Sunday School Inquiries:
SundaySchool@stgeorge.org

Sunday School Director:
Foteini Paparoupa Pazartzis

1st Assistant Sunday School Director (Older Grades)
Nick Moniodis

2nd Assistant Sunday School Director (Middle Grades)
Joanne Scilaris

3rd Assistant Sunday School Director (Middle Grades)
Melanie Sparks-Liacouras

What is Sunday School?

By Simeon Pardalis,

Interim Sunday School Director (May 1, 2018 to February 24, 2019)

Proverbs 2:10 states, “For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.” This passage eloquently informs us that that learning about the Orthodox Christian faith is an integral part to our salvation. We have all been called to be catechumens, or students of the Lord’s Wisdom and Truth, but we have not all been called at the same time. Those who were baptized as adults studied Catechism, or Orthodox Christian education, before their baptism, but those of us who were baptized as infants study Catechism after our baptism. What exactly is Catechism? Why is it important both before and after Orthodox baptism? The word catechism is derived from the Greek verb κατηχεῖν, which means to echo down (κάτω meaning down and ἠχώ meaning to echo). So if Catechism is Orthodox Christian education, who is the one who echoes down the teaching to us? It is Christ who is the true Catechist, who echoes down the teaching to us as He “is everywhere present and fills all things…” (as the prayer to the Holy Spirit teaches us). But Christ usually catechizes not directly to us but through other catechists, other teachers of Orthodox Christian education, to bring us to Himself.

The identities of these other catechists is revealed in the writings of Apostle Paul, the mouthpiece of the Lord. St. Paul writes in his first Epistle to the Corinthians: “Now you are the Body of Christ [which is the Church], and members individually. And God has appointed these in the Church: first Apostles [namely Bishops with Priests and Deacons], second prophets, third teachers…” (1 Cor. 12:27-28).

We see here that St. Paul identifies teachers as having a separate role from Bishops with Priests and Deacons, who also have a role to teach. These catechists are the Sunday School teachers, who often do not receive credit for the hard work that they do, giving selflessly and tirelessly to teach our youth each Sunday about the Christian faith. We see here the important role that Sunday School teachers have: to lead the student to our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ and encourage the student to become a Saint in Christ.

We ought to thank them every day for this gift of catechism that they give us, opening the doorway to Christ, the true Catechist, Who Himself is the Doorway to Salvation (John 10:9). But it is not just the Sunday School teachers who have this role of being catechists.

Because Orthodox Christian education must start – and be encouraged – at home, parents and godparents have a critical role to play in the formation of our young men and women. As it says in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, “the prayers of parents make firm the foundation of houses…” For this reason, we encourage parents to take an interest in, and pray about, what their children are learning in Sunday School, so that we can all together as a Church Family live in Jesus Christ and be taught directly by the God-Man who is the true Catechist. For it is the desire of our Lord Jesus Christ for everyone “to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the Truth…” who is Himself (1 Timothy 2:4 and John 14:6).

Please look for a Sunday School Catechism Welcome Booklet that your child will be bringing home with them on the first day of classes (Sept. 9). This will include a summary of all that your children will be learning through the entire academic year, in question and answer form. We encourage every parent to review the questions and answers, and to discuss those subjects with your children.

Sunday school is all the way from Pre-K 3 to 12th Grade.

(The above article “What is Sunday School” is taken from the September 2018 issue of The Herald, the official publication of the Greek Orthodox Church of Saint George). 

Registration:

To register for Sunday School and all other Youth Ministries in our new centralized joint Youth Ministries Registration Form, please visit https://stgeorge.org/ministries/youth-ministries-registration

We ask that you please register your children well in advance of Sept. 9, the first day of Sunday School. Fr. Dimitrios, the Sunday School Board and all the Sunday School teachers of St. George thank you!

If you have not come by the Sunday School Office to pick up your Sunday School Handbook, please come by this Sunday to get your free copy! This new book includes, among other things, welcome letters from our Presiding Priest Fr. Dimitrios, myself as well as from our awesome Sunday School Teachers Team, The Important Dates and Events for the Sunday School Year, Topics for the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival, information about the new Occupant Emergency Plan, and a Catechism Questions and Answers section.

By 12th Grade, the Sunday School Student should be able to answer all these questions in the Catechism section. For the earlier, grades the younger students will gradually learn the answers as they head towards 12th Grade. It would be good for parents to familiarize themselves with the following questions and answers as they would be excellent discussion material with their children (regardless of age) throughout the week during the year.

To make arrangements during the week to come by and get your copy, please send an email to SundaySchool@stgeorge.org.

