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2014-15 News - Announcements
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2015-06-14: Church School Graduation Ceremony

posted Jun 14, 2015, 7:18 PM by St. Nicholas Church School Ann Arbor Michigan   [ updated Jun 14, 2015, 7:20 PM ]

The 2014-15 Church School Graduation Ceremony took place on Sunday, June 14.

Students who attended Church School this past year received their Certificates from Fr. Nick. 

Fr. Nick also recognized each one of the seniors who are graduating from Church School.

Photographs were taken of each classroom and the entire Church School.

After the ceremony, students returned to their classrooms and received end-of-year gifts. These are books that have been specially selected for each Grade by our Church School in consultation with Fr. Nick to help them learn and grow in our Orthodox faith.

It was very nice to see so many children in church, despite the inclement weather. Thank you to all families who drove through torrential rain and participated in the Church School Graduation program.

Congratulations to our graduating seniors for 12 years of dedication to our Greek Orthodox faith and to all Church School students.

Also, on behalf of our entire parish, we extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to our fellow parishioners who volunteer their talents and serve as Church School Teachers. We are very fortunate to have such a group of talented and dedicate teachers. They make all the difference in what our Church School can offer our students.

Many thanks also to Craig Theros who once again served as photographer for the event.
Photographs from today's graduation are available here:
These photographs can also be accessed through the Church School website.

Please note that the Church School calendar for next year, 2015-16, is available here:

We look forward to seeing everyone back again on September 13, 2015 (Registration Sunday and First day of Classes).

2015-05-27: K-1 Church School Update

posted May 27, 2015, 7:22 PM by St. Nicholas Church School Ann Arbor Michigan   [ updated May 27, 2015, 7:40 PM ]

Dear Parents of Kindergarteners and 1st Graders,

Below is the last update for our school year.  We hope these have been helpful in discussing our faith and church with your children at home.  We thank you for bringing your kids to class throughout the year and we have truly enjoyed getting to know each of them and teach them about our Orthodox faith and Church.

Lesson 29:  This lesson focused on Pentecost and how our church started without a building and just people. We talked about how the Holy Spirit came down to the Disciples and they were able to speak in different languages.   This is how they were able to teach the world about Jesus and became Apostles.  This was a gift from God. Peter, one of the Apostles spoke to the people and told them of God’s love for everyone. He told them about Jesus and how he was crucified and how he rose from the dead. This day that this happened is called Pentecost.  On this day 3000 people were baptized as they believed in Jesus. They were baptized by the Apostles. They became Christians and this was the beginning of the Church. We remember all the things that happened on this day and it is the Church’s Birthday. We also pray that we will be filled with the Holy Spirit as well.   The kids then started their Final Exam project, a Lord’s Prayer Placemat.

Lesson 30:  We talked about the Virgin Mary/Theotokos/Panagia and her Assumption and falling asleep on August 15.  We discussed how she prays for us to God and about her life and death.  She is  our Heavenly Mother.  The kids each worked on a coloring sheet that represented certain times in her childhood and life and they took turns taping them to our marker board. 

Lesson 31:  This past Sunday we had the kids work on finishing their Lord’s Prayer Placemats.  This is essentially their final exam project and they will be turned in to Father Nick.  After, we had a review session with the kids on various aspects of the Divine Liturgy that we have learned throughout the year and we asked them to describe some of the icons we have talked about.  We reviewed the three finger we use to make our cross, what they mean, etc. 

We will be reviewing again this Sunday, especially the requirements that the Church School has set for the K-1 Class.
Please take a few moments to review the Curriculum Requirements for K-1 with your children before this Sunday. Also, please review the "Poems to Remember Important Dates" of our faith.  They are attached below for your reference.

It has been a pleasure to teach your children this year and we hope they enjoyed their time in class.  Have a wonderful and Blessed Summer!!

Maria Hochendoner
Andrea McRae, DVM
Margarita Bekiares
Dr. Karen Kolias

2015-05-13: 2015 Exams are due by Sunday, May 17.

posted May 19, 2015, 5:19 PM by St. Nicholas Church School Ann Arbor Michigan   [ updated May 19, 2015, 5:26 PM ]

Χριστός Ανέστη! Christ is Risen!

This is a reminder that the 2015 Church School take-home exams for Grades 2-12 are due by this Sunday May 17.

Students should please return the completed exams in the specially labeled white dropbox outside the main church office (next to the entrance).

The collected exams will then be given to Fr. Nick for review and feedback.

Copies of the exams can be downloaded and printed from the Church School website:

http://churchschool.stnickaa.org/academics/exams

The purpose of the exams is not so much to test as it is to educate our students and to strengthen their knowledge about our faith. They give students a chance to be active and write about what they have learned. That is why they are take home exams. Exams also help parents stay informed, provide feedback to the students and to the Church School teachers, and allow Fr. Nick to assess student progress and encourage each student individually.

