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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of January 10, 2010)

posted Jan 11, 2010, 7:52 AM by Ilya Buchkin
Blessing of the Waters News Coverage-
We had a wonderful turnout on Saturday for the Outdoor Blessing of the Waters sponsored by the Iowa Orthodox Christian Clergy Association, especially considering if was about five degrees below zero.  The sun was glistening off the water and ice, and a nearby group of bald eagles added to the scenery.  Following, is a link to local newspaper coverage of the event.  http://www.press-citizen.com/article/20100110/NEWS01/1100317/1079

Winter Bible Study to Begin on Thursday Evenings in January-
Following our Thursday Akathist service, we are meeting to study the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Epistles of John.  Come out for Akathist at 7PM, and stay for about an hour of discussion on these short little New Testament books.  Bring your Bible.

Evening in the East Fundraising Event is February 11-
Please mark your calendars!  On Thursday, February 11, we will have our 2nd Annual Evening in the East fundraising event.  This year, we are eager to welcome the Grinnell Singers of Grinnell College, who will be performing Rachmaninov's Vespers.  Our own choir will also perform.  There will be plenty of good food, a silent auction and more. Attached is a poster advertising the event.  Please forward the poster on to anyone you think may be interested in coming.  On our church website, we have a page devoted to the event at http://www.straphaelorthodoxchurch.org/events/evening2010

Silent Auction Items-
       The silent auction was a great success in last year's event - almost all items donated for it were sold, contributing to the event proceeds about $2000. We want to repeat the success this year. Donations for the auction will be very appreciated. We want to offer quality items that would be in spirit of this cultural event, and make fine memories for people who buy them. If you want to discuss any item you may donate for the auction, or have any questions regarding the auction, please contact Ilya Buchkin (ilya.buchkin@gmail.com), or Kristi Abuissa, or Fr.Ignatius.
January Parish Council Meeting-
Our January 2010 Parish Council Meeting has been rescheduled to Monday, January 18 at 7PM.  All are welcome to attend.

Catechumen Class to Begin-
On Saturdays from 4PM-5:30PM, beginning January 16, we will be having a class for catechumens and others interested in learning the basics of our Orthodox faith.  We will watch a video series and have time for a brief discussion.  There will be a total of about 12 sessions.  If you want to come but cannot make all of them, come to those you can.  Please let Fr. Ignatius know if you plan on attending.

House Blessings-
Because Lent is early this year, the time to schedule House Blessings is relatively short.  If you would like Fr. Ignatius to come and bless your house before February 15, please suggest a date and time on the sign-up sheet posted at church, or contact Father directly to suggest a time.   

Overflow Shelter Volunteering-
       A reminder to those of you who signed up to volunteer in various ways as we help staff the Overflow Shelter for the homeless- our week to volunteer is coming up, January 17-23.  Amy Jongeling is our coordinator.  Please contact her if you have any questions. 

Geneva Lecture Series-
If you are interested in the intersection of science and faith, don't miss the upcoming Geneva Lecture on “Modern Physics and Ancient Faith” given by Dr. Stephen Barr, a physicist and astronomer at the University of Delaware.  This free talk will be on Tuesday, January 26 at 7:30PM in Lecture Room 1, Van Allen Hall on Iowa Ave. and Linn St. in Iowa City.  Dr. Barr will highlight eight important recent discoveries in the field of physics and demonstrate how they support, rather than contradict a traditional Judeo-Christian worldview.

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, Jan. 17, the Valentine 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.  The St. Nina team will provide food for coffee hour.

Choir Leadership-
On Saturday, January 16,  we need a volunteer to direct the choir for Vespers.  Lori Branch will direct the choir for matins and Liturgy on Sunday, January 17. 

Food For Thought-

For we have often seen the sin of the fornicator, but his repentance, which he made in secret, we did not see; we may have seen somebody steal, but we nothing of the groaning and tears which he has offered to God.  We still think of him as we saw him, a thief, a fornicator or a perjurer, but in the sight of God his secret repentance and confession have been accepted, and in His eyes he is honorable.

St. John the Almsgiver