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Church Bulletin: March 15, 2015

posted Mar 15, 2015, 2:42 PM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
March 15, 2015- 3rd Sunday of Lent (Exaltation of the Holy Cross)
This Week's Services and Events

March 16, Monday
        + Teen SOYO dinner and movie, 6:30PM
        + Great Compline,  7:00PM

March 17, Tuesday
        + Teen SOYO Service Day at Free Lunch Program, 11:30AM-1:30PM

March 18, Wednesday
        + Liturgy of Pre-Sanctified Gifts, 6:00PM, followed by lenten soup supper and a short teaching time on the services of Holy Week

March 20, Friday
        + Matins, 8:30AM
        + Office Hours, 9:30AM-11:30AM
        + Little Compline with Akathist Hymn, 7:00PM

March 21, Saturday
        + Great Vespers, 5:00PM

March 22, 4th Sunday of Lent (St. John Climacus)
        + Matins, 8:30AM
        + Divine Liturgy, 10:00AM, followed by fellowship hour and Sunday School and Voters' Meeting
        + Pan-Orthodox Vespers, 5:30PM, followed by supper at St. Demetrios Church, Waterloo
Upcoming Events and Announcements   

Special Voters' Meeting, March 22-
       As decided upon at our annual voters' meeting in December, and because of our tenuous budget situation, we are going to re-visit the budget and discuss the church's finances at the end of the year's first quarter.  The meeting will take place after liturgy on Sunday, March 22.  Please plan to stay and participate in the discussion.  We need everybody that cares about the future of our church involved.  Also, we will be voting on which local charity to donate the offering to, that is collected at the Lyra concert on April 28.

       Congratulations to parents Mio Iovanov and Lavinia Ciungu, whose daughter Anya Elize was baptized yesterday.  Her godparents are Iulian and Alina Vamanu.  May God grant Anya many years!

Patriarch John's Lenten Letter-
To read Patriarch John X's Lenten letter, go to: http://www.antiochian.org/great-lent-message-patriarch-john-x

Memory Eternal!-
       Memorial flowers were offered today by Mathea Ilea-Grigore in memory of Father George and wife Adriana, Metropolitan Bartholomew Anania, Father JustinSister Maria, Andronic, Eufrosine, Marian, Mariana, Ana, Basil, George and Nicole.  May their memories be eternal!

Parish Electronic Directory-
       To foster greater awareness of each other and to strengthen our connections, we are starting a voluntary parish directory on Google Docs.  Use this link to log in, add whatever contact information you want to share, including birthdates and occupation or any skill or service that you might be able to share with other members from the parish.  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PHVXe1GGgaeoO5GNrIWhur2YkAQb0zGSoElGQFnIPF0/edit?usp=sharing 

On the New Martyrs of the Middle East-
       Bishop Thomas, of the Antiochian Diocese of Charleston, Oakland, and the Mid Atlantic, has released a statement titled "On the New Martyrs of the Middle East: An Orthodox Christian Response."  This excellent piece .can be read at: http://www.antiochian.org/new-martyrs-middle-east

A Compassionate Resource Regarding Pregnancy Loss-
       There is a comprehensive and very informative blog run by the wife of an Orthodox priest who herself, has suffered from four miscarriages.  This blog can be read at: http://lostinnocentsorthodox.blogspot.com/  May God bless all women and men who have suffered a loss through miscarriage or stillbirth and may the souls of God's innocent ones be received into His Heavenly Kingdom.  

Lenten Wednesday Evenings-
       On Wednesdays at 6:00PM during Lent, we have the Liturgy of Pre-Sanctified Gifts, a mid-week refreshment given to us by the Church.  Following this service, we will gather for a simple Lenten soup supper.  During our meal time, Fr. Ignatius will offer a brief teaching on the services of Holy Week, in anticipation.  If you wish to receive the Eucharist at this service, fast from about noon.  We need a volunteer to bring soup on April 1.

Orthodox Christian Fellowship-
       The University of Iowa OCF is hosting a three-part book discussion of C. S. Lewis's Mere Christianity, beginning March 12, and continuing on March 26 and April 16.  We will meet for compline at 7:00PM each of these nights, and start the discussion afterward, at about 7:30PM.

Teen SOYO-
       Our teens are meeting for a Dinner and Movie Night on Monday, March 16 at 6:30PM.  On Tuesday, March 17, from 11:30AM-1:30PM, they have an opportunity to help serve at the Free Lunch Program.  This is Spring Break week so school is not in session.  For questions or to get involved, talk with Hannah Valentine.

