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Church Bulletin: August 3, 2014

posted Aug 3, 2014, 4:09 PM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
August 3, 2014- 8th Sunday after Pentecost
This Week's Services and Events

August 4, Monday
        + Paraklesis, 7PM

August 5, Tuesday
        + Free Lunch Program volunteering, 11:30AM-1:30PM
        + Vesperal Liturgy for Transfiguration, 6PM

August 6, Wednesday
        + Paraklesis, 7PM

August 8, Friday
        + Matins, 8:30AM
        + Office Hours, 9:30AM-11:30AM
        + Paraklesis, 7PM

August 9, Saturday
        + 9th Hour/Great Vespers, 6PM
August 10, 9th Sunday after Pentecost
        + Matins, 8:45AM
        + Divine Liturgy, 10AM, followed by coffee hour
Upcoming Events and Announcements 

The Dormition Fast is Upon Us-
       The first two weeks of August are a busy time in the Church.  The Dormition Fast is observed from August 1-14, during which we avoid meat, dairy, and eggs.  During the week, Monday-Friday, we also avoid wine and oil, the exception being August 6, the Feast of the Transfiguration, when wine and oil are allowed.  If you need any guidance regarding fasting, please speak with Fr. Ignatius.  The evening church service schedule during this time is as follows:
August 1- Paraklesis, 7PM
August 2- Vespers, 6PM
August 4- Paraklesis, 7PM
August 5- Vesperal Liturgy for Transfiguration 
August 6- Paraklesis, 7PM
August 8- Reader's Paraklesis, 7PM
August 9- Reader's Vespers, 6PM
August 11- Reader's Paraklesis, 7PM
August 13- Reader's Paraklesis, 7PM
August 14- Reader's Vespers for Dormition, 7PM

Father Ignatius will be at Camp St. George assisting camp director Fr. Patrick Kinder from August 10 (after liturgy) through August 16.   

Free Lunch Program Volunteering-
       Help is welcomed as we will assist in serving a meal at the Free Lunch Program this Tuesday, August 5 from 11:30AM-1:30PM.  Please let Fr. Ignatius know if you can join in this month.

Goodbye to Evan and Nora-
       Today was the last Sunday Evan and Nora Prachar were with us.  Nora has enrolled in a graduate program at the University of Illinois- Urbana/Champaign and they are moving there soon.  We wish them all the best.  May God grant them many years!

Sunday School Classroom Project - Help Needed-
       Our Sunday school teachers are looking for a volunteer or two to engineer a better learning environment in the younger children’s classroom. The goal is to make our happy coffee-hour fellowship less distracting to students & teachers, both in terms of sound and sight. Specifically, we need to install 2 curtain “doors” and also similar thick barriers between the ceiling and the top of the dividers. If you have some creative ideas about how to do this, or can help with creating and/or installing such curtains, please see Father or any of the Sunday school teachers. 

Next Farmer's Market Table, August 16-
       Our monthly presence at the Iowa City Farmer's Market will be Saturday, August 16 from 7:30AM-12:00PM.  We are in need of volunteers to bake certain items that will be sold.  We need people to staff the table.  We need people to package the baked goods on Friday evening.  Please sign up on the sheets downstairs near the food line.  Reminder: we do this to raise money for the Meals on Wheels program (this year) and to make ourselves more visible as a church to the greater Iowa City area. 

Guest Editorial in Press-Citizen-
       Fr. Ignatius wrote a guest opinion article for the Iowa City Press-Citizen which addresses the recent persecution that Christians are enduring in Iraq.  It can be found at: http://www.press-citizen.com/story/opinion/contributors/guest-editorials/2014/07/29/christian-new-n-word-parts-middle-east/13301707/

Mid-year Financial Update-
       December 31, 2013: General Fund- $21,911; Building Fund- $21,055
March 31, 2014: General Fund- $21,592; Building Fund- $19,652
June 30, 2014: General Fund- $21,275; Building Fund- $18,138
From the above figures, we can see that our general fund is staying quite constant.  Our building fund, from which we draw funds to help pay the portion of our monthly mortgage which is not covered by members' pledges, is being drawn down at approximately the pace we expected.  At this pace, our building fund will most certainly not outlast the term of our mortgage loan and so we must plan for how to continue to pay off that debt, being good stewards over that which God has given us.  We can pray and act so that God may give us growth in members so that the church's income would grow, and we can also pray and plan for possible future fundraisers to help reduce our mortgage debt, which currently stands at $272,523, with $204,011 equity in the building.

