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.
Do you have traditions that you follow with your family? On holidays, maybe you do the same special thing every year. Maybe you wonder where those traditions came from or when they started. Maybe you’ve asked and nobody can tell you. “I don’t know. It’s tradition!” somebody might tell you.
In our holy Orthodox Church, you probably have heard a lot about Tradition. We follow a Tradition in our Church family too! But unlike some of our family traditions, we know where our Tradition comes from. In case you can’t guess, Saint Paul tells us today in our epistle reading!
Saint Paul writes, “I would have you know that the gospel which was preached by me is not man’s gospel. For I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ.” Our Tradition is the things we believe and do…the things that have been passed down from person to person for many, many years. Saint Paul tells us about something called “Apostolic Tradition.” We know what Jesus said and did because the Apostles (Jesus’ helpers) passed the news to others. Then those people passed it down to others. This Tradition from the Apostles has gone on for two thousand years!
If you ever wonder how we know what Jesus said and did, we can say “It’s Tradition!” And our Tradition comes straight from the Apostles!
HOW TO BE A GOOD FRIEND: SAINT NESTOR AND SAINT DEMETRIOS
Do you have a good friend? This week we will celebrate one great saint, and the day after, we will celebrate the nameday of his good friend. Long ago, in the city of Thessaloniki, Greece, Christians were not allowed to be Christians. Well, they could be Christians, but they had to do it in secret or they could be hurt or killed.
St. Demetrios was a Christian soldier. He was sent to prison because he wouldn’t worship idols. He said he would only worship our one, true God… the same God that you and I worship! The general, who was in charge of that whole land, held a cruel game sometimes— he would send Christians into a stadium to fight a huge, strong man named Lyaeus.
Another Christian, named Nestor, decided to fight him, even though he wasn’t even close to Lyaeus’s size! Nestor wanted to show that God was on his side. He visited his friend, St. Demetrios, in prison, and asked if he should. St. Demetrios gave him his blessing, and told his friend, Nestor, to always love God.
What wonderful friends St. Demetrios and St. Nestor are! They knew that the best thing they could do was to help each other love God. Can you help your friends do that, too?
We celebrate these two saints on Oct. 26th and 27th (Nov. 8 and 9, OC).
Photo credit: FiqueFirme
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