: Sotiria Stavropoulos & Maria Stavropoulos
  • Fifth and Sixth Grades: Lillianne Dugan
  • Seventh and Eighth Grades: Evangelia Spirou & Peter Georgotas
  • Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh & Twelfth:  Nick Joannides, Christina Georgotas, & Spyro Callas