Welcome to another wonderful year of Religious Education. We are excited to be a part of your child's faith formation experience. Please read through this email in its entirety as it does have important information about the upcoming year.
Key Important Information
1. Points of Contact: We are blessed this year to ‘Co-Coordinate’ this wonderful program. All communications should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org and will be answered by either Christina or Stacy. In addition, you can call the Parish Office, 703-780-4055 Ext. 331, to receive current Faith Formation information and to leave a message with questions.
2. Every child will bring home an Orange Folder called the “take-home folder” every week. This is an important means of communication between parents and catechists, so please send it to class each week with your child and check it after each class for new information.
3. Mark your calendar for the first day of class which is September 20 or 21. The full RE calendar is currently available on the parish website under Faith Formation Elementary. It will also be sent home in the Take Home Folders the first day.
4. A second calendar of parish activities that are child and family friendly will also be sent home and be posted on the website.
5. Our most important objective is to maintain a Safe Environment for all our parish children. Accordingly, ALL children under the age of 18 must be escorted by an adult while on Good Shepherd premises. No child should be walking on the premises (alone or with other children) without an adult present. Please bring each of your children, no matter their age, to their assigned class and pick them up at the classroom door at the end of class. If you need a non-parent pick-up form, you may download it from our website, or receive one the first day of class. No Child or Teen will be released from the classroom without their parent or approved adult.
6. ‘First Day of Class’ Procedures- On the first day, there will be a Sign In sheet in each classroom. Please verify: your address, phone, email(s) address and emergency contact info. Look for notes concerning missing baptismal certificates. Once all information is verified, please initial. If information needs to be corrected, please indicate corrections on the form in red or blue pen. If your email address is incorrect, please also send an email to email@example.com from the address you want used. This will cut down on mistakes due to handwriting and/or transfer of data.
- There is also a column to indicate if someone besides a parent will be picking up your child. If you indicate yes, please fill out a non-parent permission pick up slip and leave with the catechist.
- If you can help as a sub, hall monitor or assistant, please note that all volunteers working with children will need to meet diocesan requirements of a background check and attending a VIRTUS session. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org more information or to sign up.
9. If you have a child in his or her Second Year of preparation for First Communion, one parent must attend an additional meeting on Wednesday, October 21 at 7:00pm. These parent meetings will last no more than one hour (children do not attend).
10. We have many needs for volunteers this year. You will receive a Sign Up Genius in the middle of September with a list of opportunities. Every family is asked to sign up for at least one category. If every family can volunteer in some way this year, we can continue with a successful and vibrant program that allows for many child-friendly faith activities.
11. Opportunity to grow in your own faith! Beginning October 4, during the Sunday 9:25 and Monday 4:30 sessions, parents are invited to join SEEK, an opportunity for questions and answers about Bible Study, Church teaching, Church History, and more! Growing in your own faith will make it possible to walk more closely with your child on their faith journey. Check our website for more information!
12. Please follow us on twitter @gsffk6 for weather updates, tips on faith at home, and other information.
Activities for your kids to BRING TO CLASS THE FIRST DAY
13. Catechetical Sunday (September 20 this year), is a special day when catechists are recognized and honored. On Catechetical Sunday, we honor those who have entered into this vital ministry through a special blessing at Mass. To show our appreciation in the classroom, we invite your children to fill out the attached card and bring it on the first day of class as a gift to their Catechists in appreciation for sharing the gift of faith with them.
14. Pope Francis is coming to America for the first time in September. To get the kids excited, we will have a ‘Welcome Pope Francis’ bulletin board in the classroom hallway and we invite your children to take part. Print out the attached “Flat Francis”, then tweet out a picture of your child with “Flat Francis” using #FlatFrancis and mentioning @gsffk6. Another option is for your child to write their name on a “Flat Francis” and bring it in the first day. We will put it on our “Welcome to DC” Pope Francis bulletin board. Check out this webpage to see how people are welcoming Pope Francis all across our country. Every child who participates will be entered in a drawing to win prize to be awarded the second week of class.
Please let us know if you have any questions.
Stacy and Christina