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Church Bulletin: August 14, 2016

posted Aug 13, 2016, 5:56 PM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
August 14, 2016- Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos (Transferred)

 This Week's Services and Events

August 17, Wednesday
        + Akathist, 7:00PM

August 20, Saturday
        + Great Vespers, 5:00PM 

August 21, 9th Sunday after Pentecost
        + Matins, 8:45AM
        + Divine Liturgy, 10:00AM followed by Coffee Hour
       
Upcoming Events and Announcements- 

Pray for Camp St. George Campers and Staff-
        This week, about 90 campers plus staff will be at Camp St. George, north of Cedar Rapids.  Campers from our parish are Anastasia, Luka and Serafim Surguladze, Nina and Nicole Peterson, Josiah Valentine and Geo Deister.  Lori Branch Peterson, Natalie Deister, Lizzy Valentine and Fr. Ignatius will serve on staff during the week.  Please keep us all in your prayers, that we would all have a safe and blessed time together.

Fr. Ignatius At Camp All Week-
        Fr. Ignatius will be serving on staff at Camp St. George all week.  There will be no matins on Friday and no office hours.

Olive Oil Donations Accepted-
        We use olive oil in the lamps that hang before the icons.  We rely on donations and our oil supply is currently low.  We have found that a mid-grade oil (not extra-virgin) burns best.  Please consider donating a bottle or two.  

Intro To Orthodoxy Classes Begins August 20-
        Fr. Ignatius will be offering a seven part Introduction to Orthodoxy class beginning this Saturday, August 20 at 3:00PM, and continuing August 27, September 3, 10, 17, 24 and October 1 .  This class is open to all.  Do you have any friends, neighbors or co-workers who have asked you questions about your Orthodox Christian faith or have shown interest?  Invite them to come.  

Blessing of Students, August 28-
       Since we are at the beginning of the school year once again, all students, from pre-K through post graduate, will be prayed for and anointed with oil following liturgy on August 28.

Sunday School Program Starting Soon-
        Soon, registration letters will be distributed.  When you receive one, please fill it out and return it.  This will help our teachers to know who they will have in their classes.  This year, we will have three classes: pre-K through 3rd grade, 4th through 6th grade, and 7th through 12th grade.  Our kick-off picnic will be on Saturday, September 10 from 11:00AM-1:00PM with classes starting after liturgy on Sunday, September 11.

An Invitation to Help Firmly Establish Our Parish By Working to Discover Who We Are and What our Purpose Is-
        Leaders from both the Archdiocesan Departments of Lay Ministries and Stewardship will be coming to St. Raphael Church on October 7-8 for the first of two weekend sessions to work with parish leaders and all those interested to help us discern what our purpose, vision and goals are as the local expression of the Holy Orthodox Church in Iowa City.  All are welcomed to participate.  The more, the better.  This is for the building up of our church and its firm establishment for the future.  The commitment is for Friday evening and both morning and afternoon on Saturday.  A second similar weekend will be scheduled to continue the work.   

A Note From Hannah-
         Dear Faithful of St. Raphael Church,

Christ is in our midst!

Greetings from the desert. I pray you all had a blessed feast of the Transfiguration. Now you look forward to the falling asleep of our most holy Theotokos, and her reunion in the Kingdom of heaven with her Son. Through her prayers, may this parish ever continue to grow and to serve the community of Iowa City.

