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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of April 5, 2009)

posted Apr 23, 2009, 6:00 PM by Ilya Buchkin   [ updated Apr 24, 2009, 4:23 AM ]

Building Purchase Update
       What a difference a week makes! We have joyful news! During this last week, we agreed upon a new price with the sellers of the church building we have been attempting to buy. The new price is $476,170, which reflects the value that the City would assess the property at, if property taxes were paid on it. We were given permission by our Metropolitan Archbishop to purchase the building at this amount. A little more than a month ago, we were $94,500 apart in price with the sellers. To come to this new figure, they came down a little more than two dollars for every dollar we came up. The offer has been signed, and the closing is scheduled for this Wednesday, at which time we expect to take possession of the property. What this means, is that we are planning to have our Midnight Pascha Liturgy on April 19 in the new building at 722 E College St. We will not have time to prepare the interior to look like an Orthodox Church, but the Paschal joy of the Lord's Resurrection and the knowledge that we can fit in everyone who wants to come will surely make up for that. If you are in the area, we invite you to join us for the service and the Paschal feast to follow. This has been a month of learning patience and obedience: patience as we waited, after initially thinking we were going to own the building a month ago; and obedience in diligently following the direction of our God-blessed hierarchs, Bishop MARK and Metropolitan PHILIP.

Blessing of the Waters Service this Saturday at 2PM
       To prepare the new building for our worship of the one, true God, the Holy Trinity, we will have a service called the Lesser Blessing of the Waters at 2PM this Saturday April 11. Prayers will be offered up for the sanctification and cleansing of the building, and it will be blessed with holy water. Please join us for this, our very first service in the new building. To be clear, for the foreseeable future, we will only be at the new building (722 E. College St.) for this service and for the Midnight Paschal Liturgy. All other services will remain at the Iowa Ave. location until the College St. location is properly prepared for us to permanently inhabit it, which will take a little time.

A Note From Fr. Philip Vreeland
       "Dear to Christ, Father Ignatius and the community of St. Raphael in Iowa City
You cannot guess how overjoyed I am that in His Providence, our Lord has made this dream become a reality. May He be blessed forever, and may the God-protected community of the faithful in Iowa City be overjoyed in this great piece of news.
To all in the community, "You've come a long way, babies, since those first tentative steps a few years back." How happy I am for you, how happy to have been a small part in your becoming a viable parish.
I pray that I may visit your beautiful new facility sometime in July. I am scheduled to substitute for Fr. Fred in Cedar Rapids the weekend of July 4-5. Perhaps while in the area I could be given a tour of the facility--but I don't want to get in the way.
Have a joyous remainder of the Fast; remember our first procession Palm Sunday, 2004. Indeed, "You've come a long way!"

Thanks be to God for everything.
In His love,
Father Philip Vreeland"

April Parish Council Meeting
       Our April Parish Council Meeting will be on Monday April 6 at 7PM. All are welcome.

Free Lunch Program Volunteering
       We are scheduled to help serve meals at the Free Lunch Program on Tuesday April 7. As usual, we need 3-4 people to help out from 11:30AM-1:30PM. Please inform Fr. Ignatius if you can help this month.

No Office Hours This Wednesday
       Fr. Ignatius will not be holding office hours this Wednesday April 8.

TV Special "Pascha- The Resurrection of Christ" to Air
       A one hour special produced by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North America, titled "Pascha- The Resurrection of Christ will air on ABC affilitates around the country soon. Locally, it will be airing at 5:00AM (!) Sunday April 12 on KCRG-TV. For a national schedule of air times, go to http://www.goarch.org/special/paschaabc/network-coverage. This is a great opportunity to share our faith with our friends, neighbors and family. Does anyone have the ability to record a copy for the church?

"I Was in Prison and You Visited Me"
       One of our members, Luke Snyder is an inmate at the North Central Correctional Facility near Rockwell City, IA. Luke was recently chrismated and is doing an admirable job of learning his new faith, in difficult circumstances and without a lot of support or interaction with other Orthodox Christians. Would you consider "visiting" Luke by sending him a greeting card wishing him a Blessed Pascha? He would appreciate knowing that our members are thinking about him and praying for him. His address is in our church directory. If you want to write him but don't have his address, plese let Fr. Ignatius know and he will give you Luke's address*.

