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.
You’ve probably watched a sports game before, haven’t you? How about a play or a ballet or a concert? It’s fun watching those things, but have you ever been the one performing or playing? It’s one thing to watch, but it’s another to join in!
Today, in the Gospel reading, we hear about how Jesus called His disciples, His followers. “Follow me,” Jesus said. Those men did follow Jesus. They followed our Lord for the rest of their lives. Many of them even died just be- cause they were Jesus’s followers, because they were Christians!
Our Lord, Jesus Christ, wants us to be His followers too. But you know that following Christ isn’t just watching, like you would at a concert or a game. Following Christ means doing things too. It’s kind of easy to read the Bible and sit in Sunday School or in church. But doing what the Bible says takes more work!
Today is the first Sunday in Lent. Can you think of a way you can be a real follower of Christ? Can you think of a way you can do something as a Christian?
PREACHING THE GOOD NEWS Saint Justin Popovich
Do you know what great feastday we celebrate this Friday, March 25? Well, the big one is the Annunciation, when the Angel Gabriel told Mary that she would be the mother of Jesus and the Mother of God!
But we also celebrate a saint who was born and who died on this great feastday! Saint Justin Popovich was a Serbian saint who was named Blagoje as a baby (Blagovest means Annunciation or “Good News”). Later on, when he became a monk, his name became Justin.
Saint Justin was a great teacher and writer. He spent most of his life preaching about the real Good News – that Jesus Christ came to save us. Sadly, Saint Justin lived when evil rulers (who were called Communists) didn’t want people to hear about the Good News of our Lord. Saint Justin was a brilliant teacher, but the rulers would not let him teach in the Serbian schools or universities. That’s because he was an Orthodox Christian.
Now, those Communist rulers are long gone in Serbia. The people of Serbia (and everywhere!) can read the Good News once again!
We celebrate St. Justin’s nameday on Friday, March 25th.
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Photo source: Portland Gallery, Some people following Jesus by Gary Bunt
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