The Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint John the Theologian

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1 The Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint John the Theologian Ειιεληθή Οξζόδνμε Μεηξνπνιηηηθή ελνξία Αγ. Ισάλλνπ ηνπ Θενιόγνπ. 353 East Clinton Avenue Tenafly, New Jersey Phone (201) Fax (201) Religious Education Program Reverend Father Panagiotis Lekkas Mr. Christ H. Economos, Director Mr. Theodore Koroniades, Director

2 Troparion (Tone 2) Beloved apostle of Christ our God, hasten to deliver a defenseless people. He who allowed you to recline on His breast, receives you as you bow before Him. Implore Him, John the Theologian, to disperse the persistent threat from the heathens, entreating for us peace and great mercy. Kontakion (Tone 2) Who shall declare your greatness, O virgin disciple, for you pour forth wonders and are a source of healings, and pray for our souls as Theologian and friend of Christ. ΑΠΟΛΤΣΙΚΙΟΝ Ήρνο β Απόζηνιε, Υξηζηώ ησ Θεώ εγαπεκέλε, επηηάρπλνλ, ξύζαη ιαόλ αλαπνιόγεηνλ δέρεηαί ζε πξνζπίπηνληα, ν επηπεζόλα ησ ζηήζεη θαηαδεμάκελνο όλ ηθέηεπε Θενιόγε, θαη επίκνλνλ λέθνο εζλώλ δηαζθεδάζαη, αηηνύκελνο εκίλ εηξήλελ, θαη ην κέγα έιενο. ΚΟΝΣΑΚΙΟΝ Ήρνο β Απηόκεινλ Σα κεγαιεία ζνπ, Παξζέλε, ηηο δηεγήζεηαη; βξύεηο γαξ ζαύκαηα θαη πεγάδεηο ηάκαηα θαη πξεζβεύεηο ππέξ ησλ ςπρώλ εκώλ, σο Θενιόγνο θαη θίινο Υξηζηνύ.

3 The Confession of the Faith The Nicene Creed I believe in one God, Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages; Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten, not created, of one essence with the Father through Whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became man. He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried; And He rose on the third day, according to the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father; And He will come again with glory to judge the living and dead. His kingdom shall have no end. And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Creator of life, Who proceeds from the Father, Who together with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified, Who spoke through the prophets. In one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church; I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the age to come. Amen. εἰσ ἕλα Θεόλ, Παηέξα Παληνθξάηνξα, πνηεηήλ νὐξαλνῦ θαί Γῆο, ὁξαηῶλ ηε πάλησλ θαί ἀνξάησλ. Καί εἰο ἕλα Κύξηνλ Ἰεζνῦλ Φξηζηόλ, ηόλ Υἱόλ ηνῦ Θενῦ ηόλ κνλνγελῆ, ηόλ ἐθ ηνῦ Παηξόο γελλεζέληα πξό πάλησλ ηῶλ αἰώλσλ. Φῶο ἐθ Φσηόο, Θεόλ ἀιεζηλόλ ἐθ Θενῦ ἀιεζηλνῦ, γελλεζέληα, νὐ πνηεζέληα, ὁκννύζηνλ ηῷ Παηξί, δη νὗ ηά πάληα ἐγέλεην. Τόλ δη ἡκᾶο ηνύο ἀλζξώπνπο θαί δηά ηήλ ἡκεηέξαλ ζσηεξίαλ θαηειζόληα ἐθ ηῶλ νὐξαλῶλ θαί ζαξθσζέληα ἐθ Πλεύκαηνο Ἁγίνπ θαί Μαξίαο ηῆο Παξζέλνπ θαί ἐλαλζξσπήζαληα Σηαπξσζέληα ηε ὑπέξ ἡκῶλ ἐπί Πνληίνπ Πηιάηνπ θαί παζόληα θαί ηαθέληα Καί ἀλαζηάληα ηῇ ηξίηῃ ἡκέξᾳ θαηά ηάο Γξαθάο Καί ἀλειζόληα εἰο ηνύο νὐξαλνύο θαί θαζεδόκελνλ ἐθ δεμηῶλ ηνῦ Παηξόο Καί πάιηλ ἐξρόκελνλ κεηά δόμεο θξῖλαη δῶληαο θαί λεθξνύο, νὗ ηῆο βαζηιείαο νὐθ ἔζηαη ηέινο. Καί εἰο ηό Πλεῦκα ηό Ἅγηνλ, ηό Κύξηνλ, ηό δσνπνηόλ, ηό ἐθ ηνῦ Παηξόο ἐθπνξεπόκελνλ, ηό ζύλ Παηξί θαί Υἱῷ ζπκπξνζθπλνύκελνλ θαη ζπλδνμαδόκελνλ, ηό ιαιῆζαλ δηά ηῶλ Πξνθεηῶλ. Εἰο κίαλ, ἁγίαλ, θαζνιηθήλ θαί ἀπνζηνιηθήλ θθιεζίαλ. Ὁκνινγῶ ἕλ βάπηηζκα εἰο ἄθεζηλ ἁκαξηηῶλ. Πξνζδνθῶ ἀλάζηαζηλ λεθξῶλ, θαί δσήλ ηνῦ κέιινληνο αἰῶλνο.

