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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of August 22, 2010)

posted Sep 7, 2010, 1:18 AM by Ilya Buchkin
Did You Know?-
       Did you know that each month, the St. Raphael Parish Council decides to give a percentage of our monthly income to a charitable cause?  We keep a list of causes we have given to and causes we are are considering on the church's website at http://www.straphaelorthodoxchurch.org/business.  The Parish Council is always open to suggestions from other parish members.  If you have a suggestion, please pass it on to any Council member or Fr. Ignatius.

All-Parish Potluck-
       On Sunday, August 29 (the fifth Sunday of the month) we ask that everyone plan on bringing a dish to pass for our fellowship hour food.  Since this is the Feast of the Beheading of St. John the Forerunnner, it is a fasting day so please, no meat, dairy or eggs.
OCF Welcome Sunday-
       College Students!  If you missed us at church today, we invite you to come next Sunday, August 29, 10AM Liturgy.  We would like to recognize you and encourage you as you begin your school year.  And we also have a wonderful gift basket to give you as well.
Hosting the Bishop-
       We are blessed to have Bishop MARK come to be with us the weekend of November 5-7.  Save the dates and mark your calendars.  Among other things, he will celebrate our patronal feast with us.  In years past, generous families from our parish have hosted the bishop in their homes.  If you are interested in allowing the bishop and his subdeacon to stay in your home for the weekend, please let Fr. Ignatius or a Parish Council member know.
First Liturgy in Davenport This Sunday-
       A group of people (including some of our own members) have been gathering weekly for vespers in Davenport, IA for the last few months.  This weekend, August 28-29, they will have the full cycle of services (vespers, matins and Liturgy) served by Fr. James Mackoul.  If you know of any who might be interested in attending, please put them in touch with Jared Johnson who can be reached at 563-514-1941. 
Film on Palestinian-Israeli Conflict-
       The film, "Reflections on Life and War in Gaza" will be shown at 7PM on Wednesday, September 1 at the Iowa City Public Library, Meeting Room A.  The film is about 100 minutes long.  
You Are Invited-
       Fr. Fred, Khourieh Michelle and family invite you to celebrate the baptism of Eirene Sophia Shaheen Saturday, September 18 at 10:30 am at St. George Orthodox Church in Cedar Rapids.  Lunch reception following in the Michael G. Nassif Education and Cultural Center.  Fr. Fred needs an accurate count for the caterer, so please confirm that you are attending by signing the sheet on the bulletin board at the top of the stairs.
Parish Council Meeting Minutes-
       The July 2010 Parish Council meeting minutes are attached.
Epistle Reading-
       Opportunities to read the Sunday Epistle are available every week.  The Epistle will always be read in English and can also be read in any other language.  If you would like to contribute to the Liturgy by volunteering to read (in English or another language) look for the sign-up sheet on one of the bulletyin boards at church.
Thoughts on Stewardship-
          From St. John Cassian, The Conferences, Chapter XXIX … “He who retains his goods of this world, or, bound by the rules of the old law, distributes the tithe of his produce, and his first fruits, or a portion of his income, although he may to a considerable degree quench the fire of his sins by this dew of almsgiving, yet, however generously he gives away his wealth, it is impossible for him altogether to rid himself of the dominion of sin, unless perhaps by the grace of the Savior, together with his substance he gets rid of all love of possessing.”                    
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.
Choir Leadership-
       On Saturday, August 28,  Tania Van DInter will direct the choir for Great Vespers.   Tania will also direct the choir on Sunday, August 29.
Holy Bread-
       On Sunday, August 29, Tania Van Dinter will provide the holy bread.  Thank you in advance.  Anyone who would like to provide holy bread for a Sunday may sign-up to do so. 
Coffee Hour-
       On Sunday, August 29, we will have a parish-wide potluck.  All are invited to bring food or drink to share. 
Church Cleaning-
       Because there is no team assigned to clean the nave, narthex, stairs and bathrooms after the 5th Sunday of the month, we are looking for a volunteer or two to help with this during the week of August 29.
Food For Thought-
       Grant me, O Son of the Good One, that for which my mind years, and join to it that which is pleasing to Thy will.  Grant that I may choose to do good and in no way deviate from Thy will.  Do not permit me to be a wicked and hypocritical disciple who violates Thy commandments.  Protect me from thinking that I can walk along Thy path merely for the sake of appearance and thus by my hypocrisy deceive those who see me, inciting them to proclaim me blessed.  Grant that my heart might please Thy greatness in secret, and that my just life might glorify Thee publicly.
May truth be a mistress to guide Thy worshipper; may it preserve me in chastity both near and far.  Deliver me from the misfortune of knowing Thy law, yet lacking the desire to please Thee.  Vouchsafe me the company of people who are simple, but experienced and wise in the performance of virtues.  My flesh is weak.  Fortify it with Thy strength.  Help me, break the arrows of the cunning enemy, and number me among the hosts of Thine heirs....
Worthy of veneration are Thy Father and Thy Holy Spirit, Who rejoices at our return!
St. Ephraim the Syrian, excerpted from "A Spiritual Psalter", #63