Hello Sunday School Students and Families,
Below is the Sunday School class schedule for December 2023/January 2024:
December 3 Worship and Classes
December 10 Worship and Classes
December 17 No Classes, Christmas Pageant immediately following Divine Liturgy
December 24 No Classes
January 7 Worship and Classes
January 14 Worship and Classes; FDF Annapolis
January 21 Worship and Classes
January 28 Worship and Classes; Sunday School readers for Commemoration of the Three Hierarchs
“Spark Sundays, Ignite Your Faith” - On Sunday, November 5, 2023, we inaugurated what we hope will be a fruitful collaboration between the St. Luke Sunday School and GOYA, in the hope of lighting a spiritual fire beneath our St. Luke teens. We gathered all the students in the Conference Room on the first floor of the Ed building, in an assembly-like setting, for a presentation by Sophia Milinkovic on the November topic “What Can Your Faith Do for You?”. The students then anonymously answered a questionnaire about the topic, the answers to which were discussed once the students joined their teachers in their regular Sunday School classrooms. All of the students came together again in the Conference Room for final reflections on the theme, during which Sophia shared the scriptural references which were the basis of the lesson and discussion questions. Our intent is to hold such sessions once per month throughout the Sunday School year, and ask for your prayers, and the intercession of our Patron, St. Luke, for the success of our efforts on behalf of our young people.
Why Not Prosper/ PICC Thanksgiving Outreach - On November 15th, the St. Luke Sunday School, together with parishioners from Annunciation, Elkins Park, delivered supplies for a Thanksgiving meal to 300 women currently incarcerated at PICC, the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center. The organization collecting the supplies for the meal is a non-profit called Why Not Prosper. Why Not Prosper was founded by a formerly incarcerated woman to serve and support current inmates and women recently released from prison. We saw this as an opportunity not only to share with others, but as a chance to introduce our children to prison ministry and the needs of a part of our community that probably feels remote and unfamiliar to them. Our deepest thanks to all those in our Sunday School family who donated more than 300 Thanksgiving-themed plates, napkins, cups, aluminum serving pans, and serving spoons for the dinner. Please keep the women at Why Not Proper and PICC in your prayers throughout the year. More details and photos from the drop-off of our donations to come!
2023 St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival -
Here is a letter from our Oratorical Festival Chairs:
The St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival is an awesome program offered each year to 7th - 12th graders to prepare a speech and compete (if they choose to) by presenting it at our parish level event (TBD - est. Late February). From there the winners will compete at the District, Metropolis and Archdiocesan levels.
Jesus said “have you never read, out of the mouths of babes thou hast perfect praise” (Matt. 21:16). The backstory here is that children were speaking and glorifying Jesus as God. According to St. John Chrysostom, Jesus said “out of the mouths” because He put those words in their minds to utter them.
This is important, because some of our children think that they are not speakers or they are afraid to participate in this Oratorical Festival. They will be inspired through their research to gain wisdom and understanding and in the process, enlighten those who are fortunate enough to hear them speak.
As Christians we are called to be salt and light. We are to help shape hearts and minds and have a say in the big ideas that are discussed in the world. And the most important people in these discussions are our youth - they are wise, inspired, uncorrupted and most of the time amaze us with their insights.
I encourage you to encourage your children to seriously consider participating. Not only do we all need to hear topics from an Orthodox perspective, but we need to hear them articulated by the best among us. Of course, public speaking can be intimidating and even the best speakers are nervous, but we should not let perfection paralyze us. Of course, this experience is also one that can help motivate them to do more of it and also give them experience in a loving setting for a skill that will be required of them in their future education and careers.
Advisors are available to help with topic selection, outlines, writing and developing their thoughts into an Oratorical presentation. Time flies and we would love to start working with your children on their essay/speech.
Please let us know if you have any questions. The topics and information are also available at the link below:
Readers for Divine Liturgy - Please encourage your children to volunteer to read the Epistle or the Communion Prayer during Divine Liturgy. This is a great way for your child to become involved in the worship of our faith. We will send you the reading(s) ahead of time so that your child can practice and become comfortable with the texts beforehand. To volunteer your child, please contact Miss Sophia and Miss Jane at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Readers for Commemoration of the Three Hierarchs - We are in need of 2 volunteers to represent the Sunday School on Sunday, January 28, 2024, at the end of Liturgy, by reading short biographies of the Three Hierarchs: St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory the Theologian, and St. John Chrysostom. We will send the readings in advance to our volunteers so that they may practice reading the text aloud before January 28. For further information, or to volunteer your child, please contact Miss Sophia and Miss Jane at email@example.com.
Questions about Sunday School? Please contact Miss Jane and Miss Sophia at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, visit https://www.ss.st-luke.org, which will be updated throughout the year with additional information and resources for families.