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Church Bulletin: January 26, 2014

posted Jan 26, 2014, 1:26 PM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
January 26, 2014- The Thirtieth Sunday after Pentecost
This Week's Services and Events

January 29, Wednesday
        + Akathist, 7PM
        + Teen SOYO Fellowship, 7PM

January 30, Thursday
        + OCF compline, 7PM

January 31, Friday
         + Matins, 8:30AM
         + Office Hours, 9:30AM-11:30AM

February 1, Saturday
        + Intro to Orthodoxy Class, 4PM
        + 9th Hour/Great Vespers, 6PM
February 2, Sunday, Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple
        + Matins, 8:45AM
        + Liturgy, 10AM, followed by Sunday School and coffee hour
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!

Report on Des Moines Area Blessing of Water-
       The Des Moines Register has a report on yesterday's Outdoor Blessing of the Water in Des Moines that features friends of our parish Fr. Lev Smith and Fr. Maximos Herman.  To read the article and watch a short video, go to: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20140126/NEWS/301260058/Two-orthodox-churches-come-together-to-bless-Gray-s-Lake-water?Frontpage

News from Last Week's March for Life in Washington, DC-
       To read about Orthodox Christian participation in the Annual March for Life, held last week in Washington, DC, go to: http://antiochian.org/bishop-john-participates-march-life

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. 

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.

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

Free Lunch Program Volunteering-
       We are scheduled to help serve a meal at the Free Lunch Program on Tuesday, February 4 from 11:30AM-1:30PM.  The new location is 1105 S. Gilbert Ct.  Please let Fr. Ignatius know if you can help this month.

Upcoming Teen SOYO Events-
       Our teens will start a new gathering this week.  Teen SOYO Prayer and Fellowship begins this Wednesday, January 29 at 7PM.  Come to Akathist and stay until 9PM, getting to know each other and talking about whatever comes up.  This is scheduled for the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month throughout this Winter and Spring.  February schedule: Book Club meets at 6:30PM on February 3; 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 January 30, February 13 and 27 at 7PM for compline.  On February 6, the group is invited to the Morey home for dinner at 6:30PM.  On February 20, OCF is invited to the Van Dinter home for dinner at 6:30PM.

St. Raphael Book Group-
       The Book Group will meet on February 9 at 7PM at Lori Branch and Robert Peterson's home to discuss St. Gregory of Nyssa's "On the Resurrection."  Books can be ordered through Robert Peterson.

Parents and Sunday School Students!  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.

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.

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.
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.

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 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-
        "Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise, you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly." Matthew 6: 1-4         

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.

Coffee Hour-
        On Sunday February 2, the food for coffee hour and the clean-up of the fellowship hall will be provided by the St. Nicholas food team. 

Choir Leadership-
       On February 2, Matthew Arndt will lead the choir.
Food for Thought-

Every one of us is in the image of God, and every one of us is like a damaged icon. But if we were given an icon damaged by time, damaged by circumstances, or desecrated by human hatred, we would treat it with reverence, with tenderness, with broken-heartedness. We would not pay attention primarily to the fact that it is damaged, but to the tragedy of its being damaged. We would concentrate on what is left of its beauty, and not on what is lost of its beauty. And this is what we must learn to do with regard to each person as an individual, but also – and this is not always as easy – with regard to groups of people, whether it be a parish or a denomination, or a nation.

Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

My dear brothers and sisters,

It is customary, in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, to commemorate one or more particular saint on every day of the year. January 22nd, the day in 1973 on which the Roe versus Wade decision was handed down, the day in 2014 on which we gather for the 41st Annual March for Life, is the day on which, for many centuries now, the Orthodox Church has commemorated the Holy Apostle Timothy, the young disciple of St Paul who bore witness to Christ and His life even unto his own martyric death.

And so, in his honor, I would like to draw on the words of the Holy Apostle Paul to his disciple Timothy as we give thanks to Almighty God for this meal, for this day, and for our fellowship with one another.

O Lord, our God, help us to heed the words of Saint Paul, who exhorts us first of all to make supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence [1 Timothy 2:1-2]. We pray that our civil authorities will remember that God our Savior… desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth [1 Timothy 2:4].

O Lord, our God, we honor the humble example of the bishops, priests and pastors, who have chosen a good work and have offered themselves as examples of blamelessness, temperance, sobermindedness, hospitality and teaching to their flocks [1 Timothy 3:2], calling them to hold fast to the sanctity of life and to be mindful that the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith [1 Timothy 1:5].

O Lord, our God, we rejoice in the large numbers of young men and women who are here with us today, and we encourage them to not despise their youth, but to be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.  [May they] give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.  [May they] not neglect the gift that is in [them]... may they meditate on these things; giving [themselves] entirely to them, that [their] progress may be evident to all; [knowing that] in doing this [they] will save both [themselves] and those who hear [them] [1 Timothy 4:12-16].

O Lord, our God, may each of us gathered here not be afraid to proclaim the faithful saying, [that is] worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief [1 Timothy 1:15]. May the men among us remember to pray everywhere, without wrath and without doubting [1 Timothy 2:8].  May the women, both those among us today and those who have struggled with, or will struggle with, the decision to keep or terminate the life within them, remember to adorn themselves with good works and to continue in faith, love, holiness and self-control, so that they might be saved through childbearing [1 Timothy 2:15].

O Lord, our God, let us not forget the millions of lives that have been lost through the tragedy of abortion. We remember them in our hearts and in our prayers. Help us to not be overwhelmed by this tragedy, but to be encouraged by the promise of the resurrection and eternal life. Let us be inspired by the following prayer of another saint, one who lived not in the first century, like Saint Timothy, but in our own time, the saintly Bishop Nikolai (Velimirovich) from Serbia, who suffered in Auschwitz, survived to preach the Gospel of life in America and now comforts us with these fiery words:

My Lord is the One who resurrects. He resurrects the dead from morning until dusk, and from dusk until dawn.
What the morning buries, the Lord brings to life in the evening; and what the evening buries, the Lord brings to life in the morning.
What work is more fitting for the living God than to resurrect the dead into life?
Let others believe in the God who brings men to trial and judges them.
I shall cling to the God who resurrects the dead.
Let others believe in the God who does not even draw near to the living when they call upon him.
I shall worship the God Who holds His cupped ear even at the cemeteries and listens, to hear whether anyone is crying out for resurrection or for the One Who resurrects….
The Lord has neither tears nor smiles for the dead. His whole heart belongs to the living.
The world mourns for their kindred in the cemeteries, the Lord seeks His own with a song and awakens them.
Resurrect my soul, O Lord, so that my body might also be resurrected. Dwell in my soul, and my body will become Your temple….
Lord, You are the One who resurrects, and you are the resurrection, for you are life.

[Prayer XCII (92), Prayers by the Lake (pp. 181-182), Free Serbian Orthodox Diocese of the United States and Canada, ND.]

O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, for the sake of the prayers of Thy most pure Mother, the Holy Apostles Paul and Timothy, of Saint Nikolai and all the saints, have mercy on us, bless our meal and our fellowship, and save our souls, O Good One, both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

OCA Metropolitan Tikhon, Benediction offered at the Annual Rose Dinner, January 22, 2014, Washington DC