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Church Bulletin: January 24, 2016

posted Jan 24, 2016, 4:14 PM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
January 24, 2015- St. Xenia of St. Petersburg
This Week's Services and Events

January 26, Tuesday
        + Vesperal Liturgy, 6:00PM

January 27, Wednesday 
        + Akathist, 7:00PM

January 28, Thursday
        + OCF Compline, 7:00PM

January 29, Friday
        + Matins, 8:30AM
        + Office Hours, 9:30-11:30AM

January 30, Saturday
        + Great Vespers, 5:00PM

January 31, Sunday (Zacchaeus Sunday)
        + Matins, 8:45AM 
        + Divine Liturgy, 10:00AM, followed by coffee hour and Sunday School
Upcoming Events and Announcements- 

We Need Holy Bread Bakers-
        We need volunteers to bake holy bread the next several Sundays.  Sign-up sheets for the whole year are posted on the bulletin board at the top of the stairs.  Please sign up.

House Blessing Season-
       Fr. Ignatius is looking forward to blessing your home before March 13.  Contact him if you would like to plan a specific time for him to come.  If he doesn't hear from you, he will be contacting you soon.

Liturgy for St. Nina, January 26-
        We will celebrate liturgy for St. Nina of Georgia at 6:00PM on January 26.

Young Children’s Swim Party-
        Nina and Nicole Peterson invite the younger Sunday school class and their families to a swim birthday party:
What: Nina and Nicole’s 9th birthday party!
When: Sunday, January 31, 2016, 4:30-7:30 pm; food & cake 6pm
Where: The pool & water slide at Comfort Inn & Suites, 2134 James St., Coralville
Bring: Swim suit & towel
RSVP: by Jan. 25 to Lori Peterson Branch at (319) 594-7377

Statement from the Assembly of Bishops Concerning Abortion and the Sanctity of Life-
        As our land marks another anniversary of the court decision which legalized abortion-on-demand, let us consider the life-giving words of our bishops regarding this deep wound in our society.  To read the statement, go to: http://www.assemblyofbishops.org/news/2016/catholic-and-orthodox-christians-affirm-sanctity-of-life-invite-people-into-the-embrace-of-christ

Consider Supporting Hannah Valentine on Her Short-term Mission Trip to Mexico-
       Between March 26-April 2, Hannah will be traveling with a small team of short-term missionaries as part of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center to go to two remote villages in Mexico to teach the faith to the local Orthodox Christians there.  If you would like to support her, go to: https://www.ocmc.org/donate/donation_info.aspx?DonationType=MissionTeam&FundId=207&AppId=3332

Choir Rehearsal Rescheduled-
        Our choir will hold a rehearsal from 9:00AM-noon on February 6.  All are welcome to attend and sing in the choir.

Liturgy for the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, February 1-
        We will celebrate liturgy for the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple at 6:00PM on February 1.

Book of 30 Akathists to Beloved Saints-
        A new book containing the akathist services to 30 beloved saints has recently been published as a fundraiser by Three Hierarchs Orthodox Church in Washington state.  To learn more and to order go to: http://www.wenorthodox.com/product/book-of-akathists-god-is-wonderful-in-his-saints/

Anchiskhati Choir Quartet Concert-
        Save the date!  We are excited to announce that the famed Anchiskhati Quartet from Georgia will be performing a concert at St. Raphael Church at 7:30PM on February 25.  Do we have any volunteers to help with the cost of hotel rooms for the singers?  See Matthew or Nestan if you are able to help.  

Church Camp Scholarship Opportunity-
        If your child or children (ages 9-17) want to attend Camp St. George or any of our Archdiocesan camps this summer, and you need some financial assistance to pay for the tuition, please let Fr. Ignatius know before February 21.  

2015-2016 Sunday School Project-
        During our current Sunday School year, the 5-12 grade class is sponsoring two children in Ethiopia through the organization Partners With Ethiopia.  Sunday school teachers are asking the Sunday School students to bring in change or whatever they and their families can give each week.  The financial commitment is $38 per month per child.  We may need additional assistance from the parish to meet our goal each month.  Brochures explaining this project are available at church.

