Can you think of a time your parents gave you a choice to do something? Maybe they let you decide whether to go somewhere, or what to
eat, or what color to paint the walls. They probably knew the best way, but they still let you decide. Today, we hear a story that tells us how our loving God gives us that kind of freedom. He gives us freedom, even for things that matter a lot more than what to have for dinner! He lets us decide, even though He knows the best way.

Do you remember the story of the Prodigal Son, the story about the young man who wasted all his money and lived with the pigs? Do you remember how he felt sorry for what he had done, and he came back to his father? And…do you remember if his father forced him to come back? Or did he let him choose to come back? The story of the Prodigal Son shows us how God loves us so much that He grants us the great gift of freedom. God knows when we do wrong, but He lets us make our own choices—bad or good! God lets us decide when to come back to Him. God lets us decide if we want to say we are sorry. God lets us decide how close we want to be to Him.


St. Theodore the Recruit

Saint Theodore lived about 250 years after Christ lived. Just think… what happened 250 years ago for YOU? America was about to become its
own country. Men were wearing funny wigs. Women were wearing long, poofy skirts. It seems like so long ago, doesn’t it? But for Saint Theodore, Christ’s death and resurrection was as alive to him and as real to him as if he had known Christ on earth himself. That’s because he had such a strong faith in our Lord! St. Theodore was a young soldier. He is called “the recruit” because he had just been recruited to serve in the Roman army. In those days, being a Christian was absolutely forbidden.

We celebrate St. Theodore, Feb. 17 (March 1, 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.


Presvytera Alexandra Houck

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.


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