This is a great opportunity to find out what you child is learning in Church School and to have a family discussion about the exam questions and answers.

Thank you very much for supporting our Church School mission.

2015-05-05: K-1 Church School Update

posted May 5, 2015, 8:56 PM by St. Nicholas Church School Ann Arbor Michigan   [ updated May 19, 2015, 5:26 PM ]

Dear Parents of Kindergarteners and 1st Graders,

Christos Anesti!

We hope you all had a Blessed Easter.  Below is a summary of the lessons for the past few classes.   We hope that you find this helpful when you discuss church school with your children. 

Lesson 24:  For this lesson, we began our discussion of Holy Week.  We started with the miraculous raising of Lazarus by Christ which is commemorated on the Saturday before Palm Sunday.  Then on Palm Sunday we commemorate Christ's joyous entry into Jerusalem on a donkey.  We then began discussion on the stories of the lessons Christ taught us before He died-first by washing his disciples' feet in a show of kindness and service to others, and how Christ wants us to remember Him by celebrating the Sacrament of Holy Communion which He taught the disciples at the Last Supper.  We described then the hardships Christ endured for us-such as the betrayal by Judas, and eventually the events leading up to His Crucifixion.  We began to discuss why Jesus did this for us, and emphasized the joy that would come on the third day when He rose from the dead.  We began practicing singing "O Christ is risen from the dead", and will practice singing it in Greek at the next lesson, and into the future.

Lesson 25:  We reviewed the Christ is Risen hymn in both English and Greek, the kids did a great job singing it.  Hopefully you were able to hear them sing it too.   We read The True king  gospel  lesson in the Beginner’s Bible for Palm Sunday. We reviewed the following:  How did Jesus get to Jerusalem? On a donkey.  Why did you think there was a big crowd welcoming him? Because he was performing many miracles and good things for many people as well as teaching. They were treating him like a king. What did they do to honor him? They placed palm branched in the street and waved them at him. Why did the leaders dislike Jesus? Because they were jealous and angry that all the people were following him.   wE also talked about the Crucifixion and what happened to Jesus  on the cross and after.

Lesson 26:  We discussed the Gospel story about Thomas and about situations where we may have our own doubts, and how to keep our faith strong then (prayer and trying to be like Jesus, and seeing God's creations all around us, etc.)  We asked the kids before the lesson which Holy Week services they may have attended, having them find a picture of it on the wall, and what they remembered about the service.  We discussed what happens at the Resurrection service, and turned off our classroom lights to re-enact it, and then sang Christos Anesti in English and Greek.  We have also been having the kids work on puzzles of the various Saints and special days we remember in the Orthodox church.

Lesson 27: We focused on what happened when Jesus rose from the dead, how did the people discover this, etc.  The Gospel is from Mark and it talks about how Jesus was taken down from the cross and wrapped in linen and put in the tomb.  Joseph of Arimathea asked Pontius Pilate for the body of Jesus and he took Jesus down from the cross and wrapped him in linen which is what the people did back then when someone died.  He laid Jesus in the tomb and Pilate ordered that a large boulder be put in front of the tomb so that no one could take Jesus’s body and then say he had risen from the dead.  Pilate did not want the people to believe in Jesus.  After 3 days women who were friends of Jesus came to anoint his body with scented oil and spices as was the custom and they were worried how they would move the boulder.  When they arrived at the tomb they saw the boulder was rolled away and inside there was an angel told them Jesus was alive again and had risen from the dead.  They were shocked and afraid!  This was the greatest and most wonderful miracle.  Jesus was stronger than death and he opened the doors to heaven for all of us.  This miracle changed the lives of all the people in the world.  We also played a game where the kids were able to find hidden symbols of Easter and Jesus around the classroom.

Lesson 28:  The kids worked on puzzles of the Ascension and the Resurrection.    We also talked about the concept of the Apostles being fisher of men.  We discussed a little about what it takes to be good at fishing, and why that would be a good thing for an Apostle.  We discussed how on Pentecost God sent the Holy Spirit down upon the Apostles and now they could speak the word of God in many languages to teach and bring in many new believers.  The church is like a group of fish swimming together toward Jesus, and  we can be like fishers of people by doing good deeds and showing Jesus' love to others.  We played a game of fishing.  The kids took turns using a homemade fishing pole to catch cardboard fish. On the underside of each fish was a review question and a suggestion for a good deed.  The kids were to perform that good deed this week.  We took the kids up the choir loft and met with Joy Melzian, a choir member and we talked about singing in the church.   We sang "Christ is Risen from the dead."  and the Hymn of Pentecost-which is "Blessed are you, O Christ our God.  You made wise men out of fishermen, by sending down upon them your Holy Spirit.  And through them, you caught the whole world (or, you drew the world into your net).  O lover of mankind, Glory to Thee.")  We also were able to look at the icons from high up--Annunciation, Myrrh Bearing Women, and Coming Down from the Cross.  Attached is a picture from out field trip to the choir loft.  We encourage all the kids to come up and sing with the choir anytime!

