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.
What do you do when you get up every morning?
When you have school, how do you get ready to go? What do you do first? You probably have a little routine. Maybe you get dressed, have some breakfast, brush your teeth, and so on (but maybe in a different order). We all have ways to prepare for our days.
On Wednesday, we will celebrate the great feast of Theophany. That’s the day our Lord, Jesus Christ,was baptized! And today, the Gospel tells us all about it. Before Jesus was baptized, Saint John the Baptist went all over the place. He was baptizing people, and he was telling them to “Prepare theway of the Lord.” Jesus was coming to start His work, and all the people had to prepare for Him.
And how did they prepare for Him? They repented. They said they were sorry for the wrong things they had done. That is how they prepared.
We can prepare for the Lord too! We can prepare to receive Communion by saying sorry to God and to others for the wrong things we have done. We can prepare for bed by repenting again. Repenting, and saying we are sorry, is the way we get ready for the Lord…just like the people did with John!
SAINT GENEVIEVE OF PARIS: “Great in the sight of God”
Have you ever heard a grownup make a prediction about a kid? Maybe a little kid who loves to play with blocks or Legos, might hear somebody say, “He’s going to be an engineer!” Usually those predictions don’t mean anything, do they? Kids change!
But when Saint Genevieve was 8 years old, a bishop kissed her on the head and said, “She will be great in the sight of God.” He said many people would become Christian because of her.
That was a prediction that really did come true! Saint Genevieve lived a life very close to God. She became a nun, and she led some other nuns to pray for the city of Paris, France (where they lived). God listened to their prayers again and again, and He saved Paris from awful invaders when they prayed. The people of France asked Genevieve to help them, because they knew she had a gift from God. She could work miracles because of her closeness to God.
Saint Genevieve lived 1,500 years ago, but she is still alive in Christ! That means she will still listen to our prayers today. Would you like to ask her for anything?
We celebrate St. Genevieve’s nameday today, Sunday, January 3rd.
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The Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) is an official agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops. OCN offers videos, podcasts, blogs and music, to enhance Orthodox Christian life. The Children’s Word is a weekly Sunday bulletin created by Presvytera Alexandra (Gilman) Houck for Orthodox Christian young people. 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 an 8.5 x 14 page, and it can be downloaded and printed.
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