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Church Bulletin: February 22, 2015

posted Feb 22, 2015, 2:19 PM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
February 22, 2015- Sunday of Forgiveness (Cheesefare Sunday)
This Week's Services and Events

February 23, Monday
        + Great Compline with Canon of St. Andrew, 7:00PM

February 24, Tuesday
        + Great Compline with Canon of St. Andrew, 7:00PM

February 25, Wednesday
        + Liturgy of Pre-Sanctified Gifts, 6:00PM, followed by lenten soup supper and a short teaching time on the services of Holy Week

February 26, Thursday
        + Little Compline with Canon of St. Andrew, 7:00PM

February 27, Friday
        + Matins, 8:30AM
        + Office Hours, 9:30AM-11:30AM
        + Little Compline with Akathist Hymn, 7:00PM

February 28, Saturday
        + Great Vespers, 5:00PM

March 1, 1st Sunday of Lent, Sunday of Orthodoxy
        + Matins, 8:30AM
        + Divine Liturgy, 10:00AM, followed by fellowship hour and Sunday School
        + Pan-Orthodox Vespers, 5:30PM, followed by supper (at St. George in Cedar Rapids)
Upcoming Events and Announcements   

March-April Calendars Now Available-
       The March-April calendars are printed and available at church.  Please take a copy or two home for you and your family.

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.

Lent is Here!-
       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 week 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. 

Today is Mission Sunday-
       The Orthodox Christian Mission Center has designated today as Mission Sunday, in order to raise awareness of their organization and the work that they do.  OCMC sponsors and trains missionaries in several countries and also supports mission priests in various countries.  They are working hard to spread the love of Christ and the Orthodox Christian faith around the world.  To learn more, go to:www.ocmc.org.

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.  During our meal time, Fr. Ignatius will offer a brief teaching on the services of Holy Week, in anticipation.

Bring Your Favorite Icon for the Procession Next Sunday-
        Sunday, March 1, the first Sunday of Lent, is known as the Sunday of Orthodoxy.  On this day, we remember the triumph of the holy icons and at the end of liturgy, we have a procession with the icons.  Plan to bring an icon of your patron saint or another favorite saint from home and participate in the procession.

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)

Prayers at Abortion Clinic (March 7)-
        All are invited to join Fr. Ignatius on the sidewalk in front of a local abortion clinic to pray the Akathist for One Who Has Aborted a Child and the Moleben for the Victims of Abortion.  On Saturday, March 7 at 10:00AM, Father will be in front of the Emma Goldman Clinic at 227 N. Dubuque St., Iowa City.

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 to 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.

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.

Resources for Great Lent-

        On our archdiocesan website at http://www.antiochian.org//lent there are plenty of wonderful teaching resources about the season of Great Lent.  Read and learn!

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.

You Can Participate in a Survey on Giving and Stewardship-

       The Assembly of Bishops is sponsoring a survey to gather data regarding practices in giving and stewardship among Orthodox Christians in America.  If you would like to participate in this survey, go to: http://www.assemblyofbishops.org/news/2015/assembly-seeks-participants-for-new-survey for more information.

Save the Date!-

       We are excited to have the opportunity to host the touring Russian Choral group Lyra at our church on Tuesday, April 28 at 7:30PM.  A free-will donation will be taken, proceeds to go to charity.  More information will be posted as the date draws closer.

Scholarship for Women Available-
       If you are a female 27 years old or older, an active member in good standing of a parish in the Antiochian Archdiocese, applying for or registered in an academic or trade program of study, and able to demonstrate financial need, and you are interested in applying for a $500 scholarship, please see Fr. Ignatius.  Scholarship deadline in June 1, 2015.

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, March 1 is:  At that time, Jesus decided to go to Galilee. And He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.”  Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael, and said to him, “We have found Him of Whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!” Nathanael said to Jesus, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered Him, “Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God! Thou art the King of Israel!” Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You shall see greater things than these.” And Jesus said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.”  (John 1:43-51)

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 know. 

Holy Bread-
       On March 1, the Naridze family will provide the holy bread.  Thank you in advance.

Coffee Hour-
       The St. Nicholas team will bring food to share and will clean-up the fellowship hall on Sunday March 1. 

Food for Thought-

Verily, Adam for eating was driven from paradise. Wherefore, he sat opposite thereto, wailing and mourning in a pitiful voice, saying: Woe is me; what hath befallen me, wretched man? I transgressed one commandment of my Lord and was denied all kinds of good things. Wherefore, O most-holy paradise, which for me wast planted, and for the sake of Eve was closed, implore Him Who made thee that I may contemplate the flowers of thy gardens. Therefore, the Savior cried out to him, saying: I desire not the loss of My creation, but that it be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth; for he that cometh to Me, I shall not cast out.  

Doxastikon of the Aposticha for Vespers of Cheesefare Sunday