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 watched the sun rise? Maybe you woke up very early one morning, even while it was still dark out. You might have seen how the sun started to make everything light, even before you could really see it.
Today, in the Gospel reading, we hear about where our Lord, Jesus Christ, lived. Remember, He grew up in a place called Nazareth. But then, He moved a little ways away in the land of Zebulun and Naphtali. But why does all that matter?
Well, long before Jesus was born, a prophet (Isaiah) wrote, “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, toward the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.”
Those people had been waiting, just as the whole world was waiting. The world was waiting for somebody to save them, to save the whole world. And the Bible says, “the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light.” That light is our Lord, Jesus Christ! Remember how the sun makes the dark morning bright and light again? Well, Christ is the “great light” who made the whole world bright and light, too!
SAINT GREGORY OF NYSSA: “The Father of Fathers”
Do you have a brother or a sister? If you do, you might have heard somebody call you, “Peter’s sister” or “Maria’s brother,” or whomever. Sometimes you might have thought you don’t have a name, just somebody’s brother or sister!
Today we celebrate a saint with a very well known brother. Saint Gregory of Nyssa was the younger brother of Saint Basil, and everybody loves Saint Basil. We celebrated his day on the first of January. In Greece, children get little presents on that day, and they remember Saint Basil. But do you know Saint Gregory too?
Saint Gregory did so much for our Christian Church. Long ago, lots of people were saying that our Lord, Jesus Christ, was not really God. They said the Son (Christ) was not equal with God the Father. But Saint Gregory argued and argued against these people. He showed that they were wrong.
Saint Basil made his younger brother Gregory a bishop, and they loved and respected each other very much. When Basil died, Gregory finished some of his brother’s writings, and we still have them today! Saint Gregory was a good little brother, but a great Church Father!
Help us SHARE THE LIGHT of Christ throughout the world! On January 17th, OCN is hoping parishes and individuals will take a moment to support our international ministry. Click here for more information on how you can help us Share the Light on Sunday, January 17th. The Orthodox Christian Network is a commissioned agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops. Our mission is to comfort, inspire, and inform Orthodox Christians and seekers around the world using digital media. OCN is not underwritten financially by any one organization, jurisdiction, or individual. Rather, OCN is supported entirely by parish and personal donations. Please remember OCN in your parish’s charitable giving. The Orthodox Christian Network is a 501(c)(3) corporation.
$20,000 MATCHING CHALLENGE FOR OUR 20TH ANNIVERSARY
Much like public radio, the Orthodox Christian Network relies on the support of our listeners. Anonymous donors have issued a $20,000 matching challenge in honor of OCN’s 20th Anniversary! For every $1 you give, $2 will be donated! You can send your gift by direct mail, over the phone, or on our website.
Be on the lookout for our new mobile app, “Spark”, to be launched in the near future. The app will raise awareness of Christian persecution worldwide and provide you and millions of Orthodox with different ways to act.