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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of December 26, 2010)

posted Jan 2, 2011, 7:06 PM by Ilya Buchkin
Holy Bread-
       We do not have a volunteer to bake the holy bread for next Sunday, January 2.  If you are able and willing to do so, lease contact Fr. Ignatius.  This is a wonderful way to serve the church and to have prayers offered up for your family and friends. 
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.
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.
No Matins or Office Hours Monday December 27-
       Fr. Ignatius will be taking Monday, December 27 off to recover from the busy weekend schedule. 
No Fasting-
        In celebration of the season of the Lord's Nativity, there is no fasting until the eve of the Feast of Theophany (January 5).  January 6, although a Wednesday, is fast-free in honor of the Lord's Baptism. 
January/February Calendars Available-
       Calendars showing services and other events at St. Raphael for the next two months are now available in the narthex at church.
Guitar Lessons Offered-
       Guitar lessons are being offered by church member Tariel Iberi (www.tarieliberi.com).  Both children and adults are welcome, and all levels of experience.  Lesson prices are $15 per half hour lesson, but for St. Raphael church members, Tariel is giving a special rate of $15 for an entire month (four half hour lessons).  Contact Tariel at tarieliberi@gmail.com if you are interested. 
Thank you-
       Thank you to all who helped decorate for Christmas.  The church looks wonderful!
Free Lunch Program Volunteering-
       We will be serving meals at the Free Lunch Program (located at the Wesley Center) on Tuesday, January 4 from 11:30AM-1:30PM.  Please let Fr. Ignatius know if you can help this month. 
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.    
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.  
Thoughts on Stewardship-
           John 3:16- For God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have eternal life.
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, January 2, 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, January 2, the St. Nina team will clean the nave, narthex, bathrooms, stairs, bookstore and nursery room.
Food For Thought-
So now God not only forms human nature anew by His own hand in a mysterious way, but also keeps it near Him.  Not only does He assume this nature and rase it up from the fall, but He inexpressibly clothes Himself in it and unites Himself inseparable with it- and born as both God and man: from a woman, in the first instance, that He might take upon Himself the same nature which He formed in our forefathers; and from a woman who was a virgin, in the second, so that He might make man anew.... If He had been born from seed, He would not have been a new man and, being part of the old stock, and inheriting that fall, He would not have been able to receive the fullness of the incorruptible Godhead in Himself and become an inexhaustible source of hallowing.  And so, not only would He not have been able to cleanse,  with abundance of power, our forefathers' defilement caused by sin, but neither would He have been sufficient to sanctify those who came later....
St. Gregory Palamas