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.
I am with you always, Forever
Have you ever had to say goodbye to somebody…and you didn’t want to say goodbye? Jesus’s disciples did. After Jesus rose from the dead, He told His disciples they had a mission. He told them to go and teach the whole world what they had learned about God. That was a big job, and it would be hard after they had said goodbye to their Teacher. But Jesus also told them something else. “I am with you always, forever,” He said.
Today, is the Sunday of the Paralytic. We remember the story of a man Jesus healed. This man was paralyzed and hadn’t walked for 38 years. Jesus listened to him, and the man picked up his mat and walked.
So we see that Jesus really is “with us always.” And when He said goodbye to His disciples, it wasn’t for forever. We know that Jesus did all kinds of miracles when He lived on earth. But after He left for Heaven, He is still with us. He still works miracles—just like He did for the second paralyzed man, and just like He does for so many in the world every day!
SAINT GLYKERIA OF NOVGOROD: A STRANGER HELPS
Has a stranger ever helped you with something? Maybe somebody helped you tie your shoes, or opened the door for you, or even gave you a little money. Maybe this person helped you, and you didn’t even know him or her! This week we celebrate a saint we don’t know much about. We know lots of stories about Saint Nicholas and Saint Nektarios and Saint Katherine. Those saints don’t seem like strangers to us; they’re our friends!
This week we celebrate somebody who might seem like a stranger to us…but she can still help us! Saint Glykeria was from Novgorod, a famous city in Russia. It’s famous to us Christians, because there are some other special saints from there! We really don’t know anything about her except that she died in the year 1522. Several years after she died, somebody found where she was buried. The archbishop of Novgorod brought her coffin into the big church, and that day, a little four-year old boy was healed when he came to Saint Glykeria.
We remember St. Glykeria of Novgorod on Wed, May 13th (May 26, 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.
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.
During this Time of Uncertainty for Kids
- Create a safe place for conversation. Create a spot for your kids to talk about what makes them scared. Many times just speaking it out dispels the fear.
- Be honest. You yourself experience fear. Sometimes kids are reluctant to admit what makes them feel scared. There’s nothing that breaks down walls better than humility. There’s comfort in knowing other people, especially their mom or dad, also experience fear.
- Teach Them. Prayer is the go-to when they are feeling fearful. Nothing brings a sense of peace and calm like talking to Jesus. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. — Philippians 4:6
- Printable Materials. Supplemental Children’s activity books and drawings. OCN also brings you a weekly Children’s Word. It is a weekly ministry of the Orthodox Christian Network. Each week, Presvytera Alexandra Houck writes this 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, and share it with your parish, church school, homeschool, family, and friends. Each issue includes a message on the Sunday Gospel lesson and one of the saints for the week. You will also find a coloring page and other activities. It is designed for an 8.5 x 14 page, so that it can be printed and folded.
- Read Scriptures Together. One of the most significant ways to have peace of mind in today’s rapidly changing situation is to read Holy Scriptures. The Scriptures have remained the same for 2000 years. Share that fact with your children. There is not much else that has not changed that has done more good for people on earth than His Word! So read on with confidence and conviction that God is with you and your family. God’s word is truth, and the truth is that God does not want us to carry fear in our hearts. He is longing for us to bring those fears to Him. Jesus Walks on the Water (Mt 14:22-34)/27. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Do not carry fear in your heart Romans 8:15. Psalms. When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. — Psalm 56:3. I sought the Lord, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears. — Psalm 34:4. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
If you know of more Children’s Resources please be sure to email: firstname.lastname@example.org