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 do you do when you’re hungry? Do your ask your parents for something to eat? Do you find your own food in the refrigerator? Do you sit there and just wait until you’re fed?
Today in the Gospel, we hear about a time when our Lord Jesus Christ was with some very hungry people. These people had been with Jesus all day, listening to Him talk and asking Him to heal the sick. At the end of the day, they were hungry.
Sometimes in the Gospel, Christ’s disciples say what we might think too. After all, they were once just regular people with regular thoughts! The disciples said to Jesus, “Send them away, so they can buy themselves food.” But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
After that, Jesus took 5 loaves and 2 fish, and He fed more than 5,000 people! He didn’t send them away. He fed them!
Sometimes, you will have chances to help other people. If you can, you should take that chance! We can learn from the disciples, and of course, we can learn from our Lord. We don’t want to send people away, but we want to do what we can to help them. If you can, “give them something to eat!”
SAINT PANTELEIMON: HEALER OF THE SICK
Have you known somebody who was sick? Sometimes we don’t know what to do, except be sad or feel sorry for him or her. But God and the saints are here to help us. They listen to our prayers. We just have to ask them, and they will ask God to help us and help our sick friend or relative!
St. Panteleimon is a great saint to pray to when somebody is sick. He lived many years ago, and he died in the year 303. He was a doctor, but he used medicine and his faith in God to heal his patients.
Once, St. Panteleimon helped a blind man see again. He also told him about Jesus Christ. The man was so happy that he told other people about what had happened. Soon, other people started to become Christians too! The Roman authorities were not happy about this because they did not believe in Christ, and they wanted people to worship the Roman gods. They wanted people to worship the emperor, too! The Roman authorities arrested St. Panteleimon and they tortured and killed him.
We can pray to St. Panteleimon when anybody is sick. And we always remember what St. Panteleimon knew— This power to help people came from God, and we thank God for it!
We celebrate St. Panteleimon this Friday, July 27th (August 9th, 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.
Photo credit: Eastern Giftshop
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