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A new look for our Sunday School Service Presented to St. Mary Servants’ Meeting, Sunday, 12 June 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "A new look for our Sunday School Service Presented to St. Mary Servants’ Meeting, Sunday, 12 June 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 A new look for our Sunday School Service Presented to St. Mary Servants’ Meeting, Sunday, 12 June 2011

2 In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the One and Only God, Amen. A proposed Sunday School Program for Grades 2 – 10 St. Mary Coptic Orthodox Church - Ottawa Canada

3 mission statement Mission Statement of our Sunday School Ministry: To raise the church's children and youth to experience God and develop them into mature servants and leaders. (John 1:39; Matthew 21:28; John 21:15-17)

4 purpose of ministry The Ministry aims to Ensure that we Glorify God through: Worship: creating environments for children and youth to experience God honouring and glorifying Jesus Christ in our deeds and thoughts Evangelization: getting involved in meeting our families' and community's needs sharing Christ with others Fellowship: being committed to our Church and being actively involved in her activities Discipleship: investing in the spiritual development of others to create next generation leaders

5 experience to-date We tried several curricula: –Beni Swaif –Australia –Southern US –Anba Roufail –Mars??

6 experience to-date (cont.) Constant change: –Confusing –Inconsistent results –Intangible progress –Indication of dissatisfaction

7 so…what next?? Consider the mission statement and the purpose of Ministry: –Experiencing God –Breeding church leaders –Worship –Evangelization –Fellowship –Discipleship

8 so…what next?? (cont.) Where do we derive all the elements of the previous slide?? Answer: « DOG FO DROW EHT »

9 so…what next?? (cont.) ….so – where do we find the Word of God??? « THE BIBLE!! » Surprised? We shouldn’t be What does this mean practicallY? The Bible should be the focal point of the Sunday School program.

10 proposed program – brief…. derived primarily from the Holy Bible, the Coptic Orthodox Lectionary, and the Synaxarion based on a 2-year cycle, starting on the first Sunday of the Coptic calendar the 2-year cycle translates to 76 Sundays – i.e. 76, 45-minute, lessons, due to: –annual “Keraza” competition (roughly 3 months), and –“lost” Sundays due to feasts and other occasions

11 proposed program – brief…. (cont.) This proposal addresses the “instructional” aspect of Sunday School and should be complemented by a significant outreach program, not discussed here. One point to be stressed is that the main components of a Sunday School class, regardless of grade, should be the same.

12 proposed program – brief…. (cont.) Components of a 45-minute Sunday School class a)Start and end prayers plus short start hymn: 5 minutes. b)Verse-of-the-week (VOW) taken from the Gospel reading of that Sunday Liturgy: 10 minutes. c)Saint-of-the-week (SOW) taken from the Synaxarion reading of that Sunday: 5 minutes. d)Application - this would primarily be input from the students: how the VOW can be applied in everyday life: 10 minutes. Additionally, each week should include 15 minutes on (e4) plus one of the other (e) topics which should alternate, and all of which should be completed during 4 program cycles (see next slide)

13 proposed program – brief…. (cont.) e1)Church: regular rites (various church services and canonical hours), traditions, hymns and sacraments. e2)The Coptic fasts, feasts and calendar. e3)Church history. e4)The New Testament: Acts and Epistles e5)Books of the Old Testament. e6)The Coptic language. e7)Activities: crafts, games and puzzles. e8)Songs, skits and preparations for possible/seasonal performances. e9)Our role in the community we live in (what can/should we do?) – this covers “The Great Commission” – evangelization. e10)Specific topics by guest speakers (once every 6 months on average).

14 proposed program – brief…. (cont.) Example of a Typical Sunday School Lesson Plan NOTES: -The emphasis and level of detail depends on the students’ age group. -The lesson should be planned for less than 45 minutes to take into consideration potential issues with discipline. Sunday May 15, 2011 Gospel:John 4:1 – 42 Psalm:Psalm 115: 12 & 13

15 proposed program – brief…. (cont.) a)Opening prayer: In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the One and Only God, Amen. Dear God, we thank you for the chance to meet once again in your presence. Help us to learn more about Your work and to understand how we can follow in Your footsteps. Make us worthy to call upon You saying: Our Father Hymn: A short (2-minute) hymn that the class already knows. b)Verse of the week (VOW): Read verses 5 – 15. Each student can read one verse (depending on the age group – for the very young ones, the teahcer may have to simply narrate that excerpt). The VOW (to memorize) is: “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst.” (John 4: 13 & 14) Explain briefly the circumstances and to which water Christ was referring (here again, the level depends on the age group). The Psalm corroborates this: “The Lord has been mindful of us.....He will bless those who fear the Lord, both small and great.”

16 proposed program – brief…. (cont.) c)Saint of the week (SOW): “Saint Athanasius the Apostolic” Read a brief excerpt from the Synaxarion – highlights of the saint’s life – how did he conform to Christ’s teaching given in today’s gospel? d)Application: How do we apply Christ’s teaching? Christ’s promise to “never thirst” is conditional – what is a “promise?” - what is the condition? – are all promises conditional? - should we do things differently and what are the obstacles?..... e1, 4)Church sacraments and today’s Acts & Epistles:(e7 for the young) Why does the Church have sacraments – what are they - which of them help(s) us to follow the teaching in today’s gospel – how? What can we learn from today’s Acts and Epistles?

17 proposed program – brief…. (cont.) Closing prayer: In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the One and Only God, Amen. We thank You Lord for our class today. We thank you for Your love and for Your promises. Help us keep the promises we make and keep us in Your care. Make us worthy to call upon You saying: Our Father

18 proposed program – brief…. (cont.) Program Content Referring to Slide 11, for any given class, item (a) will be chosen at the discretion of the teacher (starting and closing prayers and hymns) Items (b) and (c) will be taken from the readings of any given Sunday’s divine liturgy. For item (d), although the teacher should prompt the students, they should be encouraged to provide the bulk of the input from their own perspectives – there could be “carry-over” from one Sunday to the next.

19 conclusion If there is general agreement to proceed with revamping our program as briefly described, the next (immediate) steps are: 1.Details of the topics under section (e). 2.A matrix giving sub-topics for each grade and for each cycle 3.Guidelines for application. 4.Demonstrations.

20 GOD BLESS


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