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 listened to a story… but you only got to hear part of the story? You might have missed the whole point. Maybe you didn’t understand it at all.
Today we hear a true story in the Bible. It’s the story of our Lord, Jesus Christ talking to a woman about God. The woman wanted to know more about God, but she didn’t know she was talking to God Himself! Jesus told her that people “must worship God in spirit and truth.” What does that mean? One of the saints of our church, Saint Ignatius (Brianchaninov) once told the people in his church just what this means! He explained that we Christians worship God, but we worship Him “in spirit and truth.” Truth is Jesus Christ. We read in the Bible that Jesus once said, “I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life.” Christ is the Truth. The Spirit is the Holy Spirit.
So, we Christians worship God “in spirit and truth.” We worship God the Father. We worship Jesus Christ (the Son). We worship the Holy Spirit. We worship one God.
We Christians have heard the whole story…not just part of it! We know God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
SAINT ISAIAH THE PROPHET
Have you ever given somebody a message? Maybe your parents told you to tell your teacher something. Or maybe you told a friend to tell another friend something.
God asked people to give messages for Him too! These special people were called prophets. The Prophet Isaiah lived 700 years before Christ lived. God wanted Isaiah to tell the people some things for him. At that time, the people were worshiping false gods, called idols. God wanted the people to turn back to Him, and Prophet Isaiah gave the people the message.
We read the words of the Prophet Isaiah around Christmas time, because he told how a woman (Mary) would have a baby without an earthly father.
We read the words of the Prophet Isaiah during Holy Week, because he told how the Savior would be hurt for our sins.
And each time before we have Holy Communion, we sing with the choir the words of the Prophet Isaiah, because he tells about the angels in heaven. They say, “Holy, holy holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory.”
So the holy Prophet Isaiah gave God’s messages that we still hear today!
We celebrate the prophet Isaiah on Wednesday, May 9th (May 22nd, 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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