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Church Bulletin: March 26, 2017

posted Mar 27, 2017, 11:47 AM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
March 26, 2017- The Leavetaking of the Annunciation (4th Sunday of Lent)

 This Week's Services and Events

March 27, Monday
        + Great Compline, 7:00PM

March 28, Tuesday
        + Office Hours, 1:15PM-2:45PM
        + 9th Hour Prayers, 3:00PM

March 29, Wednesday
        + Little Compline with Canon of St. Andrew of Crete and the Life of St. Mary of Egypt, 6:00PM, followed by Soup Supper

March 30, Thursday
        + Office Hours, 1:15PM-2:45PM

March 31, Friday
        + Little Compline with Akathist Hymn, 7:00PM

April 1, Saturday
        + Great Vespers, 5:00PM

April 2, Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt (5th Sunday of Lent)
        + Matins, 8:45AM
        + Divine Liturgy, 10:00AM followed by Sunday School and Coffee Hour
        + Pan-Orthodox Vespers, 5:30PM at St. Nicholas 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. 

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, trim a bush 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.  Liturgy for Lazarus Saturday starts at 10:00AM.

Invite a Friend to Church-
        Palm Sunday (April 9) and Pascha (April 16) are wonderful times to invite a friend, co-worker or family member to attend St. Raphael Church with you.  Studies suggest that about half of the unchurched people you ask to come to church, will come.  The best, most effective practice is to say something like, "Our service starts at 10am on Sunday.  Can I come to your home this Sunday and pick you up at 9:30 and bring you?"  Being more specific with times and dates and offering a ride yield better results than leaving possible future attendance open-ended and non-committal.  

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-
        Sign-up sheets are posted 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.  Your participation and help makes our church community stronger and more vibrant!

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.

Offerings From Our Church Bookstore-
        Did you know we have red dye packets for eggs and Pascha greeting cards available for purchase at our bookstore?

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 third Tuesdays.  All are welcome.   Please  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.  

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, Jesus took His twelve Disciples, and began to tell them what was to happen to Him, saying, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, and deliver Him to the Gentiles. And they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit upon Him, and kill Him; and after three days He will rise.” And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to Him, and said to Him, “Teacher, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire” And Jesus said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?” And they said to Him, “Grant us to sit, one at Thy right hand and one at Thy left, in Thy glory.” But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” And they said to Him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized. But to sit at My right hand or at My left is not Mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. And Jesus called them to Him and said to them, “You know that those who are supposed to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be servant of all. For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”  (Mark 10:32-45)

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-

Let the heavens rejoice and let the earth be glad; for the co-eternal and co-beginningless Son of the Father, Who is of one throne with Him, taking pity and filled with man-befriending mercy, condescended unto the emptying of Himself according to the good pleasure and will of the Father, and He dwelt in the Virgin’s womb, which was purified before by the Spirit. O wonder! God is among men, the Uncontainable is in the womb, the Timeless One is in time; and wondrous it is that the conception is without seed, and the emptying ineffable, and the mystery so great! For God emptieth Himself, and becometh flesh, and is fashioned, the Angel having declared the conception unto the pure Virgin: Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee, even He that hath Great Mercy. 

- Doxastikon for vespers of the Annunciation