Sunday School

2018-2019 Important Dates

*Sunday School Classes take place every Sunday, from September 9th to May 19th,
unless otherwise specified below*

Download and Print the PDF of these dates here

September   

9  SundaySunday School begins 10 AM / Sunday School Choir begins at 9:30 AM

16  SundayPicture Day: Grades 5-12 + Sunday School Choir + Altar Boys

23  Sunday4th Graders receive Bibles/Picture Day: Grades PreK 3 – 4 + Teachers

October
14  Sunday3rd Grade receives icons  / GOYA TOURNAMENT

28   SundayChurch Music Recognition Sunday / GOYA Wreath Laying at Arlington Nation Cemetery at 4:15pm

     

November

11   Sunday—Sunday School Food Drive

17   SaturdayNATIVITY FAMILY RETREAT (with Artoklasia making for Hope & Joy Aged children and Gift Sacks for GOYAns).

18   SundayArtoklasia

25     Thanksgiving Weekend Sunday— NO CLASSES

 

December

2  Sunday—Lunch with Santa

7  Friday—Christmas Tree Lighting / Pot Luck Dinner

8  Saturday—Christmas Pageant rehearsal 3rd graders/Narrators/Choir–1-4 PM

15  Saturday—Pageant  Dress Rehearsal—3rd graders/Narrators/Choir–1-4 PM

16  Sunday—Christmas Pageant

23 Sunday—Last day of Sunday School before Christmas Break.

24 Christmas Eve – NO CLASSES

25 Christmas Day – NO CLASSES

30 SundayNO CLASSES

 

January

6 SundayTheophany (first Sunday School after Christmas)

13 SundayVasilopita Sunday

25  Friday—5th Graders make Prosphoro

27  Sunday—5th Grade Presentation of  Incense

 

February

10  SundayGODPARENT/GODCHILD SUNDAY Liturgy/Luncheon:

                        Godparents attend the Divine Liturgy with their Godchild.

March

8   Friday—Apokriatiko Glendi

10   SundayForgiveness Sunday
                          Oratorical Festival  Elem/Jr/Sr Division
                          After Church: GOYA SPAGHETTI LUNCH

11  MondayGreat Lent begins

17  SundaySunday of Orthodoxy / Procession of Icons

24  Sunday2nd Grade Ten Commandments

30   SaturdayBE THE BEE RETREAT

31  SundayVeneration of the Holy Cross

April 

14 Sunday—First Grade Lord’s Prayer

20  Saturday of LazarusLenten Retreat & folding  of  Palm Crosses

21  SundayNO CLASSES  – PALM SUNDAY (Western Easter)

26  FridayGood Friday: 2nd & 3rd Grade Myrophores

                       1:00 Rehearsal            

28  PASCHA SUNDAYNO CLASSES

May

12  SundayMothers Day

17  FridayBest Class Attendance Party

19 SundaySUNDAY SCHOOL AWARDS

                      CEREMONY / APPRECIATION

                      SUNDAY/Last Day of Classes

 

June    

9  SundayHigh School, College & Post College Graduation Sunday

Schedule of Classes

Sunday School  Youth Choir: meets every Sunday at 9:45 AM.

Altar Boys- must be 9 years old to sign up.  Altar Boys may also sing in the Choir on the Sundays when they are not serving in the Altar.

Pre-K-3, Pre-K-4,  Kindergarten and First Grade Students:  10:00 – 12 Noon
Begin in class every Sunday at 10 AM. Teachers bring the class to the Sunday School liturgy. Parents must pick up their children promptly at 12 noon from class. If your child was born after September 1, 2015, then he or she is too young to register for Pre-K 3 (which is the youngest grade we have).

Grades 2 through  12
10am – 11am                Chapel ( grades 2– 10 sit with your class)

10am – 11am                Church ( grades 11-12)

11am – 12 noon Religious Instruction

Attendance: Sunday School begins at 10. Students with Perfect Attendance are recognized at the Awards Ceremony in May. The class with best class attendance wins a party.

Oratorical Festival: Students in grades 3-12  participate in one of 4 categories:  speech, poem, essay or icon writing using assigned topics. Representative speakers (grades 7-12) go on to the district competition. Scholarships are awarded at the  Archdiocese level. All participants are recognized at the Awards Ceremony in May.

Special Class Presentations: Class presentations such as 4th graders receiving their Bibles, 1st graders reciting the Lord’s Prayer, 2nd Grade Ten Commandments etc will take place in the Church at the end of the Liturgy.

Christmas Pageant: Sunday, December 17th  in Church and Chapel

Nativity Family Retreat: We encourage the families to attend this retreat.

Godparent/Godchild Sunday, February 11thLiturgy/Class/Luncheon. Godparents attend the Divine Liturgy and class with their Godchild.

Lenten Family Retreat: We encourage the families to attend this retreat.

