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Sunday Bulletin: December 17, 2017

posted Dec 18, 2017, 6:22 AM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
Sunday December 17, 2017- Sunday of the Forefathers of Christ

This Week's Services and Events

December 19, Tuesday
        + Office Hours, 11:30AM-3:45PM
        + 9th Hour Prayers, 3:00PM
        + Vesperal Liturgy for St. Ignatius, 6:00PM

December 20, Wednesday
        + Office Hours, 11:30AM-3:00PM
        + 9th Hour Prayers, 3:00PM
        + Nativity Paraklesis, 7:00PM

December 21, Thursday
        + Office Hours, 12:00PM-4:00PM
        + 9th Hour Prayers, 3:00PM

December 22, Friday
        + Royal Hours, 9:00AM
        + Office Hours, 11:30AM-3:00PM

December 23, Saturday
        + Great Vespers followed by Lives of the Apostles, 5:00PM

December 24, Sunday before the Nativity of Christ
        + Matins, 8:45AM
        + Divine Liturgy, 10:00AM followed by Fellowship Hour
        + Christmas Eve Great Vespers, 6:00PM

Upcoming Events and Announcements-  

St. Ignatius of Antioch Feast Day-
        We will commemorate St. Ignatius of Antioch with Vesperal Liturgy at 6:00PM on December 19.  Please join us!

Can You Help St. Raphael Church Financially in 2018?-
        If you haven't yet returned a pledge form to our treasurer Becky, it's not too late to do it.  No amount is too small!  We appreciate everyone who is able to give, and those who give regularly through a pledged amount, help us to anticipate our income so that we can be wise with our expenses. 

        There is still time to make your confession before the Nativity of our Lord.  Contact Fr. Ignatius if you would like to do so.   

Sunday School Christmas Break-
         There will be no Sunday School classes on December 24 and December 31.       

Give the Gift of Olive Oil to the Church for Christmas-
        We use a lot of olive oil in the lamps that burn before our icons at church.  Regular grade (not extra virgin) olive oil is best.  Please consider picking up a bottle or two to give to church during this season.

Bring in a Poinsettia or Two to Decorate the Church-
        The church is accepting poinsettia plants to decorate the church during the Christmas season.  

Looking Ahead to the Nativity of Christ-
        The following lists the special services for the Lord's Nativity this year.  
Royal Hours- Friday December 22, 9:00AM
Great Vespers of Nativity, Sunday December 24, 6:00PM
Festal Matins of Nativity, Monday December 25, 8:30AM
Divine Liturgy of Nativity, Monday Deccember 25, 10:00AM

What Are You Doing On New Year's Eve?-
        St. Raphael folks are invited to a Kalona Sunday Supper on New Year's Eve, sponsored by Lori Branch's siblings and our church. Come to Kalona Methodist (302 4th Street) at 4:00 to volunteer or at 5:30 to eat. The tentative menu is pork loin, baked yams, salad, dessert, and other fine fixin's--topped off with festivities including games, a possible piñata, and sparkling drink. As always, the supper will be free or by donation. 
Sunday Suppers are twice-monthly events hosted by Food for All, an Orthodox-inspired food charity organized by Amy Spencer. 

Looking Ahead to Theophany-
        After Nativity, the next major church feast is Theophany, the celebration of the baptism of the Lord.  We will have Royal Hours at 9:00AM on Friday, January 5.  Later that day, at 4:45, we will have festal matins followed by Liturgy with Blessing of the Water (indoors) at 6:00PM.  On Saturday, January 6 at 4:00PM, we are hosting pan-Orthodox vespers at the pedestrian bridge spanning the Iowa River near Iowa River Power Restaurant on 1st Avenue in Coralville.  Vespers will follow at St. Raphael Church at 5:00PM.  We will be hosting a potluck dinner following vespers, for our visiting guests from other parishes.   

Epistle Reading Sign-up Sheet-
        Anybody is welcome to sign-up to read an Epistle reading on a Sunday.  A sign-up sheet for the whole year is posted at the top of the stairs.  If you are interested and want to know how to do it, talk with Subdeacons Panteleimon or Anthony (Todd and Bill) or Fr. Ignatius.  Readers of others languages (than English) are welcome too!  

Holy Bread Sign-Up Sheet-
        The holy bread sign-up sheet for 2018 is posted.  Please sign up!

House Blessing Season-
        The 2018 House Blessing season will be short due to Father's travels early in January and an early start of Lent.  Fr. Ignatius will be available to bless your home from January 16-February 17.  Father wants to come to your house, even if he came last year.  Meals or refreshments are not expected or necessary (but will they be refused!)  Contact him to set up a day and time for him to come.  

2018 Annual Calendars Available-
        The yearly calendar which shows daily saints commemorated, daily Scripture readings, festal celebrations and fasting days and seasons, is available in the narthex at church.  Take one or more home with you. 

Do You Shop at Amazon.com?-
        If you make purchases on Amazon.com, there is a simple and easy way to benefit the church while doing so.  If you go to Amazon's companion site, smile.amazon.com, you will find all of the same items for purchase (at the same prices) as are found on the main site.  Once you sign in, you will be asked what charity you would like to benefit.  Enter "St. Raphael of Brooklyn Orthodox Christian Mission" and 0.5% of qualifying purchases will be given back to the church.  It's that simple.  

Food for All--Kalona
        Please  continue to pray for our Orthodox-style, community-style charity work. Also ask our Lord to draw people to Himself and His Church through all our programs. Visit our website at foodforallkalona.weebly.com. For more info, email me at foodforallkalona@gmail.com.  Thanks! Amy Spencer   

Next Sunday's Gospel Reading-
        The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Aram, and Aram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king. And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asa, and Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amon, and Amon the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon. And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, Who is called Christ. So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ were fourteen generations. Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call His Name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and His Name shall be called Emmanuel” (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him; he took his wife, but knew her not until she had borne a son; and he called His Name Jesus.  (Matthew 1:1-25)

   Pray for our Catechumens-

        Please keep our catechumens Ilya Buchkin, Jeremiah Kaufmann, Scott Dorr, Brian and Rene Horak in your prayers as they 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. 
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 been heard from.  Please pray for their well being and release and also pray for their captors as well.  To sign a petition urging the US Government and others to work for their release, go to:

Food for Thought-

“Since this heavenly birth cannot be described, neither does His coming amongst us in these days permit of too curious scrutiny. Though I know that a Virgin this day gave birth, and I believe that God was begotten before all time, yet the manner of this generation I have learned to venerate in silence and I accept that this is not to be probed too curiously with wordy speech. For with God we look not for the order of nature, but rest our faith in the power of Him who works. What shall I say to you; what shall I tell you? I behold a Mother who has brought forth; I see a Child come to this light by birth. The manner of His conception I cannot comprehend.”

- St. John Chrysostom