St. Thomas Jacobite Syrian Sunday school helps children to grow in peace, love,share and acceptance of others and serve communities.
"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." - Proverbs, Chapter 22, Verse 6.
This wise advice by King Solomon has continued to guide our efforts, to nurture our children to attain and exhibit a strong faith that will raise them as “Living Christians” Moreover, as the fear of the Lord is the beginning of the wisdom, we also believe that it is our moral responsibility to reveal to each child, those heavenly ‘Words of Wisdom’, which will instill in them the knowledge about the Kingdom of God. The
purpose of Sunday school is to provide our children with a basic background of the Bible and Syrian Christian Orthodox faith so they may experience God’s love to the fullest. Sunday school help children to understand the importance of Christian faith and enjoy attending church services with their families. Sunday school also conduct activities to enhance to personnel developement like Balasamajam, JSVBS and support kid’s extracurricular activities to grow. Also, we provide a safe and orderly environment in which our children can learn and grow in God’s love.
Children are taught to witness their Lord and Savior in thought, word, and deed. They are taught about charity and participation in the life of the Holy Church. In addition, the children are also exposed to the hymns of the Holy Eucharist and important prayers. The academic year of our Sunday School commences in the month of March.We hold classes every Sunday, after the Holy Qurbana Service. Prior to classes, assemblies are conducted separately for kindergarten, juniors & intermediates and seniors, teaching them devotional songs, church hymns and prayers.
The Sunday School follows the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Sunday School Association (MJSSA) curriculum and merit certificates issued by MJSSA are awarded to outgoing students of classes X every year. The textbooks and workbooks are prepared by affiliated to the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Sunday School Association (MJSSA) and is established in 1977. Our Sunday school consists of class 1 through 10th grade with 12 primary teachers and 5 substitute teachers. Sunday school students also participate in other various activities within the church and within the Melbourne Christian community (St. Thomas Ecumenical Fellowship of Melbourne /STEFM). Our Sunday school is affiliated to Malankara Jacobite Syrian Sunday school association, Kerala, India (http://mjssa.in/).
The Sunday School conducts several facilitating sessions on a regular basis, to empower its students to successfully face life’s various challenges.
Student’s Counselling session
A retreat for senior Sunday School students, to acclimatize themselves towards the challenge of School Board Examinations, is held every year in the month of February. Empowerment session, prayer, and meditation etc. are conducted during the retreat, followed by provision of various learning tips by experienced teachers.
A dedicated counseling session for Sunday School students is also conducted by the church during the month of October, every year.
The Jacobite Syrian Vacation Bible School (JSVBS)
The JSVBS has been conducted in our Sunday School on an annual basis, during the month of March, since the year 2009. The JSVBS, based on themes provided by MJSSA, is led by skilled priests and around 100 students and 15 teachers actively attend the JSVBS every year. On the JSVBS final day, a colourful rally and impressive cultural programmes are presented by students from various classes.
The main aim of balasamajam is to integrate personal development of the youth in the Church. The objectives includes worship, study and all round development of personality of the all the boys and girls inside the Church. The Annual Sunday School Talent Fest is conducted in the month of Oct and competitions are held for various student groups for Church hymn, Christian devotional songs, Elocution, Bible test, Memory verse writing and Quiz.
Our Sunday School regularly participates in the STEFM, Melbourne, Australia and our students have regularly won the individual championships.
Examinations and Parent-Teacher Meeting
The Sunday School Half Yearly examinations are conducted in the month of June and the final examinations are conducted in the month of December every year. A Parent–Teacher Meeting is also held in the month of December.
Annual Day celebrations
The Annual Day celebration of our Sunday School is held during the month of December and students from various classes present several cultural programmes of grandeur on this day. Trophies and merit certificates are awarded to the winners of ‘Balasamajam’, as well as toppers in the examination and attendance.
St. Mary’s Children’s Library
The Sunday School library, with a collection of more than 50 books, nourish the spiritual reading and learning needs of the students and functions every Friday after Sunday School classes.