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Church Bulletin: September 7, 2014

posted Sep 7, 2014, 8:08 PM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
September 7, 2014- Transfer of the Nativity of the Theotokos and Sunday before the Exaltation of the Cross
This Week's Services and Events

September 9, Tuesday
       + Parish Council meeting, 7PM

September 10, Wednesday
        +  Paraklesis with Unction, 7:00PM

September 12, Friday
        + Matins, 8:30AM
        + Father's Office Hours, 9:30AM-11:30AM

September 13, Saturday
        + 9th Hour/Great Vespers, 6:00PM

September 14, Sunday (The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross)
        +Matins, 8:45AM
        + Divine Liturgy, 10:00AM, followed by fellowship hour and Sunday School
Upcoming Events and Announcements 

       Today is the last Sunday, at least for awhile, that Andrew Ackell is with us.  He is moving to Baltimore to continue his research at Johns Hopkins University.  We wish him all of God's blessings as he starts this new chapter in his life.   

Assembly of Bishops Asks Us to Pray for Them-
       All Orthodox bishops actively serving in the United States will soon be gathering for the 5th annual Assembly of Bishops meeting to be held September 15-18.  In a letter released by the chairman of the Assembly, Archbishop Demetrios of New York (Greek Archdiocese), the whole church is asked to pray for the bishops and this upcoming meeting.  To read Archbishop Demetrios's letter, go to: http://www.antiochian.org/sites/default/files/assembly_sunday_2014.pdf

Paraklesis with Holy Unction (Healing Service)-
       Beginning in September, and taking place every other month (outside of Lent,) on the 2nd Wednesday of the month we will  sing the Paraklesis service to the Theotokos, itself a service of healing and consolation, and conclude with an opportunity for anointing with oil.  We will hold this service on September 10, November 12, and January 7.

Thank you!-
        Thank you to Irakliy Surguladze, Newman Abuissa, Kristi ABuissa, Tareq Abuissa, Giorgi Nodia (and others?) who recently helped to build and install our new choir risers and who helped acquire and install heavy curtains to help sound proof our Sunday School area downstairs.

St. Maria’s Bread House-

       St. Maria’s Bread House asks for your prayers as we work on creating a strong foundation for our organization and getting nonprofit status. The Bread House’s purpose is to create community to address food insecurity, malnourishment, and social isolation in the Kalona area as well as to provide an Orthodox witness. The board includes Newman Abuissa, Becky Morey, Bill Spencer, and three residents of Kalona. Amy Spencer is the Bread House’s executive director. If you're interested in helping in any way, contact Amy at kalonabreadhouse@gmail.com.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Play-
       The Young Footliters will be performing an adaption of C. S. Lewis's classic "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" at the Coralville Performing Arts Center September 12-14.  For details on times and ticket prices, go to: http://www.coralvillearts.org/Calendar.aspx?EID=304

Teen SOYO-
       Our teens will meet for dinner and Movie Night at 6:30PM on September 15.  The will enjoy some time at Wilson's Apple Orchard at 11AM on Saturday, September 27.

Next Farmer's Market Table is September 20-
       We are in need of volunteers to bake and packages certain items to sell at our next St. Raphael table at the Iowa City Farmer's Market on September 20. 

Special Voters' Meeting, September 21-
       There will be a brief, one agenda item special voters' meeting during coffee hour following liturgy on Sunday, September 21.  At this meeting, we will decide whether or not to use funds that were left over from our sign project to either go toward a cross to be mounted on the façade of our building, or to get the electrical and gas line work done which is necessary to able to use the gas stove/oven that has been sitting idly in our furnace room.

Talk on Human Trafficking-
       Mercy Hospital is sponsoring a talk by Sister Emily Devine titled "Human Trafficking: Making a Difference" on Tuesday, September 23 from 6:30PM-7:30PM.  Location: Mercy Medical Plaza, 540 E. Jefferson St., Lower Level, McAuley Rooms.

Gaza Emergency: Iowa City Responds-
       St. Raphael Church is co-sponsoring a fundraising event titled "Gaza Emergency: Iowa City Responds" on Friday, September 26, 6:30PM-8:30PM at Old Brick (26 E. Market St., Iowa City).  For an evening of Middle Eastern food and music a suggested donation of $20 ($15 for students, seniors and low income and $10 for children) is requested.  Please RSVP by September 20 to dinnergaza@gmail.com or by phone: 319-333-5321.  Proceeds will benefit Gazans by being given to the UN Relief and Works Agency and the International Orthodox Christian Charities. 

