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 your parents ever told you not to do something? Have they ever told you not to say something or wear something or act a certain
way? Sure! That should happen to every kid! Sometimes when our parents tell us not to do something, we might feel sad or embarrassed or even angry. But our parents tell us these things to help us, and to lead us the right way.
In the epistle today, we hear how Saint Paul did the same thing to his children. When Saint Paul says “children,” he means the new Christians…the ones he taught about our Lord, Jesus Christ. Today we read from the book of the Bible called First Corinthians. That book is mostly a kind of writing called “admonishment,” when the writer is telling the readers they are doing the wrong thing.
But Saint Paul writes, “I am not writing this to make you ashamed, but to admonish (warn) you as my beloved children.” Saint Paul tells the Christians he wants them to live the right way as Christians. Just like our parents, Saint Paul tells them these things because he loves them. He wants to see them live a good Christian life. So, whenever we get corrected, try to remember Saint Paul’s words too. Remember that our parents love us, just as Saint Paul loved his children.
Did you know there are hundreds and hundreds of saints that we don’t even know about? Sometimes we find out about them. Other times, only God knows about them. We don’t know much about Saint Fanourios. In fact, for a long time, nobody knew anything about him. But in the year 1500, some people found an icon of him in an old, broken-down church on the island of Rhodes, in Greece.
In the icon, he looks like a young man. He is holding a candle in one hand. Why does he have a candle? Well, because he helps show people the light of Christ. Even his name means, “the one who brings things to light.” Lots of people pray to Saint Fanourios. You can especially pray to him when you have lost something. Some people even ask the saint to help him find big things—like a job, or a husband or wife! Then, when the saint answers a prayer, a person might make a special cake called Fanouropita. You can bring it to church, the priest will say a special prayer, and you can share the cake with everybody else!
We celebrate St. Fanourios on Tuesday, Aug. 27 (Sept. 9, 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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