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 tried to follow a map? Sometimes it’s hard to get the hang of it, but once you get started, you just follow along the path. But if you get off track, sometimes it’s hard to get back on the right path.
In today’s epistle reading, Saint Paul writes about how we can stay on the right path with our Lord, Jesus Christ. Saint Paul wrote, “Continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”
Saint Paul tells us Christians that we must continue on our path, just like when we follow along on a map! We learn things about God when we are little. We learn how to share and how to be gentle and nice to people. We learn how to read about God through the stories in the Bible. We learn how to love God and we learn how to pray to Him and to ask for help when we need it. We learn all these things even when we are little kids.
Saint Paul tells us Christians that we should continue doing all those things! Let’s continue along the path with the map. And what’s the map? The sacred writings… that’s the Bible! The Bible is our map!
SAINT MARIAMNE: THE SISTER OF THE APOSTLE PHILIP
Do you know what an apostle is? An apostle is somebody who is sent out. Remember, after Jesus died on the Cross and rose from the dead, He sent out His disciples. He sent His disciples out to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. These disciples and friends became His apostles!
You’ve heard about the 12 apostles, who are all men. (You know, Peter and Andrew, and James and John, Philip, and more.) But remember, God wants all of us to spread the good news of Jesus Christ.
After the resurrection, Saint Philip told many people about Christ, and he went lots of places with his sister Mariamne. Together with the apostle Bartholomew, they worked hard to spread the Gospel. Once, the governor’s wife was bitten by a snake, and the three saints prayed for her to be healed. When the governor’s wife was healed, she decided to become a Christian. The governor (who was not Christian), was not happy about this, so he arrested the three saints. The apostles Philip and Bartholomew were later killed in the same way Christ was—on a cross. Saint Mariamne never stopped telling people about Christ, and she later died in peace.
Saint Mariamne wasn’t one of the 12 apostles, but in a way, she was an apostle too! We are all “sent out” by God to spread the news of the love and hope of Christ!
We celebrate St. Mariamne today, Feb 17th (March 2nd, 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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