advance your knowledge and appreciation of the Holy Orthodox Faith
The mission of the Department of Religious Education is to serve the youth, lay leaders and parents of the Cathedral by providing materials and services that will advance their knowledge and appreciation of the Holy Orthodox Faith. Vacation Church School held over the summer months is also a part of this yearly ministry.
The Department’s main goal is to foster an environment whereby the youth and parents shall:
"Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ"
-2 Peter 3:18.
For more information about parish youth groups please contact Michael Andrzejewski, youth director, at (303) 324-9842 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Archbishop's Challenge
In his keynote address at the 34th Clergy-Laity Congress His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios, presented a challenge to establish a stronger and more Orthodox catechetical system for the Greek Orthodox faithful in America. The Department of Religious Education enthusiastically accepts this challenge and is responding with educational initiatives that addresses His Eminence's three major objectives: faith as worship and prayer, faith as love and Philanthropy, and faith as truth.
These educational initiatives include programs and resources to meet the catechetical needs of the Total Parish. Total Parish programs are designed to assist Greek Orthodox Christians of all ages to deepen their knowledge of participation in the church's liturgical (worship, sacrament, and prayer), philanthropic (communal fellowship, service, and witness) and theological (doctrine and teachings) inheritance. Total Parish projects include the development of curricula, periodicals, interactive multimedia, teacher training workshops, and distance and distributed learning projects over the Internet.
We have an excellent teaching staff that volunteers its time, and is committed to helping our youth increase their knowledge and appreciation of Orthodox Christianity, not only as a religion but as a way of life.
The school curriculum is developed by the Department of Religious Education of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. Main teaching goals are suggested at each grade level. An example for the sixth grade level: Students are given Orthodox Study Bibles to help guide them through the rest of their Sunday school education. The curriculum covers the importance and relevance of the Old Treatment in the church and in our lives today. The students also explore the Ten Commandments and how they apply to today’s’ society.
We have the following grade levels: Pre-School 3 and 4, and K-12 grades. Last year we enrolled 213 students, the average weekly attendance was 113. One of our goals this year to stress the importance of attending classes each Sunday. Parents need to encourage their children to attend this important part of their educational experiences. Father Apostolos and Father Flegas have also contributed to the curriculum, and have been very helpful and supportive in all aspects of the program. We have many “Special Days”, check the church calendar and bulletins for these dates.
Sunday School Curriculum
Religious education must take into account the whole personality and the whole life of the individual. It must stimulate and strengthen faith in God; fill the heart of the student with teachings which come from a powerful faith; and lead to a life in Christ toward which young and old alike should be ever growing. This life consists of understanding the meaning of Jesus Christ, His teaching for the life of today and, guided by the teachings of the Orthodox Church, translating it into daily conduct and character. With this in mind, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America has developed the "Living Our Orthodox Faith" Curriculum which conveys an understanding of the Orthodox Faith, and guides the learner toward a personal relationship with God.
Teachers and parents are inspired to guide young children to recognize the gift of love through familiar experiences at home, on the playground, and in the Church. Children are introduced to prayer, the saints, icons, holy days, and even scripture, through lovingly prepared activity lessons.
God's love is the source of joy, the main theme of the Kindergarten program. The young child experiences joy through family activities and through Church worship and life. Aspects of worship and stories from scripture highlight specific examples of and reasons for joy centered on Christ. By celebrating God's gift of joy, the Kindergartner learns to feel a sense of trust and well-being.
The focus of Grade One is on CREATION as God's gift. God has made the world and everything in it as an example of His love and goodness. As the child discovers the world around him or her, the child understands that the family, friends, Church, school, and all things come from God. Through the daily experiences of God''''s world, the child realizes that God is real, loving, and caring. Faith in God is awakened and is expressed through prayer, worship, service to others, and thanksgiving.
Grade Two concentrates on the theme of LOVING GOD. Through the example of men and women of the Bible, and of our Saints, children will begin to understand right, wrong, and forgiveness in the light of God's love. The children will also learn the importance of not only loving God unconditionally, but also of respecting other people, of taking care of the environment, and of doing good in His Name.
In Grade Three, the emphasis is on SHARING, based on the life of the Church. In this grade, students will learn about sharing through the examples of Jesus and will be inspired to observe these same examples in the Divine Liturgy, the Sacraments, and other Services of the Church. They will then be inspired to be caring, sharing individuals and to see how this can be achieved to affect their daily lives.
Learning to use the Bible is the most important goal of GROWING WITH GOD. An entire unit is devoted to learning about Bible skills, and Bible-based activities are used to reinforce this concept. Growing with God also introduces examples of living the sacramental life - attending services, fasting, praying, observing feast days, helping others, learning about the Saints and about the Church of Christ, and how to appreciate and use the Bible daily.
This theme is addressed by concentrating on the stories of the heroes of the Faith who have responded to God's call. Through their examples of faith, loyalty, self-sacrifice, obedience, love, justice and social responsibility, students will learn to respond to God in terms of personal faith and the basics of Christian morality. This course is also designed to be a beginner's Church and Bible History of Salvation. It includes a simplified, attractive 4,000 year time-line of our Church and Bible History.