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.
Has anybody ever said you look like your father or your mother…or some other relative? Or maybe somebody told you that you act a little like one of your parents or grandparents—maybe your personality or your jokes or your interests.
In today’s Gospel reading, we hear about how our Lord, Jesus Christ, wants us to be like His Father. And His Father is our Father, God Himself! The Gospel reading tells us to, “love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.” Christ tells us to love everyone, even the people who are mean to us. We know that God does the same. God shows love and mercy to everyone, even the people who are mean to Him! He shows love and mercy to everyone, even the people who say awful things about Him, and even the people who don’t believe in God at all! God shows love and mercy to everyone.
The Gospel today tells us to be like God. “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
You might look like your father or mother, or you might act like your father or mother. But as a Christian, the most important thing is to always try to act like your Father in heaven. God loves everyone. God wants us to love everyone too!
SAINT ROMANOS: THE MELODIST OF CONSTANTINOPLE
Has anybody ever made fun of you for something? How you dress? How you dance? How you play soccer or basketball? How you answer questions in school? Pretty much everybody has been made fun of, at least a little bit!
You know, our saints understand us because they lived on earth too. People made fun of Saint Romanos for his bad singing. Romanos worked in the great church of Agia Sophia in Constantinople. He hadn’t been to much school, and he had never really learned how to sing. Plus, he had a bad voice. People laughed at him, and made fun of him—even some of the other priests and deacons did!
Saint Romanos prayed to the Holy Theotokos. He even cried as he prayed again and again, because he wanted so much to sing well. He asked her to help him. That night, Romanos had a dream and the Theotokos gave him a scroll of music. The next day was Christmas, and Romanos sang this music she gave him. He sang beautifully, and everybody was amazed!
Saint Romanos is one of the “singer saints” of our church. He wrote lots of the hymns we hear in our church. The Theotokos helped him more than he ever could imagine!
We celebrate St. Romanos on Monday, Oct. 1st (Oct. 14th, 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.
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