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Church Bulletin: March 8, 2015

posted Mar 8, 2015, 7:36 PM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church   [ updated Mar 8, 2015, 7:37 PM ]
March 8, 2015- 2nd Sunday of Lent (St. Gregory Palamas)
This Week's Services and Events

March 9, Monday
        + Great Compline,  7:00PM

March 10, Tuesday
        + Parish Council meeting, 7:00PM

March 11, Wednesday
        + Liturgy of Pre-Sanctified Gifts, 6:00PM, followed by lenten soup supper and a short teaching time on the services of Holy Week

March 12, Thursday
        + OCF compline, followed by book discussion, 7:00PM

March 13, Friday
        + Matins, 8:30AM
        + Office Hours, 9:30AM-11:30AM
        + Little Compline with Akathist Hymn, 7:00PM

March 14, Saturday
        + Ciungu/Iovanov Baptism, 11:00AM, followed by refreshments
        + Great Vespers, 5:00PM, followed by refreshments

March 15, 3rd Sunday of Lent (The Precious and Life-Giving Cross)
        + Matins, 8:30AM
        + Divine Liturgy, 10:00AM, followed by fellowship hour and Sunday School
        + Pan-Orthodox Vespers, 5:30PM, followed by supper at St. John the Baptist Church, Cedar Rapids
Upcoming Events and Announcements   

Welcoming Weekend, March 14-15 (Invite some friends!)-
       As part of our mission to be faithful to the Lord and make disciples, the Evangelism and Outreach Working Group is spearheading a Welcoming Weekend March 14-15.  All are invited to participate.  Invite your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers to either vespers on Saturday, or Liturgy on Sunday (or both!)  Following vespers, we will offer some refreshments and invite people to stay a bit and talk.  This is a way to build up our church and share the gift we have been given.  Invite them by saying, "Come and see!"  (John 1:46)  And if they come, and God's Spirit moves within them, they will be saying, "We never saw anything like this!" (Mark 2:12)

You Are Invited to a Baptism-
       Mio Iovanov and Lavinia Ciungu invite you to the baptism of their daughter Anya this Saturday, March 14 at 11:00AM.  Refreshments will follow.

Lent is Here-
       The Church offers many opportunities for prayer and worship during the Lenten season.  There are weekly services on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening.  Fr. Ignatius challenges you to consider making a commitment to come to at least one mid-week service every week during Lent.  Pick a night, clear your schedule and come and experience what the Church has to offer to you through the beautiful prayers and hymns of this season. 

Lenten Wednesday Evenings-
       On Wednesdays at 6:00PM during Lent, we have the Liturgy of Pre-Sanctified Gifts, a mid-week refreshment given to us by the Church.  Following this service, we will gather for a simple Lenten soup supper.  During our meal time, Fr. Ignatius will offer a brief teaching on the services of Holy Week, in anticipation.  If you wish to receive the Eucharist at this service, fast from about noon.

Pray For and Help out a Family in their Time of Need-
       On Sunday evening, March 1, a young priest named Fr. Matthew Baker was driving home in the snow, after serving vespers at his parish in Connecticut, when his vehicle lost control.  He was killed in the crash.  He leaves behind a wife and six children.  Fr. Matthew had just received his first parish assignment, after having been a graduate student for 12 years.  Needless to say, his family and his friends and his parish are grieving this tragic loss, and his family will be in great need of financial help.  A trusted friend has set up a website to collect funds, all of which will go directly to the family.  That site is at: http://www.gofundme.com/nizf2g
Please keep his wife Presbytera Katherine, and their six young children: Isaac, 12; Elias, 10; George, 8; Ellie, 6; Cyril, 4; and Matthew Baker Jr, 2, in your prayers.

Orthodox Christian Fellowship-
       The University of Iowa OCF will host a three-part book discussion of C. S. Lewis's Mere Christianity, beginning March 12, and continuing on March 26 and April 16.  For March 12, they will read Books I and II, encompassing the first 10 chapters.  We will meet for compline at 7:00PM each of these nights, and start the discussion afterward, at about 7:30PM.

Teen SOYO-
       Our teens are meeting for a Dinner and Movie Night on Monday, March 16 at 6:30PM.  On Tuesday, March 17, from 11:30AM-1:30PM, they have an opportunity to help serve at the Free Lunch Program.  This is Spring Break week so school is not in session.  For questions or to get involved, talk with Hannah Valentine.

Special Voters' Meeting, March 22-
       As decided upon at our annual voters' meeting in December, and because of our tenuous budget situation, we are going to re-visit the budget and discuss the church's finances at the end of the year's first quarter.  The meeting will take place after liturgy on Sunday, March 22.  Please plan to stay and participate in the discussion.

Summary on Upcoming Holy and Great Council of 2016-
       To read Archdeacon Dr. John Chryssavgis's summary of what is to take place at the upcoming Holy and Great Council which will be held in Istanbul in 2016 and attended by bishops from all 14 autocephalous Orthodox churches, go to: http://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2015/03/at-last-a-council-for-the-ages

St. Maria's Bread House-
       Please pray for us as the Bread House board of directors has a sabbatical during Lent. Also pray for Amy and Bill as they start planning summer lunch with Kalona Methodist Church. We plan to start Kalona Vespers again on April 16, led by Fr. Ignatius and Fr. Germogen on first and third Wednesdays. Do plan to come! 

