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 do you read a book? Where do you start? Do you skip a lot of it? Do you read just the last few pages? Do you pick and choose what you want to read out of a book?
As Christians, we know we have a very important book to read. You’ve probably already heard a million times that you should read your Bible! But why is our Holy Bible so important? Because it helps us live our lives. It helps us live our lives the way God wants us to live it!
In the New Testament, we hear about our Lord Jesus Christ, how He healed people and taught people, and then showed people how much God loves them. But we might forget that we have the Old Testament to read too! Today’s epistle reading reminds us, “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that by faith and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.”
So the epistle reminds us that we read the Old Testament (the scriptures in older days) so “we might have hope.” We have hope that God will take care of us and save us. We have hope that we will be with Him forever! You can ask your priest or your parents or your Sunday School teachers to tell you what part of the Old Testament you should start on first!
Saint Nonna: Never Give Up!
Do you know somebody who prays for you? Your parents? Your godparent? Your brothers or sisters? Your friends? Your priest? Somebody prays for you, and I bet you pray for other people too!
Saint Nonna was a woman who prayed very hard for people too. She was a strong Christian. Her husband, Gregory, was very faithful too, but unfortunately he believed some wrong things. Gregory believed that our God was not a Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). St. Nonna wanted her husband to believe the truth. She wanted him to know and love God the right way. She wanted him to be a part of the Christian Church!
So what did she do? St. Nonna prayed so hard for her husband. She prayed that God would show him the light. And after many years, Gregory did learn the truth. He learned that his wife was right, and that God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—one God. Gregory even became a great bishop and a saint! Also, with St. Nonna’s prayers, her three children became saints too. One of them is Saint Gregory the Theologian, one of our superstar saints, who wrote many wonderful things that teach us about our Lord.
Saint Nonna never gave up on her husband, and God heard her prayers. We can follow that great example too!
We celebrate St. Nonna on Tuesday, Aug. 5 (Aug. 18th, OC).
Welcome to “The Children’s Word,” a weekly ministry of the Orthodox Christian Network. Each week, Presvytera Alexandra Houck writes this little newsletter for young parishioners! You will find age-appropriate articles, stories, and activities in every edition. The newsletter is provided in PDF format so that you can easily download and print it, and share it with your parish, church school, homeschool, family, and friends.
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 a 8.5 x 14 page, so it can be printed and folded.
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