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.
Has anybody ever told you to pay attention? Probably…maybe every day. Maybe lots of times a day! Your parents might tell you to pay attention to something important, like the cars when you cross the street or what you have to do today. Your teachers might tell you to pay attention to the lesson or to what you have to bring back tomorrow for homework. They tell you to pay attention, because it’s important!
In today’s epistle, we hear that we have to “pay attention” to our faith too. We read, “We must pay the most careful attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.” We have to pay attention, because it’s important. But what’s so important? Well, our life with our Lord, Jesus Christ. God loves us so much. God wants us to be with Him. God wants to save us. God wants us to pay attention, so we don’t ignore the life we can have with Him.
We have a lot to “pay attention” to—our school work, our life at home, sports, and more. But “we must pay the most careful attention” to our life with our Lord. How? Can you think of some ways you can pay attention to your life with God? What can you do during Lent that helps you pay attention to Him?
7 HERO HEIROMARTYRS OF CHERSON
What kind of person is brave? A fireman running into a burning building? A policeman chasing a dangerous criminal?
These seven saints were some of the bravest you’ll find. They are brave because they knew they had a dangerous job, but they happily did it anyway!
In the Bible, we read how God called His followers to “make disciples of all nations.” God wants us to spread the good news about Jesus Christ to the whole world. In the 300’s (1700 years ago), the bishop of Jerusalem sent bishops to spread the good news in Cherson (on the Black Sea— now in Ukraine). But the problem was that people were not so happy to hear the good news. The first two, Bishop Basil and Bishop Ephraim, were killed. Then three more bishops were sent. They too were martyred (killed for their Christian faith). Then two more bishops were sent to preach about Christ. At that time, being a Christian was finally legal, so they should have been safe, but one of these was still killed for being a Christian.
These seven men knew they had a dangerous job to do. But they knew it was an important one—a job that God had given them. That’s why they bravely and joyfully did it.
We celebrate these 7 saints on Wednesday, Feb. 7th (Feb 20, 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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