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The OCA Department of Christian Education has released new materials to assist parishes and Church School teachers in the formation of Orthodox Christian students.
A new FOCUS unit is based on the growth of the Church after the resurrection of Christ called “Saints in Action.” In the words of the authors, Eileen Mountain and Kathy Boraas, these “six lessons, individualized for different age groups, concerns the early Church and her journey from fear to victory. This unit covers a number of stories from the New Testament book, the Acts of the Apostles. We hope these lessons will form a solid foundation to help strengthen your students in faith and embolden them as witnesses to our Lord.” The lessons are ideally presented in order, though they can be used separately to emphasize individual themes.
Additionally, a new series of lessons, suitable for Pre-K through 5th Grade, as well as a supplement geared toward middle and high school students, is entitled “All of Creation Rejoices.” The author, Kelly Potteiger, who previously wrote the “Let Your Light So Shine” series of lessons, describes the goal of these new lessons as exploring “our relationship with animals from the time of Adam’s creation to the Saints of the 19th century. The leading theme throughout is God’s creation, how it rejoices in glory to God, and how it strives for communion with God’s will.” The lessons can be utilized in one of three ways: as a four to five-day Vacation Church School curriculum, as a month-long Church School unit, or each lesson can be used on its own.
Both series of lessons heavily emphasize scripture and liturgical texts, are written with clear instructions for teachers, and are scripted in order to assist novice teachers. The lessons are created to be highly interactive using questions, activities, and crafts which are especially attractive to young students and enable learning more effectively than paper exercises.
You can find the new lessons here:
Saints in Action