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Church Bulletin: November 30, 2014

posted Dec 1, 2014, 6:25 PM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
November 30, 2014- Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called
This Week's Services and Events

December 2, Tuesday
        + Free Lunch Program Volunteering, 11:30AM-1:30PM

December 3, Wednesday
        +  Nativity Paraklesis, 7:00PM

December 4, Thursday
        + OCF Dinner at Branch-Peterson's, 6:30PM

December 5, Friday
        + Matins, 8:30AM
        + Office Hours, 9:30AM-11:30AM

December 6, Saturday
        + Liturgy for St. Nicholas, 10:00AM, followed by a soup lunch
        + 9th Hour/Great Vespers, 6:00PM

December 7, Sunday, Twenty-sixth Sunday after Pentecost
        +Matins, 8:45AM
        + Divine Liturgy, 10:00AM, followed by fellowship hour and Sunday School and Annual Parish Meeting
Upcoming Events and Announcements   

Metropolitan Joseph's Advent Letter-
        To read Metropolitan Joseph's Advent letter, go to: http://www.antiochian.org/season-advent-how-are-we-called-respond

Annual Voters' Meeting-
       Our annual Voter's Meeting will take place following liturgy on Sunday, December 7.  Please plan to attend and participate. 

St. Nicholas Liturgy-
       Join us to celebrate the wonderful St. Nicholas with liturgy at 10:00AM on Saturday, December 6.  We are invited to our daughter mission, St. Nicholas in Davenport (1203 Jersey Ridge Rd.) for vespers at 6:30PM on Friday, December 5.

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.

Enthronement of Metropolitan Joseph-
       His Eminence Metropolitan's Enthronement service in Brooklyn, NY, with Patriarch John X presiding, will be video broadcast live on Ancient Faith Radio's site www.ancientfaith.com at 3:30PM (CST) on Saturday, December 6 and the Patriarchal Divine Liturgy will be broadcast beginning at 8:30AM on Sunday, December 7.

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, from 12:00PM-2:00PM..

Teen SOYO Movie Night-
        Our teens will meet for dinner and a movie at 6:30PM on December 15.

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.

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.

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.

Non-Perishable Food Collection-

       Do you know that St. Raphael Church is always collecting non-perishable food items to donate to the Crisis Center food bank?  Look for the large box underneath one of the tables in the narthex.  Let us remember that many people have less than we do.

Nativity Fast-
       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.

Nativity Services-
       Wednesday, December 24th- Royals Hours, 9:00AM; Vesperal Liturgy, 6:00PM.  Thursday, December 25- Matins, 8:30AM and Liturgy, 10:00AM

2015 Annual Calendars Now Available-
        Calendars showing the daily saints and scripture readings, along with fasting days and seasons, are now available in the narthex to take home.  Take one or take several.

Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis Meet-
       Pope Francis paid a visit to Istanbul to meet with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople this weekend.  To read news about these events, go to: http://www.patriarchate.org/latest-news

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
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-    
       "I speak not by commandment, but I am testing the sincerity of your love by the diligence of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich."  (II Corinthians 8:8-9) 

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, December 7 is: At that time, Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And there was a woman who had had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years; she was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. And when Jesus saw her, He called her and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your infirmity.” And He laid His hands upon her, and immediately she was made straight, and she praised God. But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrite! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his ass from the manger, and lead it away to water it? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” As Jesus said this, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by Him.  (Luke 13:10-17)

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-
       The St. Nicholas team will bring food to share and will clean-up the fellowship hall on Sunday December 7. 

Food for Thought-

 by Fr. Alexander Schmemann

Thank You, O Lord!

Everyone capable of thanksgiving is capable of salvation and eternal joy.

Thank You, O Lord, for having accepted this Eucharist, which we offered to the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and which filled our hearts with the joy, peace and righteousness of the Holy Spirit.

Thank You, O Lord, for having revealed Yourself unto us and given us the foretaste of Your Kingdom.

Thank You, O Lord, for having united us to one another in serving You and Your Holy Church.

Thank You, O Lord, for having helped us to overcome all difficulties, tensions, passions, temptations and restored peace, mutual love and joy in sharing the communion of the Holy Spirit.

Thank You, O Lord, for the sufferings You bestowed upon us, for they are purifying us from selfishness and reminding us of the "one thing needed;" Your eternal Kingdom.

Thank You, O Lord, for having given us this country where we are free to Worship You.

Thank You, O Lord, for this school, where the name of God is proclaimed.

Thank You, O Lord, for our families: husbands, wives and, especially, children who teach us how to celebrate Your holy Name in joy, movement and holy noise.

Thank You, O Lord, for everyone and everything.

Great are You, O Lord, and marvelous are Your deeds, and no word is sufficient to celebrate Your miracles.

Lord, it is good to be here! Amen.

The Orthodox Church, Vol. 20, No. 2, February 1984, p. 1:1