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.
Rich toward God
Do you think somebody can be poor and rich at the same time? Today, in the Gospel reading, we hear a story that Jesus tells. He wants us to know about the two kinds of rich. In the story, we hear about a man who is rich with things. He has tons of money and food, more than he knows what to do with. He has so much stuff that he wants to build a bigger place, so he can fit it all. But then our Lord says that kind of man stores up “treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” People would call that man rich with things, but he was not “rich toward God.” Did you know we can all be rich…toward God? When we are generous with others, when we are ready to share, we are rich toward God. If you have a service project you spend time on, you are being rich toward God. When we pick out a Christmas present for somebody who doesn’t have much, we are being rich toward God. We can read about lots of saints of our Church. They might not have had much money, but they were rich toward God! Let’s try to be that kind of rich too!
SAINT NICHOLAS OF METSOVO RICH TOWARD GOD
Saint Nicholas Day is coming! Well, yes, in two weeks we celebrate our good friend, Saint Nicholas of Myra. But we have other Nicholas saints too! St. Nicholas of Japan, St. Nicholas Planas, St. Nicholas the tsar of Russia, St. Nikolai Velimirovitch, and so many more! On Saturday, we will celebrate another Saint Nicholas—not one you sing about in Christmas carols and who is dressed in red. But this Saint Nicholas loved God very much, and even gave his life to show his love for our one, true God. This St. Nicholas lived in Metsovo, which is in the northern part of Greece. He came from a poor family, and he worked hard in a bakery so he could take care of his family. One day some richer people got to know Nicholas, and they helped him with many things. They persuaded Nicholas to give up his faith in Christ and to become Muslim. So, St. Nicholas did. Later, Nicholas felt so sorry for denying Christ. He told everybody, “I was born a Christian, I am a Christian, and a Christian I wish to die.” The rulers didn’t want Nicholas to believe in Jesus Christ. Sadly, Nicholas was killed for his strong faith, but now he is a saint in heaven. We can see his great example of being “rich toward God.”
We celebrate St. Nicholas of Metsovo on Saturday, November 28th.
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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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