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.
Have you heard a story of a miracle—a true story that happened even today? In the Bible, we hear lots of stories of Christ’s miracles. Today, we hear the familiar miracle story of the feeding of the 5,000. You know, when Jesus fed the huge crowd of hungry people with just five loaves of bread and two fish.
We read the Gospel and hear the miracle story again and again, and we might think “Wow! That was a great thing that Jesus did long ago! He fed lots of people some bread.” But did you ever think about the bread you receive each week—the bread and wine that become the Body and Blood of Christ? The Gospel today says, “Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all ate and were filled.”
Let’s thank God for the miracle He gives us each time we come together for Divine Liturgy! Just like in the miracle we hear about today, our Lord blesses the gifts. Just like in the miracle today, He gives them back to the people. And just like in the miracle today, we can all eat and be filled—this time with the Lord’s own Body and Blood! God feeds His people—not just long ago, but today too!
SAINT SILAS: SAINT PAUL’S HELPER
Just a few weeks ago we celebrated the big day of Saints Peter and Paul. They are such great saints that our church even has a special fasting time to remember them. The two of them did so much to build up the Christian Church. God gave them a big job to do, and they knew they couldn’t do it all by themselves.
One of Saint Paul’s special helpers was Saint Silas. Saint Paul traveled through Greece and Italy and the Holy Land to tell people about our Lord, Jesus Christ. And for lots of his trip, Saint Silas went with him. They had many adventures together (not the kind of adventure you have for fun, but the kind when you have work to do!)
Once, when Saint Paul and Saint Silas were in Philippi (in Greece), they were sent to prison because some people were angry with them. While they were locked up, God sent an earthquake. All of a sudden, their chains came off, and they were free. The jailer was very scared because he thought he would lose his job. But Saint Paul and Saint Silas did not escape. Instead, they told the jailer about Christ.
Before long, the authorities allowed them to be free. Then the two saints went on with their work. Did you know Saint Silas is the patron saint for people who are in prison, and also for prison workers?
We celebrate the nameday of Saint Silas on July 30th (August 12th, OC).
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