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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of January 16, 2011)

posted Jan 18, 2011, 10:56 AM by Ilya Buchkin
Evening in the East Promotional Poster-
       Attached, you will find a file for a poster advertising the Evening in the East.  Please share it with anyone you think may be interested.  We are looking for volunteers to distribute printed posters around town.  Also, check out our church website at http://www.straphaelorthodoxchurch.org/events/evening2011 for more event information, including details on our speaker, Fr. Moses Berry.
House Blessings-
       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. 
Catechumen Classes-
       All are welcome to attend Catechumen classes which meet on Saturdays at 3:30PM.  In this 10-12 week series, we will watch videos which outline many of the basics of Orthodox Christianity.
Evening in the East Silent Auction Items Needed-
       St. Raphael Church is looking for unique items to be donated for inclusion in our silent auction which is part of the Evening in the East fundraising event.  Do you have special items that may not be found in most stores that you think others would be interested in?  We are especially interested to receive items that reflect the wonderful ethnic and cultural diversity that our parish is blessed with.  Please contact Ilya Buchkin at ilya.buchkin@gmail.com if you would like to donate something.
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 Update-
         To date, we have received 22 gifts totaling $9955 in our Capital Campaign to raise money to pay down our mortgage.  The Capital Campaign invites you to share names and addresses of people that you think might be interested in receiving a mailing from us regarding our campaign.  Contact committee members Newman Abuissa, Lori Branch, Bill Spencer or Fr. Ignatius if you wish to do this.
Thank You-
       Thank you to Karen Kuntz and Kristi Abuissa for recent sewing work on an altar covering an icon stand covers.
Supplication Service for Victims of Abortion-
       Commemorating the 38th anniversary of the decision that legalized abortion in America, we will be holding a Supplication Service for the Victims of Abortion at 6PM on Sunday, January 23.  By doing so, we will acknowledge the tragedy that is abortion and affirm the humanity of unborn children.

Thoughts of an Orthodox Hierarch on Abortion-
        "The world validates abortion, the sacrifice of the life of an innocent child for the convenience of the mother, oblivious to the suffering it will cause that very woman. It depersonalizes the child, as a “fetus;” while at the same time developing technologies to save nearly identical fetuses in troubled pregnancies. The criterion is not the life of the child; the criterion is simply the desire of the parent: whether the parent wants the child or not. If so, no expense is spared. If not, it is a useless bother, a mass of flesh to be excised like a tumor. What is left, however, is a lifetime of regret, guilt, self-hatred and self-loathing. This is not just an act, but a state of sin." - Metropolitan Jonah of the Orthodox Church in America.  For the full text of his address, go to: http://www.oca.org/news/2374
American and Georgian Orthodox Military Chaplains Serve Nativity Liturgy in Afghanistan-
       For a short video report of this blessed event, go to: http://www.dvidshub.net/video/105148/us-and-georgian-service-members-come-together-worship
Do You Have Books to Get Rid Of?-
       The 12th Annual Shelter House Book Sale is scheduled to be held on February 26.  If you have any books that you would like to donate, to benefit this worthy organization that provides shelter and transitional services to some of our community's most vulnerable and impoverished members, please go to the Shelter House website at: www.shelterhouseiowa.org for more information.
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-
       On Sunday, January 23, the holy bread will be provided by the Branch/Peterson family.  Thank you in advance.
Choir Leadership-
       For the weekend of January 22-23, Kristi Abuissa will lead our choir.
Coffee Hour-
      On Sunday, January 23, 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, January 23, the St. Raphael team will clean the nave, narthex, bathrooms, stairs, bookstore and nursery room.
Food For Thought-
      It is the parents' selfless love, that drives them to teach their children gratitude.  Why? That it should be for the child's good. That the child should grow up as a cultivated fruit tree and not as a wild thistle; so that it should go well with the child in this transitory life among men, among friends and enemies, in villages and towns, in authority and in commerce.  A grateful man is everywhere valued, liked, invited and assisted.  He who learns gratitude learns mercy, and a merciful man walks more freely in this world. The thanks of men will not make God greater, more powerful, more glorious, richer or more alive, but they will make men all of these things... Thanksgiving to God raises us mortals out of the corruption of mortality, releases us from that from which we must all at some time be released, whether we will or no, and binds us to God the living and immortal; if we are not bound to Him in this life, then we shall neverbe in His presence in eternity.  Thanksgiving ennobles the thankful and nourishes good works.  Thanksgiving inspires benevolence in the world, and gives freshness to every virtue.  The mortal tongue of manis far from being able to represent either the beauty of gratitude or the ugliness of ingratitude as graphically as both are presented in today's Gospel.  
St. Nikolai Velimirovic commenting on today's Gospel reading of the story of the Ten Lepers (Luke 17:12-19) in Homilies, Volume II. Tr. by Mother Maria, Lazarica Press, Birmingham, England, 1998. pp. 299-301.