After what seemed like a lifetime, we officially released the Kindergarten and First Grade Sunday school curriculum books for the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch, both Eastern and Western Archdioceses for the United States. There are not enough words to express what this priceless achievement feels like, but what I think deserves more attention is that this curriculum would not have been possible without the prayers, support, hard work, dedication and tremendous amount of sacrifices made by so many people.
I would like to thank His Eminence Archbishop Cyril Aphrem Karim for taking the stance to develop and help produce such a vital curriculum. Likewise, I would like to thank His Eminence Archbishop Clemis Eugene Kaplan for taking a stance and for truly understanding the value of this material. Your prayers and guidance have helped make this curriculum what it is. Sara Hadodo-Candan, I would have never agreed to taking on this curriculum without you. You know your stuff and it shows in everything you do. Thank you so much for agreeing to write and help teach this material! Matthew John Hadodo, this curriculum would not be what it is without you. Your hard work and creativity has paid off and it shows. Ramona Gelin Malki, thank you for stepping up and approaching me with such a bold task. Had I known what your intentions were, I may have never invited you in the office that day. But now that we have achieved what we have, it’s important that you know how much I appreciate you taking that chance and stepping up to me. Patti Allaf, I don’t even know where to begin thanking you. You have been such an invaluable asset to this entire curriculum, especially on the West Coast. Everything you do is appreciated. Linda Khoury, thank you for recognizing the importance of such a monumental endeavor and for all your help and support. Nadine Cauthen, thank you for being so amazing and for working as hard and as patiently as you have. The teacher lesson manuals would not be what they are with you. Father Joseph Chamoun, thank you for all your help in preparing all the prayers and hymns that were implemented into the curriculum, and for all your support and prayers. Father Alan Mattias Shaltan, thank you for those beautiful audio recordings of the hymns, prayers, greetings and Suryoyo words for the DVD’s.
I would say that the moment I realized we achieved such a priceless achievement, was when Archbishop Cyril Aphrem Karim emailed me a photo of His Holiness Moran Mor Zakka I Was, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, blessing the curriculum materials we worked so hard to produce. It wasn’t until I posted the photos on Facebook and someone commented: “Priceless Achievement”, that I realized the magnitude of what we accomplished.
If I ever loose sight of the importance or value of this material, I will refer to this blog post and remind myself to keep moving forward and to never give up.
We will continue to strive to make the remainder of this curriculum more amazing as we progress. To everyone to have been helping and taking the time to support us, please continue to do so. We appreciate everything!
There are many more people to thank, and if they are not included in this blog post, just know that you are recognized and appreciated.