Sunday School

Sunday Church School News

Dear Parents,

I hope this message finds everyone and their family in good health. Undoubtedly, this has been a difficult year for everyone.Fear, anxiety and uncertainty has affected the lives of many.Despite these trying times, we can always find comfort and solace in God’s house. During our transition to in- person church service and now Sunday School, our church has continued to implement CDC guidelines to ensure the safety of our parishioners. , we have been fortunate to begin our Sunday Church School back in September. than any other time in their lives, our children need the support and reassurance that everything will be normal again and that our Faith can keep us strong. all, our children need to be reminded that by praying and having a strong faithGod, they can overcome any difficulties that appear in their lives. Only by engaging our children in worship and prayer and spiritual education, can we instill the importance of our Orthodox Faith in them.is only through God that we can overcome challenges and hardships.It is critical that your child attend Sunday School to help strengthen and fortify their spiritual faith in our Lord.consider bringing your children to church as it helps them see each other each week and meet together in a familiar environment centered around God., it helps communicate to our children that they are valuable members of the church and our Orthodox Faith.We also encourage parents to ask their children about the gospel teachings and lessons learned during Sunday Church School as well to continue the education of their faith at home.

With the help and support of Father Anargyros and our Sunday School teachers, we have reopened Sunday Church School. , we are running Sunday School in the upstairs hall. , the children are able to watch the Divine Liturgy followed by a Sunday School lesson and craft activities following Holy Communion.is required to wear a mask during Sunday School. Also,kids in attendance have been provided with individualized craft kits that are cleaned after class and saved for next week’s lesson in an effort to avoid sharing and adhering to CDC guidelines.

I would like to thank all of our Sunday School Teachers for preparing for the lessons every week and coming to church so that they can be with our children and offer them their Religious Education that they need. In particular, I would like to thank Mrs. Dina Burke, Mrs. Cleo Yannitsadis, Mrs. Stella Dimatos, Mrs. Maria Kamberakis, Mrs. Demetra Stathis Binder, Mrs. Evy Apostolatos and Mr. Paul Roumanzas for assisting with the preparations, lesson plans, as well as, craft activities. Without our teacher’s dedication this could have not been possible.

On behalf of the Sunday Church School Teachers I would like to wish everyone a blessed, healthy and spiritually enriching ecclesiastical year. Please stay safe.

Respectfully,

Eliana Antoniou, Ph.D.
Sunday School Director

For more information churchschool@stathanasiosnj.org

Registration Forms

Sunday School Registration

Volunteer Committments

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

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