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Church Bulletin: March 19, 2017

posted Mar 19, 2017, 7:23 PM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
March 19, 2017- Sunday of Adoration of the Holy Cross (3rd Sunday of Lent)

 This Week's Services and Events

March 20, Monday
        + Great Compline, 7:00PM

March 21, Tuesday
        + Office Hours, 1:15PM-2:45PM
        + 9th Hour Prayers, 3:00PM
        + Kalona Vespers, 7:00PM

March 22, Wednesday
        + Liturgy of Pre-Sanctified Gifts, 6:00PM, followed by Soup Supper

March 23, Thursday
        + Office Hours, 1:15-2:45PM
        + OCF Compline, 7:00PM

March 24, Friday
        + Great Vespers for Annunciation, 7:00PM

March 25, Saturday
        + Matins and Liturgy for the Annunciation, 8:45AM/10:00AM
        + Intro to Orthodoxy class, 3:00PM
        + Great Vespers, 5:00PM

March 26, Sunday of St. John Climacus (4th Sunday of Lent)
        + Matins, 8:45AM
        + Divine Liturgy, 10:00AM followed by Sunday School and Coffee Hour
        + Pan-Orthodox Vespers, 5:30PM at St. George 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 26- St. George Church (3650 Cottage Grove Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids)
April 2- St. Nicholas Mission (125 33rd St. NE, Cedar Rapids)

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. 

Semi-Annual Parish Clean-up Day-
        We need volunteers on Saturday, April 8 from 1:00PM-4:30PM to help polish liturgical items, clean windows, rake the yard and do other cleaning and preparation in anticipation of Holy Week and Pascha.

A Time for Family Confessions and Proskomedia Demonstration-
        Families with children who are going to be making confessions this Lent: plan to come to church at 9:00AM on Saturday, April 8.  Following confessions, Fr. Ignatius will do the Proskomedia service, which is,  the service of preparation of the bread and wine for liturgy, so that all present who want to can see and hear.

Start Making Plans for Holy Week-
        Holy Week begins with Lazarus Saturday services starting on Friday evening, April 7 and continuing through Holy Pascha on April 16.  This is the most important time of the year to pray and worship together!  There are plenty of opportunities to get involved and to serve the church during this time.  Plan to alter your schedule in order to attend a few more services than you have in the past.  

More Holy Week Notes-
        Next weekend, various Holy Week sign-up sheets will be posted, including for decorating the funeral bier on Holy Friday, reading psalms through the night between Holy Friday and Holy Saturday, reading the Gospel in a foreign language at Agape Vespers on Pascha afternoon, dyeing red eggs, bringing food to share for our middle-of-the-night Paschal feast and also for our afternoon Paschal picnic, etc.  Stay tuned!

Annual Parish Group Picture on Palm Sunday-
        Please plan to be with us on Palm Sunday, April 9.  Immediately following liturgy, we will have a group picture taken.

Scholarship Grant Available-
        If you are:
1. A female, 26 years of age or older
2. A member in good standing of an Antiochian Orthodox parish
3. Actively involved in the worship. service, and social life of your parish
4. Applying for, or registered in an academic or trade study program
5. Able to demonstrate financial need
Then you may apply for a $500 scholarship grant from the North American Board of the Antiochian Women organization.  Deadline to apply in June 1.  See Fr. Ignatius for details.

Food for All--Kalona
        We are restarting Kalona Vespers on Tuesday (the 21st) and plan to continue on third Tuesdays. Join us at 7 p.m. at United Christian and Baptist Church, 4th St. and Highway 22 (401 E Ave.). Please also continue to pray for our Orthodox-style, community-style charity work. Also 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

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."

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.  

Introduction to Orthodoxy Classes-
        A series of Intro to Orthodoxy classes is ongoing.  All are welcome.  The final class is on Saturday, March 25 at 3:00PM

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 

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-
        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 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-

In Paradise of old the tree stripped me bare; for by giving me its fruit to eat, the enemy brought in death. But now the Tree of the Cross that clothes men with the garment of life has been set up on earth, and the whole world is filled with boundless joy. Beholding it venerated, O ye people, let us with one accord raise in faith our cry to God: His house is full of glory.

- Third Kathisma for the Holy Cross