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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of December 19, 2010)

posted Dec 19, 2010, 7:54 PM by Ilya Buchkin
Evening in the East Food Team Coordinators Needed-
       As we have in years past, we have a need again for volunteers to be food team coordinators for our Evening in the East event on February 5.   We hope to have about five food teams: Russian, Georgian, Romanian, Middle Eastern/African and Greek.  The Russian team is already forming.  Responsibilities include helping to form a team of several people that can plan a menu item and prepare it for our meal.  Team coordinators will be working with Matt and Tania Van Dinter, our event co-chairs, so that we are sure we have a complete and delightful menu for the evening.  Please contact Matt or Tania if you can help in this way.
Calling All Cooks!-
       The food has always been a highlight of our Evening in the East fundraiser. Each of the last two years, people have requested recipes for the dishes we've served. This year, we are going to prepare a small cookbook to have for sale at the event. If you have cooked for the dinner, or are preparing food this year, please send a copy of the recipe you are using to Karen Kuntz. Also, if you have favorite recipes from your home country you'd like to share, please add them also. You can e-mail recipes to Karen at kkuntz@earthlink.net, or leave copies at church with Father. If you have a recipe that you need help translating into English, we can find someone to help.
No Office Hours Wednesday or Thursday; No Matins Wednesday-
       Fr. Ignatius will be briefly out of town on Wednesday, December 2 and  Thursday, December 23.  He will not be holding office hours or serving matins on those days.
Order of St. Ignatius Sunday-
       Today, being the Sunday closest to the feastday of St. Ignatius of Antioch, is designated in our Archdiocese as the Order of St. Ignatius Sunday.  The Order of St. Ignatius is a philanthropic organization within our Archdiocese that is supported by members' dues.  For more information on the Order, go to: www.antiochian.org/order
Capital Campaign Phase II Beginning-
         As we did during Phase I about 2 years ago, the Capital Campaign committee is requesting names and addresses of family and friends who you would like us to send information to about our fundraising efforts for the building.  Please contact committee members Newman Abuissa, Bill Spencer, Lori Branch or Fr. Ignatius with contact information of those who you would like to be on the updated mailing list.
Theophany Services and Blessing of the Waters-
       We will observe the Feast of Theophany with Royal Hours at 9AM on Wednesday, August 5 and Vesperal Liturgy and blessing of the water at 6PM.  The faithful of St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church in Cedar Rapids have invited us to join with them and the faithful of St. George Orthodox Church for an Outdoor Blessing of the Waters at 4PM on Saturday, January 8.  This service will be presided over by Bishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago and will be held on the First Ave. bridge spanning the Cedar River, across the street from City Hall, in downtown Cedar Rapids.  Following the blessing service, we are invoted to St. John's for vespers at 5:30PM.  There will be no vespers at St. Raphael that evening.
Thank You-
       Thank you to Irakliy Surguladze for the improved weatherstripping on our front door.
2010 Financial Giving to Church-
       If you want to know what you have given year-to-date to St. Raphael Church, you may contact our treasurer, Kristi Abuissa at kristi@abuissa.net to find out.  Once 2010 is behind us, she will send out statements to all donors regarding total 2010 gifts which can be used for tax records.    
Episcopal Assembly News-
       For the latest information on the Episcopal Assembly, which is the organization composed of all United States Orthodox bishops and which is tasked with the responsibility of drawing up a plan that will lay the groundwork for a future administratively united American Orthodox Church, go to:  www.episcopalassembly.org 
A Note on Confession-
      The Sacrament of Repentance or Confession is an indispensible part of a healthy Christian spiritual life.  The fasting seasons of the Church year are natural times to examine oneself and to make a confession.  Every Orthodox Christian should be in the habit of confessing in the presence of a priest.  If you do not confess to your pastor, then find an Orthodox priest you can confess to, and out of respect for your pastor, let him know about your arrangement. 
House Blessings-
       Following the Feast of Theophany on January 6, Fr. Ignatius is available to come to your home for a house blessing until the beginning of Lent.  A sign-up sheet is posted at church if you would like to reserve a date and time. 
OCF Midwest College Conference 2010-
        Registration is now open for the Orthodox Christian Fellowship Midwest College Conference 2010 at
http://collegeconference2010ngm.eventbrite.com/.  This gathering of Orthodox Christian college students from around the Midwest will be held over winter break between Dec. 29- Jan. 1 at the New Gracanica Serbian Orthodox Monastery in Third Lake, IL outside of Chicago.  The keynote speaker will be His Beatitude Metropolitan JONAH of the Orthodox Church in America. 
Thoughts on Stewardship-
           Psalm 36:25- I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging bread.  
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, December 26, the food for coffee hour and clean-up of the fellowship hall will be provided by the St. John the Baptist team.
Church Cleaning-
     During the week following Sunday, December 26, the St. Raphael team will clean the nave, narthex, bathrooms, stairs, bookstore and nursery room.
Choir Leadership-
        Tania Van Dinter will lead the choir during the services of December 25-26.
Food For Thought-
The priests indeed are good, but the High Priest is better; to whom the holy of holies has been committed, and who alone has been trusted with the secrets of God. He is the door of the Father, by which enter in Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the prophets, and the apostles, and the Church. All these have for their object the attaining to the unity of God. But the Gospel possesses something transcendent: the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ, His passion and resurrection. For the beloved prophets announced Him, but the Gospel is the perfection of immortality. All these things are good together, if ye believe in love.
St. Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Philadelphians, Chapter 9