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Church Bulletin: February 1, 2015

posted Feb 2, 2015, 10:22 AM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
February 1, 2015- Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee and the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple
This Week's Services and Events

February 3, Tuesday
        + Free Lunch Program Volunteering, 11:30AM-1:30PM

February 4, Wednesday
        + Akathist, 7:00PM; also Vespers at St. Maria's Bread House in Kalona, 7:00PM

February 5, Thursday
        + OCF dinner, 6:30PM

February 6, Friday
        + Matins, 8:30AM
        + Office Hours, 9:30AM-11:30AM

February 7, Saturday
        + Becoming Truly Human, 3:00PM
        + Great Vespers, 5:00PM

February 8, Sunday, Sunday of the Prodigal Son
        +Matins, 8:45AM
        + Divine Liturgy, 10:00AM, followed by fellowship hour and Sunday School
Upcoming Events and Announcements  

This Week is Fast-free-
       The week following the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee is always fast-free.  There is no fasting this Wednesday or Friday.  This is so, in order to remind us that it was in part, because of fasting twice a week that the Pharisee saw himself as righteous, and better than the sinful tax collector or publican.  We do not earn favor with God because of good deeds.  Rather, good deeds are the proof of our genuine faith.

Free Lunch Program Volunteering-
        We are scheduled to provide volunteers at the Free Lunch Program on Tuesday, February 3 from 11:30AM-1:30PM.  Please let Fr. Ignatius know if you plan to come.

Reminders Regarding Receiving Holy Communion-
       1. Unless you has a medical reason not to, you should abstain from food and drink from at least midnight  when you are planning to receive Holy Communion.  For evening liturgies, abstain from about noon. 
2. If you plan on receiving Holy Communion, please arrive at liturgy at least by the time of the Gospel reading, earlier is much better.
3.  Sacramental confession should be regular, and if you are troubled by unconfessed sins, schedule a confession with Fr. Ignatius, and then receive Holy Communion.

Becoming Truly Human Series-
       We are meeting for six consecutive weeks on Saturdays from 3:00PM-4:45PM.  Snacks are provided.  Come to as many of these sessions as you are able.  Please plan to participate in this series so that we may become better equipped to honor our patron, St. Raphael, during this centennial year of his repose, by being more knowledgeable about our faith so that we can be more outreach-minded.  If you need childcare, let Fr. Ignatius know.  . 

St. Maria's Bread House-
        Come to Vespers in Kalona, and please be praying for this effort to bring Orthodoxy south! Starting Wednesday, Feb. 4, we plan to have Vespers on the first and third Wednesday of every month. It will be at United Christian and Baptist Church, a big brick church at Highway 22 and 4th Street in Kalona. Talk to Father or Amy if you have questions. Amy can be reached at kalonabreadhouse@gmail.com or 319-656-3916. Board members from our church are Newman, Becky, Julia, and Bill.

Lent is Coming-
       Lent starts with Forgiveness Vespers at 6:00PM on Sunday, February 22, followed by a week full of evening services.  Lent is given to us to prepare us for the holiest of days when we most fully contemplate the passion, death and resurrection of Christ, during Holy Week and at Pascha.  We are now in the time that prepares us for the coming of Lent.  The Gospel reading for today and the next three Sundays are meant to introduce us to themes that are worthy of our attention as we seek to enter into this time of repentance and spiritual introspection.

Camping Scholarships Available-
       Once again, the Order of St. Ignatius is funding up to $700 worth of scholarships for children from our parish to be able to use, in order to go to Camp St. George or any other camp in our archdiocese.  Camp St. George will take place August 9-15 and is for children ages 9-17.  We can divide this scholarship money up between as many as seven campers.  If you would like a share of this scholarship money to be applied to your child's expenses for camp, please let Fr. Ignatius know by February 22 at the latest.  More information about Camp St. George can be found at: http://campstgeorge.org/.

Choir Practice, February 17-
       Choir singers, plan on coming to practice on Tuesday, February 17 from 7:00PM-9:00PM to practice upcoming Lenten material.  As always, our choir is interested in new members.  If you haven't joined our choir before but are interested in doing so, please speak with one of our three choir leaders: Lori Branch, Tania Van Dinter or Matthew Arndt.

Donate Books to the Shelter House Used Book Sale-
       Drop off books and media items for donation at –
Sycamore Mall the following Saturdays:
February 7th, 14th, 21st , 28th
from 11:00am-3:00pm
Tuesday & Wednesday in the month of February and March 3rd & 4th.

Shelter House during weekdays
429 Southgate Avenue
Contact: Sarah Fletcher
319-338-5416 ext. 202
They are NOT ABLE to accept donations of magazines, encyclopedias, condensed books, textbooks, puzzles or games.  We welcome donations of sturdy boxes for collection, transport to the site, and for storing remaining books after the sale.

