St. Mark Orthodox Church of Irvine
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America

Sunday School

St. Mark Orthodox Church School

Christ and Children

“Nothing so furthers teaching as this: loving and being loved.”
~ St. John Chrysostom

Teaching Staff 2012-2013
Eileen Waian-Ellis, Director

Preschool: Eileen Waian-Ellis and Fatin Fakhouri
Kindergarten: Stephanie Turk and Juliana Turk
1st & 2nd Grades: Kh. Donna Laffoon and Tammy Qutami
3rd & 4th Grades: Charlotte Hanna and Sara Fortuna
5th & 6th Grades: Amal Hakim & Vera Sidorenko
7th & 8th Grades: Mark Ellis & George Chala
High School: Fr. Patrick Irish, Nelson & Jerri Lynn Mamey, Edward & Dana Chade

Sunday School, 1st grade

St. Mark Church School is making an annual pledge to…
SAMP (Support A Mission Priest)

This program of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center offers monthly financial assistance to indigenous priests in extremely poor areas around the world.  Through SAMP donations the priest is able to apply himself fully to the needs of the parish and hierarchs are able to ordain more clergy to meet the growing number of parishes in their diocese. This year our priest is Fr. Athanasios Akunda who not only serves two parishes in South Africa but is also Deputy Dean and teacher of the Orthodox Seminary in Kenya.

We are asking all the children for a minimum donation of twenty-five cents per week for this worthy cause.

This program offers an opportunity for our children to:
•    Help spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His Church to people hungry for hope
•    Connect with Orthodox brothers and sisters throughout the world.
•    Develop a habit of Christian stewardship by their regular giving.

“As we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”
Galatians 6:10

Discuss with your children the necessity and joy of giving their time, talent and resources to the work of the Lord.

Church School Calendar for 2012 – 2013
September 1, Orthodox Church New Year
September 8, Nativity of the Theotokos
September 14, Elevation of the Cross
September 16: Church School Registration
September 23: 1st Sunday of Church School
September 30: Church School

October 7 (Annual Parish Meeting): Church School
October 14: Church School
October 21: Church School
October 28: Church School

November 4: Church School
November 11 (Christmas Program Rehearsal): Church School
November 15, Nativity Fast Begins
November 18 Christmas Program Rehearsal): Church School
November 21, Entry into the Temple of the Theotokos
November 22, Thanksgiving
November 25 (Christmas Program Rehearsal): Church School

December 2 (St. Nicholas Day,  Rehearsal): Church School
December 6, St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra
December 9 (Christmas Program Rehearsal): Church School
December 16 (Christmas Program Rehearsal, Senior Center): NO Church School
December 23: Church School Christmas Program
December 25, The Nativity of Our Lord
December 30: No Church School

January 6 (Theophany): Church School
January 13: Church School
January 20: Church School
January 27 (God Parent Sunday): Church School

February 2, Presentation of Our Lord
February 3: Church School
February 10: Church School
February 17: Church School
February 24 (Publican & Pharisee): Church School

March 3: Church School
March 10 (Meatfare): Church School
March 17 (Cheesefare): Church School
March 18, Great Lent Begins
March 24 (Orthodoxy Sunday, Procession): Church School
March 25, The Annunciation of the Theotokos
March 31: Church School

April 7 (Sunday of the Cross, Procession): Church School
April 14: Church School
April 21: Church School
April 25, The Holy Apostle and Evangelist Mark
April 28 (Palm Sunday): NO Church School

May 5 (Great & Holy Pascha): No Church School
May 12 (Mother’s Day): Church School
May 19 (SAMP Day): Church School
May 26: Church School

June 2: Last Day of Church School
June 9: Church School Awards, Presentations & Picnic

June 13, Ascension of Our Lord
June 16: Father’s Day
June 23: Pentecost

We are encouraging all of the Church School students to receive frequent Communion. Therefore, it will be necessary to prepare the children appropriately. As our children reach an appropriate age (usually 7yrs) parents need to help them begin to abstain from eating or drinking before coming to church. Also, encourage them to follow the rules of fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays. This is the ancient practice of the Orthodox faith.

Regular Church School attendance is important because of the few opportunities our children have for catechetical instruction. Excessive absences and tardiness are not in the students’ best interest. Parents, please cooperate so that our efforts will not be in vain. Also, parents whose children attend Catholic, Protestant, or non-denominational schools need to be ever-vigilant of the religious curriculum that their children are exposed to. It is important that they receive catechetical instruction in our Church School so that they can learn to discern the theological differences between Orthodoxy and other Christian faiths.

The primary task of Religious Education is to teach interested students the basic tenets of their Orthodox faith, to instill in them the Christian way of life, and to effectuate spiritual growth in them. Appropriate student attitude and behavior is expected and will be enforced. Disruptive and disrespectful behaviors will not be tolerated because of the negative effect that they have on the educative process. It is imperative that parents, students, and teachers work together to ensure a successful program.

Students are encouraged to make appropriate choices regarding their dress when attending church. Tube tops, spaghetti straps, bare mid-riff,
mini skirts and other revealing garments are inappropriate and should be avoided. Pants should be worn at waist level, sagging or over-sized are not appropriate. Undergarments should not be visible. With the emphasis on these fashion trends today, parents need to educate their children on the importance of proper church attire and modesty.