Church School Summer Break?
By Aristea Zekios
Even though our Sunday classes will not meet during the summer, church
school planning is already underway for the 07/08 school year. The staff will meet to
evaluate the past year and plan the fall program. Our teachers are always bursting with
As a church school teacher, I would like to offer a suggestion to
parents. Since summer means a break from secular school homework, encourage your child
to read Bible and Saints' stories. If your youngster is a preschooler, there are many
books you can read to them. And I'd like to thank the parents who have already introduced
their children to these exciting stories.
Looking back to the early 60's and 70's when I was raising my own
children, the amount of Orthodox Christian reading material for youngsters was not as
abundant as today. Available to you today are easy-to-read youth Bibles loaded with
attractive pictures. Books of Saints' stories are colorfully illustrated and always
present an icon of the Saint. Our Saints are the role models for young impressionable
minds. So why not flood our youth with wholesome Christian influences?
Today one of my favorite bonding times with my grandsons (ages 6 and 3)
is to read stories to them. They love the Bible Arch Books and often ask me to reread
them. (They listened to the story of the 3 youth in the fire at least 5 times.) They
were also fascinated with the storybook of how St. Helen found the real Cross. I
thank God that our 21st Century children are blessed to have a wealth of information
available. As a child, I read the Bible faithfully each day, but I learned about the
Saints later in my life when books were finally published in English.
Our Saint Luke Christian Resource Center offers youth books to purchase
like "Christina's Favorite Saints" or "A Child's Paradise of Saints." If you don't
find what you are looking for, consult Deacon Danial. He'll be happy to place an
order for you. In addition, I would be delighted to lend you books from our teachers'
reference library. There are many Arch Books, Bibles for various levels, and other
books that would interest your child. I hope you will take advantage of these
Christian resources to bring your child closer to our Lord and Savior, the Saints
and teachings of His Holy Orthodox Church.
CHURCH SCHOOL 06/07 HIGHLIGHTS
Throughout the school year there were many events in addition to weekly
Sunday classroom instruction. Here are two of my favorites:
(1) On December 17th after Divine Liturgy, the "The Christmas Story"
was presented with an added feature - the entire congregation provided the musical
accompaniment by singing Christmas carols as the story unfolded. Our students processed
to the front of the church dressed as the Virgin Mary, Joseph, shepherds, angels, and
magi. The children then formed a lovely nativity scene. (Because of the enthusiastic
response, we hope to present a repeat performance in December.)
St Nicholas made his appearance at the end of the program. Our
children sang for him and presented him with gifts for PASS. Later during class time,
Father Andrew (dressed as St Nicholas) passed out icons of Archangel Michael. Also,
students left their shoes outside classroom doors for Saint Nicholas to fill them with
(2) The annual Lenten Retreat was held on Sunday, March 25th, the
Feastday of the Annunciation. The theme was "Our Mother the Theotokos ".The students
learned about the Theotokos through the instruction of Lana Kokayeff and Deacon Danial
Doss. The students eagerly completed craft projects and everyone enjoyed cheese pizzas
in the afternoon. The retreat culminated in the church nave where Father Andrew led in
On June 10, under the direction of Maria Vrame, our students presented
hymns and songs they had learned. After this, Father Andrew presented awards to attendance
winners and graduates.
Faithful Attendance Awards were given to the student(s) in each class
who attended the most Sundays. The number after their names indicates the number of years
they have been recipients of this award.
¨ Joan Betsanes (7)
¨ Madeline Betsanes (7)
¨ George Evangelopoulos (2)
¨ Emma Hansen (5)
¨ Alexandra Lewis (3)
¨ Evan Nickolaou (2)
¨ James Nikolaou (3)
¨ Marika Nickolaou (2)
¨ Nicholas Wassilkowsky (10)
¨ Michael Wojcik (2)
¨ Alex Zimny (2)
Congratulations to Our Graduates!
¨ Azieb Andu (8th grade) from St. Thomas of Canterbury School
¨ Joseph Partoll -From Lockport High School
¨ John Zacharias - From Andrew High School
¨ Svetlana Lynch - Associate Degree in Interior Design from Joliet Junior College
¨ Jason Homiak - Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute of Troy NY.
¨ Dr. Michael Bauml - Medical Doctor Degree from the Loyola Medical School.
¨ Dr. Anna Kokayeff - Medical Doctor Degree from the University of Illinois Medical School - Chicago.
¨ Dr. Luke Kopulos - Medical Doctor Degree from the Pritzker School of Medicine - University of Chicago
Finally, we welcomed our students who became Orthodox Christians on Holy Saturday:
¨ Emily Olson
¨ Katrina Olson
¨ Nicole Szpakowicz