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 five small children: Lydia, Paul, Silas, Philip, and Sarah. Presvytera Alexandra grew up attending Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Asheville, North Carolina with her nine siblings.
Has anybody ever laughed at you? Not with you, but at you? Sure! We all do things that are silly. But today in the Gospel reading, we hear about some people who laughed at our Lord, Jesus Christ! Can you imagine?
A man named Jairus rushed to find Jesus because his daughter was so sick. On the way to the man’s house, Jesus told them that the girl would get better. But when Jesus got to the house, He found the family very sad. “Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping,” our Lord told them. Then they laughed at Jesus, because they knew that she was dead. They laughed, because they didn’t believe Him! Christ healed the girl anyway, and she even got up and had dinner.
That was a very serious thing to laugh at! People might laugh at you sometimes, even when you are being serious. Maybe when you bow your head to pray at lunchtime, or if you make the sign of Cross before a test, or when you ride in a friend’s car. But always remember to be strong. Know that our loving and powerful Lord is with you, just as He was with the young girl in the Gospel story today!
SAINT DIMITRI OF ROSTOV: BRINGING THE SAINTS TO US
Do you like to hear about heroes? Maybe you’ve seen movies about superheroes, or maybe you’ve read books about them. You might have heard about real heroes too, ones who are great examples to us!
Many years ago, in Russia, one saint wanted people to hear stories about real heroes too. And who were those heroes? The saints! Saint Dimitri was born about 400 years ago. He was a bishop, and he wrote and spoke so well that people called him the “Chrysostom of Russia” because he reminded them of another special saint, Saint John Chrysostom. He wrote and spoke really wonderful sermons that we still have today!
One thing we remember St. Dimitri for is that he wrote 12 volumes— 12 whole books—of the Lives of the Saints. He wanted the faithful people to know real heroes, real saints who could be examples to them. Before St. Dimitri, the people of Russia did not have a way to read about all these wonderful heroes.
Today, we have lots and lots of books about our beloved saints. You can find many, even for children! Saint Dimitri of Rostov reminds us to look to the saints because we can see what God has done for them. Do you think you can try to learn about another saint’s story this week?
We celebrate St. Dimitri tomorrow, Oct. 28th (Nov. 9, 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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