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Church Bulletin: April 7, 2013

posted Apr 9, 2013, 10:06 AM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
April 7, 2013- Sunday of Adoration of the Cross (3rd Sunday of Lent)
This Week's Services and Events
Apr 9, Tuesday
        + Parish Council meeting, 7PM
Apr 10, Wednesday
        + Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts, 6PM, followed by Lenten Soup Supper
Apr 11, Thursday
        + OCF compline and discussion, 7PM
Apr 12, Friday
        + Matins, 8:30AM
        + Little Compline with Akathist Hymn, 7PM
Apr 13, Saturday
        + Prayers for Sanctity of Life, 10AM (227 N. Dubuque St.)
        + Catechumen Class, 4PM
        + 9th Hour and Great Vespers, 6PM
Apr 14, Sunday, Sunday of St. John Climacus
        + Matins, 8:45AM
        + Divine Liturgy, 10AM, followed by coffee hour and Sunday School
        + Pan-Orthodox Vespers and Supper, 5:30PM at St. George Orthodox Church (3650 Cottage Grove Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids)
Upcoming Events and Announcements
No Office Hours April 8-
        Fr. Ignatius will be out of town on Monday, April 8. There will be no 3rd Hour Prayers or office hours that day.
Catechumen Classes-
        Fr. Ignatius is leading a series of catechumen classes at 4PM on Saturdays. All are welcome to attend whether or not you are a catechumen.
Prayer for Sanctity of Life-
        On Saturday, April 6, 13 and 20 at 10AM, Fr. Ignatius will be praying the "Akathist of Repentance for One Who Has Aborted a Child" in front of a local abortion clinic. All are welcome to join him at 227 N. Dubuque St.
Next Parish Council Meeting is April 9-
        The Parish Council will hold its monthly meeting on Tuesday, April 9 at 7PM. All are welcome to attend.
Choir Rehearsal for Paschal Music, April 20-
        If you sing in the choir or want to during Pascha, there is an opportunity to brush up on this beautiful music on Saturday, April 20 from 9AM-11:30AM.
Church Clean-up Day, April 27-
        Please mark your calendars and plan to come to church during the afternoon (1PM-5PM) of Saturday, April 27 (Lazarus Saturday) to help do some Spring cleaning so that our building and grounds are in order and ready for Holy Week and Pascha. We will sweep, polish, dust, vacuum and do whatever else is necessary to make our church as beautiful as possible for the remembrance of our Lord's Passion, Death and Resurrection.
Lenten Retreat at St. George Church (Cedar Rapids) for Middle and High School Students-
        Marek Simon, assistant director of the Antiochian Village Camp programs, will be the retreat master. The retreat begins with dinner on Friday, April 26 and continues through the day on Saturday, April 27. Contact St. George Church (319-363-1559) for exact times and more information.
Antiochian Bishop from Syria Interviewed about the Plight of Syrian Christians-
        Bishop Luke, of Saydnaya gave an interview in which he paints a dire picture for the Christians living in Syria. Please continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in harm's way. To read the interview, go to: http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/60498.htm
Video Documentary on St. Innocent Church, Macon, GA-
        To watch a wonderful 15 minute video documentary on St. Innocent Orthodox Church in Macon, GA, go to: http://vimeo.com/62956502 By God's grace, His people will raise up hundreds and even thousands of spiritual oases like this in America, for the salvation of souls. May we at St. Raphael be one such oasis.
Families and Healthcare Volunteers Needed for 2013 OCMC Mission Teams-
        Orthodox families and those interested in providing healthcare are needed for upcoming Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) mission teams. Families who would like to participate in parent workshops, children’s programs, family activities, and ministry outreach are encouraged to apply for the Albania family mission team that will serve from July 19 to August 1, 2013. Nurses, pharmacists, medical students, or those interested in providing much-needed health services as a witness to their Orthodox faith are asked to apply for the Uganda healthcare team serving from May 29 to June 12, 2013. For more information, or to apply for a team, visit http://www.ocmc.org, call Teams Director Andrew Lekos at 1-877-GO-FORTH, or e-mail the OCMC’s Teams Department at teams@ocmc.org.
