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.
Has anybody ever asked you what you want to be when you grow up? Some kids know right away what they want to be, and some grownups don’t even know how to answer that question!
Yesterday, we celebrated the great feastday of the Cross. We remembered again what our Lord, Jesus Christ, did for us. We remember how He died for us on the Cross. And today, in the Gospel reading, we hear how we Christians have to show that we follow Christ! But how do we do that? Well, we show we are Christians in everything we do!
Sometimes things might be hard for us, but we always have to choose to follow our Lord. The Gospel tells us, “For what will it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?” In other words, we can get everything in the world—lots of money, lots of friends, lots of fame, and even lots of fun. We can grow up to have the best job in the world. But the Gospel tells us that those things aren’t the things that matter the most!
We want to grow up to follow Christ in everything we do! So, when somebody asks you what you want to be when you grow up, you can tell him. But what we really want to be is a good follower of Christ!
POKING FUN: SAINT PORPHYRIOS THE MIME
Have you ever made fun of something or somebody…that maybe you shouldn’t have? It might have felt good at the time, but then afterwards, you probably felt really awful!
Today we celebrate a saint who did just that. Saint Porphyrios lived many, many years ago. That was, of course, a time with no TVs, no internet, and no movies! St. Porphyrios worked in the court of the Emperor Julian, and Porphyrios’s job was to entertain him.
On his birthday, Emperor Julian (who wasn’t a Christian) wanted to be entertained. He wanted Porphyrios to poke fun at Christians, and do a little skit about Christian baptisms. So, Porphyrios got into a big water font, and he said, “Porphyrios is baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” (Those are just the words the priest said for you when you were baptized as a Christian.) Then, Porphyrios came out of the font and put on white clothes, and he declared that he was now a Christian. Everybody thought he was still joking around, but Porphyrios wasn’t! He had really changed. He knew that God had given him the grace of Holy Baptism.
Then, of course, the emperor was furious. He sentenced him to be hurt and even killed. But Saint Porphyrios knew that he would be with his Lord forever, and that was something he wouldn’t give up!
We celebrate St. Porphyrios today, September 15th (Sept. 28, 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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