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Church Bulletin: December 16, 2012

posted Dec 17, 2012, 2:59 PM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
December 16, 2012- The Sunday of the Forefathers
This Week's Services and Events
Dec 18, Tuesday,
        + 3rd Hour Prayers, 9AM
Dec 19, Wednesday
        + Vesperal Liturgy for St. Ignatius, 6PM
Dec 21, Friday
        + Matins, 8:30AM
Dec 22, Saturday
        + 9th Hour/Great Vespers, 6PM
Dec 23, Sunday, The Sunday before Nativity
        + Matins, 8:45AM
        + Divine Liturgy, 10AM followed by Sunday School and coffee hour
Upcoming Events and Announcements
Vesperal Liturgy for St. Ignatius-
        On Wednesday, December 19 at 6PM, we will commemorate St. Ignatius of Antioch with a Vesperal Liturgy. Please plan to attend.
Nativity Services-
        December 24- Royal Hours, 9AM; Vesperal Liturgy, 6PM
        December 25- Matins, 8:30AM; Liturgy, 10AM
Decorating for Nativity Season-
        Anyone who would like to bring poinsettia plants to decorate around the iconostasis or evergreen boughs for our window ledges in the nave should plan to bring them on Sunday, December 23.
Prayers for Selection of New Patriarch of Antioch-
        Sometime between now and Christmas, the Holy Synod of Antioch, comprised of the Antiochian Metropolitans from around the world, will convene and choose a successor to the recently departed Patriarch Ignatius IV. Pray that the Holy Spirit would guide these men as they make their choice and that whoever is chosen, would be pleasing to God in that role.
Reminder Regarding Confession-
        Repentance is at the heart of our Christian faith. Fasting seasons, like the one we are currently in, are natural times to avail yourself of the Sacrament of Repentance or Confession. Fr. Ignatius is available to hear confessions following Saturday Vespers, at the end of Sunday matins or by appointment. If it has been awhile since you have made a confession, consider how participating in this sacrament now might more thoroughly prepare you to celebrate the Lord's Nativity later this month.
Nativity Fast-
        For Orthodox Christians, the weeks leading up to Christmas are a time of spiritual preparation, a time of repentance, and a time of almsgiving. In anticipation of the coming of our King Jesus as a babe in the manger, we fast from meat, dairy, eggs throughout the forty days leading up to the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord; and fish, wine and oil on some of the days. For specifics, consult the printed November/December calendar available at church or check it online at: http://www.straphaelorthodoxchurch.org/schedule If you have any questions about the Orthodox practice of fasting, please speak with Fr. Ignatius.
Non-Perishable Food Donations-
        We collect food all year round for the Crisis Center food pantry. The collection box is located under one of the tables in the narthex. As we enter into the Nativity fast, let us also keep almsgiving in mind. There are many people in our community who do not have enough food.
Feasting Following the Fast-
        In celebration of the Lord's Nativity, there is no fasting from December 25 through January 4. January 5 is a fasting day, in anticipation of the Feast of Theophany, January 6. Celebrate the Lord's birth with good food, good drink and family and friends!
No Matins on December 28-
        Fr. Ignatius will be leaving town on December 26 and returning on December 29. There will be no matins on December 28.
Parish-wide Potluck on December 30-
        December 30 is the fifth Sunday of the month and as such, no particular food team is scheduled to bring food to share for coffee hour. Therefore, we invite everyone to bring food to share that Sunday. Let it be festive! There is no fasting.
Christmas Caroling-
        If you would like to participate in singing or at least listen to joyful Christmas carols at the church, you are invited to come on Sunday December 30, 7-8PM. Refreshments will be available afterward. Please save the date!
On the Tragic School Shooting in Connecticut:-
        From Bishop Anthony-
"Let the little children come unto Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven." -Matthew 19:14
Today we saw a terrible tragedy unfold in the Connecticut. The senseless loss of life brings tears to our eyes and sorrow to our hearts. These 20 children, along with 6 adults as currently reported, are martyrs, victims of a fallen world.
