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 found a word in the Bible that you don’t understand? Sometimes grown-ups even have to find out what a word means.
In the epistle reading today, Saint Paul tells us where the gospel, the good news, came from. “For I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ.” Do you know what the word “revelation” means? A revelation means something that is revealed, something that is shown. Saint Paul means that God showed him something. God showed him the way with Jesus Christ.
Later on, Saint Paul says that God “was pleased to reveal his Son to me.” God showed Jesus to him. God showed him the way to our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Did you know that God can reveal His Son to us too? God shows us His Son, Jesus Christ, when we read the Bible. He shows us His Son when we go to church and receive Holy Communion. He shows us His Son when we pray to Him, together with our friends at church, or when we pray alone. Let’s ask God to reveal His Son to us, so we can be more like our Lord, Jesus Christ!
SAINT MELANIA, THE YOUNGER THE NUN OF ROME
Have you ever ridden by some super fancy, super huge houses, and wondered what it would be like to live there?
Tomorrow we celebrate Saint Melania, a person who did live in one of those kinds of houses, and she gave it all up. One historian wrote about her life, just a few years after Melania died. He wrote about how much money and land her family had when she was a child. “On one side lay the sea and on the other some woodland with animals for hunting, so that when she was bathing in the pool, she could see ships passing by and animals in the woods. The property also included 60 large houses, each with 400 servants.” Wow! 60 houses, and 24,000 servants. Can you even imagine that?
But Saint Melania wasn’t impressed! Saint Melania wanted to dedicate her life to Christ. When she was a young woman, she got married, but sadly, her two children died. She and her husband gave away all that treasure to the church and to the poor. Then they traveled far away from Italy, to Africa and later to the Middle East. They started convents and a church.
Sometimes when we have something, we might want to have more and more. Saint Melania didn’t want to have more and more money. She wanted to have more and more of Christ’s love! And isn’t that a better thing?
We celebrate St. Melania on Monday, December 31st (Jan 13, 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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