My Beloved Students,
May the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ abide in your heart.
The Southern Diocese is firmly committed to the advanced preparation of its Sunday School servants, beginner and experienced. It is with this commitment, that the Servantsí Retreat curriculum has been expanded.
The newly developed curriculum set forth in this catalog includes religious education such as Holy Bible study, church dogma, rituals, church history, as well as spiritual studies. A servant should be capable of serving at various different levels; therefore it is essential that a servant have advanced religious preparation.
A servant must be adaptable and well versed in religious studies to answer those whom are taught and be capable of researching questions with complex or unknown answers. The early church was strong because it followed the Lord Jesus Christís command, "Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:19-20). The society of believers grew in number, virtue and knowledge. We must keep this same spirit based on discipleship and teaching.
This curriculum is the starting point for the advanced preparation of the servant. Knowledge of the Holy Bible is the first foundation in the building of souls. Through knowledge and wisdom many are led to a stronger faith.
Finally, the goal of this curriculum is that through service built upon advanced religious education, the student will discover true joy. True joy in the service is found when the souls of those served, know God and have fellowship with Him.
The Lord Jesus Christ said, "In this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather, because your names are written in Heaven" (Luke 10:20).
May God bless your service with true joy,
His Grace Bishop Youssef
Bishop, Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States