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 promised something to a friend? Did your friend believe you? Did you keep your promise?
In today’s epistle reading, we hear about a promise God made. He promised Abraham that he would have a son. Abraham was an old man by then, so at first he didn’t believe God! But God kept His promise, and Abraham and his wife Sarah really did have a baby son, Isaac.
God has promised so many things to us, too! Can you think of one of His promises? We can find them in the Bible. If you live close to God, He says, “Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” Another time, we hear, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” And another, “Everyone who looks on the Son and believes in Him should have life forever, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
We have so many promises from our Lord! He says if we love Him, He will take care of us. He says if we love Him, He will reward us. Do you believe His promises? God always keeps His promises. Now, can you make a promise to God? Can you promise to love Him, and to try to grow closer to Him?
THE GOOD KIND OF PEER PRESSURE: THE 26 MARTYRS IN THE CRIMEA
You might hear a lot about peer pressure at school. Sometimes kids pressure their friends to do the wrong kind of thing. You know, things they probably didn’t want to do in the first place.
But did you know? Sometimes we can help our friends and family do the right kind of thing too.
Many years ago (in the year 375), a group of Christians who lived in Crimea did just that. They were in trouble because they wouldn’t worship idols, and they knew they were going to be punished. But these Christians encouraged each other. They helped each other stay strong in their love for Jesus Christ.
Finally, the idol-worshipping ruler had had enough. The 26 Christians were having a church service in a tent, and he brought an idol by on a chariot. When they still wouldn’t worship it, he set fire to the tent, and the Christians died in the fire.
We don’t know the names of all the saints who died that day, but we remember them all. And we pray to God that if we ever had to make a choice like that, we would follow the example of these 26 brave Christians, too!
We celebrate the nameday of these 26 saints today, March 26th.
Photo Credit: fish eaters
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