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 been to somebody else’s birthday party? Maybe you watched as a friend or a brother or sister opened presents. Maybe you watched as he was excited with what he got. Were you happy for him? Or did you wish it was your day instead?
In today’s Gospel reading we hear about a wonderful miracle our Lord did. Then we hear about how people reacted to it. A woman had had a bent back for 18 years. She couldn’t straighten it out, so she had to walk around with her back bent over. Yes, for 18 whole years! Our Lord Jesus Christ had mercy on this woman. Even though it was the Sabbath, a special day to rest, Jesus healed her so she could straighten out her
This was a great miracle for her, and it would change this woman’s life! But still, the ruler of the synagogue was angry at Jesus. He told Him that He shouldn’t have healed her because the Sabbath was a special day to rest—not to work! He was angry. But other people reacted a different way, “All the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by Him.”
When good things happen to other people, let’s not be like the ruler in the story today. He was angry and wanted to find something wrong. Let’s always be happy for others. Let’s hope the best for others, just as the people did in the Gospel story today. They rejoiced for her!
TURNING TO GOD IN PRAYER. SAINT HANNAH THE PROPHETESS
Have you ever prayed to God for something you wanted very, very much? Sometimes we want something that doesn’t really matter. But sometimes we might want something that we pray so hard for—for somebody to get well, for somebody to get a job, for somebody to stay safe. Tomorrow, we celebrate a saint from the Old Testament (before Christ). Saint Hannah prayed very, very hard to God because she
really wanted to have a baby.
We celebrate Saint Hannah on Monday, December 9th (Dec. 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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