What is Sunday School?

“Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” (Mark 10:14-15). 

The greatest gift and the most precious inheritance we can give to our children is our Orthodox Christian Faith. Jesus makes it clear that He wants children to come to know Him, and that He considers it a grave offence for an adult to hinder this process. 

For the past 67 years, Sunday Schools in NSW have been organised by the Greek Orthodox Christian Society, with the blessing of past and present Archbishops and Metropolitans of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia. They continue today with the blessing and guidance of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia. Sunday School is vital in developing a child’s knowledge and love for God. Lessons are held at every Greek Orthodox parish across Sydney. They offer a friendly and nurturing environment in which children can begin to appreciate the beauty of their Orthodox Christian Faith and the life in Christ.  

Classes are held every Sunday, for children aged between 4-18. For information on classes held at your local parish, please enquire with your local priest or the Sunday School teachers or email sundayschool@greekorthodoxchristians.com. 

History of Sunday School

Sunday Schools were established in NSW in 1955 with the blessing of His Eminence, the late Metropolitan Theophylactos and have continued to this day. The first Sunday School was held at the parish of Agia Triada in Surry Hills and has now spread to 22 parishes of NSW. There are over 400 children that attend Sunday School each week and more than 120 teachers. During the COVID-19 pandemic, when churches were closed for public worship, Sunday School continued with video lessons being sent to children each week and many Sunday Schools continued to operate remotely via zoom. 

What happens at Sunday School?

  • Games and activities 
  • Christian songs 
  • Lesson on our Orthodox Christian Faith 

Most Sunday School classes begin after Holy Communion every Sunday. Students are separated into 4 classes: Infants (kindergarten to Year 2), Primary (Years 3-6), and High School students (Years 7-12). In their respective classes, students play a range of activities organised by their teachers, learn to sing Christian songs and hymns, and then participate in a lesson which covers various aspects of our Orthodox Christian Faith. 

In Infants classes, lessons are focused on instilling the basic Truths of our Orthodox Faith and teaching stories from the Holy Bible and the lives of our Saints. This understanding of our Faith deepens as children attend the Primary classes where they learn about the Sacraments of our Church and how to live the Orthodox Faith. In High School classes, the youth are inspired to develop a love for Christ and the life of the Church, establish a spiritual daily routine of prayer, reading of the scriptures and Christian books, and grow the courage to face the challenges of life with faith and hope in God. Above all, the overall goal of Sunday School is that through the Grace of God, the children might discover that Christ loves them, that Christ is their friend, and to experience the beauty of a Christ-centred life. 

When we bring our children regularly to Sunday School, we provide them not only with the gift of knowledge that has lifelong value and significance, but more importantly, they begin a personal relationship with Christ that will guide them through the rest of their lives. 

Other Sunday School Events

Sunday School life for a student extends well beyond the confines of the classroom every Sunday. Other Sunday School events also include: 

  • Annual Sunday School camp for 10-12 year olds (usually held in October School Holidays) 
  • Sunday School picnics (held at both local parishes as well as an annual picnic bringing together all parishes of NSW) 
  • Parish based activity days, School holiday events, Excursions, English Divine Liturgies 
  • Parenting seminars 
  • Annual Science Day for Primary students 

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