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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of April 4, 2010)

posted Apr 8, 2010, 10:37 AM by Ilya Buchkin

Paschal Greetings from Patriarch IGNATIUS IV-

       Easter 2010

Christ is risen.

Christ is risen from the dead.  He arose victorious as He trampled down Death and shattered its shackles.  His victory was accomplished through love and gentleness, not through the sword.  Hence, His victory will be understood only by those who come to Him with love and the gentleness of a lamb.  It is through love that Christ will prevail in the world.

This is the Day of our Lord, let us celebrate it with joy.  This is the Day of our Victory.  This is the Day in which Death, with its terrible power, was trampled upon and humiliated.    And the sun has shone with its brilliant light, and all things are transformed by shedding their old and antiquated forms.  Today, there is no more reason to grieve because the great enemy has been crushed, and the Kingdom of God has prevailed for all time.  The Church today is made ecstatic by the Resurrection of Christ.  The angels in heaven and the faithful on earth all proclaim in jubilation “Christ is risen, praise the Lord – Christ is risen.  Glory be to Thy Holy Resurrection.”  Let all humanity proclaim with us “Indeed, He is risen.”  In this spirit, I am pleased to greet you and to share with you the joy of this great feast of the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Let us with joy celebrate a new beginning.


Patriarch of Antioch and all the East

Paschal Greetings from Bishop MARK- 

        " Christ is risen from the dead trampling down death by death and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.  We celebrate the abolition of death, the destruction of Hades and the first fruit of everlasting life.  As we leap with joy, we praise the Cause of these good gifts, the God of our fathers who alone is blessed and most glorified."

Beloved of God,  

Christ is Risen! Truly, He is Risen! El Messieh kahm! Hakken kahm!  Khristos voskrese! Voistinu voskrese! Let God, arise and let His enemies be scattered! As smoke vanishes so let them vanish! So the sinner will perish before the face of God, but let the righteous be glad! This is the day that the Lord has made! Let us rejoice and be glad in it! Let us embrace one another and forgive all things for the sake of Christ’s Holy Resurrection. Christos anesti! Alithos anesti! Cristos vaskres! Vaistinu vaskres! Cristos a inviat! Adevarat a inviat!
Yours in Christ,
Bishop of Toledo and the Diocese of the Midwest
Thank You-
       So many people work so hard to make things happen at church during this time of year.  Thank you to all choir members and especially our choir leaders Amy Jongeling, Lori Branch, Tania Van Dinter and Kristi Abuissa for lending your time and your voices so that we are able to lift up our voices and praise the Lord.  Thank you to Todd Wiblin and Karen Kuntz for all the behind-the-scenes work you do at the church.  Thank you to altar servers, those who brought food to our feast and picnic.
Free Lunch Program Volunteering-
       Our monthly opportunity to set up and serve lunch (and clean-up) at the Free Lunch Program at the Wesley Center is this Tuesday, April 6 from 11:30AM-1:30PM.  Please let Fr. Ignatius know if you can help out.
A Respite from the Fast-
       Throughout the Paschal season, from Pascha until the Ascension, a full forty days, there is no fasting, including on Wednesdays and Fridays, according to Antiochian custom.
No Office Hours or Matins on Bright Monday-
       So that Fr. Ignatius can recover from the weekend, there will be no office hours or matins on Monday, April 5.
Food for Hungry People Boxes-
       If you have taken a Food for Hungry People box home with you during Lent, it is now time to bring it back to church .   After Pascha, we will consolidate what was collected and send it in so that those who need the help can benefit from it.  Cash and check donations can also be made to this worthy program.  Please write checks to St. Raphael Orthodox Church and mark them Food for Hungry People on the memo line.
April Parish Council Meeting-
       Our April 2010 Parish Council meeting is on Monday, April 12 at 7PM.  As always, these monthly meetings are open to anyone.
Vespers and Dinner At St. George with Bishop MARK-
       On Saturday, April 17, following Vespers at 5:00PM, St. George Church in Cedar Rapids is hosting a dinner to benefit Camp St. George scholarships.  His Grace Bishop MARK will be visiting St. George Church that weekend, to be with them as they celebrate their patronal feast.  For more information, including how to purchase tickets, contact St. George Church at 319-363-1559
Parish-Wide Discussion on Sunday April 18-
       Following Liturgy, we will hold a parish-wide discussion during coffee hour.  We will discuss and evaluate our current system of rotating teams to provide foood for coffee hour, give an update on our church finances and discuss priorities regarding future projects with the building and fundraisers.
Walk for Life to Benefit Choices Medical Clinic-
       Choices Medical Clinic serves women by offering free services such as: pregnancy testing, STD testing, pap smears, obstetrical ultrasound, early prenatal care, referrals for OB care and social services, adoption liasons and referrals to adoption services, etc.  They do this to offer life-affirming alternatives to an unexpected pregnancy.  On Saturday, May 1st, Choices Medical Clinic will have three different sites at which sponsored walkers can conduct the 2010 Walk for Life: City Park, Kent Park, and Lake MacBride Park.  This fundraising event supports an organization that provides real help for women who may be contemplating abortion.  For more information: go to www.informedchoiceia.org
CONNECT 2010 Program in Lebanon-
       CONNECT 2010 will be taking place from July 1 to 28, 2010, at the main campus of Balamand University in the peaceful hills of North Lebanon. CONNECT is addressed to youth ages 17-25 in the United States and Canada with the goal of introducing them to the heritage, language, and culture of the region and to the Church of Antioch.   It is a global learning experience for all. Dozens of Orthodox youth have participated in previous CONNECT Programs and gained memorable lifetime experiences. Detailed information about the Program can be found at www.balamand.edu.lb/connect .
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/
Antiochian Women's Scholarships Available-
       Scholarships are available for women who:
1. Are 25 years of age or older
2. Are active members in good standing at an Antiochian parish or mission
3. Are enrolled in or accepted to an academic or trade study program
4. Demonstarte financial need
For more information, please contact Fr. Ignatius. The deadline to apply is May 14.
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-
           From "Tithing", by Fr. Richard Ballew … “What is the tithe? Simply put, the tithe is a voluntary offering of ten percent of one’s income, given to God.  That’s right, ten percent, taken off the top.  In both Hebrew and Greek the word tithe comes directly from the word ten.  It is a practice established long ago whereby God’s people have the opportunity to participate in the sacramentality of life by offering back a portion of what God has given to them,  As such, tithing is more than just an act of obedience.  It is an act of worship.” 
         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 11, Tony Carter and Meghan Gilpin 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. Raphael team.

Food For Thought-

The deepest foundation of the hope and joy which characterize Orthodoxy and which penetrate all its worship is the Resurrection. Easter, the center of Orthodox worship, is an explosion of joy, the same joy which the disciples felt when they saw the risen Savior. It is the explosion of cosmic joy at the triumph of life, after the overwhelming sorrow over death - death which even the Lord of life had to suffer when he became man. ... All things are now filled with the certainty of life, whereas before all had been moving steadily towards death. Orthodoxy emphasizes with special insistence the faith of Christianity in the triumph of life.  

 Fr. Dumitru Staniloae, from Orthodoxy, Life in the Resurrection