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Church Bulletin: July 28, 2013

posted Jul 28, 2013, 1:11 PM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
July 28, 2013- 5th Sunday after Pentecost
This Week's Services and Events

July 29, Monday
       + 3rd Hour Prayers, 9AM
       + Office Hours, 9:30AM-11:30AM

July 31, Wednesday
        + Akathist, 7PM

Aug 1, Thursday
        + Paraklesis, 7PM

Aug 2, Friday
        + Paraklesis, 7PM

Aug 3, Saturday
        + 9th Hour/Great Vespers, 6PM

Aug 4, 6th Sunday after Pentecost
        + Matins, 8:45AM
        + Liturgy, 10AM, followed by Fellowship Hour
        + Paraklesis, 7PM
Upcoming Events and Announcements

Dormition Fast Begins This Week-
       Please pay attention to the church calendar during the first two weeks of August.  There will be many opportunities to come to the church and to pray throughout the week.  Beginning August 1, we will have nightly Paraklesis services at 7PM, except for Saturdays when we have vespers (at 6PM), August 5 when we have Vesperal Liturgy for the Transfiguration (6PM) and August 14, when we have Vesperal Liturgy for the Dormition (6PM.)  During this time we will be fasting in anticipation of the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos.  Check the printed church calendar for specifics on the fasting guidelines during these days, or speak with Fr. Ignatius if you have any questions.

Fr. Ignatius Will Be Traveling-
       Fr. Ignatius will be on vacation beginning Monday July 29 and returning Friday August 2.  He will be keeping his normal office hours on Monday July 29.  There will be no matins on Friday August 2.  If you have an emergency and need pastoral assistance immediately during this time please call Fr. Elias Khouri at 319-329-2562.

Vesperal Liturgy for Transfiguration-
       On Monday, August 5 at 6PM, we will gather for a Vesperal Liturgy to celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord.  At this service, there is a custom of blessing grapes.  Bring your grapes, and they will be blessed!

Free Lunch Program Volunteering-
       Our monthly opportunity to volunteer at the Free Lunch Program held at the Wesley Center (120 N. Dubuque St.) is on Tuesday, August 6.  If you can help out between 11:30AM-1:30PM (or any part of that time) please let Fr. Ignatius know.

Raphael Books and Gifts-
       Our church bookstore, Raphael Books and Gifts, has recently received a new shipment of children's books.  If you haven't looked at our bookstore in awhile, take some time to do so.  In addition to the children's books, there are dozens of other titles that may interest you and strengthen and enrich your faith.

Charitable Projects
OUR COOKBOOK IS IN STORES!  Our cookbook is now available at Kalona General Store and will also be at Prairie Lights very soon. If you know of other places that might sell them, such as local bookstores and specialty shops, please let Amy Spencer know. Also, we need help getting contact information for other Orthodox churches that have bookstores.

Meanwhile, farmer's market sales of our cookbooks, lotion bars, and baked goods are going well. Please sign up if you'd like to help cook or package food. Our next IC market is on August 10.

An Orthodox Church's Community Garden-
       To read about a community garden project that an Orthodox church in Michigan is spearheading, go to: http://record-eagle.com/features/x1996079147/How-Do-Their-Gardens-Grow/?state=taberU

New Podcast on Ancient Faith Radio, " A Christian Ending"-
       Deacon Mark Barna, who serve in South Carolina in the OCA, has started a podcast series on Ancient Faith Radio titled, "A Christian Ending."  This series covers some of the same material, in expanded form, that was covered in the book by the same title that he co-authored with his wife Elizabeth.  In this series and book, Deacon Mark gives excellent teaching regarding the Orthodox understanding of death and also what the traditional Orthodox funeral and burial practices are.  In the first podcast in this series, the subject is cremation and why Orthodox Christians do not cremate.  To listen to this podcast series, go to: http://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/christianending

Would You Like to Help With Sunday School This Year?-
       Sunday School will start up again in early September.  Since we are blessed with many children in our parish, the Sunday School teachers rely on others to help out.  These helpers act as assistants to the teachers and occasionally may be asked to step in and teach a lesson if a teacher is absent.  If you are interested in working with our Sunday School program this year, please talk with Lori Branch.

Information on Orthodox Monastery in Guatemala-
       To read the latest news on, see new photos of, watch video updates on or to make a donation to the Hogar Rafael Ayau Orthodox Monastery in Guatemala, go to: www.friendsofthehogar.org.

Ames, Iowa Mission Re-start-
       The Orthodox mission in Ames, IA has recently been restarted, and is  named Holy Transfiguration Mission.  It is a mission under the Bulgarian Diocese of the OCA and pastored by Fr. Marty Watt.  If you know of anybody in the Ames area who might be interested in the Orthodox faith or who is already Orthodox, please share with them the mission's website: www.amesorthodox.org.  There are now 13 Orthodox churches or missions in our state.  May there be many more some day.    

Sign Project Fundraising-
       We are in the midst of raising $5300 in order to put the words "Saint Raphael Orthodox Church" on the brick facade of our building.  If you would like to make a donation toward this project, please mark your gift "Sign Project."

An Opportunity to Serve, Be a Greeter-
       Based on responses from the parish survey from a few months ago, the Parish Council has recognized a need to have greeters on duty at church on Sunday mornings.  The greeter's main responsibility will be 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.  If you want our church to be more welcoming to visitors, consider volunteering as a greeter.
Keep Praying for Kidnapped Orthodox Bishops in Syria-
       Since April 22, the Orthodox Metropolitan of Aleppo, Metropolitan Paul, and the Syriac Metropolitan of Aleppo, Youhanna, have been in captivity and not heard from.  Please pray for their well being and release and also pray for their captors as well. 
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 August 4, the food for coffee hour and the clean-up of the fellowship hall will be provided by the St. Nicholas team.
Church Cleaning-
        During the week of July 28-August 3, the cleaning of the nave, narthex, bookstore, stairs, nursery and bathrooms will be accomplished by the St. Raphael team. 

Food for Thought-

God always helps.  He always comes in time, but patience is necessary.  He hears us immediately when we cry out to Him, but not in accordance with our own way of thinking... since you do not see beyond what is apparent and do not know how God governs the world, you want your request to be fulfilled like lightning.  But this is not how things are.  The Lord wants patience.  He wants you to show your faith.  You cannot just pray like a parrot.  It is necessary also to work towards whatever one prays for, and then to learn to wait.  You see that what you longed for in the past has finally happened.  However, you were harmed because you didn't have the patience to wait, in which case you would have gained both the one and the other: both the temporal and the eternal.... 

So then, there is no point in losing heart, getting upset, complaining.  You must close your mouth.  Let no one perceive that you are disturbed.  Don't fume with anger, as if to work it out of your system, but rather be calm.  Burn the devil through patience and forbearance.

The Lord, Who destroys all who speak lies, is my witness that I have greatly benefited by the advice I am giving you.  The temptations I had were strong enough to make you think that your soul would depart due to the pain, as if from a flaming furnace.  Nevertheless,  once the trial is over, so much consolation comes that you feel as if you were in paradise without a body.

Elder Joseph the Hesychast