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Church Bulletin: March 31, 2013

posted Mar 30, 2013, 9:33 AM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
March 31, 2013- Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas (2nd Sunday of Lent)
This Week's Services and Events
Apr 1, Monday
        + 3rd Hour Prayers, 9AM
        + Father's Office Hours, 9:15AM-11:30AM
Apr 2, Tuesday
        + Free Lunch Program volunteering, 11:30AM-1:30PM (Wesley Center)
Apr 3, Wednesday
        + Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts, 6PM, followed by Lenten Soup Supper
Apr 4, Thursday
        + OCF dinner, 7PM
Apr 5, Friday
        + Matins, 8:30AM
        + Little Compline with Akathist Hymn, 7PM
Apr 6, Saturday
        + Catechumen Class, 4PM
        + 9th Hour and Great Vespers, 6PM
Apr 7, Sunday, Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas
        + Matins, 8:45AM
        + Divine Liturgy, 10AM, followed by coffee hour and Sunday School
        + Pan-Orthodox Vespers and Supper, 5:30PM at St. Elias the Prophet Greek Orthodox Church (1075 Rockdale Rd., Dubuque)
Upcoming Events and Announcements
Free Lunch Program Volunteering-
        On Tuesday, April 2, from 11:30AM-1:30PM, we are scheduled to volunteer at the Free Lunch Program held at the Wesley Center (120 N. Dubuque St.). Please let Fr. Ignatius know if you plan to help this month.
No Office Hours April 8-
        Fr. Ignatius will be out of town on Monday, April 8. There will be no 3rd Hour Prayers or office hours that day.
Catechumen Classes-
        Fr. Ignatius is leading a series of catechumen classes at 4PM on Saturdays. All are welcome to attend whether or not you are a catechumen.
The Church Always Needs Olive Oil-
        Especially during this season of many services, we use a lot of olive oil in the various oil lamps which burn before our icons and on our altar. The church will gladly accept any donations of olive oil for this purpose. Regular grade (not extra virgin) olive oil is preferred (and less expensive too!)
Prayer for Sanctity of Life-
        On Saturday, April 6, 13 and 20 at 10AM, Fr. Ignatius will be praying the "Akathist of Repentance for One Who Has Aborted a Child" in front of a local abortion clinic. All are welcome to join him at 227 N. Dubuque St.
Next Parish Council Meeting is April 9-
        The Parish Council will hold its monthly meeting on Tuesday, April 9 at 7PM. All are welcome to attend.
Church Clean-up Day, April 27-
        Please mark your calendars and plan to come to church during the afternoon (1PM-5PM) of Saturday, April 27 (Lazarus Saturday) to help do some Spring cleaning so that our building and grounds are in order and ready for Holy Week and Pascha. We will sweep, polish, dust, vacuum and do whatever else is necessary to make our church as beautiful as possible for the remembrance of our Lord's Passion, Death and Resurrection.
Lenten Retreat at St. George Church (Cedar Rapids) for Middle and High School Students-
        Marek Simon, assistant director of the Antiochian Village Camp programs, will be the retreat master. The retreat begins with dinner on Friday, April 26 and continues through the day on Saturday, April 27. Contact St. George Church (319-363-1559) for exact times and more information.
On the Frequency of Receiving the Eucharist-
        "We must not avoid communion because we deem ourselves to be sinful. We must approach it more often for the healing of the soul and the purification of the spirit, but with such humility and faith that considering ourselves unworthy...we would desire even more medicine for our wounds. Otherwise it is impossible to receive communion once a year, as certain people do...considering the sanctification of heavenly mysteries as available only to saints. It is better to think that by giving us grace, the sacrament makes us pure and holy. Such people manifest more pride than humility...for when they receive, they think of themselves as worthy. It is much better, if, in humility of heart, knowing that we are never worthy of the holy mysteries, we would receive them every Sunday for the healing of our diseases rather than, blinded by pride, think that, after one year, we become worthy of receiving them."- St. John Cassian
        During Lent, the Church asks us to abstain from meat (with the exception of fish on March 25 for the Annunciation and April 28 for Palm Sunday) until Great and Holy Pascha, May 5. Shellfish are OK. 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.
The Lenten Prayer of St. Ephraim-
        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.
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.
Repentance and Confession-
        Lent is the perfect time to make a confession. If it has been awhile since your last one, don't let another Lent go by without making one. This is medicine for our souls. Take advantage of what God has to offer through His Church- the forgiveness of your sins. If you have never made a confession, or if you have any questions about how to prepare for one or what takes place during a confession, feel free to speak with Fr. Ignatius. He is available after Saturday vespers, at the end of Sunday matins (right before the beginning of Liturgy) or other times by appointment if you would like to schedule a time to receive this sacrament.
Lenten Pan-Orthodox Sunday Vespers-
        As has been the tradition for several years, we are invited to attend vespers at various Orthodox churches in Eastern Iowa on Sunday evenings during Lent and in turn, we will be hosting clergy and the faithful from these churches at St. Raphael. Each vespers service begins at 5:30PM and is followed by a fellowship meal provided by the hosting church. The remaining schedule is as follows:
April 7- St. Elias the Prophet Greek Orthodox Church, Dubuque (1075 Rockdale Rd.)
April 14- St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, Cedar Rapids (3650 Cottage Grove Ave. SE)
April 21- St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, Waterloo (613 W. Fourth St.)
Lenten Wednesday Evenings-
        On Wednesday evenings during Lent, we gather for the Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts at 6PM. Following the service, we will share a simple lenten soup supper. There is a sign-up sheet posted in the narthex so that people can sign-up to provide the meal each week.
Would You Like to Learn More About Lent?-
        Our Archdiocese has created an informative section on their website to help us better understand the season of Lent. Check out: http://www.antiochian.org/lent
Charitable projects-
        Many, many thanks to everyone who has helped (and is still helping) with the cookbook. We're hoping to have copies in hand by late April. We are also planning to participate in the Iowa City Farmer's Market, hopefully once a month from May to October. We'd love to see many people involved, as it will be lots of fun. If you're interested, contact Amy Spencer, Tania Van Dinter, Karen Kuntz, Alli Rockwell, or Father. Lotion bars will be available soon in the church bookstore too.
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 April 7, the food for coffee hour and the clean-up of the fellowship hall will be provided by the St. Nicholas team.
Holy Bread-
        On Sunday April 7, the holy bread will be provided by the Valentine family. Thank you in advance. Anyone can sign up to provide holy bread for future liturgies. Look for the sign-up sheet in the narthex.
Church Cleaning-
        During the week of April 7-13, the cleaning of the nave, narthex, bookstore, stairs, nursery and bathrooms will be accomplished by the St. Nina team.
Food for Thought-
On Prayer-
According to Isaac of Syria: 'Prayer without distraction is that which produces constant thought of God in the soul.' It is through prayer that God unites himself with our souls and dwells in us. St. Symeon the New Theologian has explained the method of prayer excellently in the Philokalia and St. John Chrysostom has magnificently extolled prayer's worth. All those resolving to serve God must persevere in prayer, saying inwardly: 'Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.' One may likewise turn to the protection of the Mother of God, asking her help and addressing her in the word's of the archangel's salutation. When mind and heart are united in prayer and the soul is wholly concentrated in a single desire for God, then the heart grows warm and the light of Christ begins to shine and fills the inward man with peace and joy.
St. Seraphim of Sarov, "St. Seraphim of Sarov" by Valentine Zander, pp. 102-103.