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Church Bulletin: January 25, 2015

posted Jan 26, 2015, 9:36 AM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
January 25, 2015- Zacchaeus Sunday
This Week's Services and Events

January 26, Monday
        + St. Nina Vesperal Liturgy, 6:00PM

January 28, Wednesday
        + Akathist, 7:00PM

January 29, Thursday
        + OCF Compline, 7:00PM

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

January 31, Saturday
        + Becoming Truly Human, 3:00PM
        + Great Vespers, 5:00PM

February 1, Sunday, Presentation of the Lord in the Temple
        +Matins, 8:45AM
        + Divine Liturgy, 10:00AM, followed by fellowship hour and Sunday School
Upcoming Events and Announcements  

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. 

St. Nina Liturgy-
       We will have vesperal liturgy for St. Nina on Monday, January 26 at 6:00PM.

Film Screening and Panel Discussion on Jewish Holocaust-
       On Tuesday, January 27 at 7:00PM at the Hillel Jewish Student Center (122 E. Market St.) there will be a film screening of the Stephen Spielberg documentary film "The Last Days" followed by a panel discussion composed of Holocaust experts.  The occasion is the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp. 

Free Lunch Program Volunteering-
        We are scheduled to provide volunteers at the Free Lunch Program on Tuesday, February 3 from 11:30AM-1:30PM.  Please let Fr. Ignatius know if you plan to come.

St. Maria's Bread House-
        Come to Vespers in Kalona, and please be praying for this effort to bring Orthodoxy south! Starting Wednesday, Feb. 4, we plan to have Vespers on the first and third Wednesday of every month. It will be at United Christian and Baptist Church, a big brick church at Highway 22 and 4th Street in Kalona. Talk to Father or Amy if you have questions. Amy can be reached at kalonabreadhouse@gmail.com or 319-656-3916. Board members from our church are Newman, Becky, Julia, and Bill.

A Poem by St. Gregory the Theologian-
       Word of God, and Truth itself,
I consecrated this day to you;
But I have played you false....
Night now falls upon me
And finds my own lamp barely bright.
This I prayed over, and foresaw,
But even so my feet still stumbled,
And so darkness fell around me,
That hater of salvation.
Oh, my Christ !
Rekindle my little lamp,
And shine on me once more.

Trans. by JA McGuckin

We Need a Volunteer to Coordinate New Flower Memorial Program-
        We all miss our departed loved ones and it is comforting to us to memorialize them in some way.  Beginning in 2015, we are going to have a weekly sign-up sheet available which will give people the opportunity to purchase a bouquet of flowers through the church, in memory of departed loved ones.  The donor's name, and the name(s) of their memorialized departed loved ones will be printed in the weekly emailed bulletin.  In order to organize this new effort to both remember our loved ones and beautify the nave of our church with more flowers, we need a volunteer who can approach a local florist to arrange a relationship which will facilitate such a program.  This person will also be responsible for picking up the bouquets of flowers and bringing them to church each week that somebody has arranged to have loved ones memorialized.  If this task interests you, please speak with Fr. Ignatius.

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

A Different Approach to House Blessings in 2015-
       The time between Theophany (January 6) and the beginning of Lent (this year, February 23) is traditionally, the time for Orthodox priests to do house blessings.  Fr. Ignatius will be doing house blessings during this time.  However, he is going to be contacting all parishioners directly, and scheduling a time to come and bless.  It is not necessary to feed the priest when he visits!  However, you are encouraged to invite others from the parish to your home during the blessing.  Let us renew our social bonds and forge new friendships during this season.

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 1 is:

In those days, the parents of Jesus brought Him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”), and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And inspired by the Spirit he came into the Temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said, “Lord, now lettest thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word; for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to Thy people Israel.” And His father and his mother marveled at what was said about Him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.” And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher; she was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity, and as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she gave thanks to God, and spoke of Him to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. And when they had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon Him.  (Luke 2:22-40)

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. Nicholas team will bring food to share and will clean-up the fellowship hall on Sunday February 1. 

Food for Thought-

Tilling the hearts of the faithful with thy speech, O Gregory, thou madest ever-flourishing fruits of piety to sprout forth in them for God; and uprooting the thorny heresies, thou didst adorn their thoughts with purity. Wherefore, as thou receivest our praises, O divine harp, O wakeful eye, O shepherd of shepherds, O hunter of the wolves, O Theologian, earnestly intercede with the Word in behalf of our souls.

Doxastikon from vespers for St. Gregory the Theologian