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Church Bulletin: January 19, 2014

posted Jan 19, 2014, 4:58 PM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
January 19, 2014- The Twenty Ninth Sunday after Pentecost
This Week's Services and Events
January 20, Monday
        + Teen SOYO Movie Night, 6:30PM

January 22, Wednesday
        + Akathist, 7PM

January 23, Thursday
        + Syria Fundraiser, 6:30PM at Old Brick

January 24, Friday
         + Matins, 8:30AM
         + Office Hours, 9:30AM-11:30AM

January 25, Saturday
        + Choir Practice, 10AM-12PM
        + Intro to Orthodoxy Class, 4PM
        + 9th Hour/Great Vespers, 6PM
January 26, Sunday
        + Matins, 8:45AM
        + Liturgy, 10AM, followed by Sunday School and coffee hour
        + Vespers for St. Nina, 6PM
Upcoming Events and Announcements  

Church Finances Update (Good News!)-
       The Parish Council is pleased to report that due to a few more pledges received and some unexpected savings in cost for health insurance for Fr. Ignatius and family, we have about $560 more per month than the budget we passed in early December assumed we would have.  The council has decided to use this money to fund some of the budget items that had been cut back to zero in our austere budget.  These include funds for: clergy travel for required meetings and conferences, Sunday School, Teen SOYO, choir, visiting clergy stipends, and our Archdiocese.  We have 24 pledging families, and also other occasional and regular donors.  Thank you to all for your generosity!

House Blessing Season is Here-
       Fr. Ignatius will be 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. 

Sacred Gift of Life Sunday is Today-
        Each year, the Sunday preceding the anniversary of the US Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion-on-demand is designated as Sacred Gift of Life Sunday in our Archdiocese.  To read more about this, go to: http://www.antiochian.org/sacred_gift and to learn more about Orthodox beliefs concerning the unborn child, go to: http://www.antiochian.org/node/22500 Historically, Iowa City has had a high rate of abortion and has been a regional point of access for abortion for 40 years now.  Thankfully, we are blessed with a wonderful Christian-based medical clinic that is offering real, concrete, medical, financial and spiritual support and alternatives for women who are contemplating ending their pregnancies through abortion.  Informed Choices Medical Clinic is worthy of our prayers and support.  To learn more about them, pick up one of their brochures in the church narthex or go to: http://www.informedchoicesclinic.com/ and http://informedchoiceia.org/

Teen SOYO Event-
       Our teens will gather at church on January 20 at 6:30PM for a movie night. 

Choir Practice-
       The choir will practice on January 25 from 10AM-12PM. 

Fundraiser to Benefit Suffering People of Syria-
       St. Raphael Church is co-sponsoring a fundraising event featuring Middle Eastern food and music, to benefit the suffering people of Syria.  This event will be held at 6:30PM on Thursday January 23 at Old Brick (26 E. Market St.)  Suggested donation for adults is $20 and children is $15.

Introduction to Orthodoxy Class-
       All are welcome to attend a seven week Introduction to Orthodoxy class that will meet on 7 consecutive Saturdays at 4PM starting on January 25.

Vespers for St. Nina, Enlightener of Georgia-
       We will have vespers for St. Nina, Enlightener of Georgia at 6PM on Sunday, January 26.  Please join us!

Meet Your 2014 Parish Council-
       Today, the 2014 St. Raphael Parish Council was installed with a prayer of blessing at the end of Liturgy.  Your parish council consists of: Matthew Arndt, chair; Karen Kuntz, vice-chair; Jeremy Coffin, treasurer; Alli Rockwell, Secretary; Tariel Berimeladze, and Alexia Slauson. 

Office Hours-
        Fr. Ignatius's office hours have switched from Mondays at 9:30AM-11:30AM, to Fridays at 9:30AM-11:30AM. 

Desire, Scripture and Change: Reading the Bible in the Orthodox Tradition-
       To read a well-written and thought-provoking article on how we, as Orthodox Christians, ought to approach the Holy Scriptures, read Fr. John Oliver's article from the Word magazine (starting on p. 3) at: http://www.antiochian.org/sites/default/files/january_2014_word.pdf

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.
Upcoming Movies of Interest-
       In 2014, there will be at least three movies released that deal with historical figures important to our Christian faith.  "Son of God", to be released next month, tells the story of Jesus from the Gospels.  To view a trailer, go to: http://www.sonofgodmovie.com/.  A trailer for the Spring-release "Noah" can be viewed at www.noahmovie.com.  "Katherine of Alexandria" is set to be released soon.  It is the last film that Peter O'Toole appeared in before his death last month.  See a trailer at www.katherineofalexandria.com.  Finally, "Mary of Nazareth" has been released but without a distributor and so won't be in theatres except by special arrangement.  To see a trailer, go to: www.maryfilm.com.  Disclaimer: Fr. Ignatius has not seen any of these movies (beyond their trailers)and can't vouch for their worth!

On the Supernatural and Transfigured Look of Icons-
        Iconographer Aidan Hart explains, "We notice that trees, mountains, birds, are not depicted as a naturalist would: trees, especially in mosaics such as those in Ravenna, are shown flecked with gold, shot through with light as in their true Paradisical state; mountains bow towards the saints; birds often have colour combinations not seen in this world.  The whole arrangement of each person and thing in an icon reveals the poetical harmony of a redeemed creation, each thing operating according to its inner logos or essence, inclining toward its Maker."

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

Thoughts on Stewardship and Giving-
         "The point is this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that you may always have enough of everything and may provide in abundance for every good work." 2 Corinthians 9: 6-8

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 January 26, the Van Dinter family will provide the holy bread.  Thank you in advance.
Coffee Hour-
        On Sunday January 26, the food for coffee hour and the clean-up of the fellowship hall will be provided by the St. John the Baptist food team. 

Choir Leadership-
       On January 26, Lori Branch will lead the choir.
Food for Thought-

Therefore, I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,  far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.

Ephesians 1:15-21