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.
What would happen if you tried to make a cake…but only listened to part of the directions? Maybe you did everything perfectly: you beat the eggs, you sifted the flour…but you left out the sugar. That would not be a very good cake, would it? It’s important to listen to all of the directions.
Today, in the epistle reading, we hear how Saint Paul gives some directions to the new Christians in the city of Corinth. He writes, “Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” Those directions are good for us Christians, too. We should have courage when we are Christians. We should be strong. But we have to listen to all the directions. Let all that you do be done in love. In love.
What happens if we listen to only part of Saint Paul’s directions? We could have courage and make fun of our friends who don’t know about our Lord, Jesus Christ yet. We could be strong and say mean things to other people. But Saint Paul tells the Christians, “Let all that you do be done in love.” That means that when we do anything, we think about whether we have love first. If it isn’t done “in love,” we shouldn’t do it. If it isn’t said “in love,” then we shouldn’t say it. Let’s listen to the whole directions. Then we will be very sweet Christians…like our cake!
SAINT NEKTARIOS: MIRACLES FROM HIS RELICS!
Do you ever pray to saints? Our saints are special people who were close to Christ when they lived on earth. Now, they’re even closer to Christ after they have passed on to heaven!
One very special saint is Saint Nektarios, who died less than 100 years ago. We celebrate his big feastday in November, but today we remember another important day for Saint Nektarios. Today, we remember his relics, and all the miracles that have happened with them!
What are relics? The relics are part of the saint’s real body (or maybe of his clothes or things he or she owned). We Orthodox Christians know that these things are holy, because the saint is holy too! That’s why every church has a little piece of a saint’s relic in the altar table. That’s why we might kiss the relics and pray to the saint too.
After Saint Nektarios died, his body was still here on earth (his soul went to be with Christ). If you go to Greece, you can pray to Saint Nektarios and kiss his relics there. You can also find a beautiful shrine to Saint Nektarios in Charlotte, North Carolina, and you can kiss part of his relics there too. Saint Nektarios is a saint who especially helps people who are sick. If you go to Charlotte, people will tell you about miracles that have happened with the relics. Sick people have gotten better by touching the relics, or even just by touching some holy oil from the shrine!
We celebrate this feastday of Saint Nektarios on Sept. 3rd (Sept. 16th, OC).
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