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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of February 14, 2010)

posted Feb 14, 2010, 7:42 PM by Ilya Buchkin
Lent is Here-
       Monday February 15 marks the beginning of Lent this year.  There is a service every evening this week.  Coming to at least a few of these, may help you to get into the correct frame of mind to continue on with the Lenten journey toward Pascha.  If you have any questions or concerns about fasting, please speak with Fr. Ignatius.  Most importanly, may we all be encouraged and strengthened to fast from sin.
Evening in the East Fundraising Event Summary-
       We had a successful and enjoyable evening with two wonderful choir performances and lots of delicious food.  Dozens of people worked very hard to pull this off.  Thank you especially to Kristi Abuissa, our event chair, for organizing us and for doing so much behind the scenes.  Thank you to all who provided food, who staffed the event in various ways, who sang in our choir, who donated items for the silent auction, who set up for the event and who stayed after to clean up.  We will do it again next year. 

Lenten Wednesday Pre-Sanctified Liturgies-
       Please join us for the Liturgy of Pre-Sanctified Gifts at 6PM on Wednesdays during Lent beginning February 17.  Fr. Ignatius will be giving a sermon series entitled:  The Wonder of God: Miracles in the Liturgy which will focus on several stories of supernatural manifestations that have taken place in the Divine Liturgy of the Church as found in the book "Experiences During the Divine Liturgy" written by Fr. Stephanos Anagnostopoulos.  Following the Pre-Sanctified Liturgies, we will gather for a simple lenten soup supper.  We need volunteer familes to sign up to bring soup each week.  A sign-up sheet is posted at church.
Pan-Orthodox Vespers Schedule-
       On Sunday evenings during Lent, our church comes together with St. John the Baptist Church and St. George Church of Cedar Rapids to worship and pray at vespers.  Following is the schedule of rotation.  Please consider traveling to Cedar Rapids at least once or twice to share in prayer with our fellow Orthodox Christians there, and please welcome them when they come to Iowa City on the evenings we are hosting them.  Attached is a flier with the entire schedule.
Febraury 21- St. George Church, 5:30PM
Febraury 28- St. John the Baptist Church, 5:30PM
March 7- St. Raphael Church, 5:30PM
March 14- St. George Church, 5:30PM
March 21- St. Raphael Church, 5:30PM
We will provide lenten food, potluck style, on the Sunday evenings that we are hosting.  A sign-up sheet is posted in church.
Food for Hungry People Lenten Collection-
       Each Lent, our Archdiocese launches the Food For Hungry People campaign.  The money collected is sent in to the Archdiocese and distributed to many organizations who work to relieve hunger.  The FFHP collection boxes are now available at church to pick up.  Filling them up with your loose change during Lent is an easy way to help our Archdiocese minister to the needs of those who do not have enough to eat.  For our children, there are calendars in the narthex that give fun suggestions for how to give to this campaign.  "He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward him for what he has done." Proverbs 19:17
Prayer at Abortion Clinic-
       Fr. Ignatius will be on the sidewalk in front of the Emma Goldman Abortion Clinic on Saturdays at 10AM during Lent on March 6, 13, and 20.  On behalf of all of those who have participated in abortion and for the victims of abortion, he will be praying the Akathist for Repentance of One Who Has Aborted a Child and the Supplicatory Service for the Victims of Abortion.  This is a time of prayer, not a protest.  All are welcome to come.
Shelter House Used Book Sale-
       On Saturday, February 27, 10AM-3PM, the 11th Annual Shelter House Used Book Sale will be held at Hope United Methodist Church (2929 E. Court St., Iowa City.)  This sale benefits the Iowa City Shelter House, a shelter for the homeless.
Just War- Holy War: The Roots of Conflict between Islam and the Christian West-
       On Saturday, February 27, St. Paul's Lutheran Chapel (404 E. Jefferson St., Iowa City) is hosting Rev. Dr. Martin Conkling as he speaks on the idea of holy war, and the historical conflicts between Islam and Christianity.  The first session will be from 9:15AM-11:30AM with a break for lunch.  Session two will begin at 1:30PM and end at 3:00PM.
Free Lunch Program Volunteering-
       We are scheduled to provide 3-4 volunteers to help at the Free Lunch Program on Tuesday, March 2 from 11:30AM-1:30PM.  Please contact Fr. Ignatius if you can help.
Thoughts on Stewardship-
       Psalm 24: 1-5 … “The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.  For He has founded it upon the seas, And established it upon waters.  Who may ascend into the hill and of the Lord?  Or who may stand in His holy place?  He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully.  He shall receive blessing from the Lord, And righteousness from the God of his salvation.”  
          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, February 21, the Branch/Peterson family 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.

