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Church Bulletin: February 21, 2016

posted Feb 21, 2016, 7:37 PM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
February 21, 2016- Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee
This Week's Services and Events

February 24, Wednesday 
        + Akathist, 7:00PM

February 25, Thursday
        + Anchiskhati Concert, 7:30PM

February 26, Friday
        + Matins, 8:30AM
        + Office Hours, 9:30-11:30AM

February 27, Saturday
        + Great Vespers, 5:00PM

February 28, Sunday of the Prodigal Son
        + Matins, 8:45AM 
        + Divine Liturgy, 10:00AM, followed by coffee hour and Sunday School
Upcoming Events and Announcements- 

Memory Eternal!-
        Please pray for the soul of the newly departed handmaiden of God Kh. Jedonne Rhudy who passed away unexpectedly last night.  Fr. Stephen and Kh. Jedonne served St. Raphael Church from 2004-2006.  May her memory be eternal.

Anchiskhati Choir Quartet Concert-
        The famed Anchiskhati Quartet from Georgia will be performing a concert at St. Raphael Church at 7:30PM on February 25 as a fundraiser. The Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/events/481306735386681/ Please share with your friends.  Talk it up and come!

No Fasting This Week-
        So that we are reminded that fasting is not the goal, but rather the means to the goal which is repentance and faith in Christ, and so that we do not make the same prideful mistake as the Publican from the Gospel reading, who believed he was righteous because he fasted, the Church dispenses with the weekly Wednesday and Friday fast this week.

Special Voters' Meeting March 6-
       Following liturgy on March 6, we will have a special voters' meeting in order to discuss and assess of church's financial situation, which, thank God, has significantly improved in the last two months.   This meeting is being called as a promised follow-up to our annual meeting in December.  Please plan to stay.

Lent is on the Horizon!-
        Today marks the beginning of the use of the Triodion, the source of liturgical material that will enrich the services until Holy Week.  The liturgical themes for the next several Sundays were carefully chosen by the Church to ease us into the mindset necessary to have a profitable lenten journey to Pascha.  Let us take advantage of this time of preparation, and drink deep from the refreshing well of the Church.

Church Camp Scholarship Opportunity-
        If your child or children (ages 9-17) want to attend Camp St. George or any of our Archdiocesan camps this summer, and you need some financial assistance to pay for the tuition, please let Fr. Ignatius know before February 21.  

Shelter House Book Sale Fundraiser-
        The Shelter House Book Sale has been scheduled for March 5 and 6, at 1925 Boyrum St., near the intersection of Southgate Avenue and just behind the Waterfront Hy-Vee. It will be open from 10:30 a.m. (10 a.m. for early birds who pay $20) to 4 p.m. on March 5 and noon to 4 p.m. on March 6.

Food for All -- Kalona (an outreach of St. Raphael)-
        We have abundant financial resources to work with this year--our third year. Praise God! Income has come primarily from the Kalona community as well as from Methodist and Catholic grants. We've also had lots of food donations.
    Please be praying primarily for (1) Summer Lunch planning and good volunteers. We're hoping to have some guests involved in planning and leading. (2) Strong connections with the local schools to help with outreach. (3) Wednesday Vespers--possibly adding a community meal beforehand to feed people and encourage more participation. 
    You're welcome to join us however you'd like! Contact Amy at foodforallkalona@gmail.com or 319-333-4738. (Wednesday Vespers are on first and third Wednesdays at the big church on Highway 22 and 4th Street, Kalona. Do come!)

Atlas of American Orthodox Christian Monasteries Now Published-
          Now available from Amazon.com for $19.95 this book is an enticing travel guide for those seeking to visit American monasteries and to "sample" monastic life.  In addition, twenty-three featured monasteries share their "personal stories" and offer a glimpse in the surprising spiritual appeal of monastic life in 21st century America.  Edited by Alexei Krindatch. 150 pages of text are accompanied by four sets of color maps and more than one hundred photographs depicting everyday lives of US Orthodox monasteries. The Atlas is "album size," 9" by 11." 

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: “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 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-

If there is a moral quality almost completely disregarded and even denied today, it is indeed humility. The culture in which we live constantly instills in us the sense of pride, of self-glorification, and of self-righteousness. It is built on the assumption that man can achieve anything by himself and it even pictures God as the one who all the time "gives credit" for man's achievements and good deeds. Humility-- be it individual or corporate, ethnic or national-- is viewed as a sign of weakness, as something unbecoming a real man. Even our churches-- are they not imbued with that same spirit as the Pharisee? Do we not want our every contribution, every "good deed," all that we do "for the Church" to be acknowledged, praised, publicized?

Fr. Alexander Schmemann, "Great Lent"