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Church Bulletin: March 12, 2017

posted Mar 12, 2017, 6:27 PM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
March 12, 2017- Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas (2nd Sunday of Lent)

 This Week's Services and Events

March 15, Wednesday
        + Liturgy of Pre-Sanctified Gifts, 6:00PM, followed by Soup Supper

March 16, Thursday
        + Office Hours, 1:15-2:45PM

March 17, Friday
        + Little Compline with Akathist Hymn, 7:00PM

March 18, Saturday
        + Intro to Orthodoxy class, 1:30PM
        + Parish Council meeting, 3:00PM
        + Great Vespers, 5:00PM

March 19, Sunday of the Cross (3rd Sunday of Lent)
        + Matins, 8:45AM
        + Divine Liturgy, 10:00AM followed by Sunday School and Coffee Hour
        + Pan-Orthodox Vespers, 5:30PM at St. Elias the Prophet Church, followed by Potluck Dinner

Upcoming Events and Announcements-         

Lenten Sunday Evenings-
        The rest of the schedule for Sunday evening Pan-Orthodox Vespers (always at 5:30) and a meal is as follows:
March 19- St. Elias the Prophet Church (419 Grandview Ave.(new location!), Dubuque)
March 26- St. George Church (3650 Cottage Grove Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids)
April 2- St. Nicholas Mission (125 33rd St. NE, Cedar Rapids)

Lenten Sunday Sermon Series-
        Last fall, a team of about 12 members worked on crafting both a mission statement (answering Who or What we are) and a vision statement (answering How we live out that identity.)  During the sermon time of the five Sundays of Lent, Fr. Ignatius will be focusing on our mission statement, and relating it to the assigned Scriptures for the day.  Here is that Mission Statement again:
"St. Raphael Orthodox Christian Church worships one God in Trinity and shares the Good News of Jesus Christ with each other, with people from all backgrounds, our neighbors and the world.  We do this through worshiping beautifully, connecting in fellowship, serving those in need, and providing spiritual teaching for daily living."

Olive Oil Donations-
        The church always accepts donations of olive oil to use in our lamps that hang before the icons and sit on the altar.  Because of an increased number of services, we go through more olive oil at this time of year.  Regular grade (not extra virgin) 100% olive oil is preferred.  

No Office Hours This Tuesday-
        Fr. Ignatius will be out of town early in the week.  He will not be holding office hours on Tuesday, March 14, or be offering 9th Hour Prayers that day.  

Do You Have Questions About Orthodox Fasting Practices?-
        Ask Fr. Ignatius.  The Church sets forth standards which we take seriously.  However, how these standards are applied and practiced in each of our own situations may vary.  Fasting: giving up certain foods and being modest in our portions, is a tool meant to help us to be able to repent more thoroughly and thereby, to draw closer to God.  If we judge others regarding their fasting practices, we do so to our own spiritual peril.  

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian-
        O Lord and Master of my life,
Take from me the spirit of sloth, meddling, lust of power and idle talk.
But give rather, the spirit of chastity, humility, patience and love to Thy servant.
Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own sins and not to judge my brother
For Thou art blessed, unto ages of ages.  Amen.

Food for Hungry People Collection Boxes-
        Each year during Lent, all of the churches in our archdiocese participate in collecting money for the Food for Hungry People program, which funds many different efforts to help people who may not have enough to eat.  Take a collection box home (they are in the narthex!) and fill it with change during this Lenten season.  Families, take one of the accompanying calendars which makes the collecting of change fun for the younger ones.  Bring your boxes back at Pascha.

Lenten Wednesdays-
        We pray the Liturgy of Pre-Sanctified Gifts each Wednesday at 6:00PM during Lent.  Following this special Lenten service, we gather for a simple soup supper. 

Introduction to Orthodoxy Classes-
        A series of Intro to Orthodoxy classes is ongoing.  All are welcome.  The remaining schedule is as follows:  
Saturday, March 18- 1:30pm
Saturday, March 25- 3pm

Forty Days for Life Prayer Vigil-
        Johnson County Right to Life is once again sponsoring a local prayer vigil on the sidewalk in front of the Emma Goldman abortion clinic (227 N. Dubuque St., Iowa City) as part of a nationwide effort in hundreds of cities.  From March 1-April 9, volunteers will be praying in one hour shifts from 8AM-8PM.  For more information or to sign up, go to: www.fortydayspforlife.com/iowacity

Do You Shop Online?  Would You Like To Earn Cash for St. Raphael Church at No Extra Cost to You?-
        The Archdiocese Board with the support of the Bishops and endorsement from Metropolitan Joseph are extremely excited to announce the Antiochian Orthodox Rewards Program.  This is an online shopping rewards program connecting individuals and their businesses to their favorite retailers.  It also provides the ability to order gift cards from a large selection through the Gift Card Mall including Visa, American Express, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, ITunes, department stores and more.  The program creates an automatic monetary contribution that will go directly to each individual parish as well as a portion being contributed to the clergy retirement fund.  This is a great way for parishioners to earn money for our parish on everyday purchases while finding deals and exclusive discounts from thousands of retailers.   Parishioners will simply access the site via antiochian.org/rewardsprogram and register with your email.  Each family member who shops online should register.  For additional ease, the shopper will not have to access the rewards site prior to making their purchases if you install the “Support Button” on your Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Internet Explorer browser.  Once installed, every time you explore the web, approved sites will be indicated by an Orthodoxcross icon.  You will also see the contribution percentage donated on each site.  A link to a tutorial/overview video is:  https://vimeo.com/193822498 

Food for All - Kalona
        Please continue to pray for our Orthodox-style, community-style charity work. Our Sunday Supper and Movie Nights are happening twice monthly until summer. Also, we hope to restart Kalona Vespers in the new year. Also please ask our Lord to draw people to Himself and His Church through all our programs. Visit our website at foodforallkalona.weebly.com. For more info, email me at foodforallkalona@gmail.com.  Thanks! Amy Spencer

Bishop Anthony's Next Visit-
        His Grace will be with us the weekend of October 21-22.  Save the dates and plan to be with our bishop. 

Next Sunday's Gospel Reading-
        The Lord said, “If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for My sake and the Gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” And Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Kingdom of God come with power.”  (Mark 8:34-9:1)

Pray for our Catechumens-
       Please keep our catechumens Anna Baynton and Ilya Buchkin in your prayers as they prepare 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. 
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.

Food for Thought-

O almighty Master, who hast made all creation and by thine inexpressible providence and great goodness hast brought us to these all-revered days, for the purification of soul and body, for the controlling of passions and for hope of resurrection, who, during the forty days didst give into the hands of thy servant Moses the tablets of the Law in characters divinely traced by thee: enable us also O good One, to fight the good fight, to complete the course of the fast, to preserve inviolate the faith, to crush under foot the heads of invisible serpents, to be accounted victors over sin; and, uncondemned, to attain unto and worship the holy resurrection.  For blessed and glorified is thine all-honorable and majestic name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.  Amen.

- Prayer Behind the Amvon of the Liturgy of Pre-Sanctified Gifts