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.
Do you have a piggy bank? Or maybe just a purse or a wallet? You don’t keep your money in the dirt, do you?
In today’s Gospel reading, we hear a story about how one man did just that—he buried his money in the ground! A rich man lent money to three of his servants, and he went on a trip. Two of the servants took the money and used it to get even more money. But the third one buried his money in the ground. When the master came back, he asked those servants for the money again. He said, “Well done!” to the first two. But he was angry with that third servant, who had done a silly thing. He had wasted a chance to use that money to do good.
Our Lord gives each of us so many things and so many gifts. He wants us to use our gifts in a good way. The Bible tells us that one day, He will come back, just as the master in the story came back. He will ask us what we did with our gifts—with our money, with our good education, with our good health, with our beautiful voice, or anything else. Let’s use our gifts for something good. We don’t want to bury them in the ground!
A SAINT FOR EVERYTHING! Saint Apollonia of Alexandria
What would you do if you needed help with your math homework? Well, you’d probably ask somebody who knew a lot about math. But what would you do if you needed help making a cake? You’d probably ask somebody who was good at making cakes, wouldn’t you?
Sometimes we need help with things that are more serious too—like if somebody you love is sick, or if you are going on a trip, or if want somebody to find a job. Did you know the saints listen to our prayers, and they want to help us with our problems? They understand our needs, because they lived here too! Now, they are close to God and they ask Him to help us.
On Tuesday, we celebrate the nameday of Saint Apollonia. She was a strong Christian lady, even when the emperor attacked Christians, and even when he said Christians had to worship his idols! Apollonia never gave up her love for God. The evil rulers took her and hurt her, and even knocked out all her teeth! St. Apollonia was killed for her faith, but now she listens to our prayers from heaven. And do you know what she is the special saint to help with? Toothaches! This saint really understood that problem.
We celebrate the nameday of St. Apollonia on Tuesday, February 9th.
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