Church Members Looking for Short-term Housing-
       St. Raphael Church members Justin and Rachel Cornett-Olsson and their son Aster need to find a place to live from the end of August until December.  They are interested in house-sitting possibilities, or subletting an apartment.  If you are aware of any possibilities for them, contact Justin at justinfromtx@gmail.com

St. George Cedar Rapids 100th Anniversary Celebrations-
       Our mother church, St. George Orthodox Church in Cedar Rapids is celebrating their centennial, 100 years of existence August 29-31.  We will not have matins or liturgy at St. Raphael Church on Sunday, August 31.  Please go to St. George for liturgy that morning.  Either Metropolitan Joseph or Bishop Anthony will be presiding.  In addition, if you want to attend one or both of the celebratory banquets, and/or the hafli, registration forms can be found at: http://www.stgeorgecedarrapids.org/files/centennial%20forms/RegistrationFormREV_0514.pdf

Nutrition Class with Dr. Julia Buchkina-
       This summer, St. Raphael member Dr. Julia Buchkina has been offering a  class on nutrition.  The remaining date is Saturday- August 30, 3:30PM-5:30PM.  The topic will be: Understanding Your Numbers. 

Teen SOYO Events-
       The teens will meet to see a movie at the Sycamore theatres on August 23. 

You Are Needed for a 2014 OCMC Mission Team!-
       The Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) is seeking 10 volunteers to help fill teams that will serve in Albania, Tanzania and Uganda later this year. The Albania team departing on September 17th will lead spiritual retreats for clergy wives, women lay leaders and women's groups. The Tanzania team departing on October 27th will offer theological training for the clergy of the Metropolis of Mwanza. And, the Uganda team, also departing on October 27th will offer Christian stewardship workshops to clergy and laity in various communities. Are you able to serve on one of these teams? If so, you are urgently needed! Without 10 additional volunteers these teams may not go. Please visit http://www.ocmc.org/about/open_teams.aspx, or contact OCMC’s Teams Department by e-mail at teams@ocmc.org or by phone at 1-877-463-6784 for more information and to apply.

Internet Resources for Lives of the Saints-
       Becoming familiar with the lives of the saints is invaluable for spiritual growth.  In the saints, we see God's goodness and truth manifest.  Saints are theology in the flesh because they imitate Christ who is God in the flesh.  If you are looking for online resources to learn about saints, organized according to the day the church remembers them, check out: http://oca.org/saints/lives or http://www.abbamoses.com or http://www.rocor.org.au/?page_id=925

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.

An Invitation-
       Fr. Fred and Kh. Michelle Shaheen invite you to be with them for
the Baptism of Harry Demetrios Shaheen on Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 5:30 pm at St. George Orthodox Church in Cedar Rapids.  Dinner reception to follow in the Michael G. Nassif Education and Cultural Center.

Thoughts on Stewardship and Giving-      
        "Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle. Now may your Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work." (II Thessalonians 2:15-17)

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
Sunday.  The reading for Sunday, August 10 is:  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 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

Holy Bread-
       For the liturgy on August 10, the holy bread will be provided by the Toft family.  Thank you in advance.

Coffee Hour-
        On Sunday August 10, the food for coffee hour and clean-up of the fellowship hall will be provided by the St. Raphael team.

Church Cleaning-
       During the week of August 3-9, the nave, narthex, bookstore, stairs, nursery and bathrooms will be cleaned by the St. John the Baptist team.

Choir Leadership-
       During the weekend of August 9-10, Lori Branch will lead the choir. 

Food for Thought-

It is essential to recognize ourselves as empty, an empty vessel containing nothing; to add to this the consciousness of our own powerlessness to fill this emptiness by any effort of our own; to crown this with the certitude that the Lord alone can do it, and not only can but wants to and knows how; and then, standing with the mind in the heart, to cry out: "Bring me into good order by the means that Thou knowest, O Lord."

St. Theophan the Recluse

When he was asked one day, in what does a perishing sinner differ from a righteous man who is saving his soul, a saint, St. Seraphim answered: Only in his resolve… Our salvation is in our will, in our firmness, in the steadfastness of our resolve to be godly to the end. The Lord does not give His Spirit by measure, nor does He give His grace by measure; He gives everything, and He gives Himself. But we receive grace and make use of God’s gifts to the measure of our readiness to receive what He gives—and that means what He gives, and not what we want—and bring forth the fruit that He expects from us.