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 done something nice for a friend? Well, of course you have! Maybe you picked out a present for him or her, or sent a card, or helped your friend with something. But did you grumble about it? Did you complain? Probably not. When we do something for a friend, we are happy. We want to help, don’t we?
In today’s Gospel reading, we hear about how we should act when we fast. That’s because tomorrow we start Great Lent, the time when we get ready for Easter, for Pascha! We get ready by eating not-so-fancy foods, by helping the poor more, by going to church more, by forgiving others, and helping people who need our help. Sometimes people might complain about Lent. YOU might even start to complain. You won’t get to have a big ice cream sundae when you want it. You might not get to watch a TV show you wanted to watch, because your family is off to church. Or you might miss out on something else you want.
But always remember, when we do these things, we are remembering a friend, our Lord, Jesus Christ. And when we remember Him, we are happy too. Let’s see if we can go through Great Lent without complaining about it. Instead, we can remember why we’re doing it! Can you have a happy Lent?
SAINTLY PARENTS Saints Zebulon and Susanna
Sometimes, we hear about an athlete or a singer or somebody else with a great talent. We might wonder, “What made him so good at that?” Then, we might find out that his parents were great athletes too, or great singers, or something else! Our parents can help shape us into something great.
Back in January, we celebrated the feastday of Saint Nina. She was a saint who lived in the country of Georgia. She told many people about Christ, and thousands of people became Christian because of her words and her prayers! She is even called, “Equal-to-the-Apostles” because she did so much for our Christian Church.
But what about her parents? Well, they are saints too! Saints Zebulon and Susanna taught their daughter Nina about Christ. They also showed her a great example of helping the poor. They lived a simple life so that they could focus their lives on God. Do you see how these saintly parents helped guide their daughter to be a saint too?
We celebrate Sts. Zebulon and Susanna on Tuesday, March 15th.
Click here to download your free copy of The Children’s Word.
ABOUT THE ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN NETWORK
OCN offers videos, podcasts, blogs and music, to enhance Orthodox Christian life. We also report on news events in the Orthodox Church and produce This Week in Orthodoxy, a weekly news video with stories and issues of interest to Orthodox Christians around the world.
The Orthodox Christian Network is a commissioned agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops. Our mission is to comfort, inspire, and inform Orthodox Christians and seekers around the world using digital media. OCN is not underwritten financially by any one organization, jurisdiction, or individual. Rather, OCN is supported entirely by parish and personal donations. Please remember OCN in your parish’s charitable giving. The Orthodox Christian Network is a 501(c)(3) corporation.
$20,000 MATCHING CHALLENGE FOR OUR 20TH ANNIVERSARY
Much like public radio, the Orthodox Christian Network relies on the support of our listeners. Anonymous donors have issued a $20,000 matching challenge in honor of OCN’s 20th Anniversary! For every $1 you give, $2 will be donated! You can send your gift by direct mail, over the phone, or on our website.
OCN Spark is here! Our Spark app is an Orthodox Christian News portal that allows you to take action. Spark provides daily devotions, live Bible study, and you can read and learn about events going on in the Orthodox Christian world and persecuted Christians. In addition to making it easy to share news and articles with friends, Spark allows you make prayer requests for those who are suffering. Click here to download OCN Spark from iTunes.