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Department of Religious Education Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Anton C. Vrame, Ph.D. Director TVRAME@GOARCH.ORG. Why religious education?. Among many things one can say…. A life long journey of growing in faith. Form deep connections to parish and community.
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Department of Religious EducationGreek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Anton C. Vrame, Ph.D. Director TVRAME@GOARCH.ORG
Why religious education? • Among many things one can say…. • A life long journey of growing in faith. • Form deep connections to parish and community. • Able to explain the Orthodox Faith and Tradition in a pluralistic world.
Where does Religious Education take place? • In the Church. Every dimension of the life of the parish, Metropolis, and Archdiocese teaches us what it means to be an Orthodox Christian individual and community. This requires that we intentionally coordinate the dimensions of our life. • At home. The single best predictor of whether or not a teenager remains connected to their faith tradition is the level of involvement of their parents in the life of their church. Regular attendance in worship was central.
How? • Create an expectation that everyone in the parish should be learning. • Adult education: “Conversations in Orthodoxy” • Bible study: thematic, for specific audiences • Sunday Church school • Parish Groups: Youth, Philoptochos, Parish Council, Senior Citizens, Parents, Neighborhood/Zip Code • Bookstores • Lecture programs • Internet-based: Facebook, Youtube
In other words…. • “Teach the Faith at all times, • when necessary organize classes.” • (with apologies to St. Francis of Assisi)
Metropolis Resources • Metropolis workshop for teachers, at least annual - Webinars • Participate in a Teacher Training Workshop sponsored by the Orthodox Christian Education Commission of SCOBA. • Form a speakers bureau beginning with every priest in the Metropolis, then look for others, e.g. local universities with Orthodox faculty members. • Begin planning for at least a part-time paid RE Director for the Metropolis.
Parish Resources from the Department of Religious Education • Textbooks - elementary school level (see our new 2010-2011 catalog) • PRAXIS - subscribe for every teacher in the parish • Teacher Certification Program • St John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival (topics to be released in September) • Vacation Church School • Facebook - “Orthodox Christian Religious Educators” • Listserv - www.religiousedgoarch.org
New Zines For jr high For sr high • Presents one theme or topic for study over 4-6 weeks. • For Junior High and • High School classes. • Teacher’s Guide is available.
In addition, a ‘zine… • Can be placed in pews or at the pangari • Can be mailed to parishioners - gets everyone learning • Can be given to visitors
Brand New Zine • A Lamp to My Feet: Introduction to the Bible (jr high text and teacher guide) • Our goal is to launch a series of 8-9 additional zines on biblical themes from Old Testament and New Testament.
Zines in development • First Among Equals: The Ecumenical Patriarchate • Seeing is Believing: Icons in the Church • Journey through Great Lent • On Wealth, Poverty, and Stewardship • Who Is Jesus Christ? • The Age of the Apostles
When you get home… • Send your Metropolis and the Department the name and contact information of your Sunday Church School Director. • Open a parish bookstore if you don’t already have one. • Order PRAXIS for your entire Church school staff. • Plan to hold an Oratorical Festival. • Review the Department catalog to select your resources for this coming year. • Organize an adult education program, including a lecture series. • Join the Facebook group or Listserv.