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The Antiochian Orthodox Department of Christian Education (AODCE) supports church school directors, teachers, parents, and all who participate in the work of Christian education on the local level. Read more.


Church School Directors, we hope to get a community together who can help one another by sharing their experiences. Check in with our Facebook page.

If you have not registered for the listserv, please email the department, at aodce@aol.com or Anna-Sarah at aodce.csdirectors@gmail.com with your name and parish.

“Walking the Path of Salvation”

If you are interested in following along with the progress of the Curriculum Project, visit the website. You will find the concept paper, the preparatory tasks and updates on the progress! You can also follow the project on Facebook.

Christian Ed Materials Available!

The Christian Ed Materials and Order Form  is now available for download! Download and use this new form to order materials for your parish program! Be sure to see the revised Billing and Shipping/handling sections of the order form. Also, visit the Antiochian Village Bookstore and Giftshop for your gift needs for Sunday School and home.

FEATURED EVENT

Church School Teacher Development Workshop

St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, West St. Paul, MN, will welcome AODCE Director Carole Buleza to conduct a teacher development workshop this spring. Please join us on Saturday, May 4, 2019, to learn more about serving your parish community as a church school teacher or substitute.

Courses for the day include "Overview of Orthodoxy," during which we’ll review the foundational doctrines of our Faith and interactive ways of teaching our children as they grow. "New Methods in Teaching" will have us discussing lesson planning, productive classroom environments and brain-based learning. Our final course, "Moral Issues," will allow us to explore topics our older youth face and the Orthodox perspective on each.

To register for this event, please see the attached documents or contact Christina Worrall at worral.christina@gmail.com or 571-334-2306.

If you are interested in hosting a teacher training for your parish, please contact Leslie Atherholt at aodce.events@gmail.com or 717-747-5221.

Registration form
Download the flier
Course descriptions
Workshop schedule

FEATURED ARTICLE FOR DIRECTORS

Jennifer Buchko and Samia Zolnerowich: Partnering as Friends and Co-Directors

Jennifer and Samia have been co-directors of the Sunday Church School at Ss. Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church in Potomac, MD, for 10 years. They have actually been friends for over 25 years! They even co-taught the 2nd-3rd grade Church School class for 3 years, including their first year as co-directors.

Please share with us a little about yourselves and the Church School Program. How long have each of you served as Church School Director? Please describe how the Church School program responsibilities are divided and shared between co-directors. This is our first interview with co-directors, and I am very interested in learning.

When we began as directors, we split our duties where Samia would be the contact person for the priests and teachers and Jennifer would take care of the paperwork, registration, emails and newsletters. Now we both jump in and do whatever needs to be done.  This helps when one of us is really busy with our families; there is someone that can take over for the other one. We love working together. We can plan together, brainstorm together and support the teachers. It also allows one of us to help out in a class when needed and leaves the other one in the office to be ready to answer questions for parents or church members.

FEATURED ARTICLE FOR TEACHERS 

Lenten Sundays Series: The Sunday of the Veneration of the Holy Cross

This is the fifth in a series of posts that focuses on the Sundays of Great Lent (and Holy Week and Pascha). Each week we will share ideas of ways to help your Sunday Church School students learn more about that particular Sunday’s focus. We will share each blog early, so that you have time to read it before the forthcoming Sunday, in case you find any of those ideas helpful for your particular class.

Here’s a meditation on the Sunday of the Veneration of the Holy Cross for you to ponder before you create a lesson for your students:

On the third Sunday of Great Lent, we celebrate the Sunday of the Holy Cross. We’re halfway through Lent at this point, and perhaps some of our determination and eagerness for the Lenten journey is waning a bit. That is exactly why the Church Fathers chose this Sunday for us to commemorate the Holy Cross.

Father Alexander Schmemann, in his book Great Lent, reminds us that throughout Great Lent we are crucifying our own self, trying to live up to this week’s Gospel reading. The Gospel reading for the Sunday of the Veneration of the Holy Cross is from Mark 8 and 9, and reminds us of Christ’s command, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me" (Mark 8:34). Schmemann goes on to explain that it would do us no good to take up our cross and follow Christ if it were not for Him taking up the Cross in the first place. “It is His Cross, not ours, that saves us. It is His Cross that gives not only meaning but also power to others.” (1, pp 76-77)

FEATURED ARTICLE FOR PARENTS 

40 Activities for Great Lent

by Sylvia Leontaritis (used with permission)
Follow her blog

While we are already moving along the path to Pascha (this is published during the second week of Great Lent), it’s never too late to find fresh ideas for enhancing the journey with our families. Sylvia was generous enough to grant permission to share this list of activities with our Orthodox Christian parents. (from the archives of Adventures of an Orthodox Mom)

One of the things parents constantly ask is how to keep their children involved during Lent. It’s a tricky business, this Orthodox child rearing. As parents we struggle with finding balance between regular every day activities (both theirs and ours) and making sure our children keep in mind the seriousness of what we’re preparing for. Involving them should be a process everyone enjoys, a special time to pass on spiritual lessons in a way a child will both learn from and have fun with.