I ask each of you to keep the victims of this awful event in your prayers and remember them in your churches this Sunday. May God give rest to their innocent souls and may he provide comfort and consolation to their families, friends, and all our you.
Please also keep me, my father Anthony*, and my family in your prayers.
Asking God's blessing on us all,
* Bishop Anthony's father, Anthony, is very ill and in a hospital in MI. Please keep him in your prayers.
Exhibit on St. Nicholas Now in Cedar Rapids-
        The National Czech and Slovak Museum in Cedar Rapids has an exhibit (including icons!) on St. Nicholas until January 6, 2013. For more
Memorial Resources for Patriarch Ignatius IV-
        To read articles, watch videos and view other material related to the life and death of Patriarch Ignatius IV, go to: http://www.antiochian.org/Patriarch_Ignatius_IV_Memorial
Georgians Revive Ancient Art of Chanting-
Architectural Profile of an Antiochian Orthodox Church in the Ozarks-
        To watch how an Antiochian Orthodox parish transformed a metal shop/garage style building into a place for Orthodox worship, go to: http://youtu.be/8X6SxjsWFNI
No Sunday School on January 6-
        The feast of Theophany celebrating the Lord's baptism falls on a Sunday this year (January 6). Due to the longer service that we will have to recognize this feast, there will be no Sunday School scheduled that day.
Pan-Orthodox Outdoor Blessing of the Waters Service-
        As we do each year near the feast of Theophany, we join with the clergy and laity of our Orthodox sister churches in Cedar Rapids (and elsewhere) for an Outdoor Blessing of the Waters service. This January, St. George Church is hosting and we will gather in Cedar Rapids on Saturday January 12 (time to be determined) to bless the waters and celebrate the feast. Please plan to participate.
2013 Liturgical Calendars Now Available-
        The 2013 liturgical calendars showing daily Scripture readings, saints of the days, feasts and fasts are now available to pick up in the narthex of church.
Church Cookbook Fundraiser-
        Thanks to all who have shown so much interest in the publication of our church cookbook. (1) If you’re on Twitter, please follow @EastWestMidwest. (2) Also email new ethnic recipes to Amy Spencer soon at eastwestmidwest@gmail.com. Americans can provide these too, such as old family recipes from Europe. (Recipes should *not* be straight out of a cookbook.) (3) If you or a friend would like to test a recipe or two (or more!), let Amy know as soon as possible at eastwestmidwest@gmail.com. It’s easy!
Introduction to Orthodoxy Classes Will Begin in January-
        Fr. Ignatius is planning on holding seven, weekly Introduction to Orthodoxy classes begining after the first of the year. We will plan a schedule that fits best with the schedules of those participating. If you are new to Orthodoxy and want to learn more, or if you have been in the faith for awhile and would like a refresher course, you are welcome to attend. Please contact Fr. Ignatius if you are interested.
House Blessing Season is Right Around the Corner-
        Fr. Ignatius will be making the rounds to your homes during the time between the Feast of Theophany (January 6) and the beginning of Lent (March 17). A sign-up sheet will be posted soon in the narthex.
Evangelism Bible Verse-
        This week's verse: "For, 'Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'" (Romans 10:13)
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 23, the holy bread will be provided by the Branch/Peterson family. Thank you in advance. Anyone who would like to provide the holy bread may sign up to do so for future weeks. Please check the sign-up sheet in the narthex.
Coffee Hour-
        On Sunday December 23, the food for coffee hour and the clean-up of the fellowship hall will be provided by the St. John the Baptist team.
Church Cleaning-
        During the week following Sunday December 16, the cleaning of the nave, narthex, bookstore/library, stairs, nursery and bathrooms will be provided by the St. Nicholas team.
Choir Leadership-
        During the weekend of December 22-23, Lori Branch will lead the choir.
Food for Thought-
A Letter from Ukrainian Orthodox bishops in America on the Tragic School Shooting in Connecticut This Week
Dearly beloved Clergy, Laity and Monastics of our Holy Ukrainian Orthodox Church,

