Happy New Year everyone! Best wishes for a joyous and healthy 2020!
We will be starting Sunday School back up on Sunday, January 12th. We have wonderful projects and events occuring over the last half of our Sunday School Year. Sunday School will begin immediately after Communion and end at 11:45 am. Including January 12th, Sunday School is scheduled January 19th, January 26th.
We will be moving forward with our church model projects in January. Prior to this time our students have been planning how they want to proceed. This is a great learning experience that can be utilized for years to come in each of the classes. Grades 1-8th are participating.
In January, we will have the Middle School and High School Students review the Saint John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival topics. Students in the 7-12 grades can register to participate in the Speech segment. They will need to fill out a registration form by Sunday, February 9th. The Parish Level event will be taking place in March. The Oratorical Festival will take place either March 15th or March 28th. The 1st and 2nd place participants in the Junior and Senior Division will move on to the District event. The top two finalists at the District event move onto the Metropolitan level. Top finalists at the Metropolitan level will move onto the National level. More information will be provided in the February Nepsis.
We are pleased to have St. Sophia host the Bee Treat event on March 28th, 2020 9:00 am-5:00 pm. This is a National Archdiocese event led by the team responsible for the Bee the Bee videos. Our students are accessing these videos in class. This is a family event. There are three main tracks: Children (Pre-K-4th), Youth (6-12th) and Adult track. In the evening there is an offsite event for the YAL group- post high school age members. Many people have requested programs to learn more about Orthodoxy. This is an opportunity for the whole family to learn and go through spiritual exercise this Lenten season On-Line Registration is open now. This gets you right to the registration page:
Or you can access the Bee Treat main page and scroll down to the registration link.
2020 Oratorical Topics
The 2020 Oratorical Topics are relevant to what we all face in living an Orthodox life. Please review the topics with your children and we do encourage them to consider participating in this year’s Oratorical Festival. The Junior Division covers Grades 7-9 and the Senior Division covers Grades 10-12. Your children’s teachers will be introducing the topics as well as having class discussions. What the topics echo to me is how Christ’s testament helps us and guides us.
Junior Division (7-9)
1. The Orthodox Church honors the Virgin Mary as the Theotokos. Discuss the role she plays in the Church and as a role model for all Christians.
- Christ and many Church Fathers often criticized the wealthy. Do Christians need to live a life of poverty? Is it a sin to live a comfortable life?
- “Lord have mercy” is the most repeated phrase in the Divine Liturgy. What does it mean to truly have mercy?
- “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4; Deuteronomy 8:3). Discuss the importance of reading Scripture in your life.
- The theme of the upcoming 2020 Clergy–Laity Congress is “the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13). Discuss the way St. Paul defines love in this important chapter of the Bible.
Senior Division (Grades 10–12)
1.Discuss how the separation of church and state benefits us as Orthodox Christians in the USA.
- In his enthronement address, Archbishop Elpidophoros said, “We are all deacons.” Discuss the importance of being a deacon – a servant – in the Church.
- Discuss the significance of Constantinople in Church history and the struggles Orthodox Christians in Constantinople face today.
- How have modern-day saints from the past 100 years, from St. Nektarios to St. Paisios and others, helped Orthodox Christians live their lives today?
- “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels un awares” (Hebrews 13:2). How might Orthodox Christians put this command into practice?