4 THE LORD'S PRAYER Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by Thy name, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. ΚΤΡΙΑΚΗ ΠΡΟΕΤΥΗ Πάτερ ἡμῶν ὁ ἐν τοῖσ οὐρανοῖσ ἁγιαςθήτω τό ὄνομά ςου, ἐλθέτω ἡ βαςιλεία ςου, γενηθήτω τό θέλημά ςου, ὡσ ἐν οὐρανῷ καί ἐπί τῆσ γῆσ. Τόν ἄρτον ἡμῶν τόν ἐπιούςιον δόσ ἡμῖν ςήμερον καί ἄφεσ ἡμῖν τά ὀφειλήματα ἡμῶν, ὡσ καί ἡμεῖσ ἀφίεμεν τοῖσ ὀφειλέταισ ἡμῶν καί μή εἰςενέγκησ ἡμᾶσ εἰσ πειραςμόν, ἀλλά ῥῦςαι ἡμᾶσ ἀπό τοῦ πoνηροῦ.

5 A message from Father Panagiotis Dear Parents: The religious education of our children is very important. We are pleased to provide you with this simple guide. It contains information that will assist you and your child throughout the year, as we are trying to provide a positive learning environment. The basic philosophy of our Church School program is to build a solid foundation of both, the teachings and worship practices of our Greek Orthodox Faith. This will allow them to be good stewards in the vineyard of our Lord Jesus Christ. However, your involvement in their religious education at home is paramount. Your guidance and encouragement to attend church services and growing up in church is of the utmost importance, as a strong foundation will follow your children for a lifetime. Please take the time to review your child's packet and reinforce the information learned in Church School. Consider taking time to pray and read the Holy Bible together at home. Attending the Divine Liturgy each Sunday instills in them the importance of our "Lord's Day", as the partaker from His Holy Body and Holy Blood in Holy Communion. They will learn to love God with their heart, mind and soul. We would like to express our sincerest love and thanks to our dedicated Church School staff who share their valuable time with our children. We wish you a successful and spiritually fulfilling ecclesiastical year. In His Service, Reverend Father Panagiotis Lekkas

