St. Nicholas has a church school program designed to teach children ages 3 through high school.

Grades 1-12 started the OCA’s Department of Christian Education curriculum this year which has proven to be very meaningful and beneficial. The students have really enjoyed the activities and lessons, while the teachers appreciate its validity and application to our every day lives. Along with this wonderful curriculum, this year the Sunday School has participated in a kick-off picnic, Fall Family Festival, Yolka program, Family Game nights, Christmas Stocking Fund where we helped families in our parish and community and soldiers abroad, end of year picnic, and sending cards to shut ins.

The following is an overview of the classroom content of each class.

In the pre-school class our children learn about:

  • Beginning basics i.e. venerating icons lighting candles, communion etiquette, etc.
  • Basic Bible stories;
  • Learning about icons
  • How to interact in a classroom

The kindergarten curriculum familiarizes the students with the Church setting, paying particular attention to Divine Liturgy. It also introduces some of the major feasts in the church year, along with making the children aware of their role as a Christian.

This past fall we worked on learning about ourselves as Orthodox Christians, belonging to our families and our church. We made scrapbooks filled with photos and drawings of family & friends. We also included a letter on why we love our family.

Much time was spent learning about the Nativity of Jesus Christ. We talked about our church’ s patron saint, Saint Nicholas. We always enjoy teaching the children about the icons for upcoming feasts of the church. Now we are learning about events leading up to Pascha. The second graders have just recently made their first confession!

  • How the “New Us” brought about by the sacraments can interact with others with the help of the Holy Spirit
  • Becoming familiar with the Bible; studying the Bible of Jesus’ life and teachings; using icon cards with lessons

We have covered three units so far this year, each offering new, exciting information. In My Orthodox Family we celebrated the history of our families and the joy of being in God’s family together. We made prayer bracelets and emphasized the importance of church family.

During The Nativity Season unit, we learned about the Nativity of Jesus Christ, along with saints and the coming of Jesus. In our last unit, the Journey to Pascha, students became more familiar with the feast days and the beauty of Holy Week, bringing a new appreciation to Christ’s Passion.

Throughout the year we have also worked on memorizing the books of the Bible and becoming more comfortable reading the Orthodox calendar. Our next unit will be about the Theotokos.

After spending several years studying Father Hopko’s “rainbow” series on the Orthodox Faith, the high school class curriculum changed to using OCA DCE curriculum to coordinate with the rest of the education program at St. Nicholas. This year we have concluded two units and are nearly finished with the third. In the early fall, we began with the unit entitled My Orthodox Family.

We examined the way our church and home families connect to all work together to help us on our road to salvation. The students completed scrapbooks of important events in their lives. These scrapbooks were displayed at the first Church School Open House. Following the Orthodox Family unit, the high school class began the Nativity Unit which examined various aspects of the season.

Along with examining the incarnation of Christ, the students examined the lives of several American saints such Saint Herman and St Raphael of Brooklyn. The students are currently finishing a detailed study of Holy Week, which began with a look at Lazarus Saturday, a key event leading up to Christ’s own resurrection.

This has been a very exciting year for the high school class and we look forward to additional new lessons in the OCA series.

In the Adult Class we study the Old and New Testaments, Feasts of the Church, Orthodoxy in modern day life, and many other topics.