Lenten Pan-Orthodox Sunday Vespers-
       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 remaining schedule:
March 8- St. Raphael
March 15- St. John the Baptist Church (501 A Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids)
March 22- St. Demetrios Orthodox Church (613 W. 4th St., Waterloo)
March 29- St. Elias the Prophet Orthodox Church (Temporary Location: The Hadley Chapel at Hillcrest, 2005 Asbury Rd., Dubuque)

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 from all of the Antiochian parishes and gives it to various programs that serve the hungry.  Collection boxes are now at church in the narthex.  Take one home and use it during Lent.

Parish-wide and Family Pictures To Be Taken on Palm Sunday, April 5-
       Following Liturgy on April 5, we will gather in our church nave for our annual group picture as a parish.  We are also going to try something new this year.  As part of our new 2015 parish directory, we are going to include as many portraits as we can of families and individuals.  Plan to have your family's picture taken for our new directory during coffee hour.

Resources for Great Lent-

        On our archdiocesan website at http://www.antiochian.org//lent there are plenty of wonderful teaching resources about the season of Great Lent.  Read and learn!

Save the Date, Russian Choral Concert!-

       We are excited to have the opportunity to host the touring Russian Choral group Lyra at our church on Tuesday, April 28 at 7:30PM.  A free-will donation will be taken, proceeds to go to charity.  More information will be posted as the date draws closer.

Scholarship for Women Available-
       If you are a female 27 years old or older, an active member in good standing of a parish in the Antiochian Archdiocese, applying for or registered in an academic or trade program of study, and able to demonstrate financial need, and you are interested in applying for a $500 scholarship, please see Fr. Ignatius.  Scholarship deadline in June 1, 2015.

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.

Midwest Parish Life Conference-
       The annual Midwest Diocese Parish Life Conference will be held in Grand Rapids, MI on June 24-28.  To learn more, go to:www.midwestplc2015.com.

Bible Bowl and Oratorical Festival-
       Each year, our diocese offers two different competitions for teens (and one for adults), held at the Parish Life Conference.  The 2015 Parish Life Conference will be held in Grand Rapids, MI in June.  Teens from our parish have participated in and done very well in the Bible Bowl is recent years, winning trophies each time they have competed.  Instead of focusing on one book of the Bible, the 2015 Bible Bowl will focus on the life of our patron, St. Raphael of Brooklyn, as found in the book "Our Father Among the Saints Raphael Bishop of Brooklyn: Good Shepherd of the Lost Sheep in America" published by Antakya Press.  This theme was chosen by Metropolitan Philip before his repose, because 2015 is the 100th anniversary of the repose of St. Raphael.  Fr. Ignatius challenges teens (ages 13-19) to form a team and study and compete.  Adults can form a team as well.  We can win this at the diocesan level and go on to compete on the archdiocesan level!  In addition, if giving speeches is your thing (teens only), consider writing a speech for the Oratorical Festival, the theme of which is also the life of St. Raphael.  Information is posted in the narthex.  Talk to Fr. Ignatius if you would like to learn more.
Next Sunday's Gospel Reading-
        The Lord said, “If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for My sake and the Gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” And Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Kingdom of God come with power.”  (Mark 8:34-9:1)
Pray for our Catechumens-
       Please keep our catechumens: Ilya Buchkin, Rob Bergenstock and Daniel Welsh 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, 2013, 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. 

Holy Bread-
       The Van Dinter family will provide the holy bread for liturgy on March 15.  Thank you in advance.

Choir Leadership-
       Tania Van Dinter will lead the choir during the weekend of March 14-15.

Coffee Hour-
       The St. Nina team will bring food to share and will clean-up the fellowship hall on Sunday March 15. 

Food for Thought-

Anoint my heart with the oil of Your mercy, my most merciful Lord.


May neither anger against the strong nor scorning of the weak ever erupt in my heart! For everything is weaker than the morning dew.


May hatred never make a nest in my heart against those who plot evil against me, so that I may be mindful of their end and be at peace.


Mercifulness opens the way to the heart of all creatures, and brings joy. Mercilessness brings fog to the fore, and creates a cramped isolation.


Have mercy on Your merciful servant, most Tender Hand, and reveal to me the mystery of Your mercy.


The Ultimate Man is the child of the Father's mercy and the Spirit's light.


All creation is merely a story about Him. The mighty suns in the heavens and the smallest drops of water in the lake carry in themselves one part of the story about Him. All the builders of heaven and earth, from the exceedingly mighty seraphim to rulers and the tiniest particle of dust, tell the very same story about Him, their fore-essence and fore-source.


What are all the things on the earth and the moon except the sun in stories? Truly, in this way all visible and invisible creation is the Ultimate Man in stories. Essence is simple, but there is no end or number to the stories about essence.


My neighbors, how can I tell you about essence, when you do not even understand stories.


Ah if you only knew how great the sweetness, the expanse, and the strength are, when one reaches the bottom of all the stories—there, where the stories begin and where they end. There, where the tongue is silent and where everything is told at once!


How boring all the lengthy and tedious stories of creatures become then! Truly, they become just as boring as it is for one who is accustomed to seeing lightning to hear stories about lightning.


Receive me into Yourself, O Only-Begotten Son, so that I may be one with You as I was before creation and the Fall.


Let my long and weary story about You end with a moment's vision of You. Let my self-deception die, that would have me think that I am something without You, that I am something else outside of You.


My ears are stuffed with stories. My eyes no longer seek to see any display of clothing but You, my essence, overladen with stories and clothing.

St. Nikolai Velimirovich- Prayers by the Lake, Prayer XII