6 Αγαπεηνί καο θαη ζεβαζηνί γνλείο, Η Καηερεηηθή δηδαζθαιία πνπ πξνζθέξεηαη από ηελ Οξζόδνμν Εθθιεζία καο ζηα παηδηά είλαη απν ηηο πην ζεκαληηθέο δηδαρέο πνπ βνεζνύλ ηα παηδηά καο λα απνθηήζνπλ νινθιεξσκέλε γλώζε γηα ηελ Οξζνδνμία θαη ηνλ Ειιεληθό πνιηηηζκό, δπν ζεζαπξνύο πνπ ράξηζε ν Παλάγαζνο Παηέξαο καο ζηελ θπιή καο. Εθηόο από ηηο πνιύηηκεο γλώζεηο θαη ηελ σθέιεηα πνπ πξνζθέξεη ην ζρνιείν, ην θξνληηζηήξην, ν αζιεηηζκόο θαη ε κνπζηθή, κεγάιε ζεκαζία έρεη θαη ε αγσγή ζε ζέκαηα πίζηεσο θαη ήζνπο. Δηόηη είλαη νινθάλεξν όηη ε ζεκεξηλή θνηλσλία δηέξρεηαη κηα πνιιαπιή θξίζε: θνηλσληθή, νηθνγελεηαθή, πνιηηηζκηθή, ζξεζθεπηηθή, εζηθή. Η γεληθή θξίζε ησλ αμηώλ θαη ζεζκώλ, απνηειεί πιένλ έλα αηζζεηό θαη ζνβαξό πξόβιεκα ηεο επνρήο καο, θαη ζπρλά γίλεηαη αληηθείκελν ζρνιηαζκνύ θαη ζπδεηήζεσλ. Αλ όκσο θαη εκείο πξνζσπηθά δελ ιάβνπκε κέηξα θαη δελ απμήζνπκε ηηο αληηζηάζεηο καο, ην πξόβιεκα ζπλερώο ζα απμάλεηαη κε αξλεηηθέο βέβαηα ζπλέπεηεο. Αλακθίβνια, έλα ηζρπξό αληίβαξν ζην ελ ιόγσ δήηεκα, απνηειεί θαη ε πξνζθνξά ησλ Καηερεηηθώλ Σρνιείσλ ηεο Εθθιεζίαο. Μέζα από ην απόζηαγκα ηεο δηδαζθαιίαο ηνπ Επαγγειίνπ, από ηνλ ίδην ην ιόγν ηνπ Θεαλζξώπνπ Ιεζνύ Φξηζηνύ, ηα παηδηά θαινύληαη λα γλσξίζνπλ ηηο αλππέξβιεηεο θαη αηώληεο αξρέο θαη αμίεο ηνπ ρξηζηηαληζκνύ, κηα πνιύηηκε παξαθαηαζήθε πνπ ζα ηα ζπλνδεύεη ζε όιε ηνπο ηελ δσή. Η επξύηεξε πξνζθνξά ηνπ Καηερεηηθνύ ζρνιείνπ ζηνπο λένπο ζήκεξα, ζα κπνξνύζε λα ζπκπεξηιεθζεί ζηα εμήο αθόινπζα: - θαιιηεξγεί ηελ αγάπε γηα ηνλ Θεό θαη ηνλ ζπλάλζξσπν, - βνεζάεη ζηελ δηάθξηζε ησλ πνηθίισλ θηλδύλσλ θαη παγίδσλ ηεο δσήο, - πξνζθέξεη ηα απαξαίηεηα πλεπκαηηθά εθόδηα, γηα ηελ αληηκεηώπηζε ησλ δπζθνιηώλ θαη αδηεμόδσλ πνπ παξνπζηάδνληαη ζην δηάβα ηεο δσήο, - θαζνδεγεί ζην δξόκν ηνπ νξζνδόμνπ ρξηζηηαληθνύ ήζνπο, - δηδάζθεη ην ζεβαζκό ησλ αμηώλ ηεο θνηλσλίαο καο, - βνεζάεη ζηελ απνθόξηηζε από ηελ πίεζε, ην βάξνο θαη ηελ θνύξαζε ηεο εβδνκάδνο, - ζπληειεί ζηελ θνηλσληθνπνίεζε κέζα από ην νκαδηθό πλεύκα ησλ ζπλάμεσλ θαη ηεο ςπραγσγίαο θαη - ζπκπιεξώλεη ην έξγν ησλ γνλέσλ θαη ησλ δαζθάισλ, ζπκβάιινληαο ζηε δηακόξθσζε κηαο πγηνύο θαη νινθιεξσκέλεο πξνζσπηθόηεηαο. Τν πξόγξακκά καο είλαη γεκάην από σθέιηκεο ζπδεηήζεηο & δηδαζθαιίεο, επράξηζηα παηρλίδηα, ρεηξνηερλίεο, ηξαγνύδηα, ζεαηξηθά, εθδξνκέο θαη άιιεο ραξηησκέλεο δξαζηεξηόηεηεο, ππό ηελ αζθαιή επηκέιεηα θαη θαζνδήγεζε, ησλ πεπεηξακέλσλ θαη θαηεξηηζκέλσλ θαηερεηώλ θαη θαηερεηξηώλ. Επρόκαζηε νιόςπρα θαιή θαη απνδνηηθή ζρνιηθή ρξνληά ζηα παηδηά ζαο θαη ζε εζάο θαιή δύλακε. Ο Κύξηνο λα επινγεί ηηο νηθνγέλεηέο ζαο θαη όιν ηνλ θόζκν. Ο ππεύζπλνο ηνπ λεαληθνύ έξγνπ, π. Παλαγηώηεο Λέθθαο νη θαηερεηέο & νη θαηερήηξηεο

