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 played police, or capture the flag, or freeze tag? Do you remember the feeling when you get out of jail, or when you get unfrozen? You’re free!
In today’s epistle reading, Saint Paul reminds us that we are free now too. We know that our Lord, Jesus Christ became a man, and He died and rose again. When He did that, He broke us out of jail. He made us free, because He made it so we could grow close to God in a new way.
Before Christ came, the people had the Old Testament writings to learn about God and how He wants us to act.
But when Christ came, God become one of us! He became human and knows what it is like to be one of us! God gave us a new covenant (a promise) so we can be closer to God . He saved us when He died on the Cross.
And do you know why the Father gave us His Son, Jesus Christ? Do you know why He broke us out of jail and made us free? Because He loves us, and He wants to save us and let us be in heaven with Him!
GETTING ATTENTION: SAINT DANIEL THE STYLITE
Have you ever tried to get attention? Maybe, when you were little? Well, getting attention usually isn’t so great, you know. But this week we celebrate the nameday of a saint who got lots of attention. He used that attention to tell people about God. He used it to give advice to people who needed it.
Saint Daniel was called the PillarDweller, or the Stylite (“stylos” means pillar, in Greek). Many years ago, he built a pillar, or a pole, not too far from the great city of Constantinople. He lived up on top of that pillar for 33 years! And what did he do there? He prayed to God. He gave advice to people who wanted to learn how they could grow closer to God. All that time, he suffered with foot problems (he was standing all the time).
Saint Daniel got all kinds of attention. Two emperors even came to visit him! But he really wanted the attention not for himself, but for God. And that’s the way we should live our lives. We might not live up on a pole, but we can always try to give good attention to God (not ourselves).
We celebrate St. Daniel on Tuesday, December 11th (Dec. 24th, 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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