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Church Bulletin: February 9, 2014

posted Feb 10, 2014, 12:46 PM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
February 9, 2014- The Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee
 
This Week's Services and Events

February 11, Tuesday
        + Parish Council meeting, 7PM

February 12, Wednesday
        + Akathist, 7PM followed by Teen SOYO Prayer and Fellowship

February 13, Thursday
        + OCF compline, 7PM
        + Choir practice, 7PM

February 14, Friday
         + Matins, 8:30AM
         + Office Hours, 9:30AM-11:30AM

February 15, Saturday
        + Intro to Orthodoxy Class, 4PM
        + 9th Hour/Great Vespers, 6PM
        + Teen SOYO Board Game Night, 7:30PM
                                                                                                      
February 16, Sunday, Sunday of the Prodigal Son
        + Matins, 8:45AM
        + Liturgy, 10AM, followed by Sunday School and coffee hour
        
Upcoming Events and Announcements  

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. 

No Wednesday/Friday Fasting this Week-
       So that we may not experience pride because of our fasting, as the Pharisee did in today's Gospel reading (Luke 18:10-14), we are forbidden to fast on Wednesday and Friday this week.

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.


Upcoming Teen SOYO Events-
       February schedule: 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 20, OCF is invited to the Van Dinter home for dinner at 6:30PM.


Raising Lazarus Project- 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.

College Scholarships Available-
       Applications for two scholarships administered by the Department of Philanthropy of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America are now available to Orthodox Christian students connected to parishes in jurisdictions of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America. The Malta Scholarship is for undergraduate studies and the Paleologos Scholarship is awarded for graduate work in all areas of study except theology.  Applications can be downloaded from the website of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America: www.goarch.org. For more information, please email scholarships@goarch.org or call 212-774-0283. The deadline for submitting an application for these scholarships is April 25, 2014

The Origin of the World, and Mankind-
       Recently, the so-called creation/evolution controversy has been in the news again, with the publicity surrounding a debate between an atheist evolutionist and a Christian young earth creationist.  In the Orthodox Church there is no dogmatic teaching on the origins of matter and mankind, other than we must affirm that God is the "maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible" as we confess in the Nicene Creed, that all things were made by Him out of nothing, as Scripture and our Liturgy affirm, and that mankind is created in the image and after the likeness of God, as Genesis 1:26 teaches.  With this in mind, the thoughts shared by one Orthodox bishop who is also a trained scientist, may be helpful.  His thoughts can be found at: http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2014/01/orthodox-bishop-answers-4-questions-on.html

A Modern Day Miracle-
       To listen to the testimony of a Greek Orthodox priest in New York who witnessed the recent and instantaneous healing of a blind man through the intercessions of St. Paraskevi, go to: http://myocn.net/modern-day-miracle/


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.

Lent is Coming-
      
Lent begins with the beautiful service of reconciliation called Forgiveness Vespers at 6PM on Sunday, March 2.  Following, is the schedule of services for the rest of the first week of Lent.
Monday, March 3- Compline with Canon of St. Andrew, 7PM
Tuesday, March 4- Compline with Canon of St. Andrew, 7PM
Wednesday, March 5- Presanctified Liturgy, 6PM
Thursday, March 6- Compline with Canon of St. Andrew, 7PM
Friday, March 7- Compline with Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos, 7PM

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)

Shelter House Used Book Sale-
       All proceeds benefit the Shelter House-
Saturday, March 1st from 10:30am* - 4:30pm
Sunday, March 2nd from noon - 4:00pm
*Early Birds 10:00am for $10 entrance fee
Iowa City Marketplace (formerly Sycamore Mall)

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-
         "The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it."   Genesis 2:15    

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.

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. 
     
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.


Coffee Hour-
        On Sunday February 16, the food for coffee hour and the clean-up of the fellowship hall will be provided by the St. Nina food team. 

    
Food for Thought-

I desire to ask one favor of you all, before I touch on the words of the Gospel; do not refuse my request, for I ask nothing heavy or burdensome....  What then is it that I require of you?  That each of you take in hand that section of the Gospels which is to be read among you on the first day of the week, or even on the Sabbath, and before the day arrives, that he sit down at home and read it through, and often carefully consider its contents, and examine all its parts well, what is clear, what obscure, what seems to make for the adversaries, but does not really so; and when you have tried, in a word, every point, so go to hear it read.  For from zeal like this will be no small gain both to you and to us.

St. John Chrysostom
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