September 2011-Back To School Specials Again!
Here at St. George, things pick up in September – check out the calendar – we’re very busy. Our families are home from vacation in Lebanon. Summer excursions are over. Weekend trips have ended. The church is full again. Religious education, Church School, is really our attempt to generate energy among our families and integrate them more fully into the broader scope of parish life. The object is really less about the classroom and more walking on the ‘Road to Emmaus’, where hearts are set on fire as we realize that ‘Christ is in our midst’. Of course knowledge is part of it, but it comes after a real faith connection is made. The message we deliver has to be real in people’s lives. We believe that our children’s faith formation begins with adult information and enthusiasm for the faith and the church.
Our staff is made up of dedicated and gifted volunteers who want to provide religious education and faith formation in an atmosphere of cooperation and relationship building. Our teachers are parents of Church School children, professional teachers, non-teachers and non-parents who are encouraged and confident in sharing their faith with our children while growing in their own faith as well.
The benefits of volunteering as a Church School teacher are attested to by hearing the stories of our teachers and the personal growth that can flourish in a creative and collaborative setting. Ask a teacher about their experience at St. George. Our teachers are our friends and they help our children become friends and their families come to know each other better. Our Church School extends from the classroom to the home, from childhood to adulthood.
The curriculum is focused on themes and activities and learning opportunities that speak about God in various and different ways. It includes interactive, artistic, musical, prayerful, academic, dramatic and discussion-based classes. Religious education is about more than intellect. We believe it is about how to know, love and serve God, There is no question about that in our mind. Church School has to be about how we learn. The ‘what’ is a given. We are sensitive to the parents’ ‘reality’. We give out our Church School schedule right away and suggest it be coordinated with our children’s sports or secular school schedule and we believe parents really plan to be here with the kids.
Going back to school is special. As we begin, we should offer a very sincere ‘thank you’ to our Church School staff. To Roula and Amal, to all our teachers and their assistants, we say ‘Thank You’. It may seem obvious, but most people respond very well to a kind word, a simple ‘thanks’. Gratitude goes a long way. Our teachers need to hear that they are doing a good job and that the parish community appreciates their commitment.