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Church Bulletin: December 11, 2016

posted Dec 12, 2016, 9:52 AM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
December 11, 2016- Sunday of the Ancestors of Christ

 This Week's Services and Events

December 13, Tuesday
        + Office Hours, 1:15PM-2:45PM
        + 9th Hour Prayers, 3:00PM
        + Parish Council meeting, 6:30PM

December 14, Wednesday
        + Nativity Paraklesis, 7:00PM
        + Bible Study- The Names of Jesus, 8:00PM

December 15, Thursday
        + Office Hours, 1:15-2:45PM

December 17, Saturday
        + Great Vespers, 5:00PM 

December 18, Sunday before Nativity
        + Matins, 8:45AM
        + Divine Liturgy, 10:00AM followed by Sunday School, Coffee Hour

Upcoming Events and Announcements-       

Wednesday Evening Bible Study-
        On December 14,  & 21 we will continue with a Bible study on the Names of Jesus at 8:00PM, following Nativity Paraklesis which begins at 7:00PM. Over these four sessions, we will study and discuss some of the various names and titles for Jesus that are all throughout the Scriptures.  Come and participate.  Bring your Bible. Let's learn together!

We Need A Volunteer to Bake Festal Litia Bread-
        On Christmas Eve, Saturday, December 24, we will have a special festal Great Vespers with Litia and Artoklasia, the breaking of festal bread.  We need a volunteer to bake this special bread.  If you can do it, please let Fr. Ignatius know.  A recipe can be provided.

Liturgy for St. Ignatius-
        We will commemorate St. Ignatius of Antioch with a Vesperal Liturgy on Monday, December 19 at 6:00PM.  

Christmas is Coming!
        If you want to donate poinsettia plants to decorate the church, purchase them on your own and bring them the weekend of December 17-18.  Christmas falls on a Sunday this year.  We will have Christmas Eve vespers at 5:00PM on Saturday, December 24 and Christmas day matins and liturgy at 8:30AM and 10:00AM on Sunday, December 25.  Bring your friends and family!

2017 Annual Calendars Are Here-
        The Church provides free calendars showing the daily saints and Scripture readings, plus the major feasts and fasting times of the church year.  The 2017 version is here and available for you to take.  Take one or take a couple, as many as you will use.  

Serve on a Short-term Mission-
        OCMC Mission Teams need volunteers in 2017.  There are openings for hard workers in Albania, Guatemala, Kenya, Indonesia, Alaska and Mexico.   Details are available on the OCMC website www.ocmc.org.   Please consider these opportunities to serve in missions.

Please Return Annual Pledge Forms ASAP-
        It's not too late!  We need everyone's support.  Talk to our treasurer Becky, if you have any questions. 

Honor Bishop Anthony for His Birthday and Name day-
        Bishop Anthony celebrates both his birthday and name day on January 17.  One of the efforts he has organized in our diocese is the creation of a speaker's fund, so that he can invite in speakers that will benefit the churches and people in his diocese.  The Midwest Antiochian Women's organization is once again heading up an effort to collect donations that will go to this fund with the intent that the funds be collected by January 6, so that special birthday and name day greetings can be sent from each donor to the bishop in time for January 17.  Cards with this information on them are available in the narthex, if you would like to participate.  

Scheduling Annual House Blessings-
        Fr. Ignatius would like to come to all church member's homes between Theophany (January 6) and the beginning of Lent (February 27) for a house blessing.  If there is a specific day and time you would like Father to come, please contact him and let him know.  If he doesn't hear from you, he will contact you and schedule a time.  

Nativity Fast-
       We are preparing for the coming of our Lord at His Nativity with the forty day Nativity Fast, November 15-December 24.  During this time, we pray the Nativity Paraklesis service on Wednesday evenings at 7:00PM.  Take some extra time out of the upcoming busy season to pray, repent, and thank God for all He has done for you.  If you have any questions about how we fast, ask Fr. Ignatius.

Food for All - Kalona
        Please continue to pray for our Orthodox-style, community-style charity work. Our Sunday Supper and Movie Nights are happening twice monthly until summer. Also, we hope to restart Kalona Vespers in the new year. Also please 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

Save the Dates!-
        We will host Anthony Bashir and Richard Robbat again for the second and final round of their leadership development training on February 17-18.  Like last time, it will be a Friday evening and Saturday morning and afternoon schedule.  If you participated last time, please plan to be involved again.  But even if you didn't participate last time, we welcome you and encourage you to get involved.  

A Possible Christmas Present-
        New Release!  Beautiful hymns sung by our Orthodox Christian teens from our archdiocese.  A CD titled "Grace Shining Forth" has been recently recorded and is available for purchase.  It features 14 tracks of sacred music in both Byzantine and Russian style.  It can be purchased at https://teensoyo.org/shop

Orthodox Christian Fellowship-
        OCF will meet most Thursday evenings during the school year,  with dinner at 6:30PM on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month, and compline at 7:00PM on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month.

Next Sunday's Gospel Reading-
        The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Aram, and Aram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king. And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asa, and Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amon, and Amon the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon. And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, Who is called Christ. So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ were fourteen generations. Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call His Name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and His Name shall be called Emmanuel” (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him; he took his wife, but knew her not until she had borne a son; and he called His Name Jesus.  (Matthew 1:1-25)

Pray for our Catechumens-
       Please keep our catechumens Anna Baynton and Ilya Buchkin 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.

Food for Thought-

“A marriage which does not constantly crucify its own selfishness and self-sufficiency, which does not “die to itself” that it may point beyond itself, is not a Christian marriage. The real sin of marriage today is not adultery or lack of “adjustment” or “mental cruelty.” It is the idolization of the family itself, the refusal to understand marriage as directed toward the Kingdom of God. This is expressed in the sentiment that one would “do anything” for his family, even steal. The family has here ceased to be for the glory of God; it has ceased to be a sacramental entrance into his presence. It is not the lack of respect for the family, it is the idolization of the family that breaks the modern family so easily, making divorce its almost natural shadow. It is the identification of marriage with happiness and the refusal to accept the cross in it. In a Christian marriage, in fact, three are married; and the united loyalty of the two toward the third, who is God, keeps the two in an active unity with each other as well as with God. Yet it is the presence of God which is the death of the marriage as something only “natural.” It is the cross of Christ that brings the self-sufficiency of nature to its end. But “by the cross, joy entered the whole world.” Its presence is thus the real joy of marriage. It is the joyful certitude that the marriage vow, in the perspective of the eternal Kingdom, is not taken “until death parts,” but until death unites us completely.” 
– Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World