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 broken something, by accident? Yes? What did you do then? Did you admit that you broke it—a toy, a fancy glass, something that belonged to somebody else? Or did you cover it up and pretend it never happened?
Today, we hear the Gospel reading about the woman who came to get water at a well. When she got there, she met Jesus, Who was thirsty too, and they had a long conversation together. She wanted to know how to worship God, and here she met God Himself!
The problem was that this woman had done lots of wrong things in her life. The Gospel says that she came to get water at noon, the hottest time of day. Nobody did that, because it was too hot to go out! But this woman came then because she was embarrassed by her life. She didn’t want to see anybody there. This woman tried to cover up the things she had done wrong.
When she talked to Jesus though, He already knew what she had done! He knew it, but He still wanted to talk to her anyway. He taught her. He helped her have a stronger faith in God. Afterwards, she went off and told everybody, “He told me all that I ever did!” This woman knew that it is always better to admit you did the wrong thing, instead of covering it up. God wants us to admit when we do wrong too. That way, God can help us, just like He helped her!
SAINT LYDIA: THE FIRST CONVERT IN EUROPE
You probably became Christian as a baby, when your parents took you to church to be baptized. Maybe your parents became Christian when their parents took them to church to be baptized. And probably, so did their parents!
But what happened long ago, when there weren’t too many Christians in the world? The apostles traveled all around, telling people about Jesus Christ, how He died and rose from the dead. After that, many people became Christian.
Saint Paul, the Apostle, traveled to Greece, to a place called Philippi. He met a woman named Lydia there. She invited St. Paul to her house and heard what he had to say. Then she began to believe in Christ and was even baptized. She was the very first convert to Christianity in Europe. Before that, nobody in Greece, or anywhere in Europe was Christian!
Did you know that you can visit the very place where Saint Paul baptized Lydia? There is a church there. It has a baptistery, kind of like a little pool where many people go to be baptized. What a special place!
We celebrate the nameday of Saint Lydia on Saturday, May 20th.
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