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 five small children: Lydia, Paul, Silas, Philip, and Sarah. Presvytera Alexandra grew up attending Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Asheville, North Carolina with her nine siblings.
Have you ever wondered what you were going to wear? Maybe you spent some time, looking through your drawers or in your closet. As you get older, maybe you will spend even longer thinking about it. Did you know that the average woman spends 16 minutes every morning deciding what to wear? That’s a lot of time worrying about our clothes!
But the Bible tells us today, “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” Our Lord tells us in the Bible today, “Your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you too.”
We hear that God wants us to think about what’s on the inside of us, not the outside of us. He wants us to think about how we can grow closer to Him, how we can love God more, how we can love our brothers and sisters and our parents more. God wants us to think about how we can help each other more and to do nice things for each other. So, the next time you are deciding what to wear, remember that our Lord wants us to think about the inside, not the outside. Then you can spend those 16 minutes (or more) on something better!
WHAT’S A DESERT FATHER? SAINT PAISIOS THE GREAT
Have you ever been to the desert? It’s a hard place to live! It’s hard to find water. It’s hard to grow plants, like fruits and vegetables, there. It’s hard to stay cool. Nowadays, we can pump water there to let plants grow. But long ago, it was a much harder place to live. Then why would anybody have wanted to live there?
Almost two thousand years ago, lots of Christians were moving from the cities to the hot, dry desert of Egypt. Why? Well, they did it to grow closer to God. Some of the men who lived in the desert were Christian leaders who showed others how to live a better Christian life. We call them Desert Fathers.
One of these Desert Fathers was named Saint Paisios the Great, and we celebrate his nameday this week. He lived in a cave in the desert for many years. He didn’t eat much. He didn’t drink much water. He spent most of his time praying and focusing on God. He gave advice too. One time, some monks asked him what were the best things to do as a Christian. He told them, “The good things that are done in secret, that nobody knows about.” Do you see how we can use the advice of the Desert Fathers even today?
We celebrate St. Paisios this Tuesday, June 19th (July 2, 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.
Photo credit: 3 Benefits Of
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