Why is it important to take your children to Sunday school?

"Let the children come to me, so not to hinder them; for to such belongs the Kingdom of God. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it" (Mark, 10: 14-15).

Christian education is a permanent challenge within the frameworks of the Church. Not only did our Lord and Savior continuously teach the word of God during His early mission, but the Church as a whole has looked upon Christian education as one of its essential ministries from the beginning. As the first Christians joined the Church "they devoted themselves to the apostle’s teaching and fellowship to the breaking of bread and the prayers" (Acts, 2:42).

The greatest gift, the most precious inheritance that we have to give to our children is our Orthodox Faith. Jesus makes it clear that He wants children to come to know Him, and that He considers it a grave offence for an adult to hinder this process or lead the child astray: "whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea" (Matthew, 18:6).

The primary goel of Christian education in the Church is to evoke and nurture the faith in Jesus Christ. The Church nurtures a living awareness of the resurrected Christ in our midst, who is the true Celebrant of Sacraments and the true Teacher of His people, and makes Himself known to use by the grace of the Holy Spirit. The whole range of Orthodox educational material - books, filmstrips, visuals, Bible Studies, lives of saints contemporary discussion of Christian values - becomes effective to the degree that communicates the love and sprit of Christ.

The focus of our efforts to educate our beloved children in the Orthodox Christian Faith must remain in our Sunday School program. When we bring our children regularly to Sunday School we provide them with a gift of knowledge that has a lifelong value and significance.

The need of Christian education is as immediate as when the disciples first appealed to Jesus: "Teach us to pray" (Luke, 11:1).

Christian education is an essential and abiding ministry in the Church. As other important ministries, it is never finished. It can be as vital and meaningful as the whole body of the Church makes it through provision of adequate personal, spiritual and financial resources.

The validity of Christian education is demonstrated by the truth that a well informed Christian is a spiritually committed Christian within the greater body of the Church. The commission of Christian education comes from the Lord Himself: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you, and lo I am with you always, to the close of the age" (Matthew, 28: 19-20).

Sunday School of St. Elisabeth Convent

In October the Sunday School of St. Elisabeth Convent begins a new academical year. Children can study there from the age of 6. In our Sunday school they learn about God and the Orthodox Church, about the Christian sacraments, Christian life, saints and Holy Fathers, and of course together they attend liturgy, confess, and take the communion.

In our Sunday school there are singing and drawing hobby groups; national puppet theatre "batlejka" , which children like very much, and a studio of national art, where children are learning icon-painting and tessellating, make the icon cases and decorate church items.

Apporximatley 150 children attend the school every Sunday. At our school there is also a group for young teenagers, who gather on Sundays or any other day. Together they pray to Holy Martyrs Faith, Hope, Love and their mother Sofia, and discuss various spiritual topics that are of interest to the or issues that worry them. What is more, they often organize festal celebrations with the children from the junior groups of the Sunday school, take part in pilgrimages and visit different holy places, help in restoration of Belorussian churches and maintain contact with the other brethren. Many of them work in the workshops of the convent and take part in Orthodox fairs. Alsom the young people visit the boarding home for children with special needs and make them feel as part of a greater Orthodox Christian family.

Learn more abot the sunday school of St. Elisabeth Convent.

Source: http://www.stathanasiosnj.org/the-importance-of-sunday.html