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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of April 18, 2010)

posted Apr 25, 2010, 10:07 AM by Ilya Buchkin
Summary of Parish Discussion-
       Following Liturgy today, we had an all-parish discussion covering a variety of issues.  To summarize, we agreed to continue our rotating four teams to bring food for coffee hour.  Each team is responsible for cleaning the fellowship hall on the day that they bring food, and is also responsible for cleaning the bathrooms, narthex and nave two weeks after their turn to bring food.  The beginnings of a Grounds Committee that would report to the Parish Council is being formed.  Those who are interested in helping make our church yard look more beautiful are encouraged to get involved. 
Regarding inside building projects, we are looking for 2-3 volunteers to assist Irakli Surguladze in applying wood veneer to parts of the iconostasis.  This work will involve measuring, drawing stright lines, cutting with a utility knife and activating the adhesive with a hot iron.  It was mentioned that the windows in the nave have some problems with the ropes and pulleys.  Meghan Gilpin volunteered to fashion some dowels to temporarily help the situation while we assess what exactly needs to be prepared.   Several people mentioned the desire to put more seating in the nave as they thought this would be more attractive to visitors and those who are not able to stand for long periods.  The opinion was also expressed by some that permanent pews would not be ideal.  The Parish Council will discuss this at their next meeting. 
The church finances were looked at and compared to our budget.  So far, our monthly deficit has been about $300 less than estimated, due to increased income and some expenses being covered by donation.  Our first quarterly internal financial audit will occur shortly, with Kh. Irene's help, to make sure we are complying with sound financial controls, as Bishop MARK has suggested.  Mention of Phase II of our Capital Campaign took place, and the Parish Council will invote the Capital Campaign Committee to its May meeting to lay the groundwork for this important step in our church financial stability.  Finally, discussion of a possible church fundraiser in September took place.  We are looking for someone to organize it and to form a team to put together this event. 
New Choir Rehearsal Schedule-
       Instead of meeting after Liturgy/coffee hour on Sundays, the choir has begun to meet for practice every other Thursday after Akathist from 7:45PM-9:30PM.  The next rehearsal is April 29.  If you sing in the choir, you are encouraged to hone your skills by attending rehearsal.
A Respite from the Fast-
       Throughout the Paschal season, from Pascha until the Ascension (May 13), a full forty days, there is no fasting, including on Wednesdays and Fridays, according to Antiochian custom.
Opportunities to Serve- 
       Any boy or man who would like to assist Fr. Ignatius by serving as an acolyte in the altar during Liturgy should see Todd Wiblin.  We are always willing to accept new recruits.  Also, there are opportunites for girls or boys to hold the bowls of antidoron (blessed bread) during Communion time. 
Epistle Reading-
       Anyone who would like to, is encouraged to read the Epistle reading on Sunday (in either English or the language of your choice.)  There is a sign-up sheet on one of the bulletin boards at church. 
Spring Cleaning at Home?  A Way to Benefit the Church-
       This is the time of year when many of us are doing some cleaning around the home and sometimes we want to get rid of things by taking them to local consignment stores like Stuff Etc., Kidworks or Houseworks.  St. Raphael Church has accounts at these three stores.  If you would like to donate items under the church account, the church will reap the proceeds.  Following, is the account information: Stuff East (845 Pepperwood Ln, Iowa City), Account #22791; Houseworks (111 Stevens Dr, Iowa City,) Account #019823;  Kidworks (111 Stevens Dr, Iowa City) Account #19451
Possible Adult Education Class-
       If there is sufficient interest,  Fr. Ignatius would like to teach a four week class titled: "Authentic Manifestations of the Spirit" during the month of May.  In this class, we will learn about the charismatic gifts which the Holy Elders of Orthodoxy manifest and compare that to some of the spiritual phenomena that take place outside of the Orthodox Church, such as with the faith healers of Charismatic Protestantism and the Yogis of Hinduism.  Please contact Fr. Ignatius if you are interested and suggest times/days that would work with your shcedule. 
Do You Belong to a Group that Might Benefit from Some Excellent Music?-
       Our own church member, Tariel Iberi, is one of the very best Georgian classical guitarists in the world.  Tariel is always looking for opportunities to play around the Iowa City area, especially opportunities that might help him earn a living.  If you belong to a community group or know of any group that might be interested in hiring a guitarist to give a concert, please contact Tariel at 319-325-8059 or berimeladze@yahoo.com.
