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Church Bulletin: May 17, 2015

posted May 19, 2015, 9:23 AM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
May 17, 2015- Sunday of the Blind Man

Christ is Risen!   Der Meschiache undzer iz geshtanen!  Ua ala aʻe nei ʻo Kristo!
This Week's Services and Events

May 20, Wednesday
        + Vesperal Liturgy for Ascension, 6:00PM, followed by II Peter Bible Study (starting at about 7:45PM)
        + Vespers in Kalona, 7:00PM

May 22, Friday
        + Matins, 8:30AM
        + Office Hours, 9:30AM-11:30AM

May 23, Saturday
        + Great Vespers, 5:00PM

May 24, Sunday of the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council
        + Matins, 8:45AM
        + Divine Liturgy, 10:00AM, followed by Sunday School and Fellowship Hour
Upcoming Events and Announcements

Bible Study, Partakers of the Divine Nature-
       Following Liturgy this Wednesday, May 20 at 6:00PM,and Akathist next Wednesday, May 27at 7:00PM, Fr. Ignatius is hosting a Bible study on II Peter.  Bring your Bibles!  We will finish by 9:00PM at the latest.

Congratulations Graduates!-
        Congratulations to Irakli and Rachelle Naridze.  Irakli is graduating from the University of Iowa with his Master's in Business Administration, and Rachelle is graduating with her Doctorate of Medicine and her Master's of Public Health.  Congratulations to Razzi Abuissa who is graduating from University Pennsylvania with his Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Computer and Information Science.  Congratulations to Christian Morey who is graduating from Southeastern Community College with an Associate of Applied Science/Construction Technology degree.  Congratulations to Hannah Valentine, who is graduating from Kirkwood Community College with an Associate's degree, and moving on to the University of Iowa.  

Financial Update-
        The following is a brief financial update provided by the parish council.  As a result of our March 22 Voters' Meeting, we set some financial goals to help us make headway against a projected $15,000 loss for 2015.  #1 We set a goal to raise $2500 annually through a second appeal to already pledging members and an increased effort to gain new pledges.  As a result, we have received pledges totaling $2555.  #2. We set a goal to raise $500 in a special Pascha appeal to our visitors and members.  We received $1324.  #3.  We set a goal to make $2000 through the Lyra concert.  We made $2086.  We still must work hard throughout the rest of the year to close the gap, but we have built up some good momentum and we are confident that God will supply all of our needs.

Today is Prison Ministry Awareness Sunday-
       The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America has designated the Sixth Sunday of Pascha, Sunday, May 17th of this year, to be Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry (OCPM) Awareness Sunday in all parishes.  The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Our parishes are on an inevitable encounter with jails and prisons. Orthodox men and women have been incarcerated and others discover the fullness of the Orthodox Faith even in these dark places. The Holy Orthodox Church offers them the Life that gives meaning to all life and that Life is able to bring healing to a broken humanity. We should all see people not as they are but as they could become through the Holy Orthodox Faith. OCPM is busy training clergy and laypeople to meet the needs of those in prison and those coming out of prison.  To learn more about this important ministry, go to:www.theocpm.org

Ascension Liturgy-
       The 40 day Paschal season comes to an end with the Feast of the Lord's Ascension on May 21.  We will celebrate liturgy for this feast at 6:00PM on May 20.  Weekly Wednesday and Friday fasting resumes on Friday, May 22.

Welcoming Weekend, May 30-31-
       Plan to invite a friend, neighbor or co-worker to vespers at 5:00PM on Saturday, May 30, or Liturgy at 10:00AM on Sunday, May 31.  Following vespers, we will have some Georgian appetizers available and a time to socialize.

May 31 Parish-wide Potluck-
       We invite everyone to plan to bring food or drink to share during coffee hour on May 31.

Kneeling Vespers-
        At 6:00PM on Pentecost Sunday, May 31, we will hold the Kneeling Vespers service.  During the Paschal season, we have not knelt at all during services, because Christ is risen.  At this service, the practice of kneeling is reintroduced.