It is a pleasure to teach your children every Sunday.  Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Maria Hochendoner
Andrea McRae, DVM
Margarita Bekiares
Dr. Karen Kolias

2015-05-01: 2014 Oratorical Festival Recognition, May 3

posted May 5, 2015, 8:56 PM by St. Nicholas Church School Ann Arbor Michigan   [ updated May 19, 2015, 5:25 PM ]

Χριστός Ανέστη! Christ is Risen!

On Sunday, May 3, 2015, right after the Gospel reading, Fr. Nick would like to recognize all Church School students who delivered speeches at our parish 2014 Oratorical Festival that took place on March 15, 2015.

Parents and Church School Teachers please remind our students to make an effort and be in church on time that day, Sunday, May 3, 2015!

On behalf of our Church School we would like to recognize the two Finalists of our parish 2014 Oratorical Festival who went on to represent our parish at the Junior and Senior Divisions of the Michigan District Oratorical Festival:
Sam Radwanski - Junior Division, Finalist (Parish-level) - Finalist (District-level)
Angelo Bairactaris - Senior Division, Finalist (Parish-level) - Honorable-Mention (District-level)
Congratulations to both!

Sam and Angelo will present their winning speeches in church on May 3, so that everyone will have a chance to hear them!

2015-04-25: 2015 Exams available online

posted Apr 26, 2015, 12:01 PM by St. Nicholas Church School Ann Arbor Michigan   [ updated May 19, 2015, 5:27 PM ]

Χριστός Ανέστη! Christ is Risen!

The 2015 Church School take-home exams for Grades 2-12 are now available and can be downloaded and printed from the Church School website:

http://churchschool.stnickaa.org/academics/exams

Please download the exam for your child and print it.

Completed exams are due back on or before Sunday, May 17, 2014, in the specially labeled white dropbox outside the main church office (next to the entrance).
 
The purpose of the exams is to educate the children and to strengthen their knowledge about our faith. Exams also help parents stay informed, provide feedback to the students and to the Church School teachers, and allow Fr. Nick to assess student progress and encourage each student individually.

This is a great opportunity to find out what you child is learning in Church School and to have a family discussion about the exam questions and answers.

Thank you very much for supporting our Church School mission.

2015-04-21: 2015 Oratorical Festival Recognition, May 3

posted Apr 26, 2015, 11:59 AM by St. Nicholas Church School Ann Arbor Michigan   [ updated May 19, 2015, 5:28 PM ]

Χριστός Ανέστη! Christ is Risen!

On Sunday, May 3, 2015, right after the Gospel reading, Fr. Nick would like to recognize all Church School students who delivered speeches at our parish 2015 Oratorical Festival that took place on March 15, 2015.

Parents and Church School Teachers please remind our students to make an effort and be in church on time that day, Sunday, May 3, 2015!

On behalf of our Church School we would like to recognize the two Finalists of our parish 2015 Oratorical Festival who went on to represent our parish at the Junior and Senior Divisions of the Michigan District Oratorical Festival:
  • Sam Radwanski - Junior Division, Finalist (Parish-level) - Finalist (District-level)
  • Angelo Bairactaris - Senior Division, Finalist (Parish-level) - Honorable-Mention (District-level)
Congratulations to both!

Sam and Angelo will present their winning speeches in church on May 3, so that everyone will have a chance to hear them!

2015-04-18: OCMC Coin Boxes are due April 19, 2105

posted Apr 26, 2015, 11:56 AM by St. Nicholas Church School Ann Arbor Michigan   [ updated May 19, 2015, 5:28 PM ]

Χριστός Ανέστη! Christ is Risen!
 
During Great Lent, our Church School students collected money in special coin boxes to help support the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) and its work all over the world: setting up churches and schools, outreach to orphans, healthcare, and sponsoring Orthodox missionaries.
 
This is a reminder that the OCMC coin boxes should be returned to Church School teachers tomorrow, Sunday, April 19, 2015.
 
Our Church School needs to collect ALL coin boxes before we can send the money to OCMC where it is sorely needed.
 
Please make a note of it and place the coinboxes in your cars.
 
Thank you for supporting Orthodox Christian Missions!

