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Church Bulletin: December 10, 2017

posted Dec 11, 2017, 6:52 AM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
Sunday December 10, 2017- Twenty-seventh Sunday after Pentecost

This Week's Services and Events

December 12, Tuesday
        + Free Lunch Program Volunteering, 11:30AM-1:00PM
        + Office Hours, 1:15PM-3:45PM
        + 9th Hour Prayers, 3:00PM

December 13, Wednesday
        + Office Hours, 11:30AM-3:00PM
        + 9th Hour Prayers, 3:00PM
        + Nativity Paraklesis, 7:00PM

December 14, Thursday
        + Office Hours, 12:00PM-4:00PM
        + 9th Hour Prayers, 3:00PM

December 15, Friday
        + Office Hours, 11:30AM-3:00PM
        + 9th Hour Prayers, 3:00PM

December 16, Saturday
        + Great Vespers followed by Lives of the Apostles, 5:00PM

December 17, Sunday of the Forefathers of Christ
        + Matins, 8:45AM
        + Divine Liturgy, 10:00AM followed by Sunday School and Fellowship Hour

Upcoming Events and Announcements-  

Today is Choir Appreciation Sunday-
        Throughout our archdiocese, churches are recognizing and thanking their choirs and chanters and we want to do the same.  We are blessed with a committed and capable choir which helps us to worship God in song.  Thank you to all choir members for giving of your selves to us in this way, and special thanks to choir leaders Lori Branch, Matthew Arndt and Kristi Abuissa.

A Statement By Metropolitan Joseph on Jerusalem-

        Congratulations to Fr. Elias and Kh. Irene on the arrival of their fourth grandchild!  Daughter Juliana and son-in-law Frank recently welcomed the birth of their third son, Luke.  May God grant him many years!

St. Ignatius of Antioch Feast Day-
        We will commemorate St. Ignatius of Antioch with Vesperal Liturgy at 6:00PM on December 19.  Please join us!

Can You Help St. Raphael Church Financially in 2018?-
        If you haven't yet returned a pledge form to our treasurer Becky, it's not too late to do it.  No amount is too small!  We appreciate everyone who is able to give. 

        There is still time to make your confession before the Nativity of our Lord.  Contact Fr. Ignatius if you would like to do so.  

2018 Annual Calendars Available-
        The yearly calendar which shows daily saints commemorated, daily Scripture readings, festal celebrations and fasting days and seasons, is available in the narthex at church.  Take one or more home with you.  

Give the Gift of Olive Oil to the Church for Christmas-
        We use a lot of olive oil in the lamps that burn before our icons at church.  Regular grade (not extra virgin) olive oil is best.  Please consider picking up a bottle or two to give to church during this season.

Bring in a Poinsettia or Two to Decorate the Church-
        On Sunday December 17, the church is accepting poinsettia plants to decorate the church with during the Christmas season.  

Looking Ahead to the Nativity of Christ-
        In addition to the regular services that we have each weekend on Saturday evening and Sunday morning, the following lists the special services for the Lord's Nativity this year.  
Royal Hours- Friday December 22, 9:00AM
Great Vespers of Nativity, Sunday December 24, 6:00PM
Festal Matins of Nativity, Monday December 25, 8:30AM
Divine Liturgy of Nativity, Monday Deccember 25, 10:00AM

What Are You Doing On New Year's Eve?-
        St. Raphael folks are invited to a Kalona Sunday Supper on New Year's Eve, sponsored by Lori Branch's siblings and our church. Come to Kalona Methodist (302 4th Street) at 4:00 to volunteer or at 5:30 to eat. The tentative menu is pork loin, baked yams, salad, dessert, and other fine fixin's--topped off with festivities including games, a possible piñata, and sparkling drink. As always, the supper will be free or by donation. 
Sunday Suppers are twice-monthly events hosted by Food for All, an Orthodox-inspired food charity organized by Amy Spencer. 

We Are In the Nativity Fast-
        Until December 24, we fast by abstaining from meat, dairy, eggs, and on some days, from wine and oil.  The printed calendar shows the specifics of the fast for each day.  During this time of abstaining from certain foods, we are also called to examine ourselves and repent, so that we may ready to receive our King with a pure heart at Christmas.  If you have any questions about how to fast or why we fast, ask Fr. Ignatius.  

The Essence of Fasting-
        St. John Chrysostom said, "It is necessary most of all for one who is fasting to curb anger, to accustom himself to meekness and condescension, to have a contrite heart, to repulse impure thoughts and desires, to examine his conscience, to put his mind to the test to verify what good has been done by us in this or any other week, and which deficiency we have corrected in ourselves in the present week.  This is true fasting."

Do You Shop at Amazon.com?-
        If you make purchases on Amazon.com, there is a simple and easy way to benefit the church while doing so.  If you go to Amazon's companion site, smile.amazon.com, you will find all of the same items for purchase (at the same prices) as are found on the main site.  Once you sign in, you will be asked what charity you would like to benefit.  Enter "St. Raphael of Brooklyn Orthodox Christian Mission" and 0.5% of qualifying purchases will be given back to the church.  It's that simple.  

Food for All--Kalona
        Please  continue to pray for our Orthodox-style, community-style charity work. Also ask our Lord to draw people to Himself and His Church through all our programs. Visit our website at foodforallkalona.weebly.com. For more info, email me at foodforallkalona@gmail.com.  Thanks! Amy Spencer   

Next Sunday's Gospel Reading-
        The Lord spoke this parable: “A man once gave a great banquet, and invited many; and at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come; for all is now ready.’ But, one by one, they all began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it; I pray you, have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them; I pray you, have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ So the servant came and reported this to his master. Then the householder in anger said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and maimed and blind and lame.’ And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges, and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.”  (Luke 14:16-24)

   Pray for our Catechumens-

        Please keep our catechumens Ilya Buchkin, Jeremiah Kaufmann, Scott Dorr, Brian and Rene Horak in your prayers as they prepare 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.  To sign a petition urging the US Government and others to work for their release, go to:

Food for Thought-

O Bethlehem, receive Christ: for, made flesh, He comes to dwell in thee, opening Eden to me.  Make ready O cave, to behold most strangely contained in thee, Him who cannot be contained, who now is made poor in the wealth of his tender mercies.  

From the Nativity Paraklesis service, Ode 1