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 felt so upset that you just couldn’t calm down? Maybe you were worried about something or felt scared? How did you finally calm down and feel better?
Today the Gospel tells us about a time when Jesus’ followers were upset. Jesus had just risen from the dead, and the disciples were scared because they thought they’d be attacked for following Christ! So, they locked the door. They were afraid.
The door was locked, but still our Lord came to them. “Peace be with you!” He told them. They were all so happy to see Him. He said again, “Peace be with you!” A whole week later, Jesus came to the disciples again. “Peace be with you!” He said.
Our Lord Jesus Christ calmed the disciples with His peace. They knew everything was good when they were with Him. You know, when we are upset or worried or scared, we can ask God to help us too. At church today, you will hear the priest say, “Peace be with you!” a few times, just as Christ told His followers. Your priest is praying that God’s peace, His calm, His love will be with you.
When you have God’s peace, you’ll know what the disciples knew: Everything is good when you are with Christ!
THE SAINTLY PARENTS OF SAINT GEORGE: SAINTS GERONTIOS AND POLYCHRONIA
Can you think of something that made your parents say, “I’m proud of you!” or “Good job!”? A good grade? A goal in a game?
Today is the feastday of the great Saint George. You might know how he loved God so much that he refused to worship idols. You might know how he was killed by the emperor for that. But do you know who taught Saint George to love God so much?
Well, his mother and father did, and they are saints in our Church too! Saints Gerontios (Saint George’s father) and Polychronia (his mother) worshiped our one true God, even though they knew they could get be punished for it. Gerontios had a high position in the Roman army, but he lost it all when he told the officials that he was a Christian. Sadly, Polychronia (along with young George) saw their father dragged away to be killed. But she told her son that if he loved God too, they would all meet again in heaven.
Saint George listened to his mother’s good advice. When he was older, he was thrown into prison because of his faith in God. Polychronia went to visit him, and she helped him. She was proud of him. She must have told him, “Good job!” for staying so strong. Then, she was punished too.
These three saints (the parents and their son) must have been scared, but they looked to God for help. Now they are at peace together in heaven!
We celebrate the feast of Saints Gerontios and Polychronia tomorrow, April 24th.
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