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Church Bulletin: March 23, 2014

posted Mar 23, 2014, 7:16 PM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
March 23, 2014- 3rd Sunday of Lent (Sunday of the Adoration of the Holy Cross)
This Week's Services and Events

March 24, Monday
        + Vesperal Liturgy for Annunciation, 6PM

March 26, Wednesday
        + Liturgy of Pre-Sanctified Gifts, 6PM, followed by Soup Supper and talk: "Church, State and Society: The Perspective of an American Expatriate Living in Russia."

March 27, Thursday
        + OCF Compline, 7PM

March 28, Friday
         + Matins, 8:30AM
         + Little Compline with Akathist, 7PM

March 29, Saturday
        + Prayers at Abortion Clinic (227 N. Dubuque St.), 10AM
        + 9th Hour/Great Vespers, 6PM
March 30, 4th Sunday of Lent, the Sunday of St. John Climacus
        + Matins, 8:45AM
        + Liturgy, 10AM, followed by Sunday School and coffee hour
        + Pan-Orthodox Vespers at Prophet Elias Church (Dubuque) followed by Potluck Dinner, 5:30PM
Upcoming Events and Announcements  

Memory Eternal!-
       During the evening of March 19, His Eminence Metropolitan Philip, the chief hierarch for our archdiocese for the last 48 years, fell asleep in the Lord after having suffered a heart attack several days before.  May his memory be eternal!  Information posted on our Archdiocese website regarding Metropolitan Philip's life and death can be found at: http://www.antiochian.org/MetropolitanPhilip To watch a short video tribute to His Eminence, that was created on the occasion of his 80th birthday, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JEXthr-TK8  By order of Patriarch John, Metropolitan Silouan of Buenos Aires and Argentina is appointed as the Patriarchal Vicar of our Archdiocese, responsible for administering it until a new Metropolitan is elected. 

Letter of Condolence from Metropolitan Silouan-
       Buenos Aires, March 20th de 2014

Beloved in our Lord, Very Esteemed Hierarchs, Clergy and Faithful Of the Archdiocese of New York and All North America

“Now the God of patience and of comfort grant you to be of the same mind 
one with another according to Christ Jesus” 
(Romans 15:5)

With a heart grateful to our Lord and to your very beloved pastor who gave me the opportunity to come to know you during the last three years, I present to you my heartfelt condolences for the falling asleep in Christ of His Eminence Metropolitan Philip. We all pray together for the rest in peace of his soul and that his memory be eternal.

I am very surprised that the Lord´s Providence permitted that I may serve you under such a painful and difficult circumstance, i.e. the loss of your beloved pastor, until a new Metropolitan be elected for your God-protected Archdiocese. Indeed, my appointment as Patriarchal Vicar, by His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch, is an obedience of love and an opportunity to serve your church, and to preserve your bond of love, peace, service and unity in Christ.

May our Lord bless all of us in this period of great lent, as we are heading to His Holy Passion in order to share His glorious Resurrection.

+ Silouan

Metropolitan of Buenos Aires and all Argentina

Parish-wide Potluck Next Sunday March 30-
       Since next Sunday is the 5th Sunday of the month, all are invited to bring some Lenten food or drink to share for our potluck after Liturgy.

Vesperal Liturgy for Feast of Annunciation-
       Join us for Vesperal Liturgy at 6PM on March 24 as we celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation.

Talk on Russia- US Relations to Follow Pre-Sanctified Liturgy on Wednesday March 26-
       Former Iowa resident and current parish friend Molly Caliger, who has lived in Russia for many years, will share her perspective on the current relationship between Russia and the USA, including how the media affects the perception of this relationship by people on both sides.  During our soup supper, she will give her talk titled : "Church, State and Society: The Perspective of an American Expatriate Living in Russia."

Prayers at Abortion Clinic-
       Fr. Ignatius will be praying the Supplication Service for Victims of Abortion and the Akathist for One Who Has Aborted a Child outside of the Emma Goldman Clinic (227 N. Dubuque St.) at 10AM on March 29.  All are welcome to join him.

Pilgrimage Icon Coming to St. Raphael!-
        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.  Invite your friends!

