An Open Letter from the Reverend Jerry A. Racioppi

This is the first entry in what has been renamed "FJ's Blog" (formerly known as our "Mission Trip Blog").  From time to time Father Jerry will write his thoughts on various subjects.  In this entry he shares information about the message and experieince we strive to provide in our great Sunday School offerings.

Believe it or not, although a small congregation, we offer Sunday School every week from September to June.  Have you been thinking about enrolling your child in a Sunday School program?  If you are active in a church, it’s easy to decide where to take your child.  If you’re not, or if you’re not comfortable with the beliefs of your current church, your choices may be so overwhelming it’s easier to do nothing.

I’d like to tell you a little about what we strive to teach the children in the Sunday School program at Holy Spirit Verona.

1.     We believe church – and Sunday School – should be joyful.  We want to children to enjoy church and develop a community of friends there. Our Third Sunday of the month Children’s Eucharist is especially joy-filled.

2.     We believe all children are born with a sense of wonder about God’s creation.  Our goal is to nurture that wonder and help children understand God’s role in the world and in their lives.

3.     The Episcopal Church’s beliefs are like a three-legged stool – with tradition, scripture and reason as the legs. In our classes, we introduce children to the traditions associated with church, such as what Holy Communion is and means; we share Bible stories with them and encourage them to consider what the stories are telling us; and we introduce reason, inviting children to understand the God and the Bible in today’s world.

4.     Our adult worship is divided into two parts – the Scripture and Holy Communion (or “Eucharist”). If you were raised in the Roman Catholic tradition, it will feel very familiar to you. During the first half of the service, children are in Sunday School, discovering Scripture at an age-appropriate level. They join adults for the second half to celebrate Holy Communion as one family. 

5.     Everyone – yes, everyone – is welcome to receive the bread and wine during Holy Communion, even young children. That said, it’s not mandatory.  We also have gluten-free wafers and grape juice available.

If you have any questions about our Sunday School program, Holy Spirit Verona, or the Episcopal Church, I’m happy to talk.

Father Jerry

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