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 argued about something? Sometimes we argue about things that don’t even matter. Sometimes we might argue just to make ourselves look smart!
Today, in our Orthodox Church, we remember the Fathers of the Fourth Ecumenical Council. The council was a huge meeting of church leaders more than 1,500 years ago. These church leaders had a lot to talk about and discuss (and even argue) about. The big thing we remember from this council was that the church leaders agreed about something about our Lord, Jesus Christ. They agreed that Jesus was both human (a person) and divine (God). That is something we Christians still believe today.
On this day, we hear a special epistle reading from Saint Paul to Saint Titus. Saint Paul writes, “Avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.” Saint Paul reminds the early Christian church to focus on Christ. He tells them to focus on the good news of our Lord. Sometimes the quarrels and arguments make us forget about what really matters! Saint Paul gives us good advice. Let’s try not to argue about little things, especially in church. Let’s focus on the good news of Christ!
SAINT DIOS: THE ABBOT OF ANTIOCH
Can you think of the oldest person you know? A grandparent? A greatgrandparent? Somebody in your church or neighborhood?
This week, we celebrate a saint who lived a very long time. In fact, when he was already very old, he grew very sick. Everyone thought that maybe it would be his last day on earth. But this holy saint, Saint Dios, had a vision from God. St. Dios told the people that he would live even 15 more years! And he did.
Saint Dios lived and grew up in Antioch, in Syria. But later on, he lived in the city of Constantinople, which was a great Christian city then. He became the abbot of a monastery there, and many people came to him for advice. They asked St. Dios to pray for them too, because they knew he was a holy man. He also helped many sick and homeless people too, with his prayers to God.
Many, many, years later, another saint wrote a hymn about St. Dios. This saint, Saint Nicolai Velimirovich, lived almost 1,500 years after St. Dios lived. He lived in Serbia, which is not so close to Antioch. But St. Nicolai knew about St. Dios because of his great love for God, and because of all the wonderful things God allowed him to do. Isn’t that neat?
We celebrate St. Dios on Friday, July 19th (Aug. 1st, 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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