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.
If you ask them, your parents or grandparents might know a song about being humble. It goes, “Oh Lord, it’s hard to be humble, when you’re perfect in every way!” The singer jokes about how great he is. That makes it hard for him to feel not so important, to be a humble guy.
It’s a silly song, but it has some truth to it, doesn’t it? It is hard to be humble, to not make ourselves seem so great. Why? Because sometimes, inside, we really think we are great. Maybe even almost perfect!
Today is the great feastday of Palm Sunday, the day when our Lord entered Jerusalem, where He was made fun of, and beaten, and killed on the Cross. Today, let’s remember how Jesus really was “perfect in every way.” But still, He was humble. He was humble from the very begin- ning of His life on earth, when He was put into a manger with animals around Him. He was humble all the way to the end, when He rode on a donkey into the city. He was humble even when they made fun of Him, and even when He died on the Cross.
Yes, it is hard to be humble. But we can look to our perfect Lord as an example!
SAINT STANKO The Shepherd, of Montenegro
Has anybody ever asked you, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” You probably haven’t ever said, “A shepherd!” Being a shepherd is hard work. Shepherds sometimes spend long hours in the hot sun or the freezing cold, without any shelter. Being a shepherd is a humble job.
This Friday, we remember a saint who worked as a shepherd, and he lived a humble life, in modern-day Montenegro. Saint Stanko was humble, but he was also very brave. He told the Turkish rulers in public that he was a Christian. Of course, they didn’t like that, and they decided to punish this brave, young man. They cut off both of his hands, because he wouldn’t let go of the cross he had in them. Later, he was even killed for believing in Jesus Christ.
Now, many Orthodox Christians visit Montenegro and can even see these same hands. They are relics, holy pieces of a saint’s body. Many, many sick people have been healed after they came to pray before these holy relics. When these miracles happen, we know that Christ is with us, and He listens to us through His holy saints…like Saint Stanko the Shepherd!
We celebrate the nameday of St. Stanko on Friday, April 29th.
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