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Church Bulletin: December 6, 2015

posted Dec 7, 2015, 8:47 AM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
December 6, 2015- Twenty Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
This Week's Services and Events

December 8, Tuesday
        + Parish Council meeting, 7:00PM

December 9, Wednesday
        + Nativity Paraklesis followed by Advent Book Study, 7:00PM

December 10, Thursday
        + OCF Compline, 7:00PM

December 11, Friday
        + Matins, 8:30AM
        + Office Hours, 9:30AM-11:30AM

December 12, Saturday
        + Great Vespers, 5:00PM

December 13, Sunday of the Forefathers
        + Matins, 8:45AM 
        + Divine Liturgy, 10:00AM, followed by coffee hour and Sunday School Christmas Play
Upcoming Events and Announcements- 

Annual Voters' Meeting Results-
       We approved a budget that will fund our expenses at a minimal level, including continuing with full-time compensation for Fr. Ignatius for January through March and move him to part-time compensation beginning in April.  We will have a meeting at the end of March or at the beginning of April to reassess our financial situation at that point.  Jerome Deister was voted onto the council for a three year term and Iulian Vamanu was appointed to the council for a three year term.

Sunday School Christmas Play on December 13-
        Following Liturgy and during coffee hour, our Sunday School students will perform a play for us.  Please plan to stay for this.

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

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.

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.  

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 Lord spoke this parable: “A man once gave a great banquet, and invited many; and at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come; for all is now ready.’ But, one by one, they all began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it; I pray you, have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them; I pray you, have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ So the servant came and reported this to his master. Then the householder in anger said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and maimed and blind and lame.’ And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges, and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.”  (Luke 14:16-24)
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-

At the very first moment you decide to turn to God, your heart begins to be warmed by the action of the Holy Spirit. Your heart is kindled with the divine flame that will transform you. This flame will consume you completely, and will melt everything of a fallen nature within you. Once this flame of divine love has been actualized within your heart, do nothing that would allow it to be extinguished. Cooperate with the Fire of God, and let it completely consume you.

Put all your effort into this spiritual transformation that is beginning in your heart. Let nothing else take center stage over this action by God that is meant to save you, and make you complete. From a little flame, this fire will burn in your heart, and nothing of your fallen nature will be able to withstand it. This flame will transform your whole being, for the action of the Holy Spirit will take you into God’s Kingdom, which resides within you.

- Abbot Tryphon