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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of 3/15/2009

posted Mar 18, 2009, 3:07 PM by Arian Kulp
Building Update-
       After we learned that the appraised value of the building was significantly lower than what we had offered to pay for the building, we attempted, without success, to verbally negotiate with the sellers for a sale price that matches the appraised value.  Bishop Mark has counselled us to pay no more than the appraised value.  We will be sending a formal written offer to the sellers offering to purchase the building for $445,000.  However, they have decided to put the building back on the market and if we do not receive a positive reply from them before April 27 (our self-imposed deadline), we will begin to start looking for other options.
Office Hours-
       Fr. Ignatius will not have office hours this Monday or Tuesday.

Pan-Orthodox Vespers-
       The Iowa Orthodox Christian Clergy Association (IOCCA) is sponsoring Sunday evening pan-Orthodox Vespers services at 5:30PM throughout Lent.  The faithful of St. Raphael Church, and both St. George Church and St. John the Baptist Church of Cedar Rapids will be worshipping together at each other's churches.  On Sunday, March 22, we will be worshipping at St. John the Baptist Church, 501 A Ave., NE, Cedar Rapids.

Pre-Sanctified Liturgies-
       On Wednesday evenings during Lent, we will celebrate the Pre-Sanctified Liturgy at 6PM, except on March 25, when we will have a Vesperal Liturgy for the Annunciation.  The sermons during the Pre-Sanctified Liturgies will focus on the Anaphora prayer of St. Basil's Liturgy.  Each Wednesday evening service service will be followed by a simple lenten soup supper.  We need volunteers to bring the soup each week.  A sign-up sheet is posted at church for these meals.
Friday Evenings During Lent-
       On Friday evenings during Lent, we will celebrate Little Compline with the Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos at 7PM.
Feast of Annunciation Potluck-
       On Wednesday March 25 at 6PM, we will celebrate the joyous feast of the Annunciation, at which we remember the coming in the flesh of the Son of God in the womb of the Virgin Mary.  Following this Vesperal Liturgy, we will have a potluck at which fish will be allowed.  A sign-up sheet is posted at church for this meal.

 Orthodox Parenting Retreat-
       The Iowa Orthodox Christian Clergy Association is happy to bring Kh. Maggie Hock to Cedar Rapids for a one-day retreat on Saturday, April 4 at St. George Church.  Kh. Maggie is the Director of the Dept. of Marriage and Parish Family Ministries of the Antiochian Archdiocese. She will present on parenting and raising families on a path to holiness, based on the writings of St. Theophan. Please make plans to be at St. George on April 4 for what promises to be an enriching, edifying experience.  A schedule and registration form can be accessed at http://sites.google.com/site/ioccaweb
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. 
New Choir Music Stands for Choir-
       The church recently purchased six new heavy duty music stands for use with our choir as our current ones are about six years old and are not standing up well.  Thank you to Tania Van Dinter for getting us a good deal.  Because the choir does not have a large budget at all, we are seeking donations to help cover the cost.  If every choir member (or friend of a choir member) contributed $20, they would be paid off. 

Lost and Found Items-
       Our Lost and Found area is getting very unruly.  Please look it over and claim any items which are yours.  We will be clearing items out and disposing of them soon.
Punctuality for Services-
       I thank God for the strong attendance we have had in recent months at church.  But we could do much better as far as when we show up for the services.  Sunday morning Liturgy begins at 10AM.  Although sometimes there may be a valid reason for showing up later (like caring for young children) we should not get in the regular habit of showing up at 10:15, 10:30 or even later as is the case with some.  Out of respect for the Chalice, if you have not arrived by the reading of the Gospel, please refrain from receiving Holy Communion that day.  
Lenten Appeal from Project Mexico-
       Help make a difference this Lent!  Does your home keep you warm and dry?  For thousands of Mexican families, "home" is a crude dwelling that leaves them susceptible to the elements.  Babies and elderly DIE when it rains.  Also, countless children roam the streets- orphaned, abandoned or abused.  With your help, we can make a difference.  Since 1988, over 7,000 Orthodox youth have helped Project Mexico build more than 180 homes for poor families.  Award-winning St. Innocent Orthodox Orphanage provides a loving and caring home for orphan teenage boys.  There's still so much to do!  Please donate at www.projectmexico.org.  "Give something however small to the one in need; for it is not small to the one who has nothing; neither is it small to God, if we have given what we could." - St. Gregory of Nazianzus

Prayer on Behalf of the Victims of Abortion-
       On Saturdays at 10AM during Lent, on the sidewalk in front of the Emma Goldman clinic at 227 E. Dubuque St. in Iowa City, Fr. Ignatius will be praying the Office of Prayer and Supplication for the Victims of Abortion and the Akathist of Repentance For One Who Has Aborted a Child.  Please join him if the Lord leads you.  This will be a time of prayer and repentance, and not a protest.

Holy Bread and Coffee Hour-
       On Sunday March 22 the Holy Bread will be brought by the Abuissa family.  Food for coffee hour will be brought by the Peterson/Branch 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:
Humbling Thyself because of Thy compassion, O Master, Thou hast spoken with kindness to Thy fallen sons.  For in Thy love for mankind Thou goest out to meet the sinful, and embracing them, Thou grantest them salvation.  And if any man reproaches Thee for this, in Thy tender love Thou art not angry with him, for Thou alone art measureless in mercy.
From the Canon of Matins of the Second Sunday of Lent