7 The Greek Orthodox Church of America - Are We Hellenes or Orthodox Christians? Dear Parents: In our Sunday Church School Program we will focus on bringing our children, together with you, to a better understanding of the Hellenistic roots, to a deeper comprehension of the teachings of Orthodoxy and, most importantly, closer to God. Let's begin with a simple truth: Orthodoxy is the continuation, fulfillment and advancement of Hellenism. Hellenism is inextricably intertwined with the Western civilization and the Orthodox religion. One does not need to be of Greek descent to recognize and embrace this truth. If one doubts this truth, consider the following questions first. Why did Jesus Christ, our one true God and Savior, reveal Himself and take on human form 2,000 years ago? What was unique about the world at that time? Why didn't He come earlier or later? After all, sin has been around from the beginning and His messages are applicable across the ages. Is it possible that the world was ready, or prepared at that time to receive and spread His message? Let us consider the following very brief summary of certain key historical events which may shed some light on the timing of this revelation of our God. The ancient battles of Marathon, Thermopylae, Salamis and Plataea stopped the destruction of the Greek culture, a culture that went on to influence every aspect of our Western culture, and set the stage for Alexander the Great to spread Greek thought and the Greek language, Hellenism, throughout the ancient world. Alexander did not seek to conquer the world but to unite it under Hellenism. This Hellenized world which Alexander created, where Greek was the international language, is the world which existed when Jesus Christ arrived. Jesus walked amongst a people and culture which had been impregnated with Greek thought and the Greek language. If the Jews are the chosen people (and they are), then the Greek language (thought) of the Ancients is the chosen language of Christianity. The messages of Jesus Christ, that God loves us and that our ultimate calling is to be in union with Him without ever losing our own identity, are not at odds with the teachings of the Ancients but a fulfillment of those teachings. In other words, the individual is preserved but is also called to participate and become one with the community. The Ancients knew that man was connected with the divine (the Unknown God) but their logic only took them so far in understanding the connection between man and God. Jesus Christ came and made this connection complete. In other words, He became man so that we might fully realize our God-like nature. Orthodoxy and the Greek language survived the fall of Constantinople and 400 years of slavery under the Ottoman Empire. The Greek Orthodox Church of America and all those who consider themselves true Hellenes are now the new protectors of the Orthodox faith and the Greek language, the language in which the one true faith was originally handed down through the ages. We embrace this awesome responsibility and will teach our children the richness of our Orthodox faith. Jesus Christ revealed Himself and His teachings to a Hellenized world. The Apostles and Church Fathers passed along these teachings in Greek. Let us, the body of the Church, preserve and advance our experience of the Orthodox faith by learning and teaching our children that they are both Hellenes and Orthodox Christians. Respectfully, Christ Economos, Director

8 Faculty Irene Ferranti 1st George Tsougarakis 2nd Vickie Papadopoulos 3rd Christine Papavasiliou 4th Katerina Melis 5th Irene Polemis 5th Elaine Lavitola 6th Constantinos Mikelis 7th Andy Paspalas 7th Helen Coyle 8th John Lignos 9th Christ Economos 10th Tina Charambopoulos K Mary Briskin pre-k4 Effie Thomopoulos pre-k4 Christalla Papas Nursery Frances Bayiokos pre-n

