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 given something to somebody… but you didn’t really want to? Maybe your parents made you share something that you wanted to keep to yourself, or you gave away something that you would have rather had instead. It doesn’t feel like giving when we don’t want to give, does it?
In today’s epistle reading, Saint Paul tells some of the early Christians that they should give to others because they want to (not because somebody made them do it!). He says, “For God loves a cheerful giver.” That’s right! God wants us to be cheerful and happy about giving to others, and about helping others too. Our Lord never forces us to give to others or to help others.
Did you know that when God asks us to do something, He shows us the way first? God was the most cheerful giver of all! He gives us help with things every day. But even more, He gave His whole life for us. He gives us a place in heaven with Him. God gives…and He is a cheerful giver! In another part of the Bible, we read, “It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” God is a cheerful giver!
If our Lord can give so much and be happy about it, do you think we can give to others too, and be happy and cheerful about it too? Let’s try!
BROTHER AND SISTER SAINTS SAINTS: EULAMPIOS AND EULAMPIA
If you have a brother or a sister, you might not agree on everything. Every once in a while, you might argue or even fight.
Soon, we’ll celebrate the feastday of two saints who were brother and sister— Saint Eulampios and Saint Eulampia. Their names mean “good shining.” And they were good shining lights because they shone brightly as examples of good Christians!
About 1,700 years ago lived the Emperor Maximian, who hated Christians. He made a law that made it so Christians would be persecuted, or hurt, for their faith. Saint Eulampios tore up the paper with the law. You can bet that he got in big trouble for it. He told the judge he was a Christian and that he lived for Jesus Christ! But that just put him into even more trouble.
His sister, Eulampia, heard what had happened to her brother, and she told the authorities she was a Christian too. Then the brother and sister suffered and were then killed. As siblings, Saints Eulampios and Eulampia might not have agreed on everything, but they definitely agreed on one thing—that they loved God more than anything, and that they wanted to be with Him in Heaven!
We celebrate the nameday of these two saints on Oct. 10th (Oct. 23rd, OC).
Photo credit: Saint Flannan Mission
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