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Church Bulletin: November 23, 2014

posted Nov 24, 2014, 8:25 PM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
November 23, 2014- 24th Sunday after Pentecost
This Week's Services and Events

November 26, Wednesday
        +  Nativity Paraklesis 7:00PM,

November 29, Saturday
        + 9th Hour/Great Vespers, 6:00PM

November 30, Sunday, Holy Apostle Andrew
        +Matins, 8:45AM
        + Divine Liturgy, 10:00AM, followed by fellowship hour and Sunday School
Upcoming Events and Announcements   

2015 Budget, Where do We Stand?-
       We are short of where we need to be for 2015. It is not too late to return a pledge if you intend to support our church financially.  We are thankful for your generosity.

No Friday Matins or Office Hours This Week-
       Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, Fr. Ignatius will be out of town on Thursday and Friday.  There will be no matins on Friday morning and no office hours. 

Church in Need of Olive Oil-
       Do you want to bless the church with a gift of olive oil? We have a continual need for olive oil as we use it in our oil lamps that hang before the icons.  Currently our supplies are low.  We will gladly accept any donations.  Extra Virgin oil is not necessary.  Regular grade oil burns best in the lamps.

Pot-luck Next Sunday-
       Next Sunday is the fifth Sunday of the month.  We ask that everyone consider bringing some fasting-friendly food to share for a potluck after liturgy.

Annual Voters' Meeting-
       Our annual Voter's Meeting will take place following liturgy on Sunday, December 7.  Please plan to attend and participate.  More information will follow in the near future.

St. Nicholas Liturgy-
       Join us to celebrate the wonderful St. Nicholas with liturgy at 10:00AM on Saturday, December 6.

Free Lunch Program Volunteering-
       We will serve a meal at the Free Lunch Program on Tuesday, December 2 from 11:30AM-1:30PM at 1105 Gilbert Ct., Iowa City.  Please let Fr. Ignatius know if you can help out this month.

OCF Dinner-
       The Orthodox Christian Fellowship will meet for dinner at Lori and Robert's house at 6:30PM on December 4.

Sunday School Christmas Pageant-
        Our Sunday School students will be presenting their second annual Christmas Pageant on Sunday, December 14, following liturgy.  Parents, please make sure you children are present for the upcoming practices: November 30, a read through during Sunday School; December 7, practice during Sunday School; December 13 (Saturday!) practice, time TBA.

Christmas Caroling-
       Do you like to sing Christmas carols?  Join with a group from church on Sunday afternoon, December 21 to go caroling at two local retirement communities beginning at 2:30PM.

St. Maria's Bread House-
        We have now been officially okayed to use the United Christian and Baptist Church's building for one public event and two Wednesday Vespers per month! Please pray for continued favor with their board and for our board as we plan. For more information about us, go to our website at stmariasbreadhouse.org. Please also like us on Facebook ( www.facebook.com/stmariasbreadhouse ) and share these sites with friends and family. For more info, contact Amy Spencer at kalonabreadhouse@gmail.com.

Nativity Fast Has Begun-
       In preparation for the Great Feast of the Nativity of the Lord, we begin a time of fasting, lasting 40 days, on November 15.  The standard for this fast is a little less stringent than the Lenten fast.  We abstain from meat, eggs and dairy, wine and oil, but wine and oil are permitted on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and fish, wine and oil are permitted on Saturdays and Sundays.  As fasting goes hand-in-hand with repentance, this is a good time to schedule a confession with Fr. Ignatius.  If you have any questions about confession or fasting, please see Fr. Ignatius.

Religion and Culture of the Slavs Class at UI-
       Irina Kostina is offering "Religion and Culture of the Slavs" during the Spring 2015 semester at the University of Iowa.  Her decription of the class follows: "This course covers the history of Russian Orthodoxy, highlights Russian Christianization, the creation of marvelous icons, monasteries, canons of faith, historical and literary events that have shaped the mentality and character of the Russian people through the centuries."  Fr. Ignatius will be teaching two sessions.  For more information, email Irina at irina-kostina@uiowa.edu

Orthodox Christian Fellowship College Conference and Real Break-
       The annual OCF College Conference is taking place at the Antiochian Village in Western Pennsylvania from December 27-30.  To learn more or to register, go to: http://www.ocf.net/college-conference/.  One week mission trips, known as Real Break are scheduled for Spring 2015 to both domestic and international destinations.  To learn more about these opportunities, go to: http://www.ocf.net/real-break-2015/
Enthronement of Metropolitan Joseph-
       Information on the Enthronement weekend services in Brooklyn, NY December 5-7 can be found at: http://www.antiochian.org/enthronement

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.

Thoughts on Stewardship and Giving-    
       "For every beast of the forest is Mine, And the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the mountains, And the wild beasts of the field are Mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell you; For the world is Mine, and all its fullness."  (Psalm 50:10-12)

Next Sunday's Gospel Reading-
        St. John Chrysostom urges Christians to preview the upcoming Sunday Gospel reading so that it may be fresh in your minds when you hear it next

The reading for Sunday, November 30 is: At that time John was standing with two of his disciples; and he looked at Jesus as He walked, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. Jesus turned, and saw them following, and said to them, “What do you seek?” And they said to Him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where art Thou staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where He was staying; and they stayed with Him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). He brought him to Jesus.  Jesus looked at him, and said, “So you are Simon the son of Jonah?  You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter). The next day, Jesus decided to go to Galilee. And He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathaniel, and said to him, “We have found Him of Whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathaniel said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!” Nathaniel said to Him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathaniel answered Him, “Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God!  Thou art the King of Israel!” Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You shall see greater things than these.” And He said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.” (John 1:35-51)

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

Coffee Hour-
       There will be a parish-wide potluck on Sunday November 30.  Please plan to bring some fasting-friendly food to share.

Choir Leadership-
        Tania Van Dinter will lead the choir on November 29-30.

Food for Thought-

We should regard all people as saints.  We all carry within us the same "old self."  Our neighbor, whoever he is, is "flesh of our flesh," he is our brother and, according to St. Paul, we owe no one anything, except to love one another.  We can never pass judgment on others, for no one ever hated his own flesh.

St. Porphyrios the Kapsokalyvite