May is Georgian Outreach and Appreciation Month-
       The Outreach and Evangelism Working Group is declaring April to be Georgian Outreach and Appreciation Month at our church.  We hope to have the epistle reading to be read in Georgian (following the reading in English) each Sunday, and the month culminates with the feast of Pentecost on May 31, at which we hope to incorporate some uniquely Georgian ways of celebrating the feast.  If you know of anybody with a Georgian background who isn't yet familiar with our church, invite them to join us during this month.

36th Annual Iowa Mennonite Relief Sale-
       You are invited to help relieve world hunger and meet human needs around the world in the name of Christ. The 36th annual Iowa Mennonite Relief Sale will give opportunity to support these needs. The event will be held May 29-30 at the Johnson County Fairgrounds beginning Friday at 3 p.m. and continuing through Saturday afternoon. Highlights include a Friday dinner of turkey breast or smoked pork loin; food booths; an all-you-can-eat breakfast on Saturday; quilt, general, and children’s auctions; farmer’s market, and children’s activities. See www.iamccreliefsale.org or facebook.com/iowamennonitereliefsale.

Food for All-
       Though St. Maria's Bread House has been dissolved as an organization, the ministry of providing food and a taste of Orthodoxy to Kalona continues under the name "Food for All." Please come to Vespers on first and third Wednesdays! Also, planning for Kalona Summer Lunch is well underway, with hopes of attracting more families and individuals who don't consider themselves "poor enough" for a community lunch but would benefit from getting out of the house (or off the streets) and enjoying food with others. We'll be having activities at the lunch this year too. If you'd like to know more or to volunteer, talk to Bill or Amy Spencer and visit the Food for All website: foodforallkalona.weebly.com. Please be praying too, that God would be glorified through our efforts. 

Annual Camping Weekend, Save the Dates!-
       We will gather at F. W. Kent Park on Highway 6 between Tiffin and Oxford on Saturday, June 20 and Sunday, June 21 for a weekend of camping, fellowship and divine services.  Vespers will be in the park at 7:00PM on Saturday, and matins and Liturgy, also in the park at 8:30AM and 9:30AM.  More information about registration and precise schedule will follow soon.

Parish Electronic Directory-
       To foster greater awareness of each other and to strengthen our connections, we are starting a voluntary parish directory on Google Docs.  Use this link to log in, add whatever contact information you want to share, including birth dates and occupation or any skill or service that you might be able to share with other members from the parish.  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PHVXe1GGgaeoO5GNrIWhur2YkAQb0zGSoElGQFnIPF0/edit?usp=sharing 
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 heard from.  Please pray for their well being and release and also pray for their captors 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.

Next Sunday's Gospel Reading-
         At that time, Jesus lifted up His eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Thy Son that the Son may glorify Thee, since Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom Thou hast given Him. And this is eternal life, that they know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ Whom Thou hast sent. I glorified Thee on earth, having accomplished the work which Thou gavest Me to do; and now, Father, glorify Thou Me in Thy own presence with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was made. I have manifested Thy Name to the men whom Thou gavest Me out of the world; Thine they were, and Thou gavest them to Me, and they have kept Thy word. Now they know that everything that Thou hast given Me is from Thee; for I have given them the words which Thou gavest Me, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from Thee; and they have believed that Thou didst send Me. I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world but for those whom Thou hast given Me, for they are Thine; all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine, and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to Thee. Holy Father, keep them in Thy Name, which Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, even as We are one. While I was with them, I kept them in Thy Name, which Thou have given Me; I have guarded them, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to Thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.”  (John 17:1-13)       

Pray for our Catechumen-
       Please keep our catechumen Ilya Buchkin in your prayers as he 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. 

Coffee Hour-
       The St. John the Baptist team will bring food and do cleaning on Sunday, May 23.  

Holy Bread-
       The Melchin family will provide holy bread for liturgy on Sunday, May 23.

Food for Thought-
       "Firmly believe that the Lord is at all times everything to you. During prayer He is the power and the fulfillment in the Holy Spirit of each of your words. During pious conversation He is your living water, the ardent flow of your words at all times? He is everything to you. Be free from care in the presence of your Lord. He has enclosed you with Himself upon all sides. He penetrates you wholly and knows all your thoughts, all your needs and inclinations, and if you live in Him with faith and love, then no evil shall befall you. 'The Lord is at hand; be careful for nothing' (Phil. 4:6)." 
-- St. John of Kronstadt