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Church Bulletin: February 2, 2014

posted Feb 2, 2014, 1:21 PM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
February 2, 2014- The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple
This Week's Services and Events

February 3, Monday
        + Teen SOYO Book club, 6:30PM

February 4, Tuesday
        + Free Lunch Volunteering, 11:30AM-1:30PM (1105 S. Gilbert Ct.)

February 5, Wednesday
        + Akathist, 7PM

February 6, Thursday
        + OCF dinner at Morey's home, 6:30PM

February 7, Friday
         + Matins, 8:30AM
         + Office Hours, 9:30AM-11:30AM

February 8, Saturday
        + Intro to Orthodoxy Class, 4PM
        + 9th Hour/Great Vespers, 6PM
February 9, Sunday, Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee
        + Matins, 8:45AM
        + Liturgy, 10AM, followed by Sunday School and coffee hour
Upcoming Events and Announcements  

Thank You-
       From Newman Abuissa- "Thank you to the St. Raphael family for cosponsoring the Syrian relief fundraiser. Your help and support made the event a very successful evening. Some even expressed that they missed the Evening in the East we used to sponsor. The St. Raphael choir quartet, Amal Ayyoup and the accompanying musicians and the delicious food made the event a success to help the Syrian people who are in need. Thank you all.  The Daily Iowan had the following article which summaries the event nicely: http://www.dailyiowan.com/2014/01/24/Metro/36258.html "
And we received a nice note from the staff at Old Brick-
"Dear All,
This event was wonderful in every way. Thank you for sharing such delicious food, beautiful music, and compassion for those in need.  What an honor for Old Brick to have hosted such a well-organized and important event!  Thank you everyone, especially Jason and Newman, for all you have done."

House Blessings
       Fr. Ignatius is available to come to your home to bless from now until the beginning of Lent (March 3).  A sign-up sheet is posted at church.  Please suggest a date and a time and Fr. Ignatius will confirm with you. 

So Long, Farewell!-
       St. Raphael members Tony and Meghan Carter have recently moved to New York City.  We wish them all the best.  May God grant them many years!

Share with Your Friends-
        As part of the many ways we strive to be welcoming and friendly to visitors and newcomers, our parish website has been recently updated to include a Visitors and Newcomers page.  Please check out: http://www.straphaelorthodoxchurch.org/newcomers and share with anyone who may want to learn more about what goes on at St. Raphael Church.

Statement From Metropolitan Philip Concerning Antiochian Withdrawal From Assembly of Bishops-
        Metropolitan Philip's letter explaining the withdrawal of all Antiochian clergy and laity from the Assembly of Bishop's activities is attached.  To clarify, the action described in His Eminence's letter only pertains to Antiochian participation in the Assembly of Bishops, and does not impact any other pan-Orthodox activities or concelebrations.  The Patriarchate of Antioch (of which we are a part) is still in communion with the other Patriarchates of the world.

Joint Statement Of Patriarchs of Antioch and Moscow- 

Men and Boys, Would You Like to Serve in the Altar as Acolytes?-
       At Saturday evening vespers, Sunday morning matins and Liturgy, it is helpful to Fr. Ignatius to have altar servers (acolytes) to assist him with the various liturgical actions that take place during the services.  For several years, Todd Wiblin and Bill Spencer have faithfully served in this capacity and will continue to do so.  Any male (ages 8 and up) who desires to serve the church in this way is encouraged to speak with Fr. Ignatius or Bill or Todd.  At Liturgy, we could have as many as 4-5 serving at one time. 

Upcoming Teen SOYO Events-
       February schedule: Book Club meets at 6:30PM on February 3; Prayer and Fellowship meets at 7PM on February 12 and 26, Board Game Night is on February 15 at 7:30 (following vespers) and Movie Night is on February 17 at 6:30PM.  On Saturday March 1 at 10AM, Teen SOYO is touring the Journey to Freedom exhibit on human trafficking (see below for details.)

Upcoming OCF Events-
       The Orthodox Christian Fellowship meets on February 13 and 27 at 7PM for compline.  On February 6, the group is invited to the Morey home for dinner at 7PM.  On February 20, OCF is invited to the Van Dinter home for dinner at 6:30PM.

St. Raphael Book Group-
       The Book Group will meet on February 9 at 7PM at Lori Branch and Robert Peterson's home to discuss St. Gregory of Nyssa's "On the Resurrection."  Books can be ordered through Robert Peterson.

Parents and Sunday School Students!  Confession!-
       Over the next few weeks in Sunday School, one of the topics that the students will be learning about is the Sacrament of Confession.  On Saturday, March 1 at 1PM, which is the day before Forgiveness Sunday and the start of Lent, all Sunday School students and their parents are invited to come to church to have a time of confession with Fr. Ignatius.  By the time they reach ages 7-8, many children are ready to make their first confession.  Some are even ready before.  This is called the "Raising Lazarus Project: Unbinding our Souls through the Mystery of Confession." 

Archdiocesan Church Camp Scholarships Available-
       Through the generosity of the Order of St. Ignatius, our church has the opportunity to utilize up to $700 in scholarships to help our children attend any of the Archdiocese-sponsored church camps this summer. If you have a child ages 9-17 who would like to attend a camp, and you would like to apply for a scholarship, please let Fr. Ignatius know before the February 23rd deadline. We are blessed to have Camp St. George only about one hour away.  The camp session dates are August 10-16.

