September 2009

Back To School Special!

It's September - time to go back to school. The stores, the papers, the flyers all announce specials on back to school items.  Of course, they're selling merchandise and September is a golden opportunity for businesses to capitalize on this regularly occurring event so vital to our society.  Besides the new backpack, lunch bag or binder what is it that makes going back to school really so special?  We'll get a hint over the next few weeks as our Church School program resumes. 

Here at St. George, things pick up in September - check out the calendar - we're busy.  Our families are home from Lebanon.  Summer vacations are over.  Weekend trips have ended.  The church is full again.  Religious education, Church School, is really our attempt to generate energy among the participating families and integrate them more fully into the wider 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. Of course knowledge is part of that, but it comes after that real faith connection, where we see the message is real in our life. We believe that our children's faith formation begins with adult formation and enthusiasm for the faith.





Our staff is made up of dedicated and gifted volunteers who want to sustain effective religious education and faith formation in an atmosphere of collaboration and relationship building.  We have parents of Church School children, professional teachers, non-teachers and non-parents who are encouraged and confident in sharing the faith with our children and growing in their own faith as well.

The benefits of volunteering as Church School teachers are attested to by hearing the success stories of our teachers and the personal and spiritual growth that can flourish with enthusiasm in a creative, collaborative setting. Ask a teacher about their experience as a teacher at St. George. Our teachers are friends and they help our children become friends and their families come to know each other better.  Our Church School extends to adulthood.

Our curriculum is focused on themes and activities and learning opportunities that reach out in different ways to speak about God, including 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.  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.

 Thanks: Khalil Samara, Elizabeth Votruba, Lara Lakis, Diane Gabrielli, Shamas Doherty, Eileen Saliba, Reem Ozone, Elena Khoury, Roula Fayad, Michel Fayad, Amal Hourani, Zaina Kahhale, Linda Ayoub, Faris Saba and Kailen Hodge.       


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