Fr. Ignatius Speaking on Icons at Iowa City Public Library-
       Are you looking for an event to invite your non-Orthodox friends to?  Or, do you want to learn more about icons yourself?  On October 6, Fr. Ignatius will be giving a presentation titled "Meeting God Through Icons" at the Iowa City Public Library, Meeting Room A, at 7PM.  Information can also be found at: www.straphaelorthodoxchurch.org/events

Former St. Raphael Member on Short-term Mission Trip to Kenya-
       Former St. Raphael member Andy Goodell will be traveling to Kenya in November as part of a short-term mission trip organized by the Orthodox Christian Mission Center.  While there, Andy will be teaching English.  If you are interested in learning more about her trip or if you are interested in supporting her financially, go to: AndyinKenya2014.wordpress.com

Coffee With Sister Vassa Video Podcast-
       Fr. Ignatius recommends the funny, engaging and informative video podcast series on Ancient Faith Radio called "Coffee With Sister Vassa."  Sister Vassa is an American nun living in Vienna, Austria and she is gifted to teach important aspects of our faith through short, ten minute videos, with charm and humor.  You can find these podcasts at: http://www.ancientfaith.com/video/sistervassa

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-    
       From St. John Cassian, The Conferences, Chapter XXIX... "He who retains his goods of this world, or, bound by the rules of the old law, distributes the tithe of his produce, and his first fruits, or a portion of his income, although he may to a considerable degree quench the fire of his sins by this dew of almsgiving, yet, however generously he gives away his wealth, it is impossible for him altogether to rid himself of the dominion of sin, unless perhaps by the grace of the Savior, together with his substance he gets rid of all love of possessing."   

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, September 14 is:  At that time, the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put Him to death. And they came to Pontius Pilate saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Take Him yourselves and crucify Him, for I find no crime in Him.” The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and by that law He ought to die, because He has made Himself the Son of God.” When Pilate heard these words, he was the more afraid; he entered the praetorium again and said to Jesus, “Where art Thou from?” But Jesus gave no answer. Pilate therefore said to Him, “Wilt Thou not speak to me? Knowest Thou not that I have power to release Thee, and power to crucify Thee?” Jesus answered him, “You would have no power over Me unless it had been given you from above.

When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called “The Pavement”, and in Hebrew, “Gabbatha.” Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” They cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” Then he handed Him over to them to be crucified.

So they took Jesus and led him away, and He went out, bearing His own Cross, to the place called the place of a skull, which is called in Hebrew “Golgotha.” There they crucified Him, and with Him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them. Pilate also wrote a title and put it on the Cross; it read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” Many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek.

Now standing by the Cross of Jesus were His mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw His mother, and the Disciple whom He loved standing near, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then He said to the Disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the Disciple took her to his own home. After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now fulfilled, said, “It is finished’; and He bowed His head and gave up the spirit.

Since it was the day of Preparation, in order to prevent the bodies from remaining on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him; but when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true. (John 19:6-11, 13-20, 25-28, 30-35)

Pray for our Catechumens-
       Please keep our catechumens: Ilya Buchkin and Rob Bergenstock 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. Raphael team will bring food to share during coffee hour, and clean up the fellowship hall on September 14.

Church Cleaning-
       During the week of September 7-13, the St. John the Baptist team will clean the nave, narthex, bookstore, stairs, nursery and bathrooms.

Holy Bread-
       For liturgy on Sunday, September 14, the Holy Bread will be provided by the Van Dinter family.  Thank you in advance.

Food for Thought-

Jesus, King before the ages, have mercy on me!
Jesus, Sweet-scented Flower, make me fragrant!
Jesus, Beloved Warmth, make me fervent!
Jesus, Eternal Temple, shelter me!
Jesus, Garment of Light, adorn me!
Jesus, Pearl of Great Price, irradiate me!
Jesus, Precious Stone, illumine me!
Jesus, Sun of Righteousness, shine on me!
Jesus, Holy Light, make me radiant!
Jesus, from sickness of soul and body deliver me!
Jesus, from the hands of the adversary rescue me!
Jesus, from the unquenchable fire and other eternal torments save me!
Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me!

From Ekos 12 of the Akathist to our Sweetest Lord Jesus Christ