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 been all alone? Maybe you were playing with toys or watching a movie by yourself. But did you know that you are never really all alone? Did you know that God is with you, always?
After Jesus rose from the dead, He told His disciples to go and teach the whole world what they had learned about God. That was a big job! But Jesus also told them something else. “I am with you always, forever,” He said. Jesus is with us today too!
Today, is the Sunday of the Paralytic. We remember the story of a man Jesus healed. This man was paralyzed and hadn’t walked for 38 years. Jesus listened to him, and stood up and walked. But in the epistle reading today, we hear about another paralyzed man. This story happened after Jesus had died and risen from the dead. This happened after He had left for Heaven. Jesus’s disciple, Peter, healed this paralyzed man.
So we see that Jesus really is “with us always.” We know that He did all kinds of miracles when He lived on earth. But after He left for Heaven, He is still with us. We are never really all alone, because our Lord, Jesus Christ is with us. He told us He would be with us always!
SAINT JASON: THE STORY BEHIND THE NAME
What was the top baby name last year? Do you know? For boys, it was Jackson. For girls, it was Sophia. Forty years ago, Jason was the second most popular name in the country. Chances were, if you were born then, a couple of kids in your class were named Jason! But so many names have wonderful stories behind them, and sometimes kids don’t even know the story behind their names!
We can read about Saint Jason’s story in the Bible. Saint Jason was a man who followed St. Paul. He learned about Jesus Christ from him. Once, when St. Paul came to the city of Thessaloniki, Greece, St. Jason invited Paul to stay with him.
While they were there, a big fight started in the city. Some people started to be jealous of St. Paul because he was converting so many people. So many people wanted to be Christians! These people got angry and came to St. Jason’s house. After all, it was partly St. Jason’s fault—he was taking care of St. Paul. They tore up St. Jason’s house, and they dragged him to the rulers of the city.
Through all this, St. Jason never gave up. He stuck by his teacher, St. Paul. And more importantly, he stuck by the one true God. His strong faith made others want to believe, too!
We celebrate Saint Jason today, Sunday, April 29th (May 12th, 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: e-literature.net
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