A blessed Wednesday to one and all:
The Sunday we have been working towards for much of the summer is finally upon us. This Sunday at 9:30am will see the kickoff of our new Sunday School curriculum- One Family of Faith. Here is a brief breakdown of how things will work.
Our nursery opens at 8:00am and operates as such during the Sunday School hour. Our Nursery program (up to K-4) begins during the 10:30 mass, biblical and liturgical arts and crafts engaging our youngest in activities and learning that introduce them to the Bible and our practice of faith. At the Peace, the vergers will bring the older children into the church to sit with their parents for the Liturgy of the Sacrament.
The Kindergarten class (K-4 &K5) will be learning foundational Bible stories that coincide with our Church calendar. During class time they will hear these stories read and engage in interactive learning that helps them understand their importance and make them real for their own lives of faith.
Our 1st through 3rd grade class will be learning the importance and place of Baptism and Eucharist- which is foundational for our life in Christ. They will learn proper Churchmanship and be introduced to the workings of our Liturgy and our ministries. They will also engage in outreach and stewardship programs throughout the year and work with their parents to form a firm foundation to practice and hold the Christian faith. This Sunday is Orientation Sunday for them and they will meet in the Parish Hall along with their parents and the Adult Education class. This class serves as preparation for first communion during Eastertide.
The 4th through 6th grade class will be a confirmation or catechism type class that takes a very thorough look at our worship, the sacraments and the creeds of the Church. This class is designed to give the kids a firm grasp of the meaning and foundation of the mass, the 7 Sacraments of the Church and understand the meaning of the Creeds so they may take on fully a mature and adult faith. This class serves as preparation for Confirmation for those interested.
Grades K4-6th grade also participate in our youth choir, which meets from 10:00-10:15. In this portion of the morning, the kids learn the different mass settings, and practice special pieces of music to offer to God and the congregation on Holy Days- so be ready for a heart warming Offertory on The Solemnity of All Saints!
Our Jr. & Sr. High class are in a transitional year. Most all of our children attend schools that are not sacramental or creedal, and so the tenants of faith to which they are exposed is many times in conflict with what we hold as the catholic faith and practice. So, we are working very hard to make sure they have a firm grasp and understanding of our faith when they are confronted with contrasting or conflicting views of the Christian faith. So, for this year, they are going to meet with the adult class- but with a small twist. Mrs. Melanie Follis will ‘shepherd’ them by having set up a special youth table and sitting with them as a group. Then during E.Y.C they can discuss more completely the things that were discussed that morning.
Our E.Y.C (Jr. & Sr. High Youth group) meets every Sunday evenings from, 6:00-8:00pm. The group has several facets: group building through games and activities, mission and outreach; spiritual formation through discussion of relevant topics and matters of faith as well as prayer and worship; and above all provides a time and a space for our youth to grow and mature in their life in Christ.
Our Adult education program will take a very different track this year. We will begin an adult Confirmation or catechesis curriculum that will serve as preparation for those wishing to officially ‘join’ the parish or for those who simply wish to know more about the Christian faith. Since the One Family of Faith curriculum requires clergy involvement, the adult class will from time to time participate with the children’s classes- for instance this Sunday for orientation, the Sunday when the kids gather for an instructional baptism, and other times such as when the kids take an in depth look at the vestments of the clergy. After orientation Sunday, we will begin the adult curriculum by looking at the workings of the Sunday liturgy.
The month of October will see a Sunday Evening Adult Confirmation class begin for those who would rather or who cannot make the morning classes. So, we will be working really hard to make sure everyone who wishes has the opportunity to learn.
It is truly nothing short of miraculous that we are able to provide this level and quality of education with the limited staff we have (just two of us!). It is a great testament to our parish family and the level of dedication they display that we have a program I would hold up against any parish in the country. We are truly blessed here at Saint John’s and I hope you all will make the most of this exceptional program.
I am filled with joy and excitement for the coming Sunday- everything is ready, our teachers are brimming with delight, and I pray you all are ready to come learn and grow with us!
See you all on Sunday-
With love and prayers
I am, Yours in Christ Jesus
On the Feast of SS. Boris and Gleb MMXII