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.
Angels. Shepherds. Wise men. Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus. Even as the littlest kid, you knew the story. But you know lots of stories, don’t you? What’s different about the Christmas story?
Well, the Christmas story is true! And it brings you joy! On Christmas Eve, we’ll hear about the shepherds, who saw an angel standing in front of them. And what did he say? “Do not be afraid, for behold I bring you good news of great joy which will be to all people.”
To ALL people? Not just for my family and me? Not just for my friends at church? Not just for Christians? No! Joy to all people. Joy to the world!
Sometimes we might think that our Lord, Jesus Christ is just for us Christians. But the Bible tells us that He came to earth to bring joy to ALL people. Our Lord wants to save the whole world, not just a little group. Did you know that YOU can help bring that joy to all the world? When you try to be like Christ, you help bring joy to the world. When you are kind and loving to others, you can share the joy of Christ to everybody around you…even people who aren’t Christians, even people who don’t go to your church, or to any church at all! Yes, joy to all the world!
SAINT EUGENIA: KEEPING YOUR EYES ON CHRIST
Have you ever forgotten to do something, because you’re just too busy? Just when you’re so busy wrapping Christmas presents and hanging your stocking up, some of us might forget about one of the best saints of our Church—Saint Eugenia. Every year, we celebrate her nameday on Christmas Eve.
Saint Eugenia’s father was a prefect—a nobleman in Alexandria, Egypt, which means he ruled over people there. But even though Eugenia probably had lots of money and lots of other things to think about, she learned about Jesus Christ. She was even baptized as a Christian. (When she lived, being a Christian still was not allowed.) When she was a young woman, she secretly left Alexandria and joined a monastery. She wanted to focus only on being a good Christian.
Later, some people found her and tried to get her in trouble. They brought her to the prefect, who happened to be her own father! She told him that she was Eugenia, and she also told him about Christ. Her father became a Christian then, too. That didn’t get them off the hook though. They were Christians, and that meant they would be put to death. St. Eugenia faced her death with love and hope for Christ!
Let’s not forget St. Eugenia! Let’s remember her bravery, always focused on Christ, even when things were hard for her.
We celebrate St. Eugenia’s nameday today, Dec. 24th (Jan. 6th, OC).
Photo credit: Storyblocks
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