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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of January 31, 2010)

posted Feb 7, 2010, 6:54 PM by Ilya Buchkin
Fr. Ignatius Will Be Out of Town-
       From Tuesday, February 2 until Thursday, February 4, Fr. Ignatius will be out of town.  He will not hold office hours during this time and there will be no matins on Wednesday morning. 
Choir Practice-
       While the choir continues to practice after Liturgy on most Sundays, there is another special practice this Wednesday (Feb. 3) at 7PM to prepare the choir to sing Tariel Iberi's music for choir and guitar which will be performed on Thursday, February 11 at the Evening in the East fundraiser at Old Brick.

Evening in the East Fundraising Event is February 11-
The Evening in the East is less than two weeks away!  We depend upon our members to get the word out by finding bulletin boards around town to post posters, by giving postcards or by sending emails to friends and family, etc.  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. Tickets are now available.  Advanced purchase price is $20 for adults, $55 for families.  Children under 3 are free. 

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.

House Blessings-
       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.   

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.

Free Lunch Program Volunteering-
We are scheduled to volunteer at the Free Lunch Program on Tuesday, February 2 from 11:30AM-1:30PM.  We need 3-4 volunteers to help out.  Please let Fr. Ignatius know if you can volunteer this month.
Souls' Saturday Liturgy-
       On Saturday February 13 at 9AM, we will have a Souls' Saturday Liturgy to remember all of our departed loved ones.  Please pass along lists names of the departed to Fr. Ignatius, so that our brothers and sisters in Christ will be remembered at this Liturgy.
Roundtable Discussion with Mission Priests Article-
       Recently, Fr. Ignatius and other priests of missions in the Antiochian Archdiocese were asked a few questions relating to the beginning and continuing of the missions they serve.  You can find the article here.  http://www.antiochian.org/node/22158
Summer Church Camping Scholarships Available-
       The Antiochian Archdiocese has an excellent summer camping program for children ages 9-17.  One camp, Camp St. George (Aug. 15-21 this year) is right in Iowa.  Our parish receives scholarship money to be given to families who may otherwise have difficultiues in affording the cost of the camp.  If you would like to apply for scholarship money for your child to attend one of the Archdiocese camps this summer, please let Fr. Ignatius know before February 15.

First Week of Lent Service Schedule-
       Lent begins on the evening of February 14 with Forgiveness Vespers.  This year, we will be joining the faithful of St. John the Baptist Church in Cedar Rapids (510 A Ave. NE) for a 6PM service at their church.  Their bishop, Bishop Demetrios will be with us that evening.  Please take advantage of the wonderful and rich inheritance of prayer and worship that our Church offers to us, Her children.  Fr. Ignatius encourages you to make the time to attend at least one or two midweek services during this week.  Following, is the schedule for the whole first week of Lent.
February 14- Forgiveness Vespers, 6PM at St. John the Baptist, Cedar Rapids 
February 15- Compline with Canon of St. Andrew of Crete, 7PM
February 16- Compline with Canon of St. Andrew of Crete, 7PM
February 17- Presanctified Liturgy, 6PM
February 18- Compline with Canon of St. Andrew of Crete, 7PM
February 19- Compline with Akathist Hymn, 7PM
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 in Cedar Rapids, 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.
February 14- St. John the Baptist Church, 6PM
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
Thoughts on Stewardship-
       Stewardship is the Biblical teaching that we are given many things by God and we are called to be wise stewards, managing God's gifts to us so that they would benefit us and others.  Beginning today, in every emailed bulletin from St. Raphael this year, you will find a brief scriptural passage or other teaching on stewardship, and I will ask you the same two questions you see below.  Today's verse is:

Genesis 2: 15 … “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.”  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 7,  Meghan Gilpin and Tony Carter 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. Nicholas team.

Choir Leadership-
On Saturday, February 6,  Amy Jongeling will direct the choir for Vespers.  Lori Branch will direct the choir for matins and Liturgy on Sunday, February 7. 

Food For Thought-

Your birds awaken me in the morning, and the murmur of the lake lulls me to sleep in the evening.  But it is not the birds that awaken me, nor the lake that lulls me to sleep, but You, O Lord, Master of the voice.  You lend Your voice to the birds and the midnight murmur to the lake.  You have lent a voice to every throat, and have put a story into every creature.  I am surrounded by your heralds, as a student by many teachers, and I listen to them tirelessly from dawn until dusk.  O Lord, Master of the voice, speak more clearly through Your heralds!
The sun speaks to me about the radiance of Your countenance, and the stars about the harmony of Your being.  The sun speaks in one language, and the stars speak in a different langauge, but all the languages flow out of the same vocal cords.  The vocal cords belong to You, and You uttered the first sound that began to tremble in the deafness and formlessness of nothingness, and it broke into countless sounds and heralds, as a thundercloud breaks into rain drops.  O Lor, Master of the voice, speak more clearly through Your heralds!
One exclamation escaped the breast of the Bride of God when She saw Your Son- a voice filled with love that could not be contained in silence.  And that exclamation echoed in the heart of Her Son, and this echo- this response to the love of His Mother- the Holy Spirit has spread with His powerful arms throughout the entire universe.  Therefore, all the universe is filled with Your heralds, O my Song and my Love.  O Lord, Master of the voice, speak more clearly through Your heralds!
For this reason You also spoke in parables, O Son of God, and You would explain things and events as stories about the Most High God.  You cured the sick with words and raised the dead with words, for You recognized the mystery of love.  And the mystery of love is a mystery of words.  Through all creatures, as through piercing and blaring trumpets, words pour forth- and through words, the Love of Heaven.  O Lord, Master of the voice, teach me Your love through all Your heralds.
St. Nikolai Velimirovich, "Prayers by the Lake," XXVII