I have been talking for years about a beautiful parish-wide curriculum I’ve been helping St. Spyridon’s in Loveland, Colorado develop. I think it’s time. It’s happening!
101 Lessons in Scripture will be out in time for Fall. It’s a 101-lesson series that carries you through the entire Bible. The program is designed so that your entire parish can be on the same curriculum at the same time, everyone (even the adults) journeying through the Scriptures together. Every week, the whole family learns the lesson together, with age-appropriate variations.
So often, our religious education in the parish seems to supplant education in the home — but Orthodoxy is a lived faith, and must be a part of our family life all day, every day. Now your Sunday church school programming will equip families to discuss the Scriptures and the big questions of our faith together!
Each lesson includes:
1: Three leveled versions of the week’s lesson.
Level 1 is for the youngest classes (preschool and early elementary)
Level 2 is for the middle years (upper elementary through 6th or 7th grade)
Level 3 is for the oldest classes (8th grade through high school and adult)
Every class is different, so we suggest that you review the various leveled lessons and experiment with your group. Your students may be more or less advanced than others, or they may prefer a different style of teaching. If a certain lesson seems too hard, drop down a level.
Please be comfortable choosing elements from various levels and moving among levels as best suits your particular needs.
Some of these lessons may contain more information than you can include in one lesson (especially if your church school structure involves shorter class times). Don’t feel compelled to cover every single item on the page. Use your own discretion to offer an interesting, coherent lesson tailored to the needs of your classroom. Take what works well for you and your class, and leave what does not. Every year, the kids are a little different, and their needs are different. We hope this curriculum will provide the flexibility you need to rise to the challenge of every group’s specific needs and strengths.
The lessons are grouped together into units that center on one “Big Question”. The Big Question doesn’t have a right or wrong answer, but is meant to open up an area of inquiry.
As your class explores the question through thoughtful conversation, they should come to complex and interesting conclusions.
We encourage you to remind the students of the current Big Question every week, writing it on the board, and revisiting it continually. You might write the question on butcher paper or posterboard, and then take notes on their responses and ideas, so that they can revisit those ideas throughout the unit. (You might purchase a pack of those poster-sized post-it notes for every room at the beginning of the year, and start a new poster for every Big Question.)
Note that the Big Questions are probably not appropriate for the youngest classes. Just skip them if your students are not ready for them.
At the end of each lesson, you’ll find “The Crux” – this is the main point, the one takeaway students should remember, even if they don’t recall anything else from the lesson. This is provided to help you organize your thoughts and your lesson, and should in no way limit you.
2: The Summary Handout. This two-sided color handout is intended to be distributed to families each week, so that having learned the same material, they can go home and discuss it together.
3: Fr. Evan’s Recorded Sermon. Most (but not all) lessons include an audio file of the lesson as given by Fr. Evan Armatas to the adults of his parish, St. Spryidon’s in Loveland, Colorado. Teachers and priests will likely find this short recording very helpful as they prepare to teach this material. You might also want to share this recording with parents for their own edification, and so that they can better lead their families in this journey through the Scriptures. The sermons are, however, completely optional, and are not necessary to teach the curriculum well.
My parish will be using it this Fall, and if you’re looking for curriculum — I think you just found it.
I’ll post links here when it’s all ready to go. I think they’ll sell it on the Lenten Embassy site, but I’ll let you know!
If you’re interested, use my contact form to let me know and I’ll make sure you have access in time for the coming school year!