About the Sunday School
At the heart of our Sunday School program is a core of dedicated volunteer teachers and parents, supported by the Lake Shrine monastics. The teachings given in Self-Realization Fellowship Sunday School are centered on the writings of our founder, Paramahansa Yogananda.
Meditation and high moral principles are the cornerstones upon which the teachings of Self-Realization Fellowship are based. Children are taught to lead happy balanced lives by bringing God into their daily lives through kindness to others, and by developing a personal relationship with God through meditation.
To The Parents
As a parent, you can help your children get the most out of their Sunday School experience by being a good example to them. Try to be an example of kindness, love, understanding, and compassion - all the qualities which come as one strives to live by spiritual principles. We have found that by living the spiritual life, parents can inspire their children to want to attend Sunday School and practice what they learn there.
One of our goals is to help support you in your efforts to spiritually enrich the quality and experience of your own family life. Please feel free to visit the Sunday School office if you have any questions or ideas about how we may better serve the children and families attending Lake Shrine.
9am Classes Ages
Primary Girls 6 - 12
Primary Boys 6 - 12
11am Classes Ages
Pre-School Girls 3 - 5
Pre-School Boys 3 - 5
Primary Girls 6 - 8
Primary Boys 6 - 8
Intermediate Girls 9 - 12
Intermediate Boys 9 - 12
Teen Boys & Girls 13 +
- Pre-Service - Children and Parents are welcomed to the Sunday School. The children are engaged in a pre-service activity (craft, game, etc.) creating a sense of unity and loving exchange and are given an introduction to the lesson of the class.
- Energization Exercises - The children assemble either indoors or outdoors to learn and practice the technique of drawing energy into their bodies as taught by Paramahansa Yogananda. They say an opening prayer and do several exercises together.
- Meditation - This is the heart of each Sunday School class where children learn how to still their bodies, calm their breath and turn their minds inward in meditation.
- The usual sequence for this part of the class is: opening prayer, offertory, chanting, affirmation, sitting in silence and meditation, closing chant and closing prayer.
- Lesson - Each week's class has a special spiritual theme and objective which is presented through a story, an object lessen, a puppet show, role playing, discussion, etc.
- Here the children become familiar with the line of Self-Realization Fellowship Gurus and their teachings, as well as the "How-to-Live" principles taught by Paramahansa Yogananda.
- A special emphasis is placed on making the material interesting, age-appropriate, and applicable to the children's daily lives.
- Craft (optional) - This phase is connected to the lesson. It brings the lesson to a hands-on level, giving the children an opportunity to relate to it through an object they create themselves.
- This is also a time of informal conversation, facilitating a deeper understanding in the children of the lesson.
- Closing Prayer - The children finish Sunday School class with a prayer and a moment of silence, remembering God even in the midst of activity.
(for ages 12-14)
The Lake Shrine teen group meets every Sunday concurrently with the 11:00 am temple lecture service. Meetings include practice of the Energization Exercises, meditation and periods of group discussion.
The discussion periods offer teens an opportunity to reflect on how Paramahansa Yogananda’s 'How-to-Live' principles apply to their daily lives. They are able to share with each other how these principles assist them in meeting the challenges of being a teenager in today’s world.
At this important time in their lives, teens can greatly benefit from developing friendships and spending time with peers who. like themselves, are striving to live Paramahansa Yogananda’s teachings, meditating, and seeking God’s direction in their lives.
In addition to regular meetings, teen programs also include fellowship events, service opportunities (including assisting with younger children in Sunday School), and satsangas (informal talks) with a minister. Periodically, special retreats and pilgrimages for teens are conducted.
Teen Group Model - CLICK TO ENLARGE
Teen Group Mission Statement (This mission statement was created by the teens):
To propel ourselves further along the spiritual path and closer to Master by building strong spiritual friendships.
To increase our desire to meditate through a harmonious balance between spiritual activities and fellowship (e.g., icebreakers, fun food, sports…)
To develop teamwork, leadership skills, a spirit of equality, and a feeling of family.
To make such an overwhelmingly positive impression that every teen who attends our events will be compelled to come back again and again.
Where to Meet
Teens meet with the teen leaders on the temple patio outside of the Sunday School office every Sunday at 10:50 AM and from there go to their meeting place for the day (usually the Windmill Chapel).