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Church Bulletin: August 4, 2013

posted Aug 4, 2013, 7:19 PM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
August 4, 2013- Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
This Week's Services and Events

August 5, Monday
       + 3rd Hour Prayers, 9AM
       + Office Hours, 9:30AM-11:30AM
       + Vesperal Liturgy for the Transfiguration, 6PM

August 6, Tuesday
       + Free Lunch Program Volunteering at Wesley Center, 11:30AM-1:30PM
       + Paraklesis, 7PM

August 7, Wednesday
        + Paraklesis, 7PM

Aug 8, Thursday
        + Paraklesis, 7PM

Aug 9, Friday
        + Paraklesis, 7PM

Aug 10, Saturday
        + Table at Iowa City Farmer's Market, 7:30AM-12PM
        + 9th Hour/Great Vespers, 6PM

Aug 11, Sunday Before the Dormition
        + Matins, 8:45AM
        + Liturgy, 10AM, followed by Fellowship Hour
        + Paraklesis, 7PM
Upcoming Events and Announcements

We Are in the Dormition Fast-
       Please pay attention to the church calendar during the first two weeks of August.  There are many opportunities to come to the church and to pray throughout the week.  Beginning August 1, we will have nightly Paraklesis services at 7PM, except for Saturdays when we have vespers (at 6PM), August 5 when we have Vesperal Liturgy for the Transfiguration (6PM) and August 14, when we have Vesperal Liturgy for the Dormition (6PM.)  During this time we will be fasting in anticipation of the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos.  Check the printed church calendar for specifics on the fasting guidelines during these days, or speak with Fr. Ignatius if you have any questions.

Vesperal Liturgies for Transfiguration and Dormition-
       On Monday, August 5 at 6PM, we will gather for a Vesperal Liturgy to celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord.  At this service, there is a custom of blessing grapes.  Bring your grapes, and they will be blessed!  On Wednesday, August 14 at 6PM, we will celebrate the Feast of the Dormition of the Holy Theotokos.  Please join us for these important feast days.

Free Lunch Program Volunteering-
       Our monthly opportunity to volunteer at the Free Lunch Program held at the Wesley Center (120 N. Dubuque St.) is on Tuesday, August 6.  If you can help out between 11:30AM-1:30PM (or any part of that time) please let Fr. Ignatius know.

Update on Sign Fundraising Project-
       Our treasurer, Kristi Abuissa, reports that to date, we have received donations totaling $2475 toward our goal of $5300 for a new sign on the front of our building.  

Teen SOYO Movie Night-
       Our teens will gather for dinner and a movie at 6:30PM on Monday, August 19.

Photo-essay on Georgian Stylite Monk-
      To see some wonderful pictures of a monk and his cell perched high atop a narrow column of rock, in the style of the ancient pillar dwellers or stylites, go to:  http://cnnphotos.blogs.cnn.com/2013/08/02/monk-takes-devotion-to-new-heights/?hpt=hp_bn14

Is the Story of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus Really Based on an Actual Event?-
       Today, we commemorated the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus, seven young men who were walled up in a cave in the third century by a persecuting emperor, and who were miraculously preserved by God through a sleep that lasted nearly 200 years.  In the fifth century, some shepherds opened up the cave to use it for their sheep, and these seven men awoke, as if from a brief sleep, astonished that they had been in the cave for so long.  This fantastic tale is accepted as true by the Orthodox Church.  It even appears in the Muslim holy book of the Quran.  To read a fascinating article on the historicity of the Seven Sleepers, go to: http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2009/10/historicity-of-seven-sleepers-of.html

Orthodox Women in the Healing Ministries Annual Retreat-
       The group Orthodox Women in the Healing Ministries will hold their annual retreat at Holy Dormition Monastery in Rives Junction, MI on October 4-6.  Dr. Gayle Woloschack will be leading several talks on Science and Faith: the Beginning of Life.  For more information, go to: http://owhm.org/schedule1.html

Raphael Books and Gifts-
       Our church bookstore, Raphael Books and Gifts, has recently received a new shipment of children's books.  If you haven't looked at our bookstore in awhile, take some time to do so.  In addition to the children's books, there are dozens of other titles that may interest you and strengthen and enrich your faith.

Charitable Projects
       OUR COOKBOOK IS IN STORES!  Our cookbook is now available at Kalona General Store and will also be at Prairie Lights very soon. If you know of other places that might sell them, such as local bookstores and specialty shops, please let Amy Spencer know. Also, we need help getting contact information for other Orthodox churches that have bookstores.