A Reminder Regarding Confession
       The fasting seasons of the Church, and especially Great Lent, are times during which Orthodox Christians should be examining themselves and taking advantage of the blessings and forgiveness that the Sacrament of Confession offers to us. If it has been awhile since you have made a confession, it is never too late. Fr. Ignatius is available to hear confessions after most services, especially after Vespers on Saturday evenings, at the end of matins on Sunday morning (about 9:45AM) and by appointment.

Holy Week is Coming
       Orthodox Christians take Holy Week seriously- there are services every day and the numbers of people increase as the week goes on. In these wonderful, life-giving days we participate in the events by which Christ our God saved us. As much as possible, set other things aside this week and come to church. If you can't get to church, pray at home.

       Holy Week Schedule

       Friday April 10- 7PM Little Compline with Canon of St. Lazarus
       Lazarus Saturday, April 11- 8:45AM Matins, 10AM Liturgy, 2PM Blessing of Waters (College St.), 6PM 9th Hour/Vespers
       Palm Sunday, April 12- 8:45 AM Matins, 10AM Liturgy, 7PM Bridegroom Matins
       Holy Monday, April 13- 7PM Bridegroom Matins
       Holy Tuesday, April 14- 7PM Bridegroom Matins
       Holy Wednesday, April 15- 9AM Pre-Sanctified Liturgy, 7PM Holy Unction Service
       Holy Thursday, April 16- 9AM Vesperal Liturgy, 7PM Service of the Twelve Passion Gospels
       Holy Friday, April 17- 9AM Royal Hours, 3PM Great Vespers, 7PM Lamentations followed by all-night Psalm-reading vigil
       Holy Saturday, April 18- 9AM Vesperal Liturgy, 11:30PM Rush Service
       Holy Pascha, April 19- Midnight Paschal Matins & Liturgy followed by feast, 1PM Agape Vespers followed by Paschal Picnic at Coralville Rec. Center

Holy Week Sign-up Sheets
       Posted at church, are sign-up sheets for choir help and altar servers' help for all services for Holy Week, Holy Friday Psalm-Reading Vigil, Holy Friday Funeral Bier Decoration, Red Eggs for Pascha, Food for Paschal Feast, Gospel-reading at Agape Vespers and Agape Vespers Picnic. There are so many ways to be invloved with church and to serve!

Potlucks Galore!
       On Pascha, Sunday April 19, we will have a post-Liturgy feast (at College St.) at about 2:30AM or so. Time to catch up on all of the meat, cheese and eggs that we haven't seen in awhile. Later in the day, after 1PM Agape Vespers (at Iowa Ave), we will gather at the Coralville Rec. Center (1506 8th St.) at about 2:30PM for a Pascha afternoon picnic. A kitchen will be available for our use there. Sign-up sheets for both meals are posted at church.

Save the Date!
       Bishop MARK is scheduled to make an archpastoral visit with us the weekend of May 8-10. A more detailed schedule will be released soon. Keep this weekend open on your calendar so that you may be able to spend it with His Grace.

Antiochian Women's Scholarship
       The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Women of North America are offering scholarships, usually in the amount of $500 to help women continue their education in order to improve their circumstances and those of their families. Qualifications for the scholarship are as follows:
       1. The applicant must be a female over 26 years of age.
       2. The applicant must be a member in good standing of a parish of the Antiochian Archdiocese.
       3. The applicant must be actively involved in her parish.
       4. The applicant must be applying for or registered in an academic or trade program of study
       5. The applicant must demonstrate financial need. Please contact Fr. Ignatius if you would like an application form.

Holy Bread and Coffee Hour
       On Sunday April 12, the Holy Bread will be brought by the Wiblin/Kuntz family. Food for coffee hour will be brought by the Abuissa family. Thank you in advance.

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.

Food For Thought:

In our hymns we praise thee now, all-venerated Mary, as the lamb and daughter of Christ. Sprung from the stock of the Egyptians, thou hast fled from all their errors and wast offered as a precious flower to the Church. In abstinence and prayer thou hast struggled above the measure of man's nature, and so thou wast exalted by Christ; for through thy life and actions, Mary all-revered, thou wast made a bride of the heavenly Kingdom.

Ikos from Matins of the Fifth Sunday of Lent, on which we commemorate St. Mary of Egypt