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Church Bulletin: August 31, 2014

posted Aug 31, 2014, 7:09 PM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
August 31, 2014- 12th Sunday after Pentecost
This Week's Services and Events

September 2, Tuesday
       + Free Lunch Program Volunteering, 11:30AM-1:30PM

September 3, Wednesday
        +  Akathist, 7:00PM

September 4, Thursday
        + OCF Kick-Off Dinner and Planning Meeting, 6:30PM

September 5, Friday
        + Matins, 8:30AM
        + Father's Office Hours, 9:30AM-11:30AM

September  6, Saturday
        + Sunday School Kick-off Potluck Picnic, 11:00AM-1:00PM
        + 9th Hour/Great Vespers, 6:00PM

September 7, Sunday (The Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos)
        +Matins, 8:45AM
        + Divine Liturgy, 10:00AM, followed by fellowship hour and Sunday School
Upcoming Events and Announcements 

Happy Ecclesiastical New Year!-
       Our liturgical year begins on September 1.  To learn more about this, go to: http://www.antiochian.org/ecclesiastical-new-year

September/October Calendars Now Printed-
       The September/October calendars showing all services and church events are available in the narthex.

Sunday School is Starting Soon!-
       Our Sunday School program for ages 4-18 will begin on Sunday, September 7 following liturgy.  Registration forms have been handed out.  If you have not received one, please contact Alli Rockwell.  We will have a kick-off potluck picnic in the backyard at church on Saturday, September 6 from 11AM-1PM.  Plan to bring some food to share. 

St. Maria’s Bread House-

       St. Maria’s Bread House asks for your prayers as we work on creating a strong foundation for our organization and getting nonprofit status. The Bread House’s purpose is to create community to address food insecurity, malnourishment, and social isolation in the Kalona area as well as to provide an Orthodox witness. The board includes Newman Abuissa, Becky Morey, Bill Spencer, and three residents of Kalona. Amy Spencer is the Bread House’s executive director. Our first project was a free lunch in Kalona this summer that provided more than 600 lunches to 23 families plus 22 individuals, and we are excited about what the Bread House will become by God’s grace.

Former St. Raphael Member on Short-term Mission Trip to Kenya-
       Former St. Raphael member Andy Goodell will be traveling to Kenya in November as part of a short-term mission trip organized by the Orthodox Christian Mission Center.  While there, Andy will be teaching English.  If you are interested in learning more about her trip or if you are interested in supporting her financially, go to: AndyinKenya2014.wordpress.com

OCF Kick-off Dinner and Planning Meeting-
       The Orthodox Christian Fellowship college group will meet at 6:30PM on Thursday, September 4 at Robert and Lori Branch-Peterson's home for dinner and a meeting to plan their schedule for the rest of the year. 

Art and Flower Festival Benefit for Habitat for Humanity-
       Art. Food. Flowers. Family Fun! A day in the country at the 11th Annual Art & Flower Festival, taking place Saturday, September 6, 2014 from 10 am - 4 pm at Dave and Anna Geyer's farm, 20 miles west of Iowa City. This free admission, family-friendly event will include 20+ local artist booths selling everything from pottery to fiber art and metal works. Festival attendees can enjoy a slice of wood-fired oven pizza or a homemade ice cream cone while sitting at a picnic table under the trees watching live music. All are welcome to gather flowers and herbs in Anna's Cutting Garden, creating their own bouquets to take home and admire.  Artist registration fees, food proceeds and free-will donations will help support Iowa Valley Habitat's mission to provide safe, decent and affordable housing for families in our area.  Questions or need help registering as a vendor? Contact Laura Shoemaker at 319-337-8949 or laura@iowavalleyhabitat.org

Special Voters' Meeting, September 21-
       There will be a brief, one agenda item special voters' meeting during coffee hour following liturgy on Sunday, September 21.  At this meeting, we will decide whether or not to use funds that were left over from our sign project to either go toward a cross to be mounted on the façade of our building, or to get the electrical and gas line work done which is necessary to able to use the gas stove/oven that has been sitting idly in our furnace room.

Talk on Human Trafficking-
       Mercy Hospital is sponsoring a talk by Sister Emily Devine titled "Human Trafficking: Making a Difference" on Tuesday, September 23 from 6:30PM-7:30PM.  Location: Mercy Medical Plaza, 540 E. Jefferson St., Lower Level, McAuley Rooms.

Fr. Ignatius Speaking on Icons at Iowa City Public Library-
       Are you looking for an event to invite your non-Orthodox friends to?  Or, do you want to learn more about icons yourself?  On October 6, Fr. Ignatius will be giving a presentation titled "Meeting God Through Icons" at the Iowa City Public Library, Meeting Room A, at 7PM.  Information can also be found at: www.straphaelorthodoxchurch.org/events

Bible Bowl and Oratorical Festival-
       Each year, our diocese offers two different competitions for teens (and one for adults), held at the Parish Life Conference.  The 2015 Parish Life Conference will be held in Grand Rapids, MI in June.  Teens from our parish have participated in and done very well in the Bible Bowl is recent years, winning trophies each time they have competed.  Instead of focusing on one book of the Bible, the 2015 Bible Bowl will focus on the life of our patron, St. Raphael of Brooklyn, as found in the book "Our Father Among the Saints Raphael Bishop of Brooklyn: Good Shepherd of the Lost Sheep in America" published by Antakya Press.  This theme was chosen by Metropolitan Philip before his repose, because 2015 is the 100th anniversary of the repose of St. Raphael.  Fr. Ignatius challenges teens (ages 13-19) to form a team and study and compete.  Adults can form a team as well.  We can win this at the diocesan level and go on to compete on the archdiocesan level!  In addition, if giving speeches is your thing (teens only), consider writing a speech for the Oratorical Festival, the theme of which is also the life of St. Raphael.  Information is posted in the narthex.  Talk to Fr. Ignatius if you would like to learn more.

Thoughts on Stewardship and Giving-      
         From Saint John Chrysostom, Homilies on Ephesians … "Woe to him, it is said, who doeth not alms; and if this was the case under the Old Covenant, much more is it under the New. If, where the getting of wealth was allowed and the enjoyment of it, and the care of it, there was such provision made for the succoring of the poor, how much more in that Dispensation, where we are commanded to surrender all we have? For what did not they of old do? They gave tithes, and tithes again upon tithes for orphans, widows, and strangers, whereas some one was saying to me in astonishment at another, ‘Why, such an one gives tithes.’ What a load of disgrace does this expression imply, since what was not a matter of wonder with the Jews has come to be so in the case of the Christians? If there was danger then in omitting tithes, think how great it must be now."

Next Sunday's Gospel Reading-

       St. John Chrysostom urges Christians to preview the upcoming Sunday Gospel reading so that it may be fresh in your minds when you hear it next

The reading for Sunday, September 7 is:  The Lord said, “No one has ascended into heaven but He who descended from heaven, the Son of man.  And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.  For, God sent His Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”  (John 3:13-17)

Pray for our Catechumens-
       Please keep our catechumens: Ilya Buchkin and Rob Bergenstock in your prayers as they prepare to be sacramentally joined to the Orthodox Church.
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 heard from.  Please pray for their well being and release and also pray for their captors as well.  One priest is also missing, having been kidnapped. 

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

Food for Thought-

When your children are still small, you have to help them understand what is good.  That is the deepest meaning of life.

- Elder Paisios