I have now been a "pre-novice" for over a month. Yet it feels like I have been here for a single day. The minutes and hours move differently here, unencumbered by the many outward distractions I faced in the world.  Our day begins at 3:00am with the Jesus Prayer, which all the sisters strive to carry on their lips and in their hearts throughout the day.  Matins, Vespers, and Compline are served every day by a wonderful priest named Fr. David. The times between services are filled with obediences. Every sister has jobs to fulfill during the day that have been blessed, which are called obediences. By restricting what they do to what has been blessed for them to do, the sisters gradually sever their own wills, and grow in obedience to the abbess and to God. My morning  obedience is helping a nun named Sister Catherine in the bookstore.  I finish prayer ropes for orders and help package the orders to send them out. (As an interesting side note, Sister Catherine told me that as a young girl she would visit the Amana colonies with her family. Small world.) In the afternoons, I have time to write my book, which is very close to completion. The sisters will help me edit and publish all three books I have been working on in this series. My obedience in the evenings is to clean up the trapeza (dining hall) after dinner. Usually, I am in bed by 7pm. 
Although the high temperatures soared to over 100° F for the first week after week my arrival, a welcomed respite of cooler temps has arrived with the monsoon season.  My favorite time of day is the early morning when the sisters go outside to pray under the stars, which are breathtaking on a clear night. Twice now, I have run into baby rattlesnakes, but that just comes with the territory. Thank God, both encounters were injury free; the sisters are seasoned and ruthless snake killers. I am a fan of the friendlier creatures: bright red and green hummingbirds that come out in the mornings and evenings, lizards that require a quick eye to catch a glimpse, and jackrabbits that jump high into the air. So far, the only outdoor work I have done has been grape harvesting; the sisters have had vineyard from which to make communion wine for four years now.
I simply love life here.  There is undeniably a constant but manageable tiredness that comes with the rigorous schedule. But everyday I feel the strengthened by the loving prayers of my family and friends. And if living here wasn't enough in of itself, God has blessed me with the opportunity to travel with one of the sisters to Moscow for twelve days next month. The occasion is a conference celebrating 1000 years of Russian monastic presence on Mount Athos. Multiple abbots and abbesses will give talks and lectures on the guidance of monasteries. The skull of St. Silouan--to whom the conference is dedicated--will be present to view and possibly venerate. My abbess believes such exposure to spiritual people will help me make my own decision about monasticism. We have sent our applications for visas, and are awaiting an invitation from Russia. May it be done as God wills.
I miss you all, especially the Sunday school children. Please continue to keep me in your prayers, and know that i pray for you all. I hope to see many of you in the future if you chose to visit this holy monastery.

In Christ,

Hannah      

Food for All - Kalona
       Summer Lunch continues on strongly, and guests are talking about how much they enjoy it. Please come down sometime, have lunch or volunteer, and see what's happening--and what Orthodox-style, community-style charity can look like. (Kalona Methodist Church, 4th St. and C Ave., MWF, noon to 1+) Also, volunteering and helping provide food are easy. Go online to our signup at goo.gl/7oeaHB to see what you can do.

Next Sunday's Gospel Reading-
        At that time, Jesus made the Disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowds. And after He had dismissed the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone, but the Disciples’ boat by this time was many furlongs distant from the land, beaten by the waves; for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. But when the Disciples saw Jesus walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. But immediately He spoke to them, saying, “Take heart, it is I; have no fear.” And Peter answered Him, “Lord, if it is Thee, bid me come to Thee on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus; but when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Jesus immediately reached out His hand and caught him, saying to him, “O man of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “Truly, Thou art the Son of God.” And when they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret.  (Matthew 14:22-34)

Pray for our Catechumen-
       Please keep our catechumen Ilya Buchkin in your prayers as he prepares to be sacramentally joined to the Orthodox Church.

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. 
       
Remember Your Departed Loved Ones With Flowers-
        Would you like to memorialize your departed loved ones with a bouquet of flowers to be placed in the church on the weekend of your choice?  Look for the new Memorial sign-up sheet.  Decide what weekend you would like your loved one(s) remembered, give $25 to the church, clearly marking it for "Memorial Flowers" and your loved one(s) will be mentioned during the Great Entrance prayers and in the weekly bulletin.  If your departed loved ones are Orthodox, and you would like Trisagion Prayers for the Departed to be offered at the end of Liturgy, you can indicate that on the sign-up sheet as well.

Keep Praying for Kidnapped Orthodox Bishops in Syria-
       Since April 22, 2013, the Orthodox Metropolitan of Aleppo, Metropolitan Paul, and the Syriac Metropolitan of Aleppo, Youhanna, have been in captivity and have not been heard from.  Please pray for their well being and release and also pray for their captors as well.  

Food for Thought-

Ready is my heart, O God, ready is my heart; I will sing and chant in my glory. What shall I render to the Lord for all that He hath given me? I will receive the cup of salvation, and call upon the Name of the Lord.  

From the third antiphon of the liturgy for the Dormition
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