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 heard something in another language…and you didn’t know what it meant? Maybe you wondered what somebody was saying, but nobody even told you. Maybe it wasn’t so important after all.
You know what today is! Today is Pascha (Easter). Today, at church, we hear the good news—the best news! We hear how our Lord, Jesus Christ, rose from the dead. We hear how He is still with us. Long ago, Jesus’s followers wrote this good news down so people could read it and know about it. Jesus told His followers to go to all the nations, yes, to go all over the world. God wants the whole world to know the good news—that Christ rose from the dead! He wants the whole world to know about Him. He wants the whole world to know how we can grow close to Him.
Today, at church, we hear this good news in lots of different languages. We hear the good news in so many languages, because we know that God wants everybody to know about it. Today, you might hear the gospel (the good news) in 5 or 10 or even 15 languages. But do you know how many languages the good news has been written down in? More than 1,500 languages! This good news is so important, that we Christians want everybody to know about it. Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!
THE LIFE-GIVING SPRING: A FEASTDAY OF MARY, THE THEOTOKOS
Do you have a friend named Zoe? Her name means “life” in Greek, and every year on the Friday after Easter, we celebrate her nameday.
On this day, we celebrate the feast of the “Life -Giving Spring.” The icon is kind of strange. In the icon, you see Mary, the Theotokos, in a fountain, with water flowing out of it!
Once, more than 1,500 years ago, Emperor Leo (but before he became emperor) tried to help a blind man find water. Leo heard a voice telling him where to go. He found a spring, flowing with water. He put some of the water on the blind man and the man suddenly could see.
Later, Emperor Leo built a big church over the spring, and he dedicated it to the Theotokos, the Mother of our Lord. Lots of sick people came to the spring and came back all better.
We remember this special church, because we know that Mary, the Theotokos, always gives life to us. It was Mary who became the mother of God! And today, on Easter, He gave life to us, too!
If you go to church on Friday, you will see how the great feast of the Resurrection isn’t over yet! The church is still decorated and everything is bright!
We celebrate this feastday on Friday, April 13th.
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.
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