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Church Bulletin: March 2, 2014

posted Mar 3, 2014, 8:40 AM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
March 2, 2014- Forgiveness Sunday (Cheesefare Sunday)
This Week's Services and Events

March 3, Monday
        + Great Compline with Canon of St. Andrew, 7PM

March 4, Tuesday
        +Free Lunch Program Volunteering, 11:30AM-1:30PM
        + Great Compline with Canon of St. Andrew, 7PM

March 5, Wednesday
        + Liturgy of Pre-Sanctified Gifts, 6PM, followed by Soup Supper

March 6, Thursday
        + Little Compline with Canon of St. Andrew, 7PM

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

March 8, Saturday
        + Intro to Orthodoxy Class, 4PM
        + 9th Hour/Great Vespers, 6PM
March 9, First Sunday of Lent, the Sunday of Orthodoxy
        + Matins, 8:45AM
        + Liturgy, 10AM, followed by Sunday School and coffee hour
        + Pan-Orthodox Vespers at St. Raphael followed by Potluck Dinner, 5:30PM
Upcoming Events and Announcements  

Lent is Here-
Lent begins with the beautiful service of reconciliation called Forgiveness Vespers at 6PM on Sunday, March 2.  Following, is the schedule of services for the rest of the first week of Lent.
Monday, March 3- Compline with Canon of St. Andrew, 7PM
Tuesday, March 4- Compline with Canon of St. Andrew, 7PM
Wednesday, March 5- Presanctified Liturgy, 6PM
Thursday, March 6- Compline with Canon of St. Andrew, 7PM
Friday, March 7- Compline with Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos, 7PM

March-April Calendars Available-
       The March-April calendars are printed and available at church.  Please take a copy or two home for you and your family. 

       Today we welcomed Rob Bergenstock into the catechumenate.  Please keep him and our other catechumens in your prayers as they prepare to be united to the Orthodox Church. 

Remember Missions-
       March 2nd, 2014, is Mission Sunday for all Canonical Orthodox Churches in North and Central America. Please join the staff, board, and missionaries of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) in praying for the tireless efforts of those who leave their homes to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the truth and hope of the Orthodox faith with the over one billion people who have yet to receive it. Please also prayerfully consider your role in this vital ministry of the Church. Pray, Give, Go - Make disciples of all nations!!!

Bring Your Favorite Icons-
       Next Sunday, March 9 is the first Sunday of Lent, called the Sunday of Orthodoxy on which we commemorate the restoration of icons to the Church in the 9th century.  We will have a procession of the icons at the end of liturgy in which everyone is invited to participate.  Bring an icon of your favorite saint or another favorite icon and plan to join in the procession. 

Day Light Savings Time Begins Next Sunday-
       When you go to bed on Saturday, March 8, set your clocks ahead one hour for Day Light Savings time. 

Please Bring Food for Pan-Orthodox Vespers on March 9-
       We have the honor of hosting visitors from several other Orthodox churches in Eastern Iowa on Sunday March 9 for vespers at 5:30PM.  Following the service, we will serve our guests a meal.  Please look for the sign-up sheet posted in the narthex and plan to bring some Lenten food to share.

Accepting Donations of Olive Oil-
       With the increase in the number of services which occur during the season of Lent, the church uses a significantly larger amount of olive oil in our vigil lamps, than we do during other times of the year of similar length.  We will always accept gifts of olive oil, but these gifts are especially needed during this time of year.  Regular grade (not extra virgin) is best, and usually less costly. 

      We are now beginning the full Lenten fast.  The Church asks us to abstain from meat (with the exception of fish on March 25 for the Annunciation and April 13 for Palm Sunday) until Great and Holy Pascha, April 20. Shellfish are permitted.  The full Lenten fast also includes abstention from dairy, eggs, oil and wine (oil and wine are permitted on the weekends).  Fast as you are able with these standards being the goal.  Exceptions can be made for those who are very young, very old, ill, pregnant, nursing, or infirm.  If you have any questions about fasting, please ask Fr. Ignatius.  May our fasting from certain foods help us to find some humility as we struggle to fast from sin.

Wednesday Nights During Lent-
       Come midweek on Wednesdays at 6PM for the Liturgy of Pre-Sanctified Gifts, a unique and beautiful Lenten service.  Stay afterward for a simple soup supper.  We need volunteers to sign-up to bring a simple Lenten meal such as a pot of soup and bread and perhaps some fruit for about 15 people.  Look for the sign-up sheet posted in narthex and please consider signing up.

