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 been afraid of something that was actually good for you? Maybe you were afraid of starting a new school? Or afraid of a shot at the doctor’s office? Sometimes we might be scared of something that is really good for us, something that will help us.
Today we remember a group of women who felt that same way. After Jesus had died, some women came to His tomb so they could bring sweet smelling myrrh (like perfume) for the Lord’s body. When they got to the tomb, they saw the tomb was open, and there was an angel there! The angel told the women, “He is risen. He is not here.” The angel told them to tell the good news to Jesus’s disciples.
Christ had risen! Shouldn’t the myrrh-bearing women be happy? Shouldn’t they be excited to tell everybody? Well, the Gospel tells us, “They said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.” They were afraid of a good thing. They were afraid of something that was good for the whole world. They were afraid of something that would save the whole world!
Sometimes we might be scared of something. After a while, you might understand that the new school is good for you, or the shot at the doctor is good for you. Later on, these women began to understand the best news ever—Christ is risen!
SAINT MARK THE EVANGELIST
When you read a book, do you ever read the “About the Author” page? You might find out something about the writer that explains how he wrote the book. You might learn why he wrote it in the first place.
Today, at church, we read the Gospel reading about the myrrh-bearing women. But do you know who wrote those words? Do you know about the author? It is Saint Mark, and we celebrate his nameday this week.
Saint Mark is called an Evangelist, because he wrote part of the Evangelion—that means “Good News” or Gospel. He wrote about the good news of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Saint Mark knew Jesus when He lived on earth. After Jesus died and rose from the dead, Saint Mark wanted to tell everybody the good news. He traveled around with Saint Paul and helped spread the gospel. Saint Mark worked with Saint Peter in Rome too. After that, he started Christian churches in Egypt too. He taught them about Christ and helped them learn to worship our one, true God.
In his Gospel, Saint Mark tells how Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.” That is just what Saint Mark tried to do. He was even killed because he told people about Christ. And now you know something “about the author”!
We celebrate Saint Mark on Wednesday, April 25th (May 8, 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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