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.
How to get ready for Christmas
Have you noticed any signs of Christmas? Some stores have had decorations out for weeks. Maybe your neighbors even have Christmas lights or a tree! Did you know that Christmas is 40 days from today? Are you getting ready, too? Every year our Orthodox Church gives us a great way to get ready for Christmas, for the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Today is the first day of the Christmas, or Advent Fast. We don’t eat fancy foods, we read our Bibles more, we might go to church more. But especially, we find ways to help other people more. Today, in the Gospel reading we can hear the best story about helping other people. You know the story of the Good Samaritan, don’t you? Remember the man who was robbed and left on the side of the road? A stranger helped him, fixed up his wounds, took him somewhere safe where he could get better. A stranger helped this man. When we think about getting ready for Christmas, let’s try to think about the Good Samaritan. When we follow his example, we are really getting ready for Christmas, just the way God wants us to.
This season, let’s try to be like the Good Samaritan, and help others!
The Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple
When you look around your church, do you see other kids too? Jesus invites all the kids to be close to Him. And church is a special place where we can worship all together—young people and old people, and everyone in between. On Saturday, we celebrate a very special feastday of our Church. It’s the day we remember when the Holy Theotokos, the Mother of God, went into the Temple. She went there so she could be close to God. She went there so she could spend time praying, and focusing on God. That’s why you come to church, too, right? Did you know we have a special prayer we can say every time we enter this holy church? Here it is—maybe you can try to remember it! I will come into Your house in the greatness of Your mercy: and in fear I will worship toward Your holy temple. Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness because of my enemies; make Your way straight before me, that with a clear mind I may glorify You forever, One Divine Power worshiped in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
We celebrate the great feastday of the Entrance of the Theotokos on Saturday, November 21st.
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The Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) is an official agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops. OCN offers videos, podcasts, blogs and music, to enhance Orthodox Christian life. The Children’s Word is a weekly Sunday bulletin created by Presvytera Alexandra (Gilman) Houck for Orthodox Christian young people. 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 an 8.5 x 14 page, and it can be downloaded and printed.
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