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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of January 17, 2010)

posted Jan 17, 2010, 10:55 PM by Ilya Buchkin
No Matins or Office Hours Monday-
There will be no matins and Fr. Ignatius will not be on the office on Monday, January 18.

Three Ways to Help the People of Haiti-
1.  International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is responding to the humanitarian crisis caused by the devastating earthquake in Haiti last week.  They need funds donated to their International Emergency Response Fund so that they can help the injured, the hungry, the thirsty and the homeless in Haiti.  Funds can be donated at www.iocc.org

2.  Another way IOCC helps to bring relief to victims of natural disasters is to provide health-kits to people in need.  Following are IOCC's instructions for assembling and shipping health-kits.
  1. Buy a one-gallon plastic bag with a zipper closure and fill it with the following items:
    • One hand towel
    • One washcloth
    • One comb
    • One metal nail file or nail clipper
    • One bar of soap (bath size, new and wrapped in original packaging)
    • One toothbrush (NO TOOTHPASTE)
    • Six Band-Aids
  2. Secure the bag and pack it in a box. Secure the box with packing tape.
  3. Clearly mark the outside of the box with the type of kit ("Health Kit-IOCC") and number of kits that are enclosed. Apply the correct amount of postage and mail the box to the following address:

    IOCC / Church World Service
    Brethren Service Center Annex
    601 Main St.
    P.O. Box 188
    New Windsor, Md. 21776-0188

    Be sure to include the name of the parish, group or individual sending the kits on the box.

3. Jared and Beth Johnson are collecting gently used shoes until Sunday, January 24 for Soles4shoes, a charity with an office in Cedar Rapids.  This charity is currently collecting shoes to send into Haiti.  If you have shoes in good condition that you would like to see used by someone who might desperately need them, please bring them to church next Sunday and give them to the Johnsons.

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.  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. Extra posters and postcards advertising the event are available at church to post or distribute.

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.
   If you have in mind a person or business who may want to donate items for the auction, we have a letter of appeal that you can take to them, or that we can send directly.  Please speak to Ilya Buchkin to arrange that.

Basement Area Reserved for Auction Items
      To store the auction items as they come in, we reserved a corner of our basement room. Please do not let children into that area - for their safety.

January Parish Council Meeting-
Our January 2010 Parish Council Meeting has been rescheduled to Monday, January 18 at 7PM.  All are welcome to attend.

Saturday Catechumen Class-
On Saturdays from 4PM-5:30PM, we are having a class for catechumens and others interested in learning the basics of our Orthodox faith.  We are watching a video series.  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 is this Week-
       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 upon us.  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.

Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple Vesperal Liturgy-
We will celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple with a Vesperal Liturgy at 6PM on Monday, February 1.  Please join us.

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. 24, the  Chikhladze/Iberi 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. John the Baptist team will provide food for coffee hour.

Choir Leadership-
On Saturday, January 23,  will direct the choir for Vespers.   will direct the choir for matins and Liturgy on Sunday, January 24. 

Food For Thought-
Sit in the presence of the Lord every moment of your life, as you think of Him and recollect Him in your heart.  Otherwise, when you only see Him after a period of time, you will lack freedom of converse with Him, out of shame; for great freedom of converse is born out of constant association with Him.

St. Isaac of Syria