Charitable projects-
        The cookbook is almost done! If you're interested in donating toward the cost of the first order of cookbooks, please let Father know. We are also planning to participate in the Iowa City Farmer's Market, hopefully once a month from May to October. If you're interested in cooking, in packaging food, or in volunteering at the market, contact Amy Spencer, Tania Van Dinter, Karen Kuntz, Alli Rockwell, or Father. Lotion bars will be available soon in the church bookstore too.
Upcoming Bible Study: Highlights from the Resurrection Gospel Readings-
        On four consecutive Wednesday evenings beginning in May (after Pascha), and following 7PM Akathist, you are invited to join Fr. Ignatius to explore highlights from the 11 Resurrection Gospels that we hear at Sunday matins. The many post-Resurrection appearances of Jesus to his disciples are full of wonderful teaching, but we only hear a small portion of them read at Liturgy. There are 11 readings that we cycle through during Sunday morning matins. Fr. Ignatius will choose highlights from these readings to discuss.  Exact schedule will be announced soon. 
Parish Life Conference is June 19-23-
        PLC registration is now OPEN! To register online, please visit www.antiochianevents.org/95. Look for additional information and The Galt House Hotel reservation link on our church website www.stmichaelorthodoxchurch.org/plc. If you would prefer to speak with someone, please call the church office at (502) 454-3378 Option 8, or you may send an email to stmichaelplc@gmail.com. If you would like a packet of forms mailed to you, please call the church office at the number listed above. We also have a Facebook page titled St. Michael the Archangel Orthodox Church – 2013 Parish Life Conference and we encourage you to “like” it.
        During Lent, the Church asks us to abstain from meat (with the exception of fish on March 25 for the Annunciation and April 28 for Palm Sunday) until Great and Holy Pascha, May 5. Shellfish are OK. The full Lenten fast also includes abstention from dairy, eggs, oil and wine (oil and wine are permitted on the weekends). Fast as you are able with these standards being the goal. Exceptions can be made for those who are very young, very old, ill, pregnant, nursing, or infirm. If you have any questions about fasting, please ask Fr. Ignatius. May our fasting from certain foods help us to find some humility as we struggle to fast from sin.
The Lenten Prayer of St. Ephraim-
        O Lord and Master of my life,
Take from me the spirit of sloth, meddling, lust of power and idle talk.
But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience and love to thy servant.
Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own sins and not to judge my brother,
For Thou art blessed unto ages of ages. Amen.
Almsgiving (Food For Hungry People Program)-
        Along with fasting, prayer and repentance, almsgiving is one of the pillars of the Lenten time. Look for ways to be generous with others and let your giving be as anonymous as possible. One easy way to give something to those in need is to participate in the Archdiocesan Food For Hungry People Program which collects money for all of the Antiochian parishes and gives it to various programs that serve the hungry. Look for collection boxes at church in the narthex.
Repentance and Confession-
        Lent is the perfect time to make a confession. If it has been awhile since your last one, don't let another Lent go by without making one. This is medicine for our souls. Take advantage of what God has to offer through His Church- the forgiveness of your sins. If you have never made a confession, or if you have any questions about how to prepare for one or what takes place during a confession, feel free to speak with Fr. Ignatius. He is available after Saturday vespers, at the end of Sunday matins (right before the beginning of Liturgy) or other times by appointment if you would like to schedule a time to receive this sacrament.
Lenten Pan-Orthodox Sunday Vespers-
        As has been the tradition for several years, we are invited to attend vespers at various Orthodox churches in Eastern Iowa on Sunday evenings during Lent and in turn, we will be hosting clergy and the faithful from these churches at St. Raphael. Each vespers service begins at 5:30PM and is followed by a fellowship meal provided by the hosting church. The remaining schedule is as follows:
April 14- St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, Cedar Rapids (3650 Cottage Grove Ave. SE)
April 21- St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, Waterloo (613 W. Fourth St.)
Lenten Wednesday Evenings-
        On Wednesday evenings during Lent, we gather for the Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts at 6PM. Following the service, we will share a simple lenten soup supper. There is a sign-up sheet posted in the narthex so that people can sign-up to provide the meal each week.
