Church School

Our church school provides a program in which LOVE is central. We seek to have your children love God with all their hearts, their souls, and their minds and to know that God loves them. Children rely upon you to develop in them a love of God and His church. Please take advantage of what St. Anthony’s offers by bringing your children regularly to church school and bringing them on time. We offer a program of fine resources, supplies, and activities. There are a variety of ways for your child to connect, engage, and learn.

I also hope YOU take an enthusiastic role in your church school. Please come down to visit and get involved. I am available to answer any questions you may have and to listen to your ideas. I encourage you to avail yourself of the library of wonderful books, for children and adults. Our audio-visual closet is full. DVDs, videos, and books can be taken home to extend your family’s learning and enjoyment.

The following is information you should know. Look for on-going church school news in the Desert News, in letters home, here on the church website,, on the downstairs church school bulletin board, and announcements in the bulletin.

Church School is offered to toddlers through 6th grade. All students must register. If you have not yet registered, you will find a registration form enclosed. Please fill it out and return to Irene Kavountzis or mail it to St. Anthony’s.

Seventh Grade
As they were last year, seventh grade students will be included with Teen SOYO. They will receive religious instruction twice a month AFTER COMMUNION and will participate in teen and church school activities. Parents should receive information from Teen SOYO Advisor Stratos Mandalakis.

ALL grades will begin AFTER communion, including Kindergarten. Parents should attend church with their child (ren) at 10AM and send their children to receive communion with students. Students will then proceed to church school where they will have a snack and attend class. Toddlers will have class at 10AM. They will be brought to parents for communion and will NOT return to church. Lessons should conclude around 12 noon for most classes.

Church school schedule will change to 10AM FOR ALL students a number of times? ?during the year primarily to accommodate work on the annual Creative Festivals (Jan-March) and during Lent (March-April) to participate in liturgical processions. These schedule changes will be listed in the calendar of the Desert News, on the downstairs church school bulletin board, on the church web site and on the sign in the narthex. LOOK FOR THEM!

Classes Begin
Church school classes will begin on Sunday, September 13 at 10AM for ALL students. To mark the Feast Day of The Elevation of the Cross, which is the traditional start of St. Anthony’s church school, students will participate in cross craft. All students will come to church to receive communion and stay for the remainder of the service and the Feast Day procession.

The names of teachers who will be teaching your child this year are listed in the September/October issue of Desert News. Please refer to it.

Parent Auxiliary
The Parent Auxiliary enriches student learning and supports the religious education program. Each parent is requested to help with at least one activity. Pam Scarpa and Maria Mandalakis-Nola, coordinators, will be contacting you via email to help with these activities. Please help them by volunteering for an activity that that is of most interest and convenient for you. Thank you for your expected cooperation to make church school a busy and enjoyable place.

Students can earn a good attendance award by not missing more than 4 classes without an excuse. ’Excused’ absences are for serious illness or to attend another Orthodox church. Start this good habit now.

Altar Boys
Boys, fourth grade and older, are eligible to serve in the altar. See Peter Thomsen for a schedule.

Christmas Program
This year’s Christmas program will be a revue of Christmas choral readings and narration in addition to musical and dramatic performances. All church school students will participate in the chorus. Any student, grade 4 and up, and teens, who is interested in an additional role, should speak to me. The performance will be held on December 20??, St. Ignatius Sunday.

In January, each student will be given a set of envelopes, which we ask your children to use as their gift to God. Our program teaches that tithing is a response to God’s generosity to us. Please encourage your children to put aside some money each week for the church and to place it in our special Tithing box. If you need more envelopes, please see Irene Kavountzis.

Please remember that appropriate attire for church is your ’Sunday best’ and, thus, may not be your children’s regular weekday clothes and sneakers. Especially in the warmer weather, please be aware of appropriate covering.