“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6
Welcome to Stephen’s Sunday School!
A message from Sunday School Director, Nayiri Baljian Bell
Sunday School 2021-2022
Dear Sunday School Families,
Hope you’re having a wonderful and blessed summer. Looking ahead to the fall, please mark your calendars for the start of Sunday School and please register your children today so that we can finalize our planning for the year.
Sunday School will begin on Sunday September 12, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, with our usual opening day ceremonies and welcome-back picnic.
As of now, we are planning to meet in person on a regular basis, following state guidelines for in-school gatherings. We will keep you posted as plans are finalized.
In order to finalize our plans for the year, please pre-register your children using our new online Registration Form (one form per family). Please complete this simple registration form as your earliest convenience.We had excellent participation last year in our virtual programming and the staff looks forward to welcoming our entire student body back to in-person learning and back to their spiritual home.
If for some reason your family can not safely participate in in-person learning (e.g. due to an immunocompromised family member), please email me directly or call me at 617-470-8435 so that we can discuss options.
The St. Stephen’s Sunday School is active throughout the school year providing school age children the opportunity to learn the beliefs and values of the Armenian Church.
With grades nursery to grade 12, the Sunday School teaches students a vast curriculum, engages them in community service, and encourages life-long service to the church community. Our Sunday School students are offered a special “Children’s Sermon in Box” by Der Antranig Baljian at the last Sunday of each month and participate in “Church Chat.” They are a critical component of our Holy Week church services and annual church events including the Bazaar and Church Picnic. Our Sunday School is supported by a dedicated group of parents who organize events including the annual Christmas Party, Poon Paregentan luncheon, communion breakfasts, and numerous clothing and food drives to help those in the surrounding communities in need.
To engage the heads, hands, and hearts of our students in faith-based learning, community service and Orthodox worship.
- Grade levels: Age 3 – Grade 12
- Number of students enrolled: 125
- Number of teachers/staff: 14
- Meeting time: Sundays, 10:00am-12:00pm
Nursery-Grade 3 Curriculum
In grades N-3, we use the David C. Cook curriculum, which seeks to provide a solid Biblical/Christian ethical foundation for the children. It is a fantastic program through which children learn about key topics like loving others, sharing, and giving through Bible stories, crafts, and other engaging activities.
Grades 4-8 Curriculum
Our middle grades work with the “We Believe” curriculum. “We Believe” continues with the same Biblical/Christian ethical framework, but looks at topics through the lens of the Armenian Church. Students have the chance to learn about what it means to be a Christian in the context of the Armenian Apostolic Church, and also about our holy services, our saints, and our history. It is a very strong program and has been recently overhauled for a 21st-Century audience.
High School Curriculum
The High School works in thematic units throughout the year. Examples of past units include:
- “Who am I?” – assessing my personality type & understanding God’s unconditional love for me
- Gospel of Mark deep-dive – understanding the message of Jesus from the perspective of the Disciples
- The Case for a Creator (junior edition) – looking at the scientific evidence in support of Intelligent Design through the investigative writing of Christian author Lee Strobel
- The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe – analyzing this classic book by C.S. Lewis, one of the great Christian authors of the 20th Century, to discover biblical and Christological themes
Our Sunday School program culminates in a 12th-grade intern year. Our interns choose their area of service, including helping in classrooms, singing in the choir, working with the Trustees, and doing special maintenance and administrative projects that are helping to strengthen our Sunday school and church. The interns are a key part of our Sunday School and the sense of service and commitment that the internship instills is important for cultivating future church leaders.
St. Stephen’s places a strong emphasis on community service throughout the year, running charitable drives almost year round and engaging the students in other ways as well:
- Weekly collection – students bring in a donation each week that is used to sponsor orphans in Armenia
- Winter coat drive – last year we collected 100 coats!
- Nursing home visit – the Sunday School travels by bus to sing Christmas carols
- Lenten food drive – last year we collected 126 full bags of groceries!
- Church clean up – Sunday School students and staff give back to the church by helping the Board of Trustees during their annual Church Clean Up Day