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 given you directions to get somewhere? Maybe you have heard your parents ask for directions if they were lost. Turn left at the first light, go under a bridge, and so on. We need directions to stay on the right way.
Our Lord, Jesus Christ promised His disciples that He would send them a helper from God the Father. His disciples knew that Jesus was going to leave them, and they wondered how they would keep going without Him! But Jesus promised them, “I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.”
Today, on the great feastday of Holy Pentecost, we remember how Jesus did keep His promise. He sent the Helper, the Holy Spirit, to them and to us! He sent them the Holy Spirit to guide them, and to give them direction. Did you know the Holy Spirit guides us too, and gives us direction? The Holy Spirit helps us know which way to go, how to do the right thing to follow the Lord.
How do we ask the Holy Spirit to show us the way? We can start everything by praying the wonderful prayer that starts “Heavenly King, Comforter.” Then we ask the Holy Spirit to “come and dwell with us.” We ask the Holy Spirit to be with us, guiding us always!
St. Botolph of Boston, England
Do you know what the name of your city means? Lots of places in the United States are named for places in England, where many settlers came from. But what about those places? How did they get their names?
Well, many times they are named after our heroes, our holy saints! If you have visited Boston, Massachusetts, you will be excited to know that Boston is really named after one of our holy saints, too! Long ago, when English settlers came to America, they came from Boston, England. They named their new city Boston too.
But Boston really is short for “Botolph’s Stone” or “Botolph’s Town.” Saint Botolph was a holy saint who lived 1,300 years ago. He was an abbot who was in charge of a monastery. We don’t know too much about St. Botolph, but we know he worked hard to start the monastery. The land was hard to work on, but enough monks came to help so the monastery began to grow.
Saint Botolph was smart too! Another saint said, he was “a man of remarkable life and learning, full of the grace of the Holy Spirit.” And this year, St. Botolph’s nameday is tomorrow, the day of the Holy Spirit! May St. Botolph always protect the cities named after him, and us too!
We celebrate St. Botolph on Monday, June 17th (June 30th, 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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