Another Icon Coming to the Midwest-
       The Wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Theotokos "of the Sign"  will be at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission (ROCOR) in the Peoria, IL area on April 8.  For more information, go to: http://orthodoxpeoria.blogspot.com/2014/03/13th-century-russian-orthodox-icon-of.html

Semi-Annual Parish Clean-up Day April 5-
       In anticipation of Holy Week and Pascha, let's get some Spring cleaning done inside and outside of church on Saturday, April 5, 1PM-4PM. 

Parish Group Photo to be Taken April 13-
       If you look at our parish website (www.straphaelorthodoxchurch.org) you will see a parish group photo that is 3 1/2 years old.  It's time to update!  On April 13, Palm Sunday, we will assemble in the nave of the church immediately after liturgy for the picture to be taken.

Holy Week is Coming!-
       Here is our schedule for Holy Week this year.  Please try to set aside some extra time during Holy Week to enter into the liturgical commemorations of our Lord's passion, death and resurrection.

Friday, April 11- Little Compline with Canon of St. Lazarus, 7PM
Lazarus Saturday, April 12- Matins and Liturgy, 8:45AM/10AM; 9th Hour & Vespers, 6PM
Palm Sunday, April 13- Matins and Liturgy, 8:30AM/10AM; Bridegroom Matins, 7PM
Holy Monday, April 14- Bridegroom Matins, 7PM
Holy Tuesday, April 15- Bridegroom Matins, 7PM
Holy Wednesday, April 16- Pre-Sanctified Liturgy, 9AM; Holy Unction Service, 7PM
Holy Thursday, April 17- Vesperal Liturgy, 9AM; Rite of Footwashing, 6PM; 12 Passion Gospels Service, 7PM
Holy Friday, April 18- Royal Hours, 9AM; Great Vespers (Taking the Lord Down from the Cross), 3PM; Lamentations, 7PM followed by Psalm-reading vigil overnight
Holy Saturday, April 19- Vesperal Liturgy, 9AM; Rush Service, 11:40PM
Great and Holy Pascha, April 20- Paschal Matins and Liturgy, 12AM followed by feast; Agape Vespers, 12:30PM followed by Paschal Picnic at Coralville Rec. Center, 2PM-4PM

Paschal Feast and Picnic Sign-ups-
        We must celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and so, to do so properly, we will truly feast. On Sunday April 20, Holy Pascha, there are two opportunities to share a festive meal with others. First, we will gather at church following the Paschal Liturgy, at about 3AM or so, and break the Lenten fast. Later in the day, after some sleep (?!) and after Agape Vespers at 12:30PM, we will go to the Coralville Rec. Center (1506 8th St.) to share a meal and enjoy each other's company.  Please check the bulletin boards for related food sign-up sheets. 

Other Holy Week/Pascha Sign-up Sheets-
        With all of the activity in church during Holy Week and Pascha, there are plenty of opportunities to help out around church. Please check the bulletin boards for sign-up sheets that cover the decorating of the funeral bier on Holy Friday, the reading of Psalms through the night after the Holy Friday Lamentations service, bringing dyed red eggs to Pascha, bringing and the reading of the Agape Vespers Gospel in various languages.

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. 

Pan-Orthodox Vespers-
       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 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. 

      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.

Upcoming Teen SOYO Events-
       On April 7, our teens are meeting for Book Club at 7PM.

Upcoming OCF Events-
        The Orthodox Christian Fellowship meets on March 27 at 7PM for compline and on April 3 at 6:30PM for dinner at the Branch-Peterson home.

Thoughts on Stewardship and Giving-
        "Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law; justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone." (Matthew 23:23)

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 30 is: "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, 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 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.  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.

Coffee Hour-
        On Sunday March 30, the food for coffee hour and the clean-up of the fellowship hall will be provided by all who bring food to our parish-wide potluck. 

Church Cleaning-
       During the week of March 23-29, the St. Raphael team will be responsible to clean the nave, narthex, bookstore, stairs, nursery and bathrooms of the church.   

Food for Thought-

O Almighty Master, who in wisdom hast fashioned all creation, who through Thine ineffable providence and great goodness has led us to these all-revered days for purification of souls and bodies, for restraint of passions, and for hope of the resurrection; who during the forty days didst put into the hands of Thy servant Moses the tablets in letters divinely inscribed, grant unto us also, O Good One, to fight the good fight, to complete the course of the fast, to preserve the faith undivided, to crush the heads of invisible serpents, to be shown to be conquerors of sins, and also to attain unto and to worship the holy Resurrection. 
Prayer Behind the Ambon from the Liturgy of Pre-Sanctified Gifts