The Department of Religious Education (known as CORE- Coptic Orthodox Religious Education) within the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Melbourne and Affiliated Regions, exists to support parishes in their Religious Education Ministry. This involves writing curricula, running regular workshops and supporting Religious Education Coordinators. One of the key initiatives of CORE is to foster collaboration between Sunday School Teachers, Religious Educators, and Religious Education Coordinators (previously known as superintendents). This is achieved through regular collaborative sessions at the Diocese.
Religious Education is not just about teaching or Sunday School. Rather, it aims to bring one into the life of the Church. The diagram below explains what we mean by this. The cross in the middle represents one’s personal relationship with God- fostered through one’s personal spiritual struggle and participations in the sacraments. However, we cannot live the Christian life alone. Christianity from the beginning was a life of communion with God and others through the life of the Church. The five aspects of the life of the Church are- Liturgy, Fellowship, Teaching, Service and Witness. This is all lived in an environment of pastoral care and discipleship. Thus, when we use the word curriculum we are referring to the life of the Church. The teaching curriculum refers to the teaching plan commonly used in structured settings such as Sunday School.
The CORE team is lead by His Grace Bishop Suriel, and consists of a representative group of Reverend Fathers and laypersons. This team meets regularly to set the strategic direction of CORE and implement the proposed strategies. CORE is supported by St Athanasius College , an accredited Coptic Orthodox Theological College, which teaches units in Religious Education.
Between 2017-2021, CORE aims to achieve the following by the Grace of God:
- Develop a P-12 Sunday School curriculum with teaching resources and suggested lesson plans.
- Run regular workshops both face to face and online.
- Formulate a Diocese wide Sunday School Teacher training program.
- Support parish Religious Education Coordinators with their ministry by facilitating fellowship between the parishes.
Please continue to pray for this ministry