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Church Bulletin: February 8, 2015

posted Feb 10, 2015, 12:04 PM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church

February 8, 2015- Sunday of the Prodigal Son
This Week's Services and Events

February 10, Tuesday
        + Parish Council meeting, 7:00PM

February 11, Wednesday
        + Akathist, 7:00

February 12, Thursday
        + OCF compline, 7:00PM

February 13, Friday
        + Matins, 8:30AM
        + Office Hours, 9:30AM-11:30AM

February 14, Saturday
        + Becoming Truly Human, 3:00PM
        + Great Vespers, 5:00PM

February 15, Sunday, Meatfare Sunday
        + Matins, 8:45AM
        + Divine Liturgy, 10:00AM, followed by fellowship hour and Sunday School
Upcoming Events and Announcements  

Reminders Regarding Receiving Holy Communion-
       1. Unless you have 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.  Young children may not be able to be so rigorous with their fasting.
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.  God wants to forgive us.  He wants to reconcile us to Himself.

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. 

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

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 for all of the Antiochian parishes and gives it to various programs that serve the hungry.  Look for collection boxes at church in the narthex next Sunday.

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)

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 Two Weeks 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.

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

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 15 is: The Lord said, “When the Son of man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. Before Him will be gathered all the nations, and He will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and He will place the sheep at His right hand, but the goats at the left. Then the King will say to those at His right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed Me, I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited Me, I was in prison and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see Thee hungry and feed Thee, or thirsty and give Thee drink? And when did we see Thee a stranger and welcome Thee, or naked and clothe Thee? And when did we see Thee sick or in prison and visit Thee?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ Then He will say to those at his left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave Me no food, I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome Me, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see Thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to Thee?’ Then He will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to Me.’ And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:31-46)

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. Nina team will bring food to share and will clean-up the fellowship hall on Sunday February 15. 

Food for Thought-

I have been entrusted with a verdant and faultless region, but I planted evil in its soil and reaped its ears with the scythe of laziness. And I gathered my deeds into sheaves but placed them not on the threshing-floor of repentance. Wherefore, I ask Thee, O divine Husbandman, to winnow the straw of my deeds with the breeze of Thy compassionate love; and fill my soul with the wheat of forgiveness. Store me in Thy heavenly garners and save me.

Stichera from vespers of the Sunday of the Prodigal Son