At St. Sava’s dance classes, students wear opanak, traditional Serbian shoes. (photo: Andy Spyra)
Worship, though primary, is only one of the activities a church can host. In Germany, St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church caters to a strong community of Serbian immigrants, and helps to preserve many facets of Serbian culture:
Since the 1950’s, St. Sava’s has offered its youngsters catechetical courses and cultural classes ? held every Saturday ? that instruct and reinforce the church’s religious teachings and cultural heritage.
“In our new community center, we originally planned for two classrooms,” remembers Father Pejic. “Thank God we were underestimating the need!”
Currently, the community center has barely enough space to accommodate the nearly 130 children, between the ages of 7 and 17, who attend the classes. The curriculum includes seven grade levels with courses in religion, the Serbian language, traditional dance and singing.