Presvytera Alexandra Houck created The Children's Word bulletin so children will know they are not only welcome in church, but even more, an essential part of the Church family. She hopes the weekly bulletin will be just one more way we can make kids feel at home in church. Presvytera Alexandra is a graduate of Duke University and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. Her husband, Fr. Jason Houck, is a priest at St. Mary's Greek Orthodox Church in Minneapolis, MN. Presvytera Alexandra and Fr. Jason have three small children: Lydia, Paul, and Silas. Presvytera Alexandra grew up attending Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Asheville, North Carolina with her nine siblings.
Imagine making a tower out of blocks or Legos. Let’s say you are really proud of it, but somebody comes and knocks it all down. Imagine now making a new tower, taller, bigger, stronger, and even better! It’s a new, better creation.
Before Jesus came, humans—God’s creation— were knocked down by sin. That’s what sin does to all of us people. When we sin, or do the wrong thing, we are knocked down! We might not even want to get up. We might not even want to change and do the right thing again!
But in today’s epistle reading, Saint Paul writes about what God does for us. Saint Paul writes about how our Lord, Jesus Christ makes us into a new creation with His death on the cross. We are God’s new creation, and Christ has saved us! He has built us new, taller, bigger, stronger, and even better by our faith in Christ. Christ is the master builder!
When we become Christians, we become part of Christ. We become a new creation, something different. We are something better than we were before. God rebuilds us. He makes us His new creation!
Let’s thank God for lifting us up and making us even better.
A FEASTDAY WHEN WE DON’T FEAST! THE EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS
What would you do on a feast-day? Well, you’d probably feast, wouldn’t you? You’d have a party!
Our Orthodox Church has 12 great feastdays. These are big holy days, when we try to go to church and remember what a special day it is. But this week we have a feastday when we don’t feast. We don’t have a big party at all.
Why not? Well, because this Friday is the feastday of the Holy Cross. On this day, we think about the Cross, and remember how our Lord died for us on the Cross. This day is like a mini-Holy Friday, and you remember how Holy Friday is the most solemn day of the year. On the feastday of the Cross, we don’t have any parties. We try to fast and not eat fancy foods. And we go to church. At church, there is a special service when we say “Lord, have mercy” more than 200 times!
Of course, we always remember how Christ rose from the dead. But on the feastday of the Cross, we will think about what an amazing thing it was that Jesus died on the Cross.
What will you do to make this day special?
We celebrate this great feast Friday, Sept. 14th (Sept. 22, OC).
Welcome to “The Children’s Word,” a weekly ministry of the Orthodox Christian Network. Each week, Presvytera Alexandra Houck writes this little newsletter for young parishioners! You will find age-appropriate articles, stories, and activities in every edition. The newsletter is provided in PDF format so that you can easily download and print it, and share it with your parish, church school, homeschool, family, and friends.
Each issue includes a message on the Sunday Gospel lesson and on one of the saints for the week. You’ll also find a coloring page and other activities. It is designed for a 8.5 x 14 page, so it can be printed and folded.
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