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 the parts of the Divine Liturgy and we are trying to help the children understand what is happening in church and what they are seeing.
This coming Sunday we will be practicing for the Christmas Pageant in the Church right after the Divine Liturgy. We will be providing a small snack for the children in the classroom before we go to practice. Please plan on the practice going until about 1:15pm. If your child has allergies and you would like to bring a snack for them please do so. We will do our best to provide nut free, soy free and non-dairy snacks.
Lesson 9: We talked about what the Epistle and Gospel are. Epistle comes from the Greek word meaning “to send news” and it is a book written by Saints to help us understand Jesus and how he wants us to live. The Gospel is read by Father Nick or Deacon Vasilios and they stand at the pulpit. The pulpit is to remind us of the big stone that was used to close the tomb of Jesus and the angel that stood on top of this stone on Easter morning to tell the people the good news that Jesus had risen from the dead. The priest shares the good news from the Gospel from the pulpit. The Gospels are written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and they are stories about the miracles that Jesus performed which help us learn about his life, parables which teach us lessons about how Jesus wants us to live and we also learn about the people that Jesus helped. We also were able to go into church and Father Nick showed The Gospel to the children and they were able to see inside it. Please see our bulletin board in the classroom for pictures of your children learning about the Divine Liturgy.
Lesson 10: The children created their own Saint pictures and we had a discussion about Namedays. This is the name you are given when you are baptized, typically a Saint. We talked a little about the sacraments we receive at Baptism; Chrismation, Communion. We discussed when we use our baptismal name during the Divine Liturgy and how it is different from your name. The children also told each other how they celebrate their namedays and we talked about how they celebrate in Greece. We also talked about All Saints Day for those names that are different than Saints and don’t have a specific date to celebrate. We can discuss with the kids if and how they celebrate their namedays, what their baptismal names are and when they say them (communion).
Lesson 11: For this lesson we focused on Thanksgiving. We read the story of the miracle of the 5 loaves and 2 fish from the children's bible. We discussed two things regarding this miracle. First, in this version, a young boy brings his basket to share, and that is what is used by Jesus for the miracle, emphasizing how children are special to Jesus, and through their sharing, many good things can come (like our Thanksgiving food drive). Second, Jesus first gives thanks for the food, and is teaching us to also always remember to be thankful for the wonderful things God does for us. We also talked about the things we are thankful for and the children made a wreath craft. They wrote the things, people, etc. that they are thankful for. They all did a wonderful job! We also sent home a prayer that we hope the children read for you.
Lesson 12: This past Sunday we started to talk about the birth of Jesus and how all the people were coming to the town of Bethlehem. We read a couple passages from the children’s bible. We also talked a little bit about St. Nicholas, the patron Saint of our church and the kind deeds that he did for the poor. The children also put a nativity together which they will bring home this Sunday.
The Christmas Pageant is Sunday December 21. Please practice the Christmas Carols and Hymns that your child brought home this past Sunday with them as much as you can. We hope to see everyone for the Christmas Pageant.
It has been a pleasure to teach your children so far. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.
We wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and Blessed New Year!!!
Andrea McRae, DVM
Dr. Karen Kolias