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Church Bulletin: December 13, 2015

posted Dec 14, 2015, 9:27 AM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
December 13, 2015- Sunday of the Forefathers
 
This Week's Services and Events

December 14, Monday
        + Teen SOYO Dinner and Movie, 6:30PM

December 16, Wednesday
        + Nativity Paraklesis followed by Advent Book Study, 7:00PM

December 17, Thursday
        + OCF Dinner, 6:30PM at the Morey's home

December 18, Friday
        + Matins, 8:30AM
        + Office Hours, 9:30AM-11:30AM
        + Vesperal Liturgy for St. Ignatius, 6:00PM

December 19, Saturday
        + Great Vespers, 5:00PM

December 20, Sunday before the Nativity
        + Matins, 8:45AM 
        + Divine Liturgy, 10:00AM, followed by coffee hour and Sunday School
        
Upcoming Events and Announcements- 

Today is Choir and Chanter Appreciation Sunday-
        Each year, our Archdiocese designates the second Sunday in December as Choir and Chanter Appreciation Sunday.  We are blessed with a gifted and hard-working choir at St. Raphael Church whose talents enhance our experience of worshiping the Lord.  Our three choir leaders, Lori Branch, Matthew Arndt and Kristi Abuissa deserve special mention.   Thank you to all who sing in the choir either regularly or occasionally.  You are a blessing to our church community.

A Word From Our Archdiocese on Muslims and Our Words and Actions Toward Them-

Teen SOYO-
       Our teens will be meeting for diner and a movie at 6:30PM on December 14.

OCF-
        We will close out the semester with dinner at the Morey's home at 6:30PM on December 17.

Feast of St. Ignatius-
        We will have Vesperal Liturgy for St. Ignatius at 6:00PM on December 18.

We Are Invited-
        Fr. Elias Khouri and St. Nicholas Church is inviting us to their patronal feast day services of St. Nicholas, celebrated on the old calendar.  On Friday, December 18 at 6:00PM, they are having a vigil service, and at 10:00AM on Saturday, December 19, Liturgy.  The church is located at 3330 Southgate Court SW, Ste. #110, Cedar Rapids.

Consider our Church Bookstore for Christmas Shopping-
        Have you browsed St. Raphael Books and Gifts lately?  Our bookstore is faithfully maintained by Robert Peterson.  We have several dozen titles of books of all sorts, including prayer books, children's books and many more, plus a small selection of icons.  To purchase anything in the bookstore, look for the price marked on the item, put your payment in one of the envelopes kept on the shelves, and place your envelope in one of the baskets at the back of the church nave.  Happy shopping!

Another Way to Give to the Church-
        Did you know that we accept payments through PayPal?  At our website (www.straphaelorthodoxchurch.org) there are links to PayPal in the upper right corner.  Giving to St. Raphael Church is as easy as a few clicks on your computer or other electronic device.

Decorating the Church for Christmas-
       Decorations will go up in the church during the weekend of December 19-20.  We are happy to accept poinsettia plants to help make our church interior look festive during this joyful time of year.  

Looking Ahead to Christmas-
       Our Nativity services will be as follows:
Thursday, December 24, 9:00AM- Royal Hours; 6:00PM- Vesperal Liturgy and Friday, December 25, 8:30AM- Matins; 10:00AM Liturgy

2016 Calendars Are In-
       The annual calendar which shows daily saints, liturgical feasts, fasting and non-fasting times and daily Scripture readings is now available in the narthex.  Please take one or two for use at home.  

A Friendly Reminder-
       “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” Please remember to greet our guests when they visit. Don’t be shy in bringing them Antidoron (blessed bread) and inviting them to our coffee hour downstairs. We need to remember to mix it up a bit at our coffee hours and sit with those whom we may not know. Introduce yourself and others around so they feel comfortable and welcome. This is part of evangelism.

Helping Out A Sister Church-
        Another church in our diocese has the opportunity to purchase a building.  St. Ananias Church, in Evanston, Indiana.  They announce, "With the blessing of Bishop ANTHONY, the General Assembly of Saint Ananias Orthodox Church voted unanimously to purchase the Church and Annex on 3407 Bellemeade, Evansville, Indiana. Now we offer all of our brothers and sisters an opportunity to assist us in purchasing this property. We will be collecting gifts in order to raise $75,000 in December/January. You may write your checks to "St. Ananias Orthodox", and put "Building" in the remarks column. Our address is Saint Ananias Orthodox, 4411 Washington Avenue, Evansville, IN 47714. Also you may go to our website www.stananiasorthodox.org. There is a Paypal button to donate through. We will provide you a letter of receipt for IRS tax deductible purposes. For more information call Fr Daniel at 734-347-7548."  
This parish helped us purchase our building six years ago.  Let us return the favor.  

A Cookbook Fundraiser to Benefit Syria-
       Are you looking for another Christmas gift?  Would you like to benefit the refugees of Syria?  Go to www.soupforsyria.com to learn about a cookbook filled with recipes from many well known chefs.  Proceeds from the sale of this cookbook funds humanitarian work that benefits Syrian refugees.

Nativity Fast Began on November 15-
        As part of our preparation for the great feast of the Nativity of Christ, we alter our diet and abstain from meat, dairy and eggs until December 25.  Fish, wine and oil are permitted on Saturdays and Sundays and wine and oil are permitted on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  If you have any questions about fasting, please ask Fr. Ignatius.  

Nativity Fast Book Study-
        Following Paraklesis service on Wednesday evenings during the Nativity/Advent fast, we will have four book study sessions from 8:00PM-9:00PM.  On December 2, 9, 16, and 23, we will be discussing the book, "Meditations for Advent: Preparing for Christ's Birth" by Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou.  

2015-2016 Sunday School Project-
        During our current Sunday School year, the 5-12 grade class is sponsoring two children in Ethiopia through the organization Partners With Ethiopia.  Sunday school teachers are asking the Sunday School students to bring in change or whatever they and their families can give each week.  The financial commitment is $38 per month per child.  We may need additional assistance from the parish to meet our goal each month.  Brochures explaining this project are available at church.

Food for All - Kalona-
    Please continue to pray as we seek ways to encourage Vespers attendance as well as explore food charity programs, such as cooking classes and a Christmas bread event. Input and help is always welcome.
   Kalona Vespers are on first and third Wednesdays (7 p.m.). Join us at UCB Church, Highway 22 and 4th St., Kalona. Questions? Contact Amy at foodforallkalona@gmail.com.

Bishop's Visit, Save the Date!-
        Bishop Anthony plans to be with us the weekend of April 9-10, 2016.  Save the date!
       
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.  

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 Ilya Buchkin, and Rob, Hannah and Nate Young 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. 

Food for Thought-

We don't say the Jesus Prayer, or enter wordless contemplation, to get "some benefit." We don't pray to reduce our stress, or strengthen our immune system, or lose weight, or add years to our life. On the contrary, we enter prayer to follow Christ, to become open to Him. His way is the Way of the Cross.

- Dr. Albert Rossi

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