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.
Can you think of somebody who knows you very well? Somebody who knows all about your family, all about your favorite things, all about what you do with your time? Somebody who knows you better than anybody else does?
In today’s Gospel reading, we hear the story of the Samaritan woman who got to speak with Jesus! Once, when Jesus stopped to get a drink at a well, He met with the woman. Jesus was a stranger to her, but He already knew all about her! He told her about how she should worship and Who she should worship. He changed her life, and she began to follow Christ.
This woman told all her friends about Jesus too. She told them, “He told me all that I ever did,” and her friends began to believe in Jesus Christ too. Jesus knew her better than anybody else did!
Did you know that our Lord God knows you more than anybody else does? He knows you even more than your mother or father or your siblings or friends know you! And do you know something else? He knows you because He loves you, and He wants you to be close to Him. God doesn’t want you to be scared of Him. God knows you because He cares for you. Remember the woman in the story today. She knew Christ knew all about her, but that made her want to be even closer to Him!
Saints Emilia and Makrina: Mothers of Saints
Two weeks ago, we celebrated Mother’s Day, but this week, we will re- member one of the best mothers who ever lived! Her name was Saint Emilia, and she and her husband, St. Basil the older, had ten children. They tried very hard to raise their children in a holy and Christian way.
In fact, six of their children are saints in our Church! One of them, Saint Basil the Great, was very, very smart. We still read his writings today. He helped the poor, the widows, and the orphans.
St. Makrina was the oldest daughter, and she helped raise her youngest brother, St. Peter of Sebaste (he became a bishop). Their brother, St. Gregory of Nyssa, also became a bishop, and he also wrote many things for our Church.
St. Makrina (that’s St. Basil’s sister) was named after her grandmother, Makrina (the older), who was also a saint! The older Makrina and her husband were very wealthy, but they lived at a time when Christians were not safe, because the emperor wanted to get rid of the holy faith. They left their house and they stayed in the forest for seven years! They trusted God to take care of them.
St. Emilia and St. Makrina reached the best goal for any mother—to raise their children to be saints! This holy family can be a model for all of us!
We celebrate St. Emilia and St. Makrina on Thursday, May 30th.
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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