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 ever done something to make somebody happy? Have you written a note or drawn a picture for somebody? Have you done a chore for somebody? Have you given somebody a compliment? It’s a big deal to make somebody happy or joyful!
In today’s Gospel reading, we hear how our Lord, Jesus Christ, prayed before His crucifixion. Our Lord prayed for His followers and He prayed that they would come even closer to God. Jesus prayed to His Father, “Now I am coming to You; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.”
Did you know that that’s what Jesus wants for us? He wants us to have His joy! Now we are His followers too, and God wants us to come to Him. He wants us to have His joy—the joy of life with Him. Joy in heaven with no pain or sadness. That’s why God is calling us to Him! He wants us to have His joy.
Sometimes we can think about what we do to make people happy, but today, let’s think about what God does to make us happy. Really happy and really joyful! God wants us to give us life with Him forever!
ST. COLUMBA: ENLIGHTENER OF SCOTLAND
Do you know what it means to enlighten somebody? Well, it means to give somebody information or news. It means to let them know somebody they didn’t before.
Today we celebrate Saint Columba. In our Church, we call him the “enlightener of Scotland,” because this wonderful saint told the people of Scotland something they never knew before. And what was it? It was the good news of Jesus Christ. Saint Columba brought Scotland the light of Christ!
Saint Columba was born in Ireland in the 500’s, but he left for Scotland because the people were pagan. Many people there worshipped things in nature, like trees. Saint Columba started a great monastery on the little Scottish island of Iona. He baptized the pagan king there, and he also baptized the king of the Scots there too.
Saint Columba understood the pagan people’s love for nature. Saint Columba loved nature too. One story tells us that when the saint built the monastery in Iona, he wouldn’t let even one tree be cut down! But Saint Columba knew that nature was God’s gift to man. He knew that God had created the world, so he worshipped God and not the trees!
We celebrate St. Columba on Sunday, June 9th (June 22nd, 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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