Once again we find ourselves confronted with the horror of what mankind is capable of – the almost inhuman deeds of man against mankind. Just before the time that we will commemorate the Holy Innocents murdered in Bethlehem at the orders of a malicious ruler – Herod – who sought to protect his obscene rule from the threat of the King of kings – our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ , the Promised One, Who, it was determined, was to be born in the town. Having been “mocked” as he perceived it, by the three kings who failed to return to tell him where the Child was, he ordered that all the male children age two and under in Bethlehem be killed, hoping thus, to prevent the Messiah from rising up to offer the Truth of God’s love for mankind and about the sanctity of life. St. John Chrysostom rhetorically asks of Herod:

“Why are you angered Herod, at being mocked by the wise men? Did you not know that the birth was divine? Did you not summon the chief priests? Did you not gather together the scribes? Did not they bring the prophet also with them into your court of judgment, proclaiming these things from times old? Did you not see how the old things agreed with the new? Did you not hear that a star also ministered to these men? Did you not reverence the zeal of the barbarians? Did you not marvel at their boldness? Were you not horror-struck at the truth of the prophet? Didst thou not from the former things perceive the very last also? How did you not reason from all these things that this event was not of the craft of the kings, but of a Divine Power, duly dispensing all things? And even if you were deceived by the three kings, what is that to the young children, who have done no wrong?”

When we began to hear the horrific news coming from another small town, Newtown, Connecticut, and the murder of innocents and adults, our fear was that it would be a tragedy beyond belief because some sick mind wanted to make a statement during these Holy Days. Our worst fears have been confirmed. Nearly thirty students and adults have been slaughtered – “having done no wrong” – and our hearts are heavy with pain and we weep as did Rachel of old. We, along with all our clergy and faithful of our Holy Ukrainian Orthodox Church, express our profound sympathy to the parents and family members of those lost. We embrace you with in the Love of God and assure you of our continued prayers that the Almighty encompass you in His Comfort and Mercy.

We appeal to the mass media and beg that the individual or individuals not be “iconized” over the days, weeks and months ahead. An icon is normally a holy depiction of a saintly or heavenly being worthy of emulation in their devotion to and faith in God and for their love of fellow man. But evil can also be “iconized” – placed before society for horrific accomplishments, which defy all the laws of God and of man – very often denying the sanctity of life – gifted to mankind by our Creator and meant for only goodness. We of the Ukrainian nation are all too familiar with this kind of evil – always remembering the ten million of our brothers and sisters – men, women and children – who perished because of the sick and evil mind of the Herod of new times – Stalin – who also sought to preserve his heinous rule.

We appeal to the mass media and beg that the individual or individuals responsible for today’s horrific attack be simply identified and then consigned to anonymity. Why? For the sake of the memory of those he slaughtered. Why? For the sake of the families of those lost. Why? For the sake of the fellow students and teachers of those who perished. Why? For the sake of the family of the one who executed today’s horror. Why? So that other individuals, perhaps evil, perhaps sick in mind, body or soul, might not be “inspired” to “go out” in the same way – with their names and pictures published in many ways for months, years, decades or even centuries after they are gone, while their victims are forgotten by the world within weeks.

“Lord, have mercy on us…strengthen the families of all affected by the loss of deeply loved children, teachers, parents and friends, however remotely, as well as each of us whose lives are once more scarred by man’s inhumanity to man. Receive the souls of your children who have perished into Your loving embrace and give them rest in a place where there is no more such horror, pain and suffering in the Light of Your Countenance. May their souls rest in eternal happiness and their memory be eternal from generation to generation in Your Heavenly Kingdom.”

In our Lord’s all-encompassing Love,
+ Antony
By the Grace of God, Metropolitan
+ Daniel
By the Grace of God, Bishop
Given this 14th day of December in the year of our Lord 2012