What is Church to a Russian- American?

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Church is a major part of my life. I have always gone to church. It is a part of who I am. Church is not only about sitting through church services. I am currently involved in Russian school, Sunday school, camps, wind ensemble, teens’ group, teens' choir, and youth group. There are so many engaging activities and groups that bring together our community, defining who we are as individuals and as a society.
Russian school is a must for every Russian-American. I started attending Russian school when I was five years old and graduated when I was fourteen. The Russian school was started in our church to teach Russian children, who live in the Spokane area, how to read and write in Russian. Knowing the Russian language is important to Russian people living outside of Russia because understanding another language can improve the chances for finding a job. It is also important to be able to communicate with family members and relatives in their native language and to pass on traditions. The main purpose of the school is so the children will not forget Russian, to be able to pass it down to future generations. The only subject taught in our Russian school is language arts. Writing, penmanship, and literature are some of the sections we cover. At the end of the program, the graduating class is given the opportunity to take a test to receive two foreign language credits in high school. When I graduated, I took this opportunity and received the two high school credits. With these two credits I did not have to learn a different language at the high school. After finishing Russian school, I now help other students learn Russian, proudly passing on the culture and traditions of my family.
When I turned five, I also started to attend Sunday school. Sunday school is important in the lives of young Christian children. I graduated from Sunday school when I was fourteen. Even before I graduated, I started helping my mom in her class of five year olds. This year is my first year as a teacher. In the beginning of this year, the Sunday school provided a course for the helpers to become Sunday school teachers. Even though I was not planning on being a teacher, the administration recommended I take the course. I passed the course and received a certificate in May.
As much as I love Russian school and Sunday school, my favorite church activities are camps. Every year the church hosts many camps for different ages and groups. The camps I have been to are kids’ camp, teens’ camps’, and youth camp. Most of the camps take place during the summer when we can enjoy the warm sun and fun, outdoor activities. There are also some camps during the spring and winter seasons. Kids’ camp is held for children from age eight to eleven during the summer. Teens' summer camp is for teens who are twelve to about sixteen or seventeen. The teens' spring camp is for teens starting from about the age of fourteen till about sixteen or seventeen. To be able to go to the summer and winter youth...

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