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 five small children: Lydia, Paul, Silas, Philip, and Sarah. Presvytera Alexandra grew up attending Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Asheville, North Carolina with her nine siblings.
What does your family do when something is broken in your house? Let’s say the sink is clogged or the refrigerator is broken. Your parents might try their best to fix it themselves. Then, if it’s really broken, they might have to call a plumber or a repairman.
Today, in the Orthodox Church, is the Sunday before the feast of the Holy Cross. So, we hear about how and why our Lord, Jesus Christ, came into the world!
The Gospel today says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”
Before our Lord came to earth, there were a lot of wrong things happening in the world. In a way, things were broken. Some people might have tried to fix things on their own. But when God saw that the world really needed Him to fix things, He sent His Son. He sent His Son to live and grow up from a baby. He sent His Son to teach and heal, and then even to die on a Cross. God wanted the world to be fixed. He wanted it to be saved! That is why Jesus came into the world. When we think of it, let’s thank God for that!
ANOTHER NATIVITY: THE BIRTH OF THE THEOTOKOS
Do you celebrate your birthday? Does your family celebrate your birthday too? Your parents or grandparents are probably especially happy on your birthday, because they remember you as a little baby. They remember how you could grow up to be someone really special.
In our Church today, we celebrate a very special birthday. It is the day Mary, the Holy Theotokos, was born. Her parents knew that she would grow up to be someone really special, because her birth was really a miracle in the first place! Her parents, Saints Joachim and Anna, were very old, and they didn’t think they could have any children. With the new little baby, Mary, they knew that she was special to God.
In our Church calendar, we celebrate a few birthdays. Can you think of another? Well, Christmas, of course! Mary knew that her son would be a special person too. We also remember the birthday of Saint John the Baptist too. His parents knew he would be special.
Birthdays are fun to celebrate, but we can also use them as a time to thank God for what He has given us. We can ask God to help us use our lives in the way He wants us to….just like baby Mary grew up and did what God wanted her to do!
We celebrate this great feastday today, September 8th (Sept. 21, 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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