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Church Bulletin: February 15, 2015

posted Feb 15, 2015, 6:54 PM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
February 15, 2015- Sunday of the Last Judgment (Meatfare Sunday)
This Week's Services and Events

February 16, Monday
        + Teen SOYO Dinner and Movie Night, 6:30PM

February 17, Tuesday
        + Choir Practice, 7:00PM

February 18, Wednesday
        + Akathist, 7:00

February 19, Thursday
        + OCF Dinner at Matthew Arndt's home, 6:30PM

February 20, Friday
        + Matins, 8:30AM
        + Office Hours, 9:30AM-11:30AM

February 21, Saturday
        + Becoming Truly Human Retreat , 12:00PM
        + Great Vespers, 5:00PM

February 22, Sunday, Cheesefare Sunday (Forgiveness Sunday)
        + Matins, 8:45AM
        + Divine Liturgy, 10:00AM, followed by fellowship hour and Sunday School
        + Forgiveness Vespers, 6:00PM
Upcoming Events and Announcements   

Some of Father's Thoughts on Giving to the Church-
       Many people cringe when talk of money is brought up in church.  We are approached by many different groups asking for financial help, and our resources are limited.  For Christians, giving a portion of the finances God has blessed us with back to Him is an act of worship, an act of gratitude.  Regular giving is a discipline that helps us to grow spiritually.  St. Raphael Church benefits each of us in a variety of ways.  If you are not currently pledging to give a certain, regular amount to our church, consider doing so.  Information on pledging can be found in the narthex on one of the tables.  If you have any questions, talk with Fr. Ignatius or our treasurer, Jeremy Coffin.  Did you know that giving can be simplified by setting up a direct deposit of electronic funds transfer?  Did you know that you can donate to the church online through PayPal? Look for the link in the upper right corner of our church's web home page at: www.straphaelorthodoxchurch.org.

Teen SOYO Dinner and Movie Night-
       Our teens will meet at church on Monday, February 16 at 6:30PM for dinner and a movie.

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.

Gospel Choir Concert-
       The public is invited to the Unity Gospel Concert in celebration of Black History Month. The theme is “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” The event will be hosted by New Creations International Church.
When: February 22, 2015 at 3 pm
Where: New Creations International Church, 2929 Court St, Iowa City

Lent is Coming-
       Schedule of Services for the First Week of Lent:
February 22- Forgiveness Vespers, 6:00PM
February 23- Great Compline with Canon of St. Andrew, 7:00PM
February 24- Great Compline with Canon of St. Andrew, 7:00PM
February 25- Liturgy of Pre-Sanctified Gifts, 6:00PM (followed by soup supper)
February 26- Little Compline with Canon of St. Andrew, 7:00PM
February 27- Little Compline with Akathist Hymn, 7:00PM

The Church offers many opportunities for prayer and worship during the Lenten season.  Following the first weeks of Lent, there will be weekly services on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening.  Fr. Ignatius challenges you to consider making a commitment to come to at least one mid-week service every week during Lent.  Pick a night, clear your schedule and come and experience what the Church has to offer to you through the beautiful prayers and hymns of this season. 

Volunteers Needed to Bring Food for Wednesday Evening Soup Suppers-
       On Wednesdays at 6:00PM during Lent, we have the Liturgy of Pre-Sanctified Gifts.  Following this service, we will gather for a simple Lenten soup supper.  We need volunteers to bring some soup, bread and a side, if desired.  Look for the sign-up sheet in the narthex.

Almsgiving (Food For Hungry People Program)-
       Along with fasting, prayer and repentance, almsgiving is one of the pillars of the Lenten time.  Look for ways to be generous with others and let your giving be as anonymous as possible.  One easy way to give something to those in need is to participate in the Archdiocesan Food For Hungry People Program which collects money from all of the Antiochian parishes and gives it to various programs that serve the hungry.  Collection boxes are now at church in the narthex.  Take one home and use it during Lent.

Lenten Pan-Orthodox Sunday Vespers-
       Once again, the Iowa Orthodox Christian Clergy Association is sponsoring Pan-Orthodox Vespers at 5:30PM on Sundays during Lent.  After each service, the host parish will provide a meal.  Following is the schedule:
March 1- St. George Orthodox Church (3650 Cottage Grove Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids)
March 8- St. Raphael
March 15- St. John the Baptist Church (501 A Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids)
March 22- St. Demetrios Orthodox Church (613 W. 4th St., Waterloo)
March 29- St. Elias the Prophet Orthodox Church (Temporary Location: The Hadley Chapel at Hillcrest, 2005 Asbury Rd., Dubuque)

Sign-Up to Bring Food for Pan-Orthodox Vespers, March 8, 5:30PM-
       As noted above, we are hosting clergy and faithful from several Eastern Iowa Orthodox churches on Sunday evening, March 8.  Following vespers, we will provide a lenten meal for ourselves and our guests.  Please look for the sign-up sheet in the narthex and plan to bring some food to share.

Welcoming Weekend, March 14-15 (Invite some friends!)-
       As part of our mission to be faithful to the Lord and make disciples, the Evangelism and Outreach Working Group is spearheading a Welcoming Weekend March 14-15.  All are invited to participate.  Invite your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers to either vespers on Saturday, or Liturgy on Sunday (or both!)  Following vespers, we will offer some refreshments and invite people to stay a bit and talk.  This is a way t build up our church and share the gift we have been given.

We are looking for volunteers to greet, make food, as well as for everyone to invite friends and family to services this weekend.

Our New Memorial Effort is Now Operational-

        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.  

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/.

House Blessings (Just One Week Left!)-
       If you haven't heard from Fr. Ignatius yet about scheduling a house blessing, and you would like him to come, please let him know.  He is trying to contact everybody but may have missed a few people.  He would be happy to come and bless your home before the start of Lent on February 23.

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.

Students!  Spring Break Service Opportunity-
       St John the Compassionate Mission in Toronto, Ontario offers the opportunity to students in both the USA and Canada to spend their Spring Break with us. St John's has been living a life of Orthodox mission to the urban poor and disadvantaged in the inner city for almost 30 years.

Who? - You on your own or with friend(s): small groups work well here. 
When? - whenever you have your Spring Break (March 19-22 booked already!)
How? - contact Dn Pawel at livedtheologyschool@yahoo.ca
Cost? - your return transport + donation if you can (to cover basic costs)
St John's will provide room and board for you(s)

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

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
The reading for Sunday, February 22 is: The Lord said to His Disciples: If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father Who is in secret; and your Father Who sees in secret will reward you. Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.  (Matthew 6:14-21)

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

Choir Leadership-
       During the weekend of February 21-22, Tania Van Dinter will lead the choir.

Holy Bread-
       For the weekend of February 21-22, the Abuissa family will provide the holy bread.  Thank you in advance.

Coffee Hour-
       The St. John the Baptist team will bring food to share and will clean-up the fellowship hall on Sunday February 22. 

Food for Thought-

When the thrones are placed, and the books are opened, and God sitteth for judgment, O what a fearful sight, as the angels stand in fright, and the river of fire floweth by! What then shall we do, we who have come under condemnation by reason of the multitude of our sins? And as we hear Him call the blessed of His Father to His kingdom, and send the sinners to punishment, who will bear that terrible verdict? Wherefore, O Savior and Lover of mankind, alone King of ages, hasten to us before the end with repentance, and have mercy upon us.  

Doxastikon from vespers of the Sunday of the Last Judgment