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 wondered how much water is in the Mississippi River? More than 5 million gallons! Or in the Amazon River? Almost 60 million gallons! That much water is more than we can ever imagine… we just know it’s a lot!
In today’s Gospel reading, we hear how our Lord, Jesus Christ, talking about the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is like a river full of lots of water. He said, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” The Gospel tells us that Jesus was speaking about the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is like rivers of living water, but how?
With His words, Jesus is telling us how much God gives to us when we believe. God gives us more than we can ever imagine. We can’t count how much…we just know it’s a lot. Today on the great feastday of Holy Pentecost, we thank God for giving His Church the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit helps us to do so much, growing close to Christ so that we can be with Him one day in heaven forever. That gift is more than we can ever imagine, just like the amount of water in these great rivers! Let’s ask God to help us be strong in our faith, so we can have the Holy Spirit flow through us so strongly too!
Here’s a great craft project. Video: Pentecost Tongues of Flame Craft
A DESERT FATHER: SAINT ONUPHRIOS OF EGYPT
Have you ever been to the desert? Maybe you’ve visited Arizona or maybe even somewhere like Egypt. Everybody knows that the desert is a very hard place to live. Today, we can bring water into the desert with canals and irrigation. But long ago, it would have been hard to survive. In the daytime, it can be awfully hot. At nighttime, it can be extremely cold. And if you don’t have enough water, you just can’t live there.
So why would somebody go to live there—without food, without water, without clothes? Saint Onuphrios lived in the harsh desert in Egypt. He went there so he could focus on praying to God. He could focus on growing closer to God. In the desert, all by himself, Saint Onuphrios wouldn’t have to worry about the things we worry about— money, school, our neighbors, and so on. He could just think about God.
We remember Saint Onuphrios on Fri., June 12th (June 25th, OC).