Cathedral's 5th Annual Festival of Learning!
On Pentecost Sunday, June 4, 2017, the Fifth Annual Festival of Learning was held immediately following the Divine Liturgy and special Kneeling Prayers of the Feast. The day begain with our youth singers beautifully leading the singing of the Divine Liturgy. Then, everyone enjoyed hordourves and refreshments as they visited the various festival booths highlighting the learning experiences of the Cathedral youth. Following lunch, children of all ages participated in fun activities, including a balloon toss on the Cathedral lawn.
The Preschool and Kindergarten classes offered samplings of lesson projects they created from the first weeks of the school year; Grades 1 & 2 presented a “Garden of Feasts,” with each of the twelve major feast days of the Church dressed up as a flower, and students shared some important teachings about each feast; Grades 3 & 4 recreated our Cathedral sanctuary and icon screen as a diorama, intricately shaping and painting clay into everything from a bowl full of antidoron to an Altar table complete with Gospel, hand Cross, and Tabernacle, and they also included explanations of their liturgical use; Grades 5 & 6 created two interactive games, one based on Old Testament history and one based on matching up corresponding verses from the Proverbs; Grades 7 & 8 studied life in the early Church and they provided examples and explanations of symbols early Christians used to discreetly identify with one another, and the students also created a book with brief biographies of some of the martyrs who gave their earthly lives for Christ during times of persecution; Grades 9-12 presented an ambitious three-part display: a Powerpoint presentation comparing the Orthodox Faith to teachings of other Christian denominations, an explanation of the roles of men and women in the Church that emphasized their equality in value before God, and a recap of the triennial field trip to New York that seven students attended in December; the Music class (an elective for students from Grades 3-8) not only sang the responses during the Liturgy, including the Hymn of Pentecost, but they continued to sing on a stage in the middle of the Social hall pavilion, providing the perfect soundtrack for the event. Throughout the year, their singing is supplemented with lesson plans that demonstrate how “God has revealed Himself to us” especially in the hymns and prayers of the worship services.
The congregation was very supportive and appreciative of this fifth edition of the Festival of Learning, and many said they learn something new about the Christian Faith at each one. After the exhibit, fellowship continued with a luncheon and afternoon activities including a water-balloon toss for all ages (including clergy!), a children's bounce house and ‘bubble ball,' and a make-your-own ice cream sundae bar! With that, the 2016-17 Sunday school year drew to a close in a most festive way!