Pan-Orthodox Vespers-
       Yes, it is true, Lent is approaching.  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 schedule:
March 9- St. Raphael Orthodox Church
March 16- St. John the Baptist Church (501 A Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids)
March 23- St. George Orthodox Church (3650 Cottage Grove Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids)
March 30- St. Elias the Prophet Orthodox Church (1075 Rockdale Rd., Dubuque)
April 6- St. Demetrios Orthodox Church (613 W. 4th St., Waterloo)

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 for all of the Antiochian parishes and gives it to various programs that serve the hungry.  Look for collection boxes at church in the narthex. 

Upcoming Teen SOYO Events-
       On March 10, the Book Club meets at 7PM.  On March 15 at 8:45AM, the teens are meeting to prepare and serve a meal at the Ronald McDonald House.  If you would like to make a donation toward the cost of groceries or if you would like to help our teens prepare the food, please speak with Alli Rockwell.  On March 17, the teens are meeting for Movie Night.

Upcoming OCF Events-
        The Orthodox Christian Fellowship meets on March 13 and March 27 at 7PM for compline.

Parish Council Meeting-
       The March Parish Council meeting will be on March 11 at 7PM.  All are welcome to attend.

Resources for Understanding Situation in Ukraine-
       Ancient Faith Radio podcaster Kevin Allen recently interviewed two people with somewhat different perspectives on the unfolding situation in Ukraine.  To listen, go to: http://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/series/ukraine_politics_protests_and_orthodoxy

St. Emmelia Orthodox Homeschooling Conference-
       The St. Emmelia Orthodox Homeschooling Conference will be held at the Antiochian Village in Pennsylvania from March 27-30.  Our own Lori Peterson Branch will be one of the presenters.  To learn more, look at the poster in the narthex.  Links to the schedule and everything you need for registration can be found by scrolling to March at the following link:  http://antiochianvillage.org/center/special_events/upcoming.html
Save the Date!-
        On Friday, April 4 at 7PM, we will pray the Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos in front of a large copy of the ancient and revered "Our Lady of Czestochowa" icon, also known as the Black Madonna.  As part of the "From Ocean to Ocean Pilgrimage" this icon has been travelling around the world and has appeared in hundreds of Orthodox and Catholic churches.  To learn more about this icon and pilgrimage, go to: www.fromoceantoocean.org. 

Thoughts on Stewardship and Giving-
        "And as for what fell among thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature." Luke 8:14

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 Sunday.  The reading for Sunday, March 9 is: "At that time, Jesus decided to go to Galilee. And He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael, and said to him, “We have found Him of Whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!” Nathanael said to Jesus, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered Him, “Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God! Thou art the King of Israel!” Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, I saw you under the fig tree,   do you believe? You shall see greater things than these.” And Jesus said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.” (John 1:43-51) 

Pray for our Catechumens-
      Please keep our catechumens: Ilya Buchkin, Rachelle Naridze, Tyson Humphrey and Rob Bergenstock in your prayers as they prepare to be sacramentally joined to the Orthodox Church.

Keep Praying for Kidnapped Orthodox Bishops, Priest, Nuns and Orphans in Syria-
       Since April 22, 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. Since December 2, 12 nuns and three orphans have been removed by force from their convent and held captive.  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-
       On Sunday March 9, the holy bread will be provided by the Van Dinter family.  Thank you in advance.

Coffee Hour-
        On Sunday March 9, the food for coffee hour and the clean-up of the fellowship hall will be provided by the St. Raphael food team. 

Choir Leadership-
       On the weekend of March 8-9 Matthew Arndt will be leading the choir.

Food for Thought

Do you fast?  Give me proof of it by your works.  If you see a friend being honored, do not envy him.  Do not [only] let your mouth fast, but also the eye and the ear and the feet and the hands and all the members of our bodies.  Let the hands fast, by being free of avarice.  Let the feet fast by ceasing to run after sin.  Let the eyes fast, by disciplining them not to glare at that which is sinful.  Let the ear fast, by not listening to evil talk and gossip.  Let the mouth fast from foul words and unjust criticism.  For what good is it if we abstain from birds and fishes, but bite and devour our brothers and sisters?  May He who came to the world to save sinners strengthen us to complete the fast with humility, have mercy on us and save us.

St. John Chrysostom