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.
Do your parents do things for you? Do they give you food and clothes and a place to live? Do they read to you and play with you? Do they try to help you when you are sad? Do they give you treats sometimes and presents too?
Why do they do these things for you? Well, because they love you and they care for you! They do what they can to make you grow up happy and healthy.
In today’s epistle reading, Saint Paul tells us what our Father in heaven, God Himself, does for us. He tells us that God gave His Son, Jesus Christ. He let Him be crucified, so that He would rise from the dead and open heaven! Saint Paul says Jesus Christ, “loved me and gave himself for me.”
Do you know that our Lord Jesus Christ loves us, and that He gave Himself for us? Jesus died so that we could live forever with Him in heaven.
When we think about the things our parents do for us, we are happy and thankful. They do so much! But God does even more. He loves us even more. He has given us even more! God has given His own Son, who loves us and gave Himself for us!
SAINT EUMENIOS THE WONDERWORKER: HERO OF GORTYNA, CRETE
Have you ever watched a big sports game on TV or maybe even in person? Did you watch the other fans? Did they cheer for their favorite players? Did they chant his name?
This week we celebrate a special saint from the city of Gortyna, on the Greek island of Crete. Saint Eumenios lived about 1400 years ago, and he became a very holy man, because he always tried to do what God wanted for him. He became a bishop of Gortyna, and he showed the people the right way. (At this time, some leaders of the Christian Church were teaching things about Jesus Christ that weren’t true.)
Saint Eumenios had courage to set things straight. He traveled around, and he even went to Egypt and Rome. People noticed that wherever he went, Eumenios could do miracles, always with God’s power, of course. That’s why he is called a “wonderworker.”
Saint Eumenios is a special saint for all Christians, but he is especially special for the people around Gortyna. In fact, the hymns about Saint Eumenios are almost like cheers for the saint! “Rejoice, Gortyna’s guide and watchful eye of all Crete. Rejoice for your miracles and help of the faithful, three-times blessed Eumenios!” It is great to have a saint from your hometown, but we can cheer for him too!
We celebrate St. Eumenios on Tuesday, Sept. 18th (Oct. 1, 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: BetsyPorter.com
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