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posted Mar 16, 2014, 8:08 PM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
March 16, 2014- 2nd Sunday of Lent (Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas)
This Week's Services and Events

March 17, Monday
        + Teen SOYO Movie Night, 7PM

March 19, Wednesday
        + Liturgy of Pre-Sanctified Gifts, 6PM, followed by Soup Supper

March 21, Friday
         + Matins, 8:30AM
         + Little Compline with Akathist, 7PM

March 22, Saturday
        + 9th Hour/Great Vespers, 6PM
March 23, 3rd Sunday of Lent, the Sunday of Holy Cross
        + Matins, 8:45AM
        + Liturgy, 10AM, followed by Sunday School and coffee hour
        + Pan-Orthodox Vespers at St. George Church followed by Potluck Dinner, 5:30PM
Upcoming Events and Announcements  

Nuns Kidnapped from Maaloula, Syria Released!-
       The group of nuns kidnapped from St. Thekla Monastery in December have been released and are safe and sound. 

Please Pray for the Recovery of Metropolitan Philip-
       On March 9, Metropolitan Philip suffered a heart attack, one of several he has had over the years.  He is recovering and making progress.  Please pray for his continued recovery.

We Need Holy Bread Bakers!-
       Nobody has yet signed up to provide holy bread for March 23, March 30 and April 6.  Please consider signing up to provide the holy bread for one of these Sundays.  If you have any questions about this process, speak with Fr. Ignatius.

No Office Hours March 21-
       Fr. Ignatius will not be holding office hours on Friday, March 21.

Vesperal Liturgy for Feast of Annunciation-
       Join us for Vesperal Liturgy at 6PM on March 24 as we celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation.

Talk on Russia- US Relations to Follow Pre-Sanctified Liturgy on Wednesday March 26-
       Former Iowa resident and current parish friend Molly Caliger, who has lived in Russia for many years, will share her perspective on the current relationship between Russia and the USA, including how the media affects the perception of this relationship by people on both sides.  During our soup supper, she will give her talk titled : "Church, State and Society: The Perspective of an American Expatriate Living in Russia."

Are you Interested in Celtic Christianity?-
       Do you appreciate the ancient expression of Christianity that flourished in Ireland, Scotland and England in the early centuries of Christianity?  You might be interested to hear about the founding of Sts. Ninian and Cuthbert Orthodox Monastery on the Isle of Mull (Inner Hebrides) off the coast of Scotland.  To learn more, listen to this interview of founding monastic Fr. Serafim Aldea on Ancient Faith Radio at: http://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/features/the_orthodox_monastery_of_saints_ninian_and_cuthbert or go to: http://mullmonastery.com/
Prayers at Abortion Clinic-
       Fr. Ignatius will be praying the Supplication Service for Victims of Abortion and the Akathist for One Who Has Aborted a Child outside of the Emma Goldman Clinic (227 N. Dubuque St.) at 10AM on March 29.  All are welcome to join him.

Pilgrimage Icon Coming to St. Raphael!-
        On Friday, April 4 at 7PM, we will pray the Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos in front of a large copy of the ancient and revered "Our Lady of Czestochowa" icon, also known as the Black Madonna.  As part of the "From Ocean to Ocean Pilgrimage" this icon has been travelling around the world and has appeared in hundreds of Orthodox and Catholic churches.  To learn more about this icon and pilgrimage, go to: www.fromoceantoocean.org. 

Another Icon Coming to the Midwest-
       The Wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Theotokos "of the Sign"  will be at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission (ROCOR) in the Peoria, IL area on April 8.  For more information, go to: http://orthodoxpeoria.blogspot.com/2014/03/13th-century-russian-orthodox-icon-of.html

Semi-Annual Parish Clean-up Day April 5-
       In anticipation of Holy Week and Pascha, let's get some Spring cleaning done inside and outside of church on Saturday, April 5, 1PM-4PM. 

Parish Group Photo to be Taken April 13-
       If you look at our parish website (www.straphaelorthodoxchurch.org) you will see a parish group photo that is 3 1/2 years old.  It's time to update!  On April 13, Palm Sunday, we will assemble in the nave of the church immediately after liturgy for the picture to be taken.

Wednesday Nights During Lent-
       Come midweek on Wednesdays at 6PM for the Liturgy of Pre-Sanctified Gifts, a unique and beautiful Lenten service.  Stay afterward for a simple soup supper.  We need volunteers to sign-up to bring a simple Lenten meal such as a pot of soup and bread and perhaps some fruit for about 15 people.  Look for the sign-up sheet posted in narthex and please consider signing up.

Pan-Orthodox Vespers-
       The Iowa Orthodox Christian Clergy Association is sponsoring Pan-Orthodox Vespers at 5:30PM on Sundays during Lent.  After each service, the host parish will provide a meal.  Following is the schedule:
March 23- St. George Orthodox Church (3650 Cottage Grove Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids)
March 30- St. Elias the Prophet Orthodox Church (1075 Rockdale Rd., Dubuque)
April 6- St. Demetrios Orthodox Church (613 W. 4th St., Waterloo)

Almsgiving (Food For Hungry People Program)-
       Along with fasting, prayer and repentance, almsgiving is one of the pillars of the Lenten time.  Look for ways to be generous with others and let your giving be as anonymous as possible.  One easy way to give something to those in need is to participate in the Archdiocesan Food For Hungry People Program which collects money for all of the Antiochian parishes and gives it to various programs that serve the hungry.  Look for collection boxes at church in the narthex. 

      The Church asks us to abstain from meat (with the exception of fish on March 25 for the Annunciation and April 13 for Palm Sunday) until Great and Holy Pascha, April 20. Shellfish are permitted.  The full Lenten fast also includes abstention from dairy, eggs, oil and wine (oil and wine are permitted on the weekends).  Fast as you are able with these standards being the goal.  Exceptions can be made for those who are very young, very old, ill, pregnant, nursing, or infirm.  If you have any questions about fasting, please ask Fr. Ignatius.  May our fasting from certain foods help us to find some humility as we struggle to fast from sin.

Upcoming Teen SOYO Events-
       On March 17, the teens are meeting for Movie Night at 7PM, and on April 7, they are meeting for Book Club at 7PM.

Upcoming OCF Events-
        The Orthodox Christian Fellowship meets on March 27 at 7PM for compline and on April 3 at 6:30PM for dinner at the Branch-Peterson home.

Thoughts on Stewardship and Giving-
        "And Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and he saw a certain poor widow put in more than all of them; for they all put their surplus into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on." (Luke 21:1-4)

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 Sunday.  The reading for Sunday, March 23 is: " The Lord said, “If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for My sake and the Gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” And Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Kingdom of God come with power.” (Mark 8:34-9:1)

Pray for our Catechumens-
      Please keep our catechumens: Ilya Buchkin, Rachelle Naridze, Tyson Humphrey 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, 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 know.

Coffee Hour-
        On Sunday March 23, the food for coffee hour and the clean-up of the fellowship hall will be provided by the St. John the Baptist food team. 

Church Cleaning-
       During the week of March 16-22, the St. Nicholas team will be responsible to clean the nave, narthex, bookstore, stairs, nursery and bathrooms of the church.   

Food for Thought-

“A fish that is alive swims against the flow of water. One that is dead floats down with the water. A true Christian goes against the current of the sinful age. A false one is swept away by its swiftness.”

St. Philaret of Moscow