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Church Bulletin: March 5, 2017

posted Mar 5, 2017, 1:03 PM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
March 5, 2017- Sunday of Orthodoxy (1st Sunday of Lent)

 This Week's Services and Events

March 6, Monday
        + Great Compline, 7:00PM

March 7, Tuesday
        + Free Lunch Program Volunteering, 11:30AM-1:00PM
        + Office Hours, 1:15PM-2:45PM
        + 9th Hour Prayers, 3:00PM

March 8, Wednesday
        + Liturgy of Pre-Sanctified Gifts, 6:00PM, followed by Soup Supper

March 9, Thursday
        + Office Hours, 1:15-2:45PM
        + OCF Dinner, 6:30PM

March 10, Friday
        + Little Compline with Akathist Hymn, 7:00PM

March 11, Saturday
        + Intro to Orthodoxy class, 3:00PM
        + Great Vespers, 5:00PM

March 12, Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas (2nd Sunday of Lent)
        + Matins, 8:45AM
        + Divine Liturgy, 10:00AM followed by Sunday School and Coffee Hour
        + Pan-Orthodox Vespers, 5:30PM at St. John the Baptist 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 12- St. John the Baptist Church (501 A Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids)
March 19- St. Elias the Prophet Church (419 Grandview Ave.(new location!), Dubuque)
March 26- St. George Church (3650 Cottage Grove Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids)
April 2- St. Nicholas Mission (125 33rd St. NE, Cedar Rapids)

March/April Calendars-
        Our new bi-monthly calendars are printed and available.  Take one home to help keep track of all of the many services and other activities happening in the church.

Daylight Savings Starts Next Sunday-
        Remember to set your clocks forward one hour on Saturday evening.  We enter into Daylight Savings Time at 2:00AM on Sunday.

 Lent Is Upon Us-
       The Church gives us an abundance of opportunities to enter into the spirit of Lent and to journey toward Holy Week and Pascha.  Plan accordingly.  For Orthodox Christians, Lent means a focus on giving alms, more frequent fasting, a heightened emphasis on repentance, and many chances to attend services- all so that we can draw closer to our Lord.

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.  

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 during Lent.  Following this special Lenten service, we gather for a simple soup supper.  We need volunteers to provide some soup each week.  A sign-up sheet is posted in the narthex.

Introduction to Orthodoxy Classes-
        A series of Intro to Orthodoxy classes is ongoing.  All are welcome.  The remaining schedule is as follows:  
Saturday, March 11- 3pm
Saturday, March 18- 1:30pm
Saturday, March 25- 3pm

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 

Teaching on the End-Times From Bishop Anthony-
        The bishops of the Church, first and foremost, have the responsibility to faithfully preserve and transmit the teaching of the Church to the faithful.  In a series of recordings by Ancient Faith Radio, Bishop Anthony carefully explains Orthodox teaching on eschatology, that is, the end times, in a talk titled "And He Shall Come Again."  To view and/or to listen, go to: http://www.ancientfaith.com/specials/and_he_shall_come_again

Food for All - Kalona
        Please continue to pray for our Orthodox-style, community-style charity work. Our Sunday Supper and Movie Nights are happening twice monthly until summer. Also, we hope to restart Kalona Vespers in the new year. Also please 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

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, when Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that He was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room for them, not even about the door; and He was preaching the Word to them. And they came, bringing to Jesus a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had made an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now, some of the scribes were sitting there, reasoning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak thus? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” And immediately Jesus, perceiving in His spirit that they thus reasoned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you reason thus in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your pallet and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” – He said to the paralytic – “I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home.” And he rose, and immediately took up the pallet and went out before them all. So that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”  (Mark 2:1-12)

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-

Christ did not come to make bad men good, but to make dead men live.

- Fr. Stephen Freeman