Food for All - Kalona-
    Please continue to pray as we seek ways to encourage Vespers attendance as well as explore food charity programs, such as cooking classes and a Christmas bread event. Input and help is always welcome.
   Kalona Vespers are on first and third Wednesdays (7 p.m.). Join us at UCB Church, Highway 22 and 4th St., Kalona. Questions? Contact Amy at foodforallkalona@gmail.com.

Bishop's Visit, Save the Date!-
        Bishop Anthony plans to be with us the weekend of April 9-10, 2016.  Save the date!
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.

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 been heard from.  Please pray for their well being and release and also pray for their captors as well.  

Next Sunday's Gospel Reading-
       At that time, Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. And there was a man named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector, and rich. And he sought to see Who Jesus was, but could not, on account of the crowd, because he was small of stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Jesus, for He was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down; for I must stay at your house today.” So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. And when they saw it they all murmured, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost.”  (Luke 19:1-10)
Pray for our Catechumen-
       Please keep our catechumen Ilya Buchkin in your prayers as he prepares to be sacramentally joined to the Orthodox Church.

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. 

Food for Thought-

A woman with an unplanned pregnancy faces more than “inconvenience”; many adversities, financial and social, at school, at work, and at home confront her. Our mistake was in looking at these problems and deciding that the fault lay with the woman, that she should be the one to change. We focused on her swelling belly, not the pressures that made her so desperate. We advised her, “Go have this operation and you’ll fit right in.”

What a choice we made for her. She climbs onto a clinic table and endures a violation deeper than rape—the nurse’s hand is wet with her tears—then is grateful to pay for it, grateful to be adapted to the social machine that rejected her when pregnant. And the machine grinds on, rejecting her pregnant sisters.

It is a cruel joke to call this a woman’s “choice.” We may choose to sacrifice our life and career plans, or choose to undergo humiliating invasive surgery and sacrifice our offspring. How fortunate we are—we have a choice! Perhaps it’s time to amend the slogan: “Abortion: a woman’s right to capitulate.”

If we refused to choose, if we insisted on keeping both our lives and our bodies intact, what changes would our communities have to make? What would make abortion unnecessary? Flexible school situations, more flex-time, part-time, and home-commute jobs, attractive adoption opportunities, safe family planning choices, support in handling sex responsibly––this is a partial list. Yet these changes will never come as long as we’re lying down on abortion tables 1,600,000 times a year to ensure the status quo. We’ve adapted to this surgical substitute, to the point that Justice Blackmun could write in his Webster dissent, “Millions of women have ordered their lives around” abortion. That we have willingly ordered our lives around a denigrating surgical procedure—accepted it as the price we must pay to keep our life plans intact—is an ominous sign.

For over a hundred years feminists warned us that abortion is a form of oppression and violence against women and their children. They called it “child-murder” (Susan B. Anthony), “degrading to women” (Elizabeth Cady Stanton), “most barbaric” (Margaret Sanger), and a “disowning [of] feminine values” (Simone de Beauvoir). How have we lost this wisdom?

Abortion has become the accepted way of dealing with unplanned pregnancies, and women who make another choice are viewed as odd, backward, and selfish. Across the nation, three thousand crisis pregnancy centers struggle, unfunded and unrecognized, to help these women with housing, clothing, medical care, and job training before and after pregnancy. These volunteers must battle the assumption that “they’re supposed to abort”—especially poor women who hear often enough that their children are unwanted. Pro-choice rhetoric conjures a dreadful day when women could be forced to have abortions; that day is nearly here.

More insidiously, abortion advocacy has been poisonous to some of the deeper values of feminism. For example, the need to discredit the fetus has led to the use of terms that would be disastrous if applied to women. “It’s so small,” “It’s unwanted,” “It might be disabled,” “It might be abused.” Too often women are small, unwanted, disabled, or abused. Do we really want to say that these factors erase personhood?

A parallel disparaging of pregnancy itself also has an unhealthy ring. Harping on the discomforts of pregnancy treats women as weak and incompetent; yet we are uniquely equipped for this role, and strong enough to do much harder things than this. Every woman need not bear a child, but every woman should feel proud kinship in the earthy, elemental beauty of birth. To hold it in contempt is to reject our distinctive power, “our bodies, ourselves.”

- Kh. Frederica Mathewes-Green