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 wanted something so much that you asked your parents for it again and again? Maybe it was a toy for Christmas or for your birthday. Maybe it was just a special meal or a treat. When we really want something, it’s hard to give up when somebody tells us “no.”
In today’s Gospel reading, we hear the story of the woman who was asking Jesus to heal her sick daughter. This woman was from Canaan, so she probably was a pagan (she believed in false gods). Also the Canaanite people had been enemies of the Jews for a long, long time. So when she came to Jesus asking Him for help, His disciples told her to go away. Jesus even told her “no” at first.
But this woman really wanted something. She wanted her daughter to be well! So it was hard for her to give up. Even though she didn’t worship the God of the Jewish people, she knew Jesus could heal her daughter. Jesus told her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you want.” Our Lord healed the daughter right away. He knew she believed. He knew she had strong faith. And He knew she was an example for us all!
3 CHEERS FOR THE 3 HIERARCHS: ST. BASIL, ST. JOHN, AND ST. GREGORY
Do you ever compete against your friends? If you are on a sports team together, you probably do. But sometimes we might get jealous, even of our friends! Sometimes you might want to get a better grade than a friend got, or maybe sometimes you might wish YOU had scored the goal, instead of your friend.
Tomorrow we remember three saints—St. Basil, St. John Chrysostom, and St. Gregory the Theologian. These three saints are now friends together in heaven, but long ago people fought about which one was the best saint. Each one of these saints did GREAT things for the Church, but people still fought. Some said St. Basil was the best. Some said St. John was the best. And some said St. Gregory was the best. That’s why, about a thousand years ago, another St. John wrote a beautiful service to remember all three saints. Tomorrow is a special day when we remember all three saints together, and we celebrate all the amazing things they did for the Orthodox Church.
By the way, did you know these are the saints you can pray to if you want help with school or with learning? All three men were brilliant teachers who taught us with the things they wrote…so they can teach in a different way now!
We celebrate the nameday of these 3 saints tomorrow, January 30th.
Photo Credit: Fr. Ted’s Blog
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