Why Sunday School?“Brethren and fathers, God, who fashioned us and brought us out of non-existence into being, has placed us in this life as in a schoolroom to learn to gospel of his kingdom.” — St. Theodore the Studite
Our greatest example of what it means to teach others as a Christian comes from Christ's earthy ministry. Since that time, the Church has included teaching as part of its essential ministry. As the first Christians joined the Church “they devoted themselves to the apostle’s teaching and fellowship to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” (Acts 2:42).
The greatest gift that we pass on to the next generation is the precious jewel of our faith. Jesus makes it clear that He wants children to come to know Him, and the He takes it seriously if anyone leads a child astray: “whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matt. 18:6)
The first goal of a truly Christian education is to cause the seed of faith that was planted at Baptism to grow and flourish as a person matures in the faith. The Orthodox faith is a living awareness of the risen Christ in our midst, who reveals Himself to us through Scripture and Sacrament by the grace of the Holy Spirit. Practically speaking, Sunday School exists to instruct students in an age appropriate way using the Scripture, Feasts, Hymnography, and Theology of the Church.
The final goal is for our students to be used by Christ to bring about the salvation of the nations. As Christ instructed His disciples: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you, and lo I am with you always, to the close of the age.” (Matt 28: 19-20). Until the end of this age, there will always be a need for quality education in the Church.
Standards for Orthodox Christian EducationGreek Archdiocese Teaching Objectives
Knowing Your Faith: Educational Standards for OCEC Curriculum