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.
Did you ever get really lost? Maybe you were even riding around with your parents, and you couldn’t find where you wanted to go. It helps to have some tool to show you the way, doesn’t it? A map, or GPS, or just somebody’s directions.
Saint Paul gave some advice to the new Christians in the city of Ephesus—almost 2,000 years ago! We read Saint Paul’s words in the epistle today because they are good advice for us Christians too (that’s why we still read them!).
Saint Paul wrote, “I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” God calls each one of us to follow Him. He calls each one of us to listen to His words and to do them. He calls us to try to be like our perfect Lord, Jesus Christ. He asks us to do that.
But remember, God doesn’t force us to follow Him. He doesn’t force us to be good Christians.
When we follow Christ and His teachings, it’s like we are following a map. We’ll always know the right way to go! But if we try to do things our way, and we don’t listen to directions, we are going to get lost. Let’s live our lives the way God has called us!
A NEW SAINT: SAINT SEBASTIAN OF JACKSON, CALIFORNIA
Have you ever told somebody you’re an Orthodox Christian? This week we’ll celebrate a saint who sure did! Saint Sebastian spent his whole life telling people about Jesus Christ and about His holy Church.
Saint Sebastian is a new saint—somebody the Church just started calling a saint two years ago! He was born in San Francisco, California in 1863 and died in 1940. His parents were from Serbia, where most people are Orthodox Christians. They held onto their strong Orthodox faith even when they came to America, where there weren’t so many Orthodox Christians. Sebastian learned his faith from his parents, and he became a priest. He lived in lots of places in the United States—California, Alaska, Minnesota, Washington, Oregon, Montana, Illinois, and New Jersey. Everywhere he went, Father Sebastian worked hard to spread the Orthodox faith throughout our country! He built many churches here and preached the faith.
Saint Sebastian died in the country of Yugoslavia, but many years after he died, the church brought his relics (his body) back to California (at the church where he served as a priest). Just two years ago, Father Sebastian was declared a saint. We can pray to him for many things. Would you like to pray to Saint Sebastian to help the Orthodox Christians in America? He will listen to you!
We celebrate the nameday of St. Sebastian on Thursday, Nov. 30th (Dec. 13th, OC).
Photo credit: WeatherForecast.com
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