Sunday School Offerings: Each student is encouraged to make an offering to the Church. We ask the children to give of their own resources if possible. This is to instill a sense of responsibility to the care and support of our Church. Sunday School offerings help support  outreach projects.

Dress Code: We encourage all students to dress respectfully and appropriately for Church.

Special Events at Saint George

See the Schedule Tab for exact dates

  • Picture Day – class Pictures
  • Nativity Family Retreat
  • Christmas Tree/Post Luck Supper
  • Godparent/Godchild Sunday/Luncheon
  • Apokriatiko glendi
  • Lenten Family Retreat with Saturday of Lazarus Family Communion/Breakfast and Palm folding
  • End of Year Awards Ceremony
  • End of Year Picnic
  • Party for Best Class Attendance

SUNDAY SCHOOL OUTREACH

To the St. George community

Thank you for your amazing generosity!

We are our “brothers keeper”

On behalf of the Sunday School Outreach Program, thank you and God bless you for your donations and generosity that made the following possible:

  • ONE WARM COAT DRIVE

285 coats (and lots of hats, mittens, scarves, and gloves.) were picked up by the Interfaith Works Organization and distributed to our neighbors in our community who are battling poverty and homelessness.

  • FOOD DRIVE

1,200 lbs pounds of food were collected and donated to Manna Food Bank

  • IOCC – SCHOOL KITS

60 School Kits were assembled and boxed by the eighth grade class to be  delivered to International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) for distribution to needy children, on behalf of the Saint George Sunday School.

  • IOCC – $850

collected from 5×7 class photos to benefit IOCC United States Emergency Response Fund.

  • CHRISTMAS CARD CONTEST

winner Maria Farmakides (7th Grade ) donation to the  charity of her choice.

  • Susan G Komen Breast Foundation: $100
  • CHRISTMAS IN TAYBEH:  $300

St George Church in Taybeh to assist students with tuition.

  • SAINT BASILS ACADEMY: $100
  • ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN NETWORK: $500

OCN Donation

  • ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN MISSION CENTER: $300

OCMC Mission Coin Box – Project for Lent

to send mission teams around the world to build churches, schools, clinics, and care for orphans.

The Sunday School Board of the Greek Orthodox Church of Saint George

To contact the Sunday School Board, please email SundaySchool@StGeorge.org

Director: Foteini Paparoupa Pazartzis

1st Assistant Director (Older Grades): Nick Moniodis

2nd Assistant Director (Middle Grades): Joanne Scilaris

3rd Assistant Director (Younger Grades): Melanie Sparks-Liacouras

Sunday School Advisor: Athena Kranias

Sunday School Advisor: Niki Flanders

Sunday School Registrar: Antigone Delaney

Who We Are:

It started with a dream.   One Saturday morning in October 1965, religious education and cultural classes began for children aged nursery to 12 years.  Those committed to the spiritual values of Greek Orthodoxy as well as the rich customs and traditions wanted to perpetuate these to their children.

We grew and prospered as One Church, One Future.  Today our Sunday School has an enrollment of approximately 400 students, 13 classes – nursery through the high school discussion group – and over 40 dedicated volunteer teachers and staff working together harmoniously to perpetuate the sacred Traditions of Orthodoxy.

By expressing our love for Christ and His Church, we live our faith.  Through prayer, worship, praise and thanksgiving to Christ our God and by the grace of the Holy Spirit we instill knowledge, spiritual values and heritage to the children of St. George.

Sunday School Mission Statement:

By expressing our love for Christ and His Church we live our faith. Through prayer, worship, praise and thanksgiving to Christ our God, and by the grace of the Holy Spirit, we instill knowledge, spiritual values and heritage to the children of Saint George.

What We Do:  Student Presentations In Church And Chapel

In addition to classroom instruction, our church environment includes:

  • Sunday School liturgies emphasizing student participation
  • Sunday School Choir and Jr. Altar boys
  • The Christmas Pageant
  • The St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival Elementary Division: Grades 3-6
  • The St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival Jr./Sr. Competition: Grades 7-12
  • First Grade recites Lord’s Prayer
  • Third Graders receive the Portaitissa Icon
  • Fourth Graders receive their Bible
  • Fifth Graders receive Incense and learn to make Prosforo
  • Sixth Graders make Artos for the h Grade Artoklasia
  • Sunday of Orthodoxy: Procession of icons with all students
  • 2nd & 3rd Grade Epitaphio Flower Girls (Myrophorres) serving on Good Friday and the Resurrection Service

Orthodox Christian Education, Youth and Family Links

Greek Orthodox Church of North America (www.goarch.org)

Metropolis of New Jersey – Department of Youth Ministries (https://www.nj.goarch.org/youth)

Center for Family Care – Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (https://www.goarch.org/departments/family)

Orthodox Christian Education Commission (www.orthodoxed.org)