Vesperal Liturgy for Mid-Pentecost-
       On Tuesday, April 27, we will celebrate the Feast of Mid-Pentecost with Vesperal Liturgy at 6PM. 
Midwest Antiochian Women's Retreat-
         The Antiochian Women of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest invite women to the fifth annual retreat Friday-Sunday, May 14-16, 2010 at Dormition of the Mother of God Orthodox Monastery located at 3389 Rives Eaton Road in Rives Junction, Michigan.  Mother Abbess Alexandra of the Convent of St. Thekla at Antiochian Village will present the retreat, “Create in Me a New Heart,” focusing on the Holy Spirit in our lives.  She will bring together reflections on the actions of the Holy Spirit through salvation history from the Scriptures and the Fathers with emphasis on our practical, daily synergy with the Holy Spirit.  For more information, go to: http://www.antiochian.org/sites/antiochian.org/files/2010_AW_Retreat.pdf
63rd Annual Midwest Diocese Parish Life Conference-
       Hosted by St. George Cathedral of Toledo, OH, laity and clergy from around our diocese will gather June 30-July 4 for the 2010 Parish Life Conference at the Hilton Garden Inn in Perrysburg, OH.  This year's conference will feature speakers Fr. Thomas Hopko and Dr. Albert Rossi and much more.  For more information, go to http://www.midwestplc2010.org/  
Word Magazine Subscriptions--
       Every family that belongs to an Antiochian Orthodox parish is entitled to receive a free subscription to our Archdiocese's monthly magazine, The Word.  If you do not receive this magazine and would like to, please let Fr. Ignatius know and he will sign you up.
Sound Advice to Husbands for their Marriages-
       "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for Her." Ephesians 5:25
"Never call [your wife] simply by her name, but with terms of endearment, with honor, with much love....  Prefer her before all, on every account, both for her beauty and her discernment, and praise her....  Show her, too, that you set a high value on her company, and that you are more desirous to be at home for her sake, than in the marketplace.  And esteem her before all your friends, and above the children that are born of her, and let these very children be beloved by thee for her sake.  If she does any good act, praise and admire it."- St. John Chrysostom
       Following, are some simple (the sketics would say "simplistic"), straightforward, even obvious pieces of advice to men regarding their marriages.  This material was recently given in a sermon by a friend of Fr. Ignatius.  This friend contends, and Fr. Ignatius concurs, that if a man follows these three principles with vigor, that a majority of marital problems will either disappear or become more manageable.
1. Look at your wife when she speaks to you, and converse with her.
2. Take your wife away to spend time alone with her.
3. Make sure you please your wife physically. 
Do these three things with regularity, and your wife will be assured of your love for her and that will go a long way in healing any marital discord or strife.
Monthly Charitable Contribution Ideas-
       From the beginning, St. Raphael Church has given a portion of its income away each month to charitable causes.  We do this, even now, when finances are tight, trusting that God will bless those who give.  The Parish Council would like to remind everyone, that they welcome suggestions for where we should give this money.  If you have an idea that you would like to share, please give it to our Parish Council chairperson, Kristi Abuissa, or our treasurer, Tania Van Dinter.
A Call for Recipes-
       Karen Kuntz and Amy Spencer are beginning to collect recipes for a St. Raphael’s cookbook that will include both Lenten and regular food from all the cultures represented at our church. Please contact either one of them about including your favorite recipes.
Thoughts on Stewardship-
           Luke 12:48 … “But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few.  For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.” 
         Ask yourself the following- "What does this message from God require from me, His loyal servant?”   What must I change in my life to be able to follow this teaching in both word and in deed?”
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 and Coffee Hour-
       On Sunday, April 25, the Van Dinter family will provide the holy bread.  Thank you in advance.  Anybody who would like to bake the holy bread can sign up to do so.  Food for coffee hour will be provided by the St. John the Baptist team.
Church Cleaning-
       During the week beginning Sunday, April 25, the St. Raphael team will be responsible for cleaning the church bathrooms, narthex and nave.
Food For Thought-
When Thou disdst cry, Rejoice, unto the Myrrhbearers, Thou didst make the lamentation of Eve the first mother to cease by Thy Resurrection, O Christ God.  And Thou didst bid Thine apostles to preach: The Savior is risen from the grave.
Kontakion from the Canon of the holy Myrrhbearers