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Our New Year

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We start this new Church year with growth as our theme.  We have been blessed with numerous visitors, inquirers, catechumens and recently baptized.  All these are new to the Orthodox Faith.  Others come with questions showing gaps in knowledge.  In response to the apparent need, we are adding structure to our Sunday school program, creating more classes and enlisting people to teach them.

Dorothy Johnson and Matushka Anastasia Dantinne will teach the 3-to-6-year-olds, using the program “Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.”  Dorothy and Matushka took an in-depth course in this program last year.  The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a Montessori based program which was initially developed within the Catholic Church by Sofia Cavaletti.  We are very happy to be working on adapting the program to the Orthodox Faith.  Alice Anna Cartwright, a good friend of our parish, said this about the program:

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is adaptable to every Liturgically based Christian denomination.  It is extremely adaptable to Orthodoxy, being the ancient church and the most Liturgical of all.  It also emphasizes contemplation and quietness of heart which is at the center of Orthodox praxis and monastic life.  It is a wonderful complement to The Law of God  and other Orthodox catechism programs for children.  Not only would CGS be an asset to any parish but a wonderful tool of evangelism for convert families, who are always looking for good church support for their home catechesis and moral training of the children.

 It is our hope, as God allows, to gradually introduce the principles of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd approach for our other Sunday School classes.

            The rest of the classes will be as follows:

1.      Claire Mendis will be teaching the 7-8 year olds

2.      Peter Gardner will teach the 9-11-year-olds

3.      Mariya Petrenko will teach the young teenagers, approximately aged 12-14.

4.      Reader Christopher Johnson will teach the older teenagers

5.      I will offer adult catechism.

We are looking forward to beginning the new Sunday School year, and hope that all of our families with children will support the Sunday School program by bringing their children to learn of the life in Christ.  In addition, if you know of any families outside the parish who currently have no church home, please invite them to come and see, and to visit our Sunday School!  If you have any questions about Sunday School, please contact Matushka Deborah Johnson at apostlebird@aol.com, or 301-572-5738.

May the Lord bless all of our children, their families, and the teachers. 

“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” – Matthew 11:29

In Christ,

Father George

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