Web Resources for Religious Education

Saints Peter and Paul

Christian Education

on the Web

Office of Educational Services

Melkite Eparchy of Newton


The wealth of published material for the catechesis of children and youth in the Eastern Churches is supplemented by a number of programs available on various web sites. These are generally available for downloading and use in conjunction with existing curriculum materials. The following sites include programs which are easily integrated into our current Church School programs:

Links last checked on January 14, 2007

Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese Department of Christian Education
(www.antiochian.org/christianeducation) – See especially their:
Antiochian Gospel Program – One-page texts or paraphrases of the Sunday Gospel (Antiochian Greek cycle, Julian paschalia) with discussion questions and an appropriate image on five levels (preschool, Grades K-2, 3-5, Middle School, and High School). They may be downloaded and used before the Liturgy to prepare children to listen attentively to the Gospel reading or after the Liturgy to review what was heard.
Tithing Program – Four complete lesson plans on five levels (Grades K-1, 2-3, 4-5, Middle School, High School) presenting tithing in the context of loving and serving God. Several supplemental activities enable catechists to repeat the lessons in following years. It is suggested that the four lessons be spread out over the course of the year rather than used on successive Sundays.
The Scribe: Searching for Christ in the Old Testament – Lessons from the OCEC’s new Middle School program are being posted as available. As of November 1, 2006 Units 1 and 2 (student text and teacher’s guide) are available. It is designed to present the most important aspects of the Old Testament as they relate to the New Testament.
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Department of Religious Education
(www.goarch.org) – See especially their:
The Cana Curriculum for High School – The first 12-lesson unit of this ambitious project on the core Gospel message is currently on line. Using Boston College professor Thomas H Groome’s approach to interactive catechesis, each lesson presents an issue, then engages the students in a dialectic between the values of the world, secular society, the media, etc.) and the Church’s story. Thus Lesson 1, “Who Am I and Whom Do I Follow?” is based on the premise “Does my choice of friends tell me anything about who I am?” and interweaves the Scriptures, the Creed, liturgical texts and patristic quotations to present the approach of our Tradition on the issue.
Interactive CDs – Three programs of interest available on CD-ROM (The Royal Road: A Journey through Great Lent; Put on Christ: Baptism and Chrismation; Crown Them with Glory and Honor) may be previewed on line.
Orthodox Church in America Department of Christian Education
(http://dce.oca.org) – See especially their:
Focus Curriculum – Units of five or six lessons on a number of levels, from pre-K to adult. Of particular interest are the units “The Journey to Pascha” and “The Nativity Season.”
Mini-Units – See, for example, the two lessons on three levels entitled “Defenders of the Faith,” featuring martyrs and confessors such as St Stephen the Proto-martyr and St Catherine of Alexandria. Also look at the “Lenten Read-a-thon” program and consider putting together a children’s bookshelf with material on designated levels. The concept of the “All-Parish Education Sessions” may be adapted to any topic and combined with a presentation (a homily, instruction or personal witness).
Teacher Resources – This section includes dozens of handouts, activities and other teaching tools to complement the OCEC curriculum which also work well with the God With Us Series.

Other Sites

Groups and individuals have included sometimes useful Christian education material on their sites. You may wish to look at the following:

www.orthodoxonline.org – posts downloadable handout sheets on the Sunday Gospels and other topics on several levels from pre-school through adult.

www.phyllisonest.com – Religious Education director for the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh, Phyllis has a site chocked full of resources, teaching tips, lesson plans, etc. See her twice-yearly packers which contain advice on issues such as How can we make the Resurrection real to pre-schoolers.” Her adult education study guides to books by Metropolitan Anthony Bloom, et al., articles, plays, games, seasonal items, etc. etc.

St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Parochial School of Tarpon Springs, FL publishes a downloadable Sunday bulletin for children (Greek cycle, Julian paschalia), prepared by Fr. Joseph Samaan. For further information contact RPlanes@StNicholasParochialSchool.org.