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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of February 21, 2010)

posted Feb 22, 2010, 3:27 AM by Saint Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Church
March-April Calendars Available-
       The calendar covering services and other events at St. Raphael Church for March and April is now available at church.
A Word Regarding Confession-
       Lent, being a time of self-reflection and repentance, is the perfect time to schedule your confession.  If it has been awhile since your last confession, take advantage of this season of the Church, and benefit from the healing that making a confession brings.  Father is available to hear your confession after most services or by appointment. 

Lenten Wednesday Pre-Sanctified Liturgies-
       Please join us for the Liturgy of Pre-Sanctified Gifts at 6PM on Wednesdays during Lent.  Fr. Ignatius is 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. 
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.  Please sign-up now to bring food on these two Sunday evenings.
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, and not beginning on Saturday, February 27, as printed in the Febraury calendar.  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.
Letter From SCOBA Bishops on Church Unity-
       To read current a letter from the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas on Church Unity, go to http://www.scoba.us/articles/2819.html
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.
Help Make a Difference This Lent-
       St. Gregory the Theologian said, "Give something, however small, to the one in need, for it is not small to one who has nothing; neither is it small to God if we have given what we could."  Project Mexico/St. Innocent Orphanage provides much needed homes for Mexican families and teenage boys.  They are in need of your prayers and financial support to do their good work.  For more information, go to: www.projectmexico.org
February Parish Council Meeting Minutes Attached-
       The minutes from the February 2010 Parish Council meeting are attached for your information.
Thoughts on Stewardship-
          Luke 8: 14 … “And as for what fell among thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature.” 
          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?”
Lenten Recipe-
Vegan Coffee Cake (from www.flickr.com/groups/veganbaking)

1 cup soy milk
1 tbsp distilled white vinegar
2 tbsp water + 2 tsp baking powder (mix this together, this serves as an egg replacer)
2 1/4 cups wheat flour (or your flour of choice)
1 1/4 cups brown sugar (you can also try palm sugar)
3 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger (or freshly grated ginger)
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp baking powder (yes, more baking powder)

What to do:

Mix the flour, sugar, and 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ginger, salt, and oil. Transfer 1 1/4 cups of this into a small bowl and add the rest of the cinnamon to the small bowl. You may also want to add more sugar if you have a sweet tooth like me.

To the remaining flour mixture add the dry baking powder. Mix together the soy milk, vinegar, and water + baking powder mixture, and then add to the flour mixture. If, when everything is mixed together, it is soupy, add some of the flour mixture you put aside. This should have the consistency of a cake batter, not soup!

Spread the batter in a 9 x 13 baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining flour mixture, if your batter is too soupy the topping will sink in (you may want to add more sugar and spices such as cardamom to the topping mixture, you want enough topping to cover the entire cake)

Bake at 350 Fahrenheit or 150 C for 30- 35 minutes.

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 28, the Abuissa 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. John the Baptist team.

Choir Leadership-
       We need a volunteer on Saturday, February 27 to direct the choir for Vespers.  Lori Branch will direct the choir for matins and Liturgy on Sunday, February 28. 

Food For Thought-
While fasting with the body, brethren, let us also fast in spirit.  Let us loose every bond of iniquity; let us undo the knots of every contract made by violence; let us tear up all unjust agreements; let us give bread to the hungry and welcome to our house the poor who have no roof to cover them, that we may receive great mercy from Christ our God.
Stichera from Vespers of Wednesday of the First Week of Lent