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Church Bulletin: January 4, 2015

posted Jan 4, 2015, 2:54 PM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church

January 4, 2015- Sunday Before Theophany
This Week's Services and Events

January 5, Monday
        + Royal Hours, 9:00AM
        + Vesperal Liturgy with Blessing of Water, 6:00PM

January 6, Tuesday
        + Matins, 8:30AM; Liturgy, 10:00AM

January 7, Wednesday
        + Akathist, 7:00PM

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

January 10, Saturday
        + Becoming Fully Human training, 10:00AM-2:00PM
        + Outdoor Blessing of Waters, 4:00PM at Iowa River in Coralville
        + Pan Orthodox Great Vespers, 5:00PM, followed by potluck meal

January 11, Sunday after Theophany
        +Matins, 8:45AM
        + Divine Liturgy, 10:00AM, followed by fellowship hour and Sunday School
Upcoming Events and Announcements  

Change in Saturday Vespers Schedule-
        Beginning January 3, vespers will start at 5:00PM.  It will end at about 6:15PM.  We will no longer begin with 9th Hour.  Come and immerse yourself in what the Church has to offer by making it to vespers more often.

What is Theophany/Epiphany?-
       To read about the significance of this Great Feast that we are celebrating this week, go to: http://www.antiochian.org/sites/default/files/the_feast_of_theophany.pdf

Becoming Truly Human Series, Beginning January 10-
       We have a unique opportunity to participate in an exciting series of classes called "Becoming Truly Human."  On Saturday, January 10 from 10:00AM-2:00PM, we begin with a training session led by Adam Roberts, the project coordinator from our Archdiocese.  It is very important to make this first session. Following, we will meet for six consecutive weeks on Saturdays from 3:00PM-4:45PM.  Come to as many of these later 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. 

Theophany Services-
       Theophany, the celebration of the Baptism of Christ, will be recognized in the following manner this year.  We have Royal Hours at 9:00AM on Monday, January 5 and Vesperal Liturgy at 6:00PM that day.  January 5, being the eve of Theophany, is a fasting day.  On Tuesday, January 6, we will have matins at 8:30AM and Liturgy at 10:00AM.  Holy water will be available at this services.  Bring your holy water bottles if you have them.  If you can't make it to these midweek liturgies and you want holy water, it will be available after liturgy on January 11.

January 10 Outdoor Blessing of the Waters-
        We are hosting clergy and faithful from surrounding Orthodox parishes at a pan-Orthodox Outdoor Blessing of the Waters service as a part of the Feast of Theophany.  Join us at the IRP Dam Pedestrian Bridge (near Iowa River Power Restaurant at 501 1st Avenue, Coralville) at 4:00PM on Saturday, January 10.  Following the brief service, we will gather at church for pan-Orthodox vespers at 5:00PM followed by a potluck meal that we will provide for our guests.

Fr. Ignatius's Article in the Word Magazine-
       To read about the Enthronement Service of Metropolitan Joseph, and also an article by Fr. Ignatius entitled, "Is Orthodox Christianity Liberal of Conservative?" go to: http://www.antiochian.org/sites/default/files/january_2015_word.pdf

Focusing on our Patron Saint in 2015-
       February 27, 2015 is the 100th anniversary of the repose of St. Raphael.  Our Archdiocese has produced a series of informative posters showing some of the missionary work he did all around North America.  We have posted these above the water cooler in the fellowship hall at church.  Check them out!

Of Interest to Orthodox Healthcare Professionals-
       To learn about the new St. Panteleimon Fellowship: A Society for the Practice of Orthodox Christian Healthcare, go to: http://www.antiochian.org/st-panteleimon-fellowship-society-practice-orthodox-christian-healthcare

2015 Annual Calendars Now Available-
        Calendars showing the daily saints and scripture readings, along with fasting days and seasons, are now available in the narthex to take home.  Take one or take several.

St. Maria's Bread House-
        If you're interested helping in any way with Vespers in Kalona, whether it's just being there, helping find or buy liturgical supplies, or singing, please contact Amy or Father. If you'd like to buy beeswax tealight candles--great stocking stuffers recycled from St. Raphael's candle stubs--to support the Bread House, let Amy know at kalonabreadhouse@gmail.com, or visit our website: stmariasbreadhouse.org

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 Sermon Series Beginning January 4-
       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.

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, January 11 is:

At that time, when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee; and leaving Nazareth he went and dwelt in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulon and Naphtali, so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “The land of Zebulon and the land of Naphtali, toward the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.” From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  (Matthew 4:12-17)

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. Raphael team will bring food to share and will clean-up the fellowship hall on Sunday January 11. 

Food for Thought-

Wishing to save man gone astray, Thou hast not disdained to clothe Thyself in the form of a servant.  For it befitted Thee, as Master and God, to take upon Thyself our nature for our sakes.  For Thou, O Deliverer, hast been baptized in the flesh, making us worthy of forgiveness.  Therefore we cry unto Thee: O Christ our God and Benefactor, glory to Thee.

Stichera from Vespers of Theophany