Raise Your Awareness of Human Trafficking-
       Genesis Church is hosting a free, experiential walk-through exhibit called Journey to Freedom, at The Big White House (1246 12th Ave., Coralville) from February 17- March 1, (M-F, 12PM-8PM; Sat. Feb. 22 10AM-8PM; Sat. Mar. 1 10AM-4PM).  Note: the exhibit is rated PG-13. Parents please use discretion when deciding whether the exhibit is age appropriate for your children. For more information, go to:  http://www.bigwhitehouse.org/bwh/JOURNEYTOFREEDOM/tabid/93/Default.aspx.
Pro-Life Education Seminar to Feature Orthodox Bioethicist Wesley J. Smith-
        Iowa Right to Life is hosting an education seminar on Monday, February 17 in Des Moines.  The featured speaker will be attorney and bioethicist Wesley Smith.  He is an Orthodox subdeacon, an award winning author and a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism. He is also a consultant to the Patients Rights Council, and a special consultant for the Center for Bioethics and Culture. For more information on this event, go to: http://iowartl.org/events/ and/or look at the poster in the church narthex.

Pan-Orthodox Vespers-
       Yes, it is true, Lent is approaching.  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 9- St. Raphael Orthodox Church
March 16- St. John the Baptist Church (501 A Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids)
March 23- St. George Orthodox Church (3650 Cottage Grove Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids)
March 30- St. Elias the Prophet Orthodox Church (1075 Rockdale Rd., Dubuque)
April 6- St. Demetrios Orthodox Church (613 W. 4th St., Waterloo)

St. Emmelia Orthodox Homeschooling Conference-
       The St. Emmelia Orthodox Homeschooling Conference will be held at the Antiochian Village in Pennsylvania from March 27-30.  Our own Lori Peterson Branch will be one of the presenters.  To learn more, look at the poster in the narthex.  Links to the schedule and everything you need for registration can be found by scrolling to March at the following link:  http://antiochianvillage.org/center/special_events/upcoming.html
Save the Date!-
        On Friday, April 4 at 7PM, we will pray the Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos in front of a large copy of the ancient and revered "Our Lady of Czestochowa" icon, also known as the Black Madonna.  As part of the "From Ocean to Ocean Pilgrimage" this icon has been travelling around the world and has appeared in hundreds of Orthodox and Catholic churches.  To learn more about this icon and pilgrimage, go to: www.fromoceantoocean.org

When to Contact the Priest (Adapted from Fr. John Peck)-
       Many are confused about when they should contact the parish priest in the many events of life. Calling the priest is necessary to maintain the bond of love in our community and to bring the Grace of God into our lives through the Holy Sacraments. The priest should be aware of the spiritual and physical needs of all our families in order to be the pastor. The priest should not be seen as “too busy”!  He is here to shepherd us and his first priority is the people of the parish.  Should any of the following needs or situations arise, call or text Fr. Ignatius at 319-400-7522 or email him at frignatius@straphaelorthodoxchurch.org:

Whenever you, or someone you know, needs prayer

Whenever there is a major medical procedure or visit to the hospital

Whenever there is an emergency room visit to the hospital (before, or during, not only after please!)

Whenever a family member is close to death or has a life threatening illness

When a baby is born

Prior to a medical procedure- ask to be anointed at the end of the Divine Liturgy

Prior to a major travel event- ask for travel prayers at the end of the Divine Liturgy

When a family is making a major family decision- advice can be sought

When opening a new office, moving to a new home or you buy a new car

When getting engaged or making marriage plans

When you are having struggles with the Faith

When you would like to schedule time for confession

When you would like to have a pastoral visit

When you have questions about the Faith

When you have a conflict with someone that you cannot resolve

Whenever you have an unexpected trip to the hospital or spend the night in the hospital

When you need help with funeral plans (everyone does)

When you have a question about the Scriptures

When you have a question about God

When you have a question about yourself      

Thoughts on Stewardship and Giving-
        "Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience."  (Luke 8:14-15)          

Pray for our Catechumens-
      Please keep our catechumens: Ilya Buchkin, Rachelle Naridze and Tyson Humphrey in your prayers as they prepare to be sacramentally joined to the Orthodox Church.
An Opportunity to Serve, Be a Greeter-
       The greeter's main responsibility is to make newcomers feel welcome by warmly greeting them, asking them to sign our guestbook and/or newcomer information card, making sure they know bathrooms and coatroom are downstairs and ushering them into the nave of the church.   If you are interested in signing up to be a greeter for a Sunday, there is a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board just outside of the bookstore.  On the sheet, is a complete job description for this important position. 
Keep Praying for Kidnapped Orthodox Bishops, Priest, Nuns and Orphans in Syria-
       Since April 22, 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. Since December 2, 12 nuns and three orphans have been removed by force from their convent and held captive.  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 know.

Holy Bread-
        On Sunday February 9, the holy bread will be provided by the Padath family.  Thank you in advance.
Coffee Hour-
        On Sunday February 9, the food for coffee hour and the clean-up of the fellowship hall will be provided by the St. Raphael food team. 

Food for Thought-

Cover a sinner, so long as you receive no harm from him, and give him encouragement; then your Master's loving-kindness will bear you up.  Support with a word the infirm and those who are grieved at heart insofar as this lies within your hands, then the Right Hand that sustains all will also sustain you.  Through the toil of prayer and the anguish of your heart commune with those who are grieved at heart, and the Source of mercy will be opened up to your petitions.  Weary yourself with constant supplication before God with a heart possessing a pure, compunctionate meditation, and God will protect your mind from filthy thoughts, that His way may not be defamed through you. Continuously apply yourself to the study of reading the divine Scriptures with precise understanding, lest by reason of the idleness of your mind, your sight be polluted with foreign pollutions.  At a time when you think you will not be worsted, do not voluntarily make trial of your mind with lewd reflections which tempt you, because in this way wise men have been darkened and made fools.  Do not store a flame in your bosom.   

St. Isaac the Syrian, bishop of Nineveh, from "Ascetical Homily #2"
Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church,
Feb 2, 2014, 1:21 PM