Dear Parents,

Accept our gratitude for registering your child(ren) in our Holy Cross Church School program. I’m confident that you will agree that we have an excellent volunteer staff. We are always striving to improve our program. If you have constructive suggestions, please feel free to share them.
Many of us place the major responsibility for religious education on the persons who fulfill these roles. We often forget what is less obvious, that without the cooperation and participation of the church members-parents, Parish Council, choir, etc., no education can take place. It is rather easy to criticize pastors and teachers maintaining a high level of interest or enthusiasm in learning activities in the parish, while we sit back and expect them to do their job. This is true with all undertaking in life. While not condoning the lack of such activity, we should also ask ourselves the following: Are parents bringing children regularly and on time to Liturgy and Church School classes?
Learning does not take place in a vacuum, it is not one-sided, but involves a relationship between Priests, teachers, children, adults, parents, indeed, all who consider themselves the “Body of Christ” – the Church. More important is the relationship of each of us with the “Teacher” of us all, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Let us take the time to examine how well these educational relationships are functioning in our parish, so that together we may improve the quality of our religious education program.
I am looking forward to meeting and establishing our relationship in Christ, during the ensuing 2013-14 Church School Year.
This is the least requirement of us, to be consistent with our attendance and on time.

Your spiritual father in Christ,

Fr. Dionysios Anagnostopoulos

FASTING

There are two approaches to fasting in order to receive Holy Communion in the Church: The first is outlined below in detail for the entire year.

The second is a tradition which our grandparents have adopted that before receiving Communion you would fast the entire week a “strict fast”, (e.g. no meat, fish, dairy or oil). Please speak to your Spiritual Father in confession as to how you ought to fast to help you grow closer to Jesus Christ.

The following are fast days and seasons:
1. The day before Epiphany – January 5th.
2. The last week before Great Lent, although dairy products may be eaten even on Wednesday and Friday.
3. Great Lent
4. Holy Week
5. Holy Apostles Lent: Pentecost this year falls on June 8, therefore, the Fast of the Holy Apostles is from June 16th to June 28th and the Feast Day is June 29th.
6. Dormition of the Mother of God – Lent begins August 1st through August 14th.
7. Beheading of St. John the Baptist – August 29th.
8. Exaltation of the Holy Cross – September 14th.
9. Christmas Lent – November 15th through December 24th.
10. All Wednesdays and Fridays, except those noted below.
11.

The following days are fast days on which fish is permitted:
1. The first week of the Triodion, including Wednesdays and Fridays.
2. Easter Week.
3. The week following Pentecost.
4. December 25 through January 4th.

CONFESSION
Children from 2nd Grade on in the Church School program, must participate in the Sacrament of Confession. The Church never condemns the person, but since sin takes away from the presence of God, it is sin that has to be expelled. You should therefore have a spiritual “check-up” to cleanse your soul and indeed guard you from any deadly diseases.

OFFERING
A minimal fee of $50.00 will be charged at registration for each student. This fee is to defray the cost of books, visual aids, teachers’ guides, awards and other educational items. Please register your child on time in order to ensure that they acquire perfect attendance.

FAMILY WORSHIP
Starting Sunday, September 25, 2016 and as listed in the Calendar approximately once a month will be dedicated to Family Worship. The students and their parents are asked to attend the Divine Liturgy and to receive Holy Communion together as a family. The students will be given an attendance slip to fill out and returned to the Church School Office to the person in charge. (These slips will be accepted until the reading of the Gospel only). Parents, you are the greatest teachers your children have. If you don’t receive Holy Communion they probably won’t either when they perceive the double standards in your lives. Please use the handbook on a weekly basis to know what is happening each Sunday.

GODPARENT SUNDAY
January 29, 2017 has been set aside as Godparent Sunday. We ask that you and your children invite their Godparents and ask that they attend Church with you, together as a family on that day. Please make every effort to renew the spiritual relationship between your family and the student’s Godparents.

ATTENDANCE

Students are allowed to have one unexcused absence. Tardiness is not excused. However, if you are unable to attend the session for which you are registered you may attend the other session and notify the Supervisor of that session and you will receive credit for attendance (see page 3 for starting times). If a student attends liturgy at another Church, an attendance slip (listed below) should be filled in and taken to church with you for the priest or church supervisor to sign. More attendance notes are available in the church school office. Most importantly next to good attendance for the attendance award, is your behavior in class. Behavior must be Christ-like, as it is Him we are trying to imitate.

This is to certify that

______________________________________________________

visited the _____________________________________________of

______________________________________________________

at ________________________________ on ________________201-

signed ________________________________________________
Title

BEFORE STUDY

Most blessed Lord: Send down upon us the gift of your Holy Spirit, to endow and confirm our spiritual insight that giving heed to the instruction imparted to us, we may increase therein to Thy Glory, O our God and Savior Jesus Christ.
Amen.

PRAYER TO THE SAINT WHOSE NAME YOU BEAR

Pray to God for my, O Saint _______________________well pleasing to God for I eagerly present myself to you who are the speedy helper and intercessor for my soul.

GRANDPARENT SUNDAY

March xxxxxx 2017 we are going to honor one of the major influences of our spiritual growth. This year we are going to have a Grandparent Sunday. On this day the students are asked to attend Church with their Grandparents and pray and receive Holy Communion together.

BIBLE STUDY

You are all invited to hear the Word of God at the Bible Classes. We are given the opportunity to go through the Scriptures, become enlightened on the word of God and learn more about our Orthodox Faith. The Bible Classes will begin Wednesday, xxx and are held every Wednesday evening following the PARAKLESIS TO THE VIRGIN MARY WHICH BEGINS AT 7:00 p.m.

CURRICULUM

Nursery THE WONDER OF IT ALL. Focus on every day life.

Pre-Kindergarten THE ROAD TO JESUS AND NEAR THE LORD

Kindergarten WHAT WE SEE AND DO IN CHURCH

1st GRADE GOD LOVES US God’s love and care for all people, especially the child, giving and sharing forgiveness and celebration.

2nd GRADE COMING CLOSER TO GOD – Presents the Sacraments of Baptism, Chrismation & Communion. Then introduces student to Sacrament of Confession.

3rd GRADE WE WORSHIP IN CHURCH – Features the first complete introduction to the Divine Liturgy.

REGULAR SUNDAY SCHEDULE
SEPTEMBER 2016

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