Would You Like to Learn More About Lent?-
        Our Archdiocese has created an informative section on their website to help us better understand the season of Lent. Check out: http://www.antiochian.org/lent
Holy Week Schedule-
        If you haven't looked ahead to Holy Week and made arrangements in your schedule to attend some of the extra services for that week, it is not too early to start doing so. This is the most sacred time of the year for us Orthodox Christians. Some people in the parish even take days of from work in order to be present at the services. Do yourself a favor. Try to get to as many as you can. We have 22 services in 10 days. Make attending some of them a priority! Your faith will grow! Here is the schedule:
Friday, April 26- Little Compline with Canon of St. Lazarus, 7PM
Saturday, April 27 (Lazarus Saturday)- Matins, 8:30AM; Divine Liturgy, 10AM followed by Spring Clean-up Work Party (1PM-5PM); Vespers, 6PM
Sunday, April 28 (Palm Sunday)- Matins, 8:30AM; Divine Liturgy, 10AM; Bridegroom Matins, 7PM
Monday, April 29 (Holy Monday)- Bridegroom Matins, 7PM
Tuesday, April 30 (Holy Tuesday)- Bridegroom Matins, 7PM
Wednesday, May 1 (Holy Wednesday)- Pre-Sanctified Liturgy, 9AM; Holy Unction Service, 7PM
Thursday, May 2 (Holy Thursday)- Vesperal Divine Liturgy, 9AM; Footwashing Service, 6PM; Service of the Twelve Passion Gospels, 7PM
Friday, May 3 (Holy Friday)- Royal Hours, 9AM; Great Vespers (Taking Down the Lord from the Cross), 3PM; Lamentations Service, 7PM, followed by reading of Psalms through the night
Saturday, May 4 (Holy Saturday)- Vesperal Divine Liturgy, 9AM; Rush Service, 11:40PM
Sunday, May 5 (Great and Holy Pascha)- Paschal Matins and Liturgy, 12AM, followed by Paschal feast; Agape Vespers, 1PM, followed by Paschal picnic at Mercer/Scanlon
New Holy Week Service-
        New to our Holy Week schedule this year, is the Rite of Footwashing which will be held at 6PM on Holy Thursday, May 2. In imitation of the Lord's washing the feet of His disciples (John 13:1-17) and in obedience to His statement that in the footwashing, He has given His disciples an example of service to follow, Fr. Ignatius will wash the feet of all those present. Plan to come to this service and stay for the 12 Passion Gospels service at 7PM that evening.
Paschal Feast and Picnic Sign-ups-
        We must celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and so to do so properly, we will truly feast. On Sunday May 5, Holy Pascha, there are two opportunities to share a festive meal with others. First, we will gather at church following the Paschal Liturgy, at about 3AM or so, and break the Lenten fast. Later in the day, after some sleep (?!) and after Agape vespers at 1PM, we will go to the Scanlon Gym/Mercer Park and Pool at 2701 Bradford Dr., Iowa City, for an outside picnic, if the weather cooperates, or an inside meal if it does not. Please check the bulletin borads for related food sign-up sheets.
Other Holy Week/Pascha Sign-up Sheets-
         With all of the activity in church during Holy Week and Pascha, there are plenty of opportunities to help out around church. Please check the bulletin boards for sign-up sheets that cover the decorating of the funeral bier on Holy Friday, the reading of Psalms through the night after the Holy Friday Lamentations service, bringing dyed red eggs to Pascha, bringing and the reading of the Agape Vespers Gospel in various languages.
Do You Have a Prayer Request?
         Please give it to Fr. Ignatius and he will distribute it by email to all those on the Prayer Chain. If you wish to join the Prayer Chain, please let Fr. Ignatius know.
Coffee Hour-
        On Sunday April 14, the food for coffee hour and the clean-up of the fellowship hall will be provided by the St. Raphael team.
Church Cleaning-
        During the week of April 7-13, the cleaning of the nave, narthex, bookstore, stairs, nursery and bathrooms will be accomplished by the St. Nina team.
Food for Thought-
"There is more mercy in God than there are sins in us. Confess your sins at once, whatever they may be."
-- St. Tikhon of Zadonsk