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Church Bulletin: December 20, 2015

posted Dec 20, 2015, 6:56 PM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
December 20, 2015- Sunday before Nativity (The Genealogy of Christ)
This Week's Services and Events

December 23, Wednesday
        + Nativity Paraklesis followed by Advent Book Study, 7:00PM

December 24, Thursday (Christmas Eve)
        + Royal Hours, 9:00AM 
        + Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil, 6:00PM

December 25, Friday (Christmas Day)
        + Matins, 8:30AM
        + Liturgy, 10:00AM

December 26, Saturday
        + Great Vespers, 5:00PM

December 27, Sunday after the Nativity
        + Matins, 8:45AM 
        + Divine Liturgy, 10:00AM, followed by coffee hour
Upcoming Events and Announcements- 

       Congratulations to Rob, Hannah and Nate Young, who were chrismated during liturgy today.  Rob's patron saint is the Apostle Paul, Hannah's is St. Hannah, the mother of the Prophet Samuel, and Nate's is St. George the Greatmartyr.  They are sponsored by Russ, Becky, Christian and Joshua Morey.  May God grant them many years!

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!

The Sacrament of Repentance (Confession)-
        Fasting and repentance go hand-in-hand.  If you would like to schedule a time to make your confession before the Feast of the Nativity, or anytime, just contact Fr. Ignatius to set up an appointment.  

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.

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.

Feasting After Fasting-
       We break the Nativity fast on December 25.  There is no fasting, including on Wednesdays and Friday's until January 5, the eve of Theophany.  Celebrate the Lord's birth with good food, family and friends!

Sunday School Break-
        There will be no Sunday School on December 27 or January 3.  We will resume on January 10.

After Christmas, the Next Major Feast is...-
       Theophany!  We will celebrate the baptism of our Lord with Royal Hours at 9:00AM on January 5, and Vesperal Liturgy with Blessing of the Water at 6:00 on January 5.  On January 6, we will continue to mark the feast with matins at 8:30AM and Liturgy at 10:00AM.  

Pan-Orthodox Outdoor Blessing of the Waters-
        St. George Church in Cedar Rapids will host a pan-Orthodox Outdoor Blessing of the Waters service on the 1st Ave. bridge at 4:00PM on Saturday, January 9.  Afterward, all are invited to vespers and refreshments  at St. George Church (3650 Cottage Grove Ave., SE) beginning at 5:00PM.

Honor Bishop Anthony on His Name Day-
       Bishop Anthony celebrates both his birthday and his name day on January 17, the feast of St. Anthony the Great.  If you would like to honor him, one way to do it is to make a donation to his newly established Speaker's Fund, which will help parishes in his diocese to be able to host speakers.  Envelopes and cards are available in the narthex.  

Planning for House Blessing Season-
       Fr. Ignatius is looking forward to blessing your home between January 7 and March 13.  Contact him if you would like to plan a specific time for him to come.  

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.

"I Was in Prison, and You Visited Me"-
        The Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry has produced a series of videos explaining their work.  To view the first one, only ten minutes long, go to: https://theocpm.org/video-series-pt-1-the-work-and-vision/

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-
        When the wise men had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the Child and His mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the Child, to destroy Him.” And he rose and took the Child and His mother by night, and departed to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt have I called My Son.” Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, was in a furious rage, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region, who were two years old or under, according to the time which he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they were no more.” But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, “Rise, take the Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the Child’s life are dead.” And he rose and took the Child and His mother, and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus reigned over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. And he went and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”  (Matthew 2:13-23)
Pray for our Catechumen-
       Please keep our catechumen Ilya Buchkin in your prayers as he prepares 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-

Stir up your might, O Lord, we pray, and come quickly. Because of our sins we are bent low under fear of this world and menaced by imminent dangers. Protect us, save us, and order our minds in the sure knowledge of your Coming, which draws near; for you are our hope and our liberator. You who love and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, to the ages of ages.  Amen.

Collect of Third Sunday of Advent from Liturgy of St. Germanus