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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of April 24, 2011)

posted Jul 10, 2011, 5:57 PM by Ilya Buchkin
Paschal Greetings from Bishop Thomas-
       Bishop Thomas, the locum tenens for the Antiochian Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest, sends us his Paschal greeting.
 
"Beloved brother Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy, God-fearing Monastics, and all my Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ our True God:
Christ is risen!  Indeed, He is risen!
 
We are again drawn to contemplate and stand in awe at the holy Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the God-man and our Savior.  This year, I pray that we will not mark Pascha as a mere remembrance on the calendar, a happy annual festival that is anticipated and enjoyed but whose power does not provoke us to radical change in ourselves, a challenge toward holiness and perfection in the Holy Trinity.  Indeed, I think many times we enjoy these delightful feasts but have so 'institutionalized' them within ourselves that we do not actually let them touch us.
 
Fundamentally, Christ's Resurrection is a cataclysmic event.  It marks not merely the beginning of a religious movement, but truly the utter reversal of history, the moment that death itself was turned back, when the ultimate catastrophe befell the powers of darkness and bright hope came again into the world.  When the God-man died, as St. Basil tells us, 'the Author of life could not be held by corruption.' And so He rose again!  And so we can be saved from death and all corruption.
 
May we ourselves be not simply emotionally moved or cheered by the Gospel; may we never be the same!  If even time and history could not stand to remain as they were, how can we ever be content with a mere recollection of past events?  Let us once again shout out in victory to the Conqueror of death, casting aside all of our earthly entanglements and entering with Him into that glory that will never fade.
 
Yours in Christ,
+ Bishop Thomas
 
Paschal Greetings from the Assembly of Bishops of North America-
       To read a letter of Paschal greetings from the North American Assembly of Bishops (formerly the Episcopal Assembly) go to: http://www.antiochian.org/node/25701
 
Thank You-
       Thank you to all who did so much at church over these last several days.  Many of you were here very frequently, singing in the choir, bringing food, serving at the altar, decorating, praying, replacing light bulbs, cleaning and celebrating.  Without all of you, this church wouldn't exist. Thank you especially to Karen Kuntz for sewing the new Paschal white altar coverings. 

CBS 60 Minutes to Air Special on Mt. Athos Today-
      
CBS will air a 40 minute special on Mount Athos, the venerable monastic republic in Northern Greece made up of over 20 monasteries.  This special includes interview footage of some of the abbots and other monastics.  Locally, this will air on CBS KGAN 2 at 6PM CST, today, Sunday April 24. 
 
Food for Hungry People Boxes-
       Some of us have taken Food for Hungry People coin boxes home with us during Lent, to collect funds that will be used to help alleviate the hunger and other needs of those who have little of the things of this earth.  These boxes should be returned to the church now so that the money collected can be consolidated and sent in to our Archdiocese in order that those who need this help the most, will receive it. 
 
Break from the Fast-
       During this Paschal season through the Feast of the Ascension on June 2, a full forty days, we continue to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ. There is no fasting during this time, including on Wednesdays and Fridays, according to Antiocian custom.

Online Paschal Resource-
       For a collection of articles and multimedia relating to Pascha, go to www.feastoffeasts.org

Patronal Feast of St. George Church-
       St. George Church, in Cedar Rapids, invites you to join them in celebrating their patronal feast of the Greatmartyr George on Bright Monday, April 25 at 9AM.
 
No Matins or Office Hours on Bright Monday-
       Fr. Ignatius will not be serving matins nor will he be in the office on Monday, April 25. 
 
Tenth Anniversary Akathist Service-
       It was on May 1, 2001, that the first service was held amongst the people who would become St. Raphael Orthodox Church.  It was an Akathist to the Theotokos.  To commemorate that first service, we will gather this Sunday, May 1 at 6PM for the same service and we will enjoy some ice cream together afterward.

"Life and Faith of the Holy Myrrhbearers" Bible Study-
       If we have at least five people commit to coming, Fr. Ignatius will teach a four week Bible Study beginning in May on the "Life and Faith of the Holy Myrrhbearers."  We will look at the pages of the New Testament to learn more about the women who accompanied Jesus during His three-year ministry, and who get their collective name because they brought myrrh and other spice to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus.  This study could meet after Liturgy on Sundays, or on a week night, depending on the preferred schedule of the participants. Bring your Bible.   If you are interested, please put your name down on the sign-up sheet at church or let Fr. Ignatius know.

2011 Walk for Life-
        The 2011 Walk for Life, to benefit Choice Medical Clinic of Iowa City, will take place in three locations on Saturday, May 7 from 9AM-10AM.  The three locations are, Kent Park (Bluebird Shelter), Lake Macbride State Park (Main Lodge) and City Park (Shelter #6).  For more information about how to register to walk or to sponsor a walker, go to: www.ministrysync.com/event/home.php?template_id=3826&lid=244971
 
UI Arab Students Association Presents Middle Eastern Awareness Week-
       Two of the events that are being hosted by the UI ASA are:
 
Film Screening: "Budrus"- It Takes a Village to Unite the Most Divided People on Earth.
Exclusive Licence to Screen on campus, not available on DVD yet.
When: Wednesday Apr 27th, 2011, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Where: Iowa Memorial Union Illinois Room 348
Trailor: http://www.rocoeducational.com/BudrusFilm.php
Free Admission

"Achieving Peace in Palestine"
A Presentation and Discussion with John Dabeet
When: Thursday, April 28th, 6:30PM
Where: Meeting Room A, Iowa City Public Library
Free Admission

Professor John Dabeet, founder and president of Americans and Palestinians for Peace (AmPal) and a professor of Economics at Eastern Iowa Community College in Muscatine, Iowa, will explain why he believes that there can really be no true
peace in the Middle East without justice. He will discuss what this “justice" would entail, and how it’s implementation is the only way to a real and lasting peace for both peoples.

Parish Life Conference-
       The 64th annual Midwest Diocese Parish Life Conference will be hosted by St. George Orthodox Church of Cleveland, OH from June 15-19 2011.  For more information, go to: www.stgeorgecleveland.com         

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 May 1, the food for coffee hour and clean-up of the fellowship hall will be provided by the St. Nicholas team.
  
Church Cleaning-
       During the week following Sunday April 24, cleaning of the nave, narthex, bookstore/library, stairs, bathrooms and nursery room will be done by the St. Raphael team. 
       
Food For Thought- 
 
Let us become like Christ, since Christ became like us. Let us become God’s for His sake, since He for ours became Man. He assumed the worse that He might give us the better; He became poor that we through His poverty might be rich. He took upon Him the form of a servant that we might receive back our liberty; He came down that we might be exalted; He was tempted that we might conquer; He was dishonored that He might glorify us; He died that He might save us; He ascended that He might draw to Himself us, who were lying low in the Fall of sin. Let us give all, offer all, to Him Who gave Himself a Ransom and a Reconciliation for us. But one can give nothing like oneself, understanding the Mystery, and becoming for His sake all that He
became for ours.
 
- St. Gregory the Theologian, Paschal Sermon, chapter V
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