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Writings of His Grace Bishop John

His Grace Bishop John Abdalah, of the Diocese of Worcester and New England, is the longtime editor of the Archdiocese's official news magazine, The Word. Over the years, he has written on a wide range of spiritual topics for the edification of the faithful, a selection of which are archived here.

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Meeting the Needs of Our Church School Children

The church school teachers of New England gathered in January of 2017 at the Chancery for a workshop sponsored by the Department of Christian Education. Our workshop leader was Dr. Iona Popa, an educator, psychiatrist and pious orthodox christian. The teachers were challenged to approach the church school class as a kind of liturgy, which parallels or continues the Divine Liturgy itself. The classroom is a place where the Mount Tabor experience is brought into the world: a holy place where our children will encounter God; a special place where we tap into the life of the Trinity made incarnate by Jesus Christ. As in the Divine Liturgy, in the classroom we use all of our senses.

Dr. Popa pointed out that children learn differently from each other. Some are auditory learners, others visual, and still others kinesthetic. By learning how our class and each of our children learn, we can be more successful in communicating the good news of Jesus Christ. To assess learning style, Iona suggested that we ask the children to give us directions to a place either in the church complex or to an area with which they are familiar. Those who are visual learners will describe landmarks. Those who are auditory learners may speak slowly to hear their own words or talk a lot as they process and conceptualize the journey. The kinesthetic learners will use their hands and maybe their feet in demonstrating how turns are made to get to the destination. Learning how they learn allows us to craft a more effective lesson.