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 three small children: Lydia, Paul, and Silas. Presvytera Alexandra grew up attending Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Asheville, North Carolina with her nine siblings.
Do you think words have power? We know what we do matters, but does what we say matter?
In today’s epistle reading, we hear that our words really do matter. We read, “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart…If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” When we say something, especially in church and to our Lord, those words really mean something. They have power!
Did you know that our prayers have different parts? Part of our prayers might be to ask for something. Part of our prayers might be to thank God for something. Part of our prayers might be to say we are sorry for something. But part of our prayers is to tell God how great He is! Let’s try to match what we have in our hearts with what we say out loud. Let’s think about how great God is, and then say it out loud in our prayers.
What’s in our hearts and our mouths matters. The epistle says, “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you say your faith and are saved.” So our words really do matter!
SAINT OLYMPIADA: THE DEACONESS
Have you ever been treated unfairly? Have you ever gotten in trouble for something you didn’t do? What did you do about it? Did you complain or did you just keep it to yourself?
This week, we celebrate Saint Olympiada (or Olympia), a saint who was definitely treated unfairly! Saint Olympiada was a friend of Saint John Chrysostom, a great saint of our Church (he was also the patriarch). St. Olympiada came from a rich and important family in Constantinople, and when her husband died, she gave so much of her time and money to help the Christian church. With her own money, she built lots of churches in the area. She also built an orphanage and a hospital. Olympiada was also a deaconess, a special servant of the church.
We celebrate St. Olympiada on Thursday, July 25th (Aug. 7th, 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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