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.
How would you feel if a friend of yours said he didn’t know you? You could play or talk with this person all the time, but then what would you think if he ignored you or pretended that he didn’t even know you? That would be a sad thing, wouldn’t it?
Today, in the Gospel reading we hear what our Lord, Jesus Christ, said about that same thing. He said, “Everyone who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.” In other words, God wants us to say we are friends with him all the time, not just at church and not just when we are with other Christians. God wants us to love Him at church, and He wants us to talk to Him in our prayers. But He wants us to love Him even when it is hard, or even when we feel like the only one.
Today we celebrate All Saints Sunday. We remember all of the saints who loved God so much. They loved God so much that now they are with Him in heaven. The saints stayed with God even when it was hard sometimes. They stayed with God even when they felt like they were the only ones. Let’s try to be like the saints!
Saints help us with everything!
Did you know that saints can help us with lots of different things? That’s because they lived here on earth, just like we do. They understand our problems. You can pray to different saints for your different problems!
For young people: St. Demetrios is a great saint for kids to pray to. He was a young soldier, and he helped his friend St. Nestor to be a strong Christian.
When you go on a trip: St. Nicholas has helped lots and lots of people as they travel. The next time you go on a trip, ask St. Nicholas to help get you there safely!
For help at school: The 3 Hierarchs (St. Basil, St. John Chrysostom, and St. Gregory) are good saints to pray to for help with your studies. They were brilliant!
For finding work: If you know somebody who is looking for a job, pray to St. Xenia of St. Petersburg for him or her. She is the right one maybe because she spent most of her life without much money!
Against cancer: You can pray to Saint Nektarios if you know somebody with the disease of cancer. Saint Nektarios died from cancer 100 years ago, and now he helps others who are sick.
For sore throats: Yes, we even have a saint to help us with sore throats! St. Blaise listens to our prayers because when he was going to his martyrdom, he saved a boy who was choking on a bone!
We celebrate all the saints on the Sunday after Pentecost (today!)
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.
Photo credit: All Saints Orthodox Church
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