9 Church School Guidelines 1. Children (Kindergarten and higher) will attend the Divine Liturgy beginning at 10:00 A.M. every Sunday. Father Panagiotis will deliver a children's sermon prior to Holy Communion. All grades will proceed to Church School class. Class ends at 12:30 P.M. 2. Please make every effort to attend Divine Liturgy with your children. 3. Prepare so that the children may frequently receive Holy Communion. (Please see Fasting guideline on next page.) 4. In the spirit of modesty and propriety, you should encourage the children to wear church clothes, or their "Sunday's Best". 5. Please do not allow your children to bring electronic devices or toys to the Divine Liturgy or any other church service. 6. Girls should not wear lipstick when receiving Holy Communion. 7. Early dismissal is generally not allowed. Please notify the teacher prior to the beginning of class if you need to take your children early. 8. Parent will be notified of any issue with the children. Unruly behavior will not be tolerated. 9. Children must attend at least 50% of the scheduled classes in order to receive an advancement or graduation certificate at the end of the year. 10. Please discuss with the teacher if your child has any medical issues (e.g., allergies). How you can help your children Set time aside each day to pray and give thanks to our Heavenly Father and ask for His assistance. Read the Holy Scriptures daily so that you will have a better understanding of God and His love for you and your children. Take an interest in your child's church school work. Discuss the lesson after church, while the lesson is still fresh in their minds. We encourage children to attend Church School every Sunday. At the end of the school year, children will be rewarded for "perfect attendance."

10 Church Etiquette The Apostle Paul reminded the Corinthians "to do all things decently and in order." (I Corinthians. 14:40). It benefits all worshippers when we observe certain practices during our worship services, especially the Divine Liturgy. Here are some of the practices we should follow: Come to church on time - 10:00 A.M. Leave cell phones and other electronics in the car Sit for the Epistle reading Stand for the Gospel reading and do not move around within church Kneel during the Consecration of the Gifts Recite the Creed and the Lord's Prayer aloud Sing along with the hymns Do not talk during the service Have a positive attitude Participate as much as possible Be attentive to the sermon Be reverent and prayerful, especially during Holy Communion. Read the prayers before and after Holy Communion. Read the Bible

11 Church School Goals The following is a list of what the students should know when they graduate from Church School: They should know the Lord's prayer and where it can be found in the Bible. They should know the Creed. They should know the Ten Commandments. They should know where to find certain subjects in the Old and New Testaments. They should understand the sequence of the Books of the Bible. They should have knowledge of the Old Testament. They should have knowledge of the New Testament. They should know the twelve major feasts days of the Liturgical year. They should know the major Saints of the Orthodox Faith They should know the major events of Church History. They should know how to cross themselves, when they should cross themselves and why they cross themselves. They should be able to handle basic questions about their faith (e.g., what we believe).

12 Fasting Guidelines In order to receive Holy Communion in the Church, we need to be prepared as follows: No food or drink before Divine Liturgy for children in the second grade or older. Ages 10-13: Wednesday & Friday - no meat (milk and fish allowed). Saturday night - no meat. Ages 14 & older: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday - no meat, fish, or dairy The following are strict fast days: The day before Epiphany The last week before Great Lent, although dairy products may be eaten on Wednesday and Friday. Great Lent Holy Week Holy Apostles Lent Dormition of the Mother of God - August 1st through August 14th Beheading of St. John the Baptist - August 29th Exaltation of the Holy Cross - September 14th Christmas Lent - November 15th through December 24th (fish allowed November 15th to December 11th, except Wednesdays and Fridays) The following are fast days on which fish is permitted: Annunciation Day - March 25th. If, however, Annunciation Day does not come during Great Lent, then the day is a fast free day. Palm Sunday Transfiguration of the Christ - August 6th The following days are completely fast free days: The first week of the Triodion, including Wednesdays and Fridays. Easter Week (Bright Week) The week following Pentecost December 25th through January 4th

13 Curriculum Grade K Book What We See & Do in Church 1 Me & My World Activity Book 2 Loving God 3 Sharing God's World 4 Holy Bible 5 Parables of the Lord 6 Christian Way of Life 7 Worship in the Orthodox Church 8 Sacraments of the Orthodox Church 9 Introducing the Orthodox Church 10 Teen Talks