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.
Christ in Us
What color did you wear after you were baptized? You probably don’t remember your own baptism. But if you’ve seen a baptism, you know the new Christian wears white. All white. Pure and clean white. That’s because after you are baptized, everything is new. Everything is different. You might look like the same person, but you are really different. You follow Christ. In the Epistle reading today, we hear what Saint Paul says about when he started to follow Christ. He writes, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” Does Christ live in you? Yes, He does! But how do you show it? When we know that our sweetest Lord Jesus Christ lives inside of us, we start to act differently. We try to be more like Him. We try to do the right thing. We try to treat others in a Christ-like way. Maybe sometimes we do what other people want instead of what we want. Is that hard to remember? Yes, of course! But the next time you are feeling grumpy or mean or angry at everybody, try to remember those words from the Bible. “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”
Saint Stephen of Serbia, a Warrior Saint
Did you know we have warrior saints in our Orthodox Church? Sometimes we hear stories of gentle saints, who wouldn’t hurt a little ant or a spider. But did you know that we also have strong, brave warriors, too? Saint Stephen of Serbia was a brave warrior king saint. His father was a king, his brother was a king, and his son was a king. During Saint Stephen’s time, lots of armies were attacking his land. Saint Stephen led his own army to fight back. This saint wasn’t fighting to get money or land. He was fighting to defend the Orthodox Christian people. He wanted his people to be free to worship in our true faith. Saint Stephen was a very strong leader, and he won so many battles. He thanked God for helping him. He built more than 40 churches to show his thanks to God. He built hospitals for poor people, and he paid for the poor to stay there. He helped the poor and gave them what they needed. Stephen was a powerful king who could have had anything that he wanted. But sometimes he would dress as a poor person to show that fancy clothes didn’t mean anything to him. We can pray to Saint Stephen to help us be strong Orthodox Christians, too! We celebrate Saint Stephen’s nameday on Friday, October 30th.
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The Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) is an official agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops. OCN offers videos, podcasts, blogs and music, to enhance Orthodox Christian life. The Children’s Word is a weekly Sunday bulletin created by Presvytera Alexandra (Gilman) Houck for Orthodox Christian young people. 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 an 8.5 x 14 page, and it can be downloaded and printed.
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