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All Middle School religion classes will have a journal due this Friday.  Journals are due every Friday unless I announce in class that we will skip a week.  8th graders are reading through the book of Acts for their journals; 7th graders are reading Matthew, and 6th graders are reading selections (listed in their binders) from Genesis.

This week’s class plans

6th Grade just finished a unit on Creation and the early world.  After a chapter test and unit test, they will move on to the next section in their binders, “The Early Fathers.”  This unit (over the next several weeks) covers the Old Testament stories about the early Jewish Patriarchs and their families: Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and his two wives and 12 sons.  Jacob’s son Joseph is eventually sold into slavery in Egypt; that story is a bridge into the next unit, “Slavery in Egypt.”  6th graders are doing a great job of reading and understanding the stories for themselves in the book of Genesis as they complete their journals each week.

7th Grade will study the life of Christ this year, as well as His gifts to us on earth today – the Sacraments.  This week they will learn about the land and customs in Palestine during the time Jesus lived there.  They will also study some of the beliefs and traditions that Jesus Himself observed as a faithful Jew.  Students sometimes make me smile by asking why we are not Jewish since Jesus was a Jew, or why Jesus wasn’t a Christian.” They don’t always realize that “Christian” simply means someone who follows Jesus Christ, and Jesus Himself began Christianity.  Jews believe in God the Father, and Jesus built Christianity on that foundation.  Also, they don’t always realize that the Catholic Church is not separate from the Christian Church; rather, the Catholic Church is the original Christian Church.

8th Grade will continue to explore the topic, “What is Church?”  This week, we will complete a study of 6 models (roles) of the church on earth:  The Church as institution, mystical communion, sacrament, herald, servant, and community.  After finishing this chapter, 8th graders will continue the video series “Altaration” to help them better understand the Mass.  Students seem to be enjoying reading the story of the early church (and the teachings and miracles of the apostles) in the Acts of the Apostles in the Bible.