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Church Bulletin: December 18, 2016

posted Dec 20, 2016, 7:47 AM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
December 18, 2016- Sunday Before the Nativity of Christ

 This Week's Services and Events

December 19, Monday
        + Vesperal Liturgy for St. Ignatius, 6:00PM

December 20, Tuesday
        + Office Hours, 1:15PM-2:45PM
        + 9th Hour Prayers, 3:00PM

December 21, Wednesday
        + Nativity Paraklesis, 7:00PM
        + Bible Study- The Names of Jesus, 8:00PM

December 22, Thursday
        + Office Hours, 1:15-2:45PM

December 23, Friday
        + Royal Hours of the Nativity of Christ, 9:00AM

December 24, Saturday, Christmas Eve
        + Great Vespers with Litia and Artoklasia, 5:00PM 

December 25, Christmas Day
        + Matins, 8:30AM
        + Divine Liturgy, 10:00AM followed by Coffee Hour and Singing Carols

Upcoming Events and Announcements-       

Choir Appreciation Sunday-
        Today we are recognizing and thanking our hard working and gifted choir who aids us in our worship by providing beautiful music for us to hear and sing along to.  Special thanks goes out to our three choir leaders: Lori Branch, Kristi Abuissa and Matthew Arndt.  Thank you for your service to the church through the choir!

Wednesday Evening Bible Study-
        On December 21 we will finish our Bible study on the Names of Jesus at 8:00PM, following Nativity Paraklesis which begins at 7:00PM.  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.

Sunday School Holiday Break-
        There will be no Sunday School on December 25 or January 1.  We will resume on January 8.

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

IOCC Relief Aid for Syria-
        The level of human suffering seems to continue to increase, due to the ongoing war in Syria.  Please keep the Syrian people in your prayers, and if you can donate to IOCC, please do so.  https://www.iocc.org/where-we-work/syria

Christmas is Coming!
       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.  

Orthodox Christian Fellowship-
        Our OCF is taking some time off during winter break.  They will resume in late January.  

Next Sunday's Gospel Reading-
        Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East, and have come to worship Him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it is written by the prophet: ‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judea, are by no means least among the rulers of Judea; for from you shall come a ruler who will govern My people Israel.’” Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star appeared; and he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found Him bring me word, that I too may come and worship Him.” When they had heard the king they went their way; and lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy; and going into the house they saw the child with Mary His mother, and they fell down and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.  (Matthew 2:1-12)

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-

Today is Salvation come into the world. Let us sing praises to Him Who arose from the grave, the Author of our life; for having by death destroyed death, He hath given us victory and great mercy. 

- Troparion from Sunday matins