« Representatives of the Diocese of Sourozh took part in an international conference in Jerusalem, Israel »

On December 2, 2018, the first international conference "Experience in the upbringing and education of children in Orthodox church schools in the countries of scattering" took place at the initiative of the Metochion in honor of the holy righteous Tabitha in Tel Aviv, with the support of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem and the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society.

With the blessing of Bishop Matthew of Sourozh, the conference was attended by Archpriest Vitaly Polishchuk, school director Ye.N. Poplavskaya and T.E. Zakharov, teachers of the Dormition Cathedral parish school (city of London).

The conference was attended by Archimandrite Alexander (Elisov), Head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem, Archpriest Igor Pchelintsev, senior priest of the Metochion of Saint righteous Tabitha as well as teachers and parents - representatives of Sunday schools of Israel and Great Britain.

Presentations at the conference were made by:

- Iegumen Nikon (Golovko), secretary of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem: "The system of church education of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission";

- Olga Gultiayeva, responsible for the activities of the church school of the Gornensky monastery in Ein Karem: “Teenagers in the Church”;

- Natalya Nikolayeva, teacher of literature of the church school of the Gornensky monastery: “Methods and search for optimal ways of teaching Russian literature”;

- Marina Pchelintseva, Director of the church school of the REM Metochion in Tel Aviv-Jaffa: “Raising a child in a family”;

- Valentina Kryuchkova, Russian language teacher at the school of the REM Metochion in Jaffa: “Erroneous methods of education”

- Archpriest Vitaly Polishchuk and E.N. Poplavskaya, Director of the Parish School of the Dormition Cathedral in London: Presentation on the activities of the Church School at the Dormition Cathedral in London;

- T.E. Zakharova, Russian language and literature teacher of the Dormition Cathedral parish school (London): "Findings and their results in the teaching of Russian literature."

Archimandrite Alexander opened the conference with a welcoming speech, in which he expressed the hope that it would be useful to meet and exchange experience of Sunday school teachers and to search together for ways to solve problems in Christian education in foreign countries.

Iegumen Nikon reported on the work of Sunday schools for children and adults in the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission.

O. Gultiyaeva, Responsible for the activities of the church school of the Gornensky monastery in Ein Karem, in her report “Teenagers in the Church”, spoke about the problems in working with adolescents. At this age, many are faced with the problem of distancing young people from the church. O.Gultiyaeva shared the experience of informal meetings for teenagers, during which they watch a film and discuss it from the point of view of the Gospel. She also stressed the importance of attracting adolescents to charitable activities, for example, taking care of children under treatment in Israel, who are looked after by sisters of the Gornensky monastery. N. Nikolaeva, teacher of Russian literature, told about difficulties of teaching this subject to children for whom the Russian is a foreign language.

The next report “Raising a child in the family” was presented by M. Pchelintseva, Director of the REM Church School in Tel Aviv-Jaffa. In her report, she highlighted the importance of her own parental example in the Orthodox upbringing of children and of the Christian respect between spouses. Without this, it is impossible to demonstrate the basis of an Orthodox family to children. The topic was continued by psychologist V. Kryukova, who analyzed parental mistakes in upbringing of children and consequences of such mistakes, she also suggested ways to solve these problems.

Then the word was handed over to guests from London. Archpriest Vitaly Polishchuk in his speech outlined the great role of a Sunday school as the possibility of the first meeting with Christ, citing, as an example, the personal experience of Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh.  E.N. Poplavskaya, Director of the children's parochial school at the Dormition Cathedral in London, proposed to the participants of the Conference a presentation report on the work of the Cathedral school in London. T. E. Zakharova, teacher of the Russian language and literature, spoke about techniques and methods of teaching through attracting children to creativity, contributing to the development of interest in the study of these subjects. Some works by school students were presented.

Summing up the conference, Archimandrite Alexander noted the similarity of problems in the work of Sunday schools, the importance of exchanging experience at the international level and stressed the need for Sunday school activities as a preservation of spiritual and moral guidelines for children and young people through learning the basics of Orthodoxy and the Russian language in countries of dispersion.

After summing up the conference, Archpriest Vitaly Polishchuk, on behalf of His Grace Bishop Matthew of Sourozh, presented memorable gifts to Archimandrite Alexander.