Calling All Medical Personnel-
       Do you work in the medical field? Are you a health care worker who has heard God speak in your heart about serving Him in the mission field but aren’t sure how to do so? If so, OCMC mission health care teams need you! By participating on a Health Care Team, you will help treat various common illnesses as you participate in an outreach of the local Church to heal the sick, care for the poor and needy, and offer a living witness of Christ as our Lord and Savior. If God is calling you, then call the OCMC today at 1-877-463-6784 ext. 141, or e-mail at teams@ocmc.org to see how you can be part of a health care outreach team.

St. Maria's Bread House-
       Please pray for us as the Bread House board of directors has a sabbatical during Lent. Also pray for Amy and Bill as they start planning summer lunch with Kalona Methodist Church. We plan to start Kalona Vespers again on April 16, led by Fr. Ignatius and Fr. Germogen on first and third Wednesdays. Do plan to come! 

Lenten Pan-Orthodox Sunday Vespers-
       Once again, the Iowa Orthodox Christian Clergy Association is sponsoring Pan-Orthodox Vespers at 5:30PM on Sundays during Lent.  After each service, the host parish will provide a meal.  Following is the remaining schedule:
March 15- St. John the Baptist Church (501 A Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids)
March 22- St. Demetrios Orthodox Church (613 W. 4th St., Waterloo)
March 29- St. Elias the Prophet Orthodox Church (Temporary Location: The Hadley Chapel at Hillcrest, 2005 Asbury Rd., Dubuque)

Almsgiving (Food For Hungry People Program)-
       Along with fasting, prayer and repentance, almsgiving is one of the pillars of the Lenten time.  Look for ways to be generous with others and let your giving be as anonymous as possible.  One easy way to give something to those in need is to participate in the Archdiocesan Food For Hungry People Program which collects money from all of the Antiochian parishes and gives it to various programs that serve the hungry.  Collection boxes are now at church in the narthex.  Take one home and use it during Lent.

Parish-wide and Family Pictures To Be Taken on Palm Sunday, April 5-
       Following Liturgy on April 5, we will gather in our church nave for our annual group picture as a parish.  We are also going to try something new this year.  As part of our new 2015 parish directory, we are going to include as many portraits as we can of families and individuals.  Plan to have your family's picture taken for our new directory during coffee hour.

Resources for Great Lent-

        On our archdiocesan website at http://www.antiochian.org//lent there are plenty of wonderful teaching resources about the season of Great Lent.  Read and learn!

Save the Date, Russian Choral Concert!-

       We are excited to have the opportunity to host the touring Russian Choral group Lyra at our church on Tuesday, April 28 at 7:30PM.  A free-will donation will be taken, proceeds to go to charity.  More information will be posted as the date draws closer.

Scholarship for Women Available-
       If you are a female 27 years old or older, an active member in good standing of a parish in the Antiochian Archdiocese, applying for or registered in an academic or trade program of study, and able to demonstrate financial need, and you are interested in applying for a $500 scholarship, please see Fr. Ignatius.  Scholarship deadline in June 1, 2015.

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.

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-
        At that time, a man came to Jesus, kneeling down and saying unto him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a dumb spirit. And wherever it seizes him, it dashes him down; and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked Thy Disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” And Jesus answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to Me.” And they brought the boy to Him; and when the spirit saw Jesus, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. And Jesus asked his father, “How long has he had this?” And he said, “From childhood. And it has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if Thou canst do anything, have pity on us and help us.” And Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You dumb and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again.” And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse; so that most of them said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when Jesus had entered the house, His Disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” And Jesus said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting.” They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And Jesus would not have anyone know it; for He was teaching His Disciples, saying to them, “The Son of man will be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him; and after He is killed, He will rise on the third day.”  (Mark 9:16-30)


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 know. 

Holy Bread-
       The Peterson-Branch family will provide the holy bread for liturgy on March 22.  Thank you in advance.

Choir Leadership-
        Matthew Arndt will lead the choir during the weekend of March 21-22.

Coffee Hour-
       The St. John the Baptist team will bring food to share and will clean-up the fellowship hall on Sunday March 22. 

Food for Thought-

O Lord, save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance, granting to Thy people victory, over all their enemies.  And by the power of Thy Cross, preserve Thy kingdom.

Troparion for the Holy Cross