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.
What color did you wear after you were baptized? You probably don’t remember your own baptism. But if you’ve seen a baptism, you know the new Christian wears white. All white. Pure and clean white. That’s because after you are baptized, everything is new. Everything is different. You might look like the same person, but you are really different. You follow Christ.
In the Epistle reading today, we hear what Saint Paul says about when he started to follow Christ. He writes, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”
Does Christ live in you? Yes, He does! But how do you show it? When we know that our sweetest Lord Jesus Christ lives inside of us, we start to act differently. We try to be more like Him. We try to do the right thing. We try to treat others in a Christ-like way. Maybe sometimes we do what other people want instead of what we want.
Is that hard to remember? Yes, of course! But the next time you are feeling grumpy or mean or angry at everybody, try to remember those words from the Bible. “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”
THE GREAT EARTHQUAKE: ALMOST 1,300 YEARS AGO!
Can you remember hearing about an earthquake? Or a hurricane? The awful Hurricane Florence hit the United States just this year. People are still cleaning up from the winds and the flooding. That hurricane destroyed lots of homes. The earthquake in Haiti hit eight years ago. It was so bad that the people there still need our help.
But this week we also remember an earthquake that hit almost 1,300 years ago in the great city of Constantinople! Was it really that bad? Well, if you came to church very early, you heard the chanters read about it. Some of the taller buildings fell over. Some of the most beautiful buildings toppled too. People were trapped under the stones.
But what happened then? The people did what YOU would do. They prayed to God and to His mother, the Theotokos. They prayed to St. Demetrios (whose nameday is this week, too). They prayed that God would protect them. They prayed that the earthquake would stop. And it did!
Whenever things go wrong, we can always turn to God and His saints. God listens to us, just as He listened to the people 1,300 years ago!
We remember the earthquake on Friday, Oct. 26th (Nov. 8th, 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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