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.
These days, what do we all have to wear on our faces? When we are around other people, we have to cover our faces with masks, don’t we? The masks are supposed to keep our germs in, just in case we’re sick.
In the epistle reading, we hear about how God wants us to cover our mouths in a different way!
Saint Paul tells us in the epistle, “But now put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and
foul talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another.” Saint Paul is telling us to keep these things in, and don’t let them out. Don’t let them spread to others!
In a way, we have to cover our mouths so we won’t let these bad things out. We have to be careful so we don’t get really mad, or say mean things about another person. We have to be careful that we don’t lie about people or gossip. We have to be careful not to say bad words.
We wear masks so we can keep germs away from other people. But as Christians, we have to always wear an imaginary mask over our mouths! We wear this mask so we don’t let these horrible things out. The epistle reminds us that Christians don’t do these things, because now we imitate God. So, let’s wear our imaginary masks all the time, and keep our mean words from others!
SAINT SEBASTIAN: THE CROWN OF VICTORY
We celebrate St. Sebastian on Friday, December 18th (OC: Dec. 31st).
Have you ever done something wrong…and you tried not to get caught? Maybe you stole a treat from the kitchen, and you ate it in secret! It’s hard to take the punishment. This week, we celebrate a saint who did everything right, but he still got in trouble for it! He knew he was going to get punished, but he even looked for the person who would punish him!
Saint Sebastian lived in Rome, just about two hundred years after Saint Paul lived there! He loved Christ, and he knew he would never give up his strong faith. The emperor Diocletian knew about him and had him tied to a tree and shot with arrows. But Sebastian didn’t die from these arrows. Another Christian took him and healed him. Still, Saint Sebastian didn’t give up! He even went to the emperor again, to warn him that he had done these awful things. He told the emperor he had sinned! This time, Diocletian made sure Sebastian was killed, and Sebastian received the best reward, a place in heaven with the Lord.