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Church Bulletin: December 8, 2013

posted Dec 9, 2013, 1:16 PM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church   [ updated Dec 9, 2013, 1:17 PM ]
December 8, 2013- Twenty Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
This Week's Services and Events

December 9, Monday
        + 3rd Hour Prayers, 9AM
        + Office Hours, 9:30AM-11:30AM

December 11, Wednesday
        + Nativity Paraklesis, 7PM
December 12, Thursday
        + OCF Compline and discussion, 7PM
December 13, Friday
        + Matins, 8:30AM
December 14, Saturday
        + Sunday School Christmas Pageant Rehearsal, 1PM (elementary school children) and 2PM (7-12grades)
        + 9th Hour and Great Vespers, 6PM
December 15, Sunday of the Forefathers
        + Matins, 8:45AM
        + Liturgy, 10AM, followed by Sunday School and Coffee Hour and Sunday School Pageants
Upcoming Events and Announcements 
Pledge Drive-
       It's not too late to return a pledge for 2014 to our treasurer Jeremy Coffin.  Pledge forms are available in the church narthex.  Please be generous.  A big thank you to all who have made this commitment to the church!
Thank You-
       Thank you to Tariel Berimeladze and Irakliy Surguladze for raking/blowing leaves in the front yard of church, just in time before the snow fell today. 

Annual Meeting Results-
       Reports were given by Fr. Ignatius, Karen Kuntz (representing the Charitable Outreach Committee), our treasurer Jeremy Coffin and council chair Matthew Arndt.  Matthew was re-elected to the Parish Council for a 3 year term and Alexia Slauson was appointed to the Parish Council for a 3 year term.  In addition, it was announced that Meghan Carter is resigning her term due to her upcoming move, and so Karen Kuntz will fill the rest of Meghan's council term.  By the grace of God, some expenses were able to be cut and some income increased, and so our budget situation is not quite so dire as it seemed it might be a few weeks ago.  We passed a budget with a very minimal monthly deficit.  This is a "bare bones" budget, which pays our mortgage, our utilities, the priest's compensation, but little else. 
Choir Appreciation Sunday-
       Across our archdiocese today, we are honoring our chanters and choir members for the spiritual contribution they make to our church family.  We are blessed with a dedicated and talented choir at St. Raphael Church which we are very grateful for.  We especially want to thank our choir leaders: Lori Branch, Tania Van Dinter and Matthew Arndt.  May God grant you many years!
Sunday School Christmas Pageant-
       We are happy to announce that our Sunday School students will be putting on their first ever Christmas pageant performance this year!   A dress rehearsal will take place on Saturday December 14 at noon.  The performance will be during coffee hour on December 15.  Parents, please have your children present at practice next Saturday and at church next Sunday so that they can participate in this performance. 
Vesperal Liturgy for St. Ignatius-
       On December 19 at 6PM, we will have a Vesperal Liturgy for St. Ignatius of Antioch.  Please join us.
Nativity Services-
       Tuesday, December 24- 9AM Royal Hours; 6PM Vesperal Liturgy
       Wednesday, December 25- 8:30AM Matins; 10AM Liturgy
Patriarch John X Speaks About the Abducted Nuns of Maaloula, Syria-
The Nativity Fast is Here-
       Continuing through the evening of December 24, we observe the Nativity or Advent fast, one of the four fasting seasons of the church year.  We fast, to prepare ourselves to be more receptive to the joyous coming of our King Jesus at the celebration of His nativity at Christmas.  We are asked to refrain from meat, dairy, eggs each day, and on some days, fish, wine and oil.  For specifics, take a look at the printed St. Raphael Church calendar for November and December or speak with Fr. Ignatius.  As you do your grocery shopping over the next several weeks, consider buying some extra non-perishable groceries and place them in the donation box in the church narthex.  The donated food goes to the local food bank at the Crisis Center.  To learn more about the Nativity season, including the Advent Fast, go to: http://www.antiochian.org/nativity
Fundraiser to Benefit Suffering People of Syria-
       St. Raphael Church is co-sponsoring a fundraising event which is being organized by the Iowa City Emergency Committee for Syria.  This event will be held on the evening of Thursday January 23 at Old Brick.  When more information is available, it will be shared.
Doctors and Medical Professionals Needed for OCMC Medical Missions in 2014-
       The Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) will be offering numerous Health Care Mission Team opportunities in 2014 to East Africa.  For more information, go to: http://www.ocmc.org/resources/view_article.aspx?ArticleId=1021
Charitable Projects-
       Christmas shopping? Don't forget St Raphael's cookbooks and lotion bars, available in the bookstore. They make great stocking stuffers and gifts, for $10 and $8 each. All profits go to Crisis Center this years.  Please buy soon, so we can restock the shelves as needed! If you have any questions or plan to buy more than just a few, please talk to Amy Spencer or Karen Kuntz. Thanks for your support!
Two New Saints-
       The Ecumenical Patriarchate has announced that two new saints have been formally recognized, including the beloved Elder Porphyrios, a contemporary elder best known from the book "Wounded By Love."  To read more about this, go to:    http://www.omhksea.org/2013/11/canonization-of-two-new-saints-by-the-ecumenical-patriarchate/   

St. John Chrysostom on Fasting-

       To read St. John's excellent teaching on fasting, go to: http://stanthonylc.org/2013/05/st-john-chrysostom-fasting/

"Meet the Old Testament Prophets" Sermon Series-
       On Sundays during the Advent season, Fr. Ignatius is giving a sermon series titled "Meet the Old Testament Prophets."  It is during this time of year, that many of the Old Testament prophets are commemorated on our church calendar.  Several of their prophecies foretold of the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.  Get ready to learn a little more about these wonderful men of God.  

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 have 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.

Holy Bread-
        On Sunday December 15, the Valentine family will provide the holy bread.  Thank you in advance.

Coffee Hour-
        On Sunday December 15, the food for coffee hour and the clean-up of the fellowship hall will be provided by the St. Nina team. 

Church Cleaning-
        During the week of December 8-14, the St. Nicholas team will clean the nave, narthex, bookstore, stairs, nursery and bathrooms.      
Food for Thought-
The world is a teacher to lead us to Christ. Of course it can also be the road to hell. It is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the tree of testing. If we look at its beauty in order to praise its Creator, we are saved; if we think that its fruit is pure and simply something to eat, we are lost.
Fr. Dumitru Staniloae