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 a favorite story you like to hear again and again? Do you ask your parents to read a book to you over and over?
Two weeks ago, we celebrated the great feast of Pascha (Easter), when our Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead! On that day, we heard the story of the sad women, who came to His tomb. They brought nice-smelling myrrh for His body. They wanted to do something to honor Jesus. But when they came, they saw an angel who told them, “He has risen, He is not here!”
We heard those wonderful words two weeks ago, but we like to hear the story again and again! Today, we hear the Gospel about the myrrh-bearing women again. For 40 days, we say “Christ is risen!” to each other. And on every Sunday of the year, we hear hymns about the Resurrection. We Christians love to hear this favorite story of ours. Why? Because it’s true!
We love to hear about Christ’s resurrection, because it means everything to us. When our Lord rose from the dead, He opened heaven for us. Now, we can hope and pray that one day we can be with Christ in heaven forever. And now you can tell other people this favorite story of yours too! Christ is risen!
SAINT IRENE: A GREAT MARTYR
Lots and lots of the saints of our church lived just about 1,600 years ago. Why? Because the emperors were all pagan. They worshipped idols, false gods who weren’t God. In those days, nobody could worship our God and get away with it!
St. Irene lived in Greece during this time. Her father was the king, Licinius. He knew that lots of other people were coming to believe in Jesus Christ, and he definitely did not want his daughter to do the same thing! So he locked her in a tower all
through her childhood so she wouldn’t learn about Christ. But somehow, she still found out about Him anyway, and she was baptized.
Her father was so angry that his daughter had become a Christian that he did something awful. He sent his daughter to be trampled by horses. But what happened then? The horses wouldn’t move. Instead they came after the king, Licinius! When he saw this miracle, he changed his life. He—along with his whole family, and 3,000 other people—became Christian. They knew then that this was the true faith.
Finally, a new king came along. He refused to let Irene live as a Christian in peace (Irene means “peace”), so he had her killed. But now, of course, Saint Irene lives in peace with our Lord!
We celebrate the feast of Saint Irene on Friday, May 5th.
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