St. Raphael of Brooklyn Resources-
       Our Archdiocese has gathered together a wealth of information about our patron, St. Raphael at: http://antiochian.org/straphaelofbrooklyn

St. Raphael Sermon Series-
       Since 2015 is the centennial of the repose of our patron St. Raphael of Brooklyn, Fr. Ignatius will start the year preaching an eight week sermon series on Sundays during liturgy, focusing on the titles we ascribe to St. Raphael in his troparion.
1. Adornment of the Holy Church
2. Champion of the True Faith
3. Seeker of the Lost
4. Consolation of the Oppressed
5. Father to Orphans and Friend of the Poor
6. Peacemaker and Good Shepherd
7. Joy of all the Orthodox
8. Son of Antioch/Boast of America

A Different Approach to House Blessings in 2015-
       The time between Theophany (January 6) and the beginning of Lent (this year, February 23) is traditionally, the time for Orthodox priests to do house blessings.  Fr. Ignatius will be doing house blessings during this time.  However, he is going to be contacting all parishioners directly, and scheduling a time to come and bless.  It is not necessary to feed the priest when he visits!  However, you are encouraged to invite others from the parish to your home during the blessing.  Let us renew our social bonds and forge new friendships during this season.

Midwest Parish Life Conference-
       The annual Midwest Diocese Parish Life Conference will be held in Grand Rapids, MI on June 24-28.  To learn more, go to: www.midwestplc2015.com.

Bible Bowl and Oratorical Festival-
       Each year, our diocese offers two different competitions for teens (and one for adults), held at the Parish Life Conference.  The 2015 Parish Life Conference will be held in Grand Rapids, MI in June.  Teens from our parish have participated in and done very well in the Bible Bowl is recent years, winning trophies each time they have competed.  Instead of focusing on one book of the Bible, the 2015 Bible Bowl will focus on the life of our patron, St. Raphael of Brooklyn, as found in the book "Our Father Among the Saints Raphael Bishop of Brooklyn: Good Shepherd of the Lost Sheep in America" published by Antakya Press.  This theme was chosen by Metropolitan Philip before his repose, because 2015 is the 100th anniversary of the repose of St. Raphael.  Fr. Ignatius challenges teens (ages 13-19) to form a team and study and compete.  Adults can form a team as well.  We can win this at the diocesan level and go on to compete on the archdiocesan level!  In addition, if giving speeches is your thing (teens only), consider writing a speech for the Oratorical Festival, the theme of which is also the life of St. Raphael.  Information is posted in the narthex.  Talk to Fr. Ignatius if you would like to learn more.
Next Sunday's Gospel Reading-
        St. John Chrysostom urges Christians to preview the upcoming Sunday Gospel reading so that it may be fresh in your minds when you hear it next Sunday.
The reading for Sunday, February 8 is: The Lord spoke this parable: “There was a man who had two sons; and the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that falls to me.’ And he divided his living between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took his journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in loose living. And when he had spent everything, a great famine arose in that country, and he began to be in want. So he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have fed on the pods that the swine ate; and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ And he arose and came to his father. But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet; and bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and make merry; for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to make merry. Now his elder son was in the field; and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what this meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has received him safe and sound.’ But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command; yet you never gave me a kid that I might make merry with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your living with harlots, you killed for him the fatted calf!’ And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to make merry and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’”  (Luke 15:11-32)

Pray for our Catechumens-
       Please keep our catechumens: Ilya Buchkin, Rob Bergenstock and Daniel Welsh in your prayers as they prepare to be sacramentally joined to the Orthodox Church.

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 heard from.  Please pray for their well being and release and also pray for their captors as well.  One priest is also missing, having been kidnapped. 

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

Coffee Hour-
       The St. Raphael team will bring food to share and will clean-up the fellowship hall on Sunday February 8. 

Food for Thought-

An indestructible wall art thou, O Blessed Mother, and a strong house for the Orthodox .  Do not ever forsake abandoned spouses; help parents who for their children's sake shed tears for their sins; teach youths and maidens to preserve themselves in purity, and all of us to preserve the sanctity of family fidelity and honor, so that with one mouth we may sing:

Rejoice, thou who deliverest pious virgins from lawless marriages!
Rejoice, thou who helpest them find life-companions!
Rejoice, O pacification of warring relatives!
Rejoice, O drying of children's tears!
Rejoice, O warning of women who kill their infants in their wombs!
Rejoice, thou who erectest homes and families on a rock of love and faith!
Rejoice, O consolation of spouses separated by death!
Rejoice, their eternal union in immortal life!
Rejoice, O Blessed Xenia, intercessor for our souls!

Oikos 10 from the Akathist to St. Xenia of St. Petersburg, Fool-for-Christ