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 told something to your good friends that you didn’t want to tell just everybody? Did you have a toy or a special story that you shared only with your closest friends?
In today’s Gospel reading, we hear about two special miracles that our Lord Jesus Christ did for people who needed Him. One of these miracles Jesus wanted to show only to His closest friends.
First Jesus healed a sick woman, and He made her well again. Then, He heard the sad news that a little girl had died, and He wanted to raise her up to life. He visited the girl’s house, but the Gospel says, “He did not let anyone enter with Him, except Peter, John, and James, and the child’s father and mother.” Jesus let only his closest disciples be with Him to see this miracle.
Do you remember the story of the Transfiguration? How Jesus went to a high mountain, and He became bright with light? On that day, He brought these same close disciples with Him—Peter, James, and John. They were His closest followers.
When we try to learn more about Jesus in the Bible, when we try to act more loving like Jesus, we are growing closer to Him. When we grow closer and closer to Christ, He will show more and more things to us too. And wouldn’t that be the best thing?
THE PROSPHORA BAKERS: SAINTS SPYRIDON AND NIKODEMOS
Do you like to bake? Cookies and cake and other treats are fun to make, especially when you share them with other people.
In our Orthodox Church, we all have a chance to bake a very special thing that we share with the whole church. This is the prosphora, the bread that becomes the Body of Christ!
Did you know that people in your own church get to make this bread? They bring it to church, the priest prays together with us, and along with the wine, God changes this to be the Body and Blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Making prosphora is really the very best thing you can bake!
This week, we celebrate two saints who baked prosphora every day for 30 years. Saints Spyridon and Nikodemos were monks who lived in Kiev (today it is Ukraine). The word “prosphora” means an offering, and these two saints always did their best to offer the holy bread for the church services.
Saint Spyridon couldn’t read or write, but he knew all the psalms in the Bible by heart, so whenever he was working he would be singing the psalms! Whatever job we have, we can use it to grow closer to God. Let’s follow these saints’ examples!
We celebrate these two saints on Wed., Oct. 31st (Nov. 13th, 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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