Choir Leadership-
On Saturday, February 20, Tania Van Dinter will direct the choir for Vespers.  Tania will also direct the choir for matins and Liturgy on Sunday, February 14. 

Food For Thought-

Lo! I forewarn, and testify, and proclaim this with a voice that all may hear! “Let no one who has an enemy draw near the Sacred Table, or receive the Lord's Body! Let no one who draws near have an enemy! Have you an enemy! Draw not near! Will you draw near? Be reconciled, and then draw near, and touch the Holy Things!” Nor, indeed, is this my declaration. Rather it is that of the Lord Himself, Who was crucified for us. That He might reconcile you to the Father. He refused not to be sacrificed, and to shed His blood! And are you unwilling to utter a word, or to make the first advance, that you may be reconciled to the fellow-servant? 

Hear what the Lord says, concerning those who are in this disposition; “So if you are offering your gift at the Altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, go, first be reconciled to your brother” (Mt. 5:23, 24). 

O Transcendent wonder! Does He Himself account it no dishonor, that the gift should be left un-offered, and do you think it a mark of disgrace to go first and be reconciled? And how can such a case, I ask, be deemed worthy of pardon? Were you to see a member of yours cut off, would you not use every exertion so that it might be reunited to the body? This do with regard to your brethren; when you see them cut off from your friendship, make all haste to recover them! Do not wait for them to make the first advance, but press onward, that you may be foremost to receive the prize. 

We are commanded to have only one enemy, the devil. With him be you never reconciled! But with a brother, never be at enmity in your heart. And if there should be any narrowness of soul, let it be only an ephemeral thing, and never last beyond a day's space. For, “let not the sun,” He says, “go down upon your anger” (Eph. 4:26). For when one day is past, the shame becomes greater; and when the second has arrived, it is still further increased; and if it reach a third, and a fourth day, it will add a fifth. Thus the five become ten; the ten, twenty, and twenty a hundred; and thenceforth the wound may become incurable; for as time goes on, the breach becomes wider.  

Knowing all these things then, make the first advance to a brother; lay hold of him before he has entirely shrunk away from you; and should it be necessary to run through all the city on the same day; should it be necessary to go beyond the walls, or to take a long journey; still leaving all other things that may be in hand, attend only to this one work of reconciling your brother. For if the work be laborious, reflect that it is for God's sake you undergo all this, and you shall receive sufficient consolation. God bids us to do all these things, and all things should be secondary to His commands. Let us not neglect it. Let our enemy too understand that we have taken much pains, in order to do what is well-pleasing unto God. And though he may again insult, or strike us, or do any other such thing of a still more grievous kind, let us sustain all things courageously, since we are not so much benefiting him thereby, as ourselves. Of all good works, this shall most especially befriend us on Judgment Day. We have sinned and offended in many and great matters, and have provoked our Lord. Through His loving-kindness He has given us this way of reconciliation. Let us, then, not betray their good treasure. Through His great loving-kindness, He has promised us a large and unspeakable reward, and one which we must be especially desirous to obtain, the pardon of our sins; thus also making this our obedience more easy of performance.

St. John Chrysostom, excerpted from "Fasting Alone Will Not Save Us"