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Introduction to the 2015-16 Church School Year

Dear Directors and Teachers,

Greetings and blessings as you begin the 2015 Church School year!

We have a few new resources for you. As you can see above, if you are thinking of using the GOA texts as well as those of the OCEC, there is a document that compares text by text. Don't press print before reading it as it is 23 pages. In years past, we have had the request for the 100 educational standards from the 8th grade text, The Way, The Truth, and The Life; these questions and answers have been prepared according to the order in which they appear in the text. In addition, we have prepared flashcards of these same questions. These can be used with high school classes for brief reviews of the material. They can be used in a jeopardy-style game, or as simple flash-cards. Another new item is found under Resources, the listing, "Online Resources for Parents and Teachers" compiled by Kristina Wenger who does the AODCE Social Networking Ministry. All of our social network ministry sites are listed in the Convention Report, see below.

At the present time, we are working to finish two projects begun last summer, "Why God Became Man: In His Own Words" (7 lessons for HS) and "Orthodoxy FAQs." (7 lessons MS, 7 lessons HS). Both are considered "interim curriculum" which is to say, offering a minimal lesson plan and requiring the teacher to have internet access for graphics and links. The first references Fr. Anthony Coniaris' text, The Great I Came's of Jesus. The second used a compilation of materials, including interviews with Antiochian Village counselors to determine the frequently asked questions of Orthodox teens. It was inspired by the OCF piece, "Presenting Orthodoxy" which was derived from St. Mark's Church, Irvine, California.

Curriculum Ordering. The Publications Department is no longer at the Chancery. Curriculum materials from the Orthodox Christian Education Commission are being furnished by the Antiochian Village Bookstore, which takes VISA, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. You will find ordering information at the Publications Department webpage at antiochian.org, or by phoning 724-238-3677 x 406.

We are looking forward to the Orthodox Institute 2015, "Adult Education: Building on the Foundation" and hope to see you all there. Our next Institute at the Village will be in 2017, and then in 2019. We will have Diocesan Institutes in the interim years. Contact your Diocesan Coordinator for further information. Finally, my concept paper for a new curriculum, "Walking the Path of Salvation," was approved in the spring, and although no funding will be considered until June of 2016, I will be working to lay the foundation for this undertaking during the year ahead. You can read my concept paper as part of my report to the Convention.

The 2015 Convention Report of the Department of Christian Education can be found in Articles.

Each and every one of you is keeping the faith alive by your efforts. Let us all take heart in the words of St. Paul. "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." I Cor 15:58. Most of all, let us aim for the holy joy that comes when we recall Whom we serve and step back to find the little gift he has given us in our appointed task.

May God bless your year!

Carole Buleza and the AODCE Team