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Church Bulletin: December 1, 2013

posted Dec 3, 2013, 5:29 AM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church   [ updated Dec 3, 2013, 5:30 AM ]
December 1, 2013- Twenty Third Sunday after Pentecost
This Week's Services and Events

December 2, Monday
        + 3rd Hour Prayers, 9AM
        + Office Hours, 9:30AM-11:30AM
        + Teen SOYO Book Club, 6:30PM
December 3, Tuesday
        + Free Lunch Program at Wesley Center (120 N. Dubuque St.), 11:30AM-1:30PM

December 4, Wednesday
        + Nativity Paraklesis, 7PM
December 5, Thursday
        +Vesperal Liturgy for St. Nicholas, 6PM
December 6, Friday
        + Matins, 8:30AM
December 7, Saturday
        + 9th Hour and Great Vespers, 6PM
December 8, Twenty Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
        + Matins, 8:45AM
        + Liturgy, 10AM, followed by Sunday School and Coffee Hour and Annual Voters' Meeting
Upcoming Events and Announcements 
Pledge Drive-
       It's not too late to return a pledge for 2014 to our treasurer Jeremy Coffin.  Pledge forms are available in the church narthex.

Annual Meeting is December 8-
       Voting members, lease plan to stay during coffee hour after liturgy to participate in our Annual Voters' Meeting at which we will elect a member to the parish council and discuss and vote on our 2014 budget.
Sunday School Christmas Pageant-
       We are happy to announce that our Sunday School students will be putting on their first ever Christmas pageant performance this year!   During our annual meeting on December 8, the Sunday School students will practice upstairs (in the nave) while the meeting is going on.  An additional performance will take place on Saturday December 14 at a time to be announced.  The performance will be during coffee hour on December 15.  Please have your children present at Sunday School on these Sundays so that they can participate in this performance. 

Free Lunch Program Volunteering-
       Our chance to help with the Free Lunch Program is coming up on Tuesday, December 3 from 11:30AM-1:30PM.  Please let Fr. Ignatius know if you can volunteer to help this month.
Vesperal Liturgy for St. Nicholas-
       On Thursday, December 5 at 6PM, we will celebrate St. Nicholas with a Vesperal Liturgy.  Please plan to attend in order to commemorate this wonderful saint!  In honor of St. Nicholas, our children will receive a treat in their shoes if they are at Liturgy on Sunday December 8.

The Nativity Fast is Here-
       Continuing through the evening of December 24, we observe the Nativity or Advent fast, one of the four fasting seasons of the church year.  We fast, to prepare ourselves to be more receptive to the joyous coming of our King Jesus at the celebration of His nativity at Christmas.  We are asked to refrain from meat, dairy, eggs each day, and on some days, fish, wine and oil.  For specifics, take a look at the printed St. Raphael Church calendar for November and December or speak with Fr. Ignatius.  As you do your grocery shopping over the next several weeks, consider buying some extra non-perishable groceries and place them in the donation box in the church narthex.  The donated food goes to the local food bank at the Crisis Center.  To learn more about the Nativity season, including the Advent Fast, go to: http://www.antiochian.org/nativity
Charitable Projects-
       Christmas shopping? Don't forget St Raphael's cookbooks and lotion bars, available in the bookstore. They make great stocking stuffers and gifts, for $10 and $8 each. All profits go to Crisis Center this years.  Please buy soon, so we can restock the shelves as needed! If you have any questions or plan to buy more than just a few, please talk to Amy Spencer or Karen Kuntz. Thanks for your support!
Two New Saints-
       The Ecumenical Patriarchate has announced that two new saints have been formally recognized, including the beloved Elder Porphyrios, a contemporary elder best known from the book "Wounded By Love."  To read more about this, go to:    http://www.omhksea.org/2013/11/canonization-of-two-new-saints-by-the-ecumenical-patriarchate/   

St. John Chrysostom on Fasting-

       To read St. John's excellent teaching on fasting, go to: http://stanthonylc.org/2013/05/st-john-chrysostom-fasting/

"Meet the Old Testament Prophets" Sermon Series-
       On Sundays during the Advent season, Fr. Ignatius is giving a sermon series titled "Meet the Old Testament Prophets."  It is during this time of year, that many of the Old Testament prophets are commemorated on our church calendar.  Several of their prophecies foretold of the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.  Get ready to learn a little more about these wonderful men of God.  

Domestic Violence Intervention Program Needs Volunteers-
       It's that time of year when families and friends celebrate each other.  But the holiday season can be difficult for families running away from domestic violence.  You can help- share your time and compassion.  Call DVIP at 319-351-1042 to volunteer.

Consider Joining an OCMC Orthodox Mission Team in 2014-
       Consider joining an OCMC Orthodox Mission Team in 2014. Mission Teams serve our Holy Orthodox Church’s unending mission effort that all people may come to know the saving love of our Lord. Be a living witness on a Healthcare team to Tanzania or Uganda, work with youth in Albania or Moldova, or offer your talents on other OCMC Teams in 2014. Team applications and details are available online at www.ocmc.org or call the OCMC at 1.877.463.6787 (ext 142) for more information.

An Opportunity to Serve, Be a Greeter-
       Based on responses from the parish survey from a few months ago, the Parish Council has recognized a need to have greeters on duty at church on Sunday mornings.  The greeter's main responsibility will be to make newcomers feel welcome by warmly greeting them, asking them to sign our guestbook and/or newcomer information card, making sure they know bathrooms and coatroom are downstairs and ushering them into the nave of the church.   If you are interested in signing up to be a greeter for a Sunday, there is a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board just outside of the bookstore.  On the sheet, is a complete job description for this important position.  If you want our church to be more welcoming to visitors, consider volunteering as a greeter.
Keep Praying for Kidnapped Orthodox Bishops in Syria-
       Since April 22, 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. 
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.

Holy Bread-
        On Sunday December 8, the Padath family will provide the holy bread.  Thank you in advance.

Coffee Hour-
        On Sunday December 8, the food for coffee hour and the clean-up of the fellowship hall will be provided by the St. Raphael team. 

Church Cleaning-
        During the week of December 1-7, the St. John the Baptist team will clean the nave, narthex, bookstore, stairs, nursery and bathrooms.      

Food for Thought-
Brethren, God, being rich in mercy, through His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead through the trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you are saved), and raised us up together with Him, and made us to sit together with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the coming ages He would show the exceeding riches of His grace, in kindness towards us, in Christ Jesus. For by grace you are saved through faith, and that is not of yourselves: it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:4-10