Meanwhile, farmer's market sales of our cookbooks, lotion bars, and baked goods are going well. Please sign up if you'd like to help cook or package food. Our next IC market is on August 10.

An Orthodox Church's Community Garden-
       To read about a community garden project that an Orthodox church in Michigan is spearheading, go to: http://record-eagle.com/features/x1996079147/How-Do-Their-Gardens-Grow/?state=taberU

New Podcast on Ancient Faith Radio, " A Christian Ending"-
       Deacon Mark Barna, who serve in South Carolina in the OCA, has started a podcast series on Ancient Faith Radio titled, "A Christian Ending."  This series covers some of the same material, in expanded form, that was covered in the book by the same title that he co-authored with his wife Elizabeth.  In this series and book, Deacon Mark gives excellent teaching regarding the Orthodox understanding of death and also what the traditional Orthodox funeral and burial practices are.  In the first podcast in this series, the subject is cremation and why Orthodox Christians do not cremate.  To listen to this podcast series, go to: http://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/christianending

Would You Like to Help With Sunday School This Year?-
       Sunday School will start up again in early September.  Since we are blessed with many children in our parish, the Sunday School teachers rely on others to help out.  These helpers act as assistants to the teachers and occasionally may be asked to step in and teach a lesson if a teacher is absent.  If you are interested in working with our Sunday School program this year, please talk with Lori Branch.

Information on Orthodox Monastery in Guatemala-
       To read the latest news on, see new photos of, watch video updates on or to make a donation to the Hogar Rafael Ayau Orthodox Monastery in Guatemala, go to: www.friendsofthehogar.org.

Sign Project Fundraising-
       We are in the midst of raising $5300 in order to put the words "Saint Raphael Orthodox Church" on the brick facade of our building.  If you would like to make a donation toward this project, please mark your gift "Sign Project."

An Opportunity to Serve, Be a Greeter-
       Based on responses from the parish survey from a few months ago, the Parish Council has recognized a need to have greeters on duty at church on Sunday mornings.  The greeter's main responsibility will be to make newcomers feel welcome by warmly greeting them, asking them to sign our guestbook and/or newcomer information card, making sure they know bathrooms and coatroom are downstairs and ushering them into the nave of the church.   If you are interested in signing up to be a greeter for a Sunday, there is a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board just outside of the bookstore.  On the sheet, is a complete job description for this important position.  If you want our church to be more welcoming to visitors, consider volunteering as a greeter.
Keep Praying for Kidnapped Orthodox Bishops in Syria-
       Since April 22, the Orthodox Metropolitan of Aleppo, Metropolitan Paul, and the Syriac Metropolitan of Aleppo, Youhanna, have been in captivity and not heard from.  Please pray for their well being and release and also pray for their captors as well. 
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 August 11, 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 August 4-11, the cleaning of the nave, narthex, bookstore, stairs, nursery and bathrooms will be accomplished by the St. Nina team. 

Food for Thought-

       On my bed I meditated on Thee, Lover of men; and at midnight I arose to glorify Thy goodness.  I recalled my debts and my sins and shed streams of tears.  They reassured me- the thief, the publican, Mary the harlot, the Canaanite woman, and even the woman with an issue of blood and the Samaritan woman by the well.  They said to me: Get up, beg for mercy- your Lord is plenteous in mercy.

David, the son of Jesse, called out to me in his psalms; he awoke me from the sleep that burdened my limbs and said to me: Get up, O man.  Why do you sleep?  The Judge accepts offerings at midnight.  Get up, pray, and ask for forgiveness.  The kind-hearted Lord will rejoice in you.  His door is open to the penitent day and night.  

At night, as I rested on my bed, I recalled my debts and sins.  Then terror embraced me and I cried out: alas, the terrible night and the darkness void of all light are approaching.  Whosoever leads an illicit life shall not rejoice on the day of resurrection, but will ever remain in darkness.  

David too lay awake on his bed at night, contemplated his iniquities and confessed his sins.  At night he watered his bed with the tears of his eyes, and with sighs he prayed: I know, O Lord, mine iniquity, and my sin is before me continually.   Against Thee only, O Lord, have I sinned- have mercy on me.  

I call upon Thee, Father, Son and Holy Spirit; Thee do I beseech day and night- spare us.  According to the multitude of Thy compassions, cleanse our sins and iniquities.  Grant us, O Lord, health of soul and body; deliver us from the evil one and from his power and from his way and from all his snares, and refuse us not Thy compassion, neither by day nor by night.

St. Ephraim the Syrian, A Spiritual Psalter, Psalm 90