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 told you to be quiet? If you were a little too loud at home, your parents probably told you to keep it down. It’s hard to keep quiet when you really want to say something!
Today we read the Gospel passage about the blind man, whom Jesus healed. This poor man was sitting by the road begging. When somebody told him Jesus was passing by, he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” The people around him told him to be quiet, but the blind man couldn’t keep quiet! In fact, he cried out for Jesus even more loudly. When Jesus heard the man, He healed him so he could finally see! So, it was a good thing he didn’t keep quiet!
Sometimes you might feel embarrassed to say your prayers or to go to church—especially if you’re the only one. When you get older, your friends might want to do fun things right when you want to go to church or say your prayers! Other people might even laugh or make fun of you when you say a prayer before a meal or when you go off to church. But let’s remember the blind man in the Gospel today. He had something to say to the Lord, and nobody could keep him quiet about it! Let’s try to keep our prayer time as a special time nobody can take away.
SAINT AMBROSE OF MILAN: A BABY’S VOTE FOR BISHOP!
Would you listen if a baby told you something important? Probably so! There is a story about how a baby said something important about Saint Ambrose— and everybody listened!
Saint Ambrose of Milan (Italy) wasn’t always a Christian. His father was a pagan and believed in false gods, so Ambrose was not baptized when he was young (like you probably were). But one day, a baby said out loud, “Ambrose should be bishop!” Of course, everybody was so surprised—first that the baby could talk, and second that he thought Ambrose should be bishop. After all, Ambrose wasn’t even a baptized Christian yet! But St. Ambrose was soon baptized, and then quickly became a deacon, then a priest, then a bishop.
St. Ambrose was a wonderful saint. Many people became Christian because of his words and his actions. As bishop, he remembered to take care of the poor people, too. Sometimes, emperors and other leaders would do wrong things, and St. Ambrose would stand up to them and set them right. He wasn’t shy to say what was right and what was wrong—just as we shouldn’t be either! St. Ambrose wrote many things for us to learn about God. We still have many of his writings today—1700 years later. That shows he is still important to us even now!
We celebrate the nameday of St. Ambrose on Thursday, Dec. 7th (Dec. 19th, OC).
Photo credit: Orthodox Christianity
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