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.
Do you go with your parents or your grandparents? Do you sometimes go with a friend or with your Godmother or Godfather?
Today is one of the 12 great feasts of our Church. We celebrate the day that Mary and Joseph brought the 40-day-old baby Jesus into the holy Temple. They brought Him there for the first time because they knew it was a special place to be close to God. This was a custom for Jewish families, and it is a custom in our Orthodox Church too. Have you seen a little baby being brought to the Church for the first time?
It’s a very special thing for parents (or grandparents or Godparents) to bring their children to church—not just that first time, but all the time!
SAINT PHOTIOS A GREAT LIGHT FOR THE CHURCH
Can you think of a “great” saint? We call St. Basil “the Great,” we have St. Katherine the Great Martyr, St. Makarios the Great, St. Euthemios the Great and lots more. What made them great? They did really great things for the Church! This week we celebrate another saint whom
we call “the Great.” Saint Photios the Great was a special saint who lived more than 1,200 years ago. He was a patriarch, the leader of the Church of Constantinople.
What made Saint Photios great? Well, St. Photios did some really great things for the Church. He sent missionaries (Saints Cyril and Methodios) to spread the Christian Church to the Slavic people. Today, there are millions of Orthodox Christians who are Slavic. Saint Photios is the patriarch who first made this happen. St. Photios did so much to keep the Church on the right path. He wrote lots of theological works so that bishops and priests and the faithful people would know what the Church teaches. He knew how important it was to keep the Church together, and teaching the truth. We have lots to thank Saint Photios for. His name, “Photios” means “light,” and he is still a great light for the Church, even today!
We celebrate St. Photios on Thursday, Feb. 6 (Feb. 19,
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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