2015-04-08: Holy Wednesday - Holy Unction followed by Retreat

posted Apr 5, 2015, 1:49 PM by St. Nicholas Church School Ann Arbor Michigan   [ updated Apr 5, 2015, 8:39 PM ]

As is our tradition on Holy Wednesday, the Church School will participate in an earlier Holy Unction Service and will have a Retreat immediately afterwards.

April 8, 2015: Holy Wednesday
  • 4:00-5:30: Holy Unction Service for Church School

  • 5:30: Church School students assemble in Social Hall for a snack

  • 5:30-6:30: Church School Retreat on Holy Chrismation
  • GOYA (led by Deno Prokos and Artemis Alex)
  • JOY (led by Dani Nadra and Ioanna Ioannou)
  • HOPE (led by Eva Mikhail and Margarita Bekiares)
We look forward to seeing everyone there.

Kali Anastasi!

2015-03-25: K-1 Church School Update

posted Apr 5, 2015, 1:49 PM by St. Nicholas Church School Ann Arbor Michigan   [ updated Apr 5, 2015, 8:39 PM ]

Dear Parents of Kindergarteners and 1st Graders,

Below is a summary of the lessons for the past few classes.   We hope that you find this helpful when you discuss church school with your children.  We have been focusing on Lent and the miracles that Jesus performed leading up to his Crucifixion and Resurrection.  Please remember to bring your children to the Saturday of Lazarus Service( and palm cross making) and Holy Unction Retreat on Holy Wednesday.

Lesson 20:  We worked on their Divine Liturgy posters and they each wrote about something they enjoyed learning about on the back of their posters.  These were submitted to Father Nick as part of the Oratorical Festival.  This Sunday was the Sunday of Orthodoxy.  The kids did a great job participating in the procession and service.  After the procession we met in the small space to the side of the Narthex where the beautiful icon of Jesus the Good Shepherd is (stained glass window icon).  We read the parable of the Lost Sheep, using some cut-out figures to re-enact it.  We discussed what happens when a little sheep gets lost away from the flock, and how a good shepherd will leave the rest of the flock, searching high and low, and never giving up until he finds his lost sheep.  We discussed that Jesus was teaching about and how the Good Shepherd is (Christ) and who the sheep are (us), and how when we don't follow Jesus' way, we can get lost away from him.  But his love for us is so great and never-ending, and he always wants us back!    Please see attached picture of the kids.


Lesson 21:  We read the Gospel lesson  " A Hole in the Roof" from The Beginner’s Bible.  We talked about why all the people wanted to see Jesus? He was special and could help the sick. Why did Jesus know the men loved their friend?  Because they did everything they could to get him to Jesus. They made a hole in the roof. What does it mean to have your sins forgiven? It means that Jesus forgives you for the wrong thing we do or say. What are some things that we may do wrong?  Examples include: not sharing toys, saying something mean to sibling or other child, not helping others (mom and dad), etc.The kids also completed a Lenten Poster Project that we hope you are referencing as we travel thru this  Lenten period.  On one side they glued on pictures of things to do more of during Lent (bible, chalice, prayers, etc.) and on the other side, things to so less of during Lent (pizza, ice cream, computer/TV, video games, etc.). 

Lesson 22:  We talked about the Feast of the Holy Cross and continued reading the children’s Bible for the events leading up to Easter.  We read the parable about the Lost son and discussed how that was similar to the Lost sheep.  We talked about the significance of the cross and what it helps us to remember.  We were able to take the kids into church for the special service and they did a really good job of paying attention to what Father was doing.  After the service the kids worked on a cross project and hopefully were able to finish them at home. 

Lesson 23:  For this past Sunday we talked the Annunciation and we looked at the icon we have in class and discussed what the Angel Gabriel told Mary.  We learned a rhyme to remember this special day, “It was no myth on March 25th, Angel Gabriel told Mary a baby she would carry.”  We continued with the Gospel readings of the miracles before Easter.  We read the Ten Lepers and talked about how only 1 out of the 10 lepers came back to thank Jesus for healing him.  We discussed how we need to remember to thank Jesus for many things everyday, clothes, food, health, etc.   We sometime forget to thank him for the blessing he has given all of us.  We also talked about the Short Man, Zacchaeus, and how Jesus went to his house even though he was a sinner.  Jesus was able to make Zacchaeus see the wrongs he had done just by telling him he was coming to his house.  He forgave him for his sins.  The kids also started a  Lenten Coloring Book which has pictures of some of the things we have learned about so far regarding the Divine Liturgy and Lent.  They will work on this until Easter to help reinforce some of the lessons we have taught thus far.

It is a  pleasure to teach your children every Sunday.  Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Maria Hochendoner
Andrea McRae, DVM
Margarita Bekiares
Dr. Karen Kolias

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