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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of January 9, 2011)

posted Jan 18, 2011, 10:55 AM by Ilya Buchkin
Many Years!-
       Congratulations to Evgeny Arshava and Yulia Matveeva on the baptism of their daughter Katya, yesterday at St. Raphael Church.      
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. 
Holy Water Available-
       Holy water is always available at church for use in the home or where ever you may want to use it. Orthodox Christians drink holy water when we are sick, and we bless our homes, cars, and other spaces with it. 
Catechumen Classes Beginning-
       All are welcome to attend Catechumen classes which begin this Saturday, January 15 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.
Wine Donations-
       To compliment the savory food that we will be serving, we will be serving wine and other beverages at the February 5 Evening in the East.  We are looking for donations of wine, one bottle, or many.  Please contact Amy Spencer at edit@kctc.net if you are able to donate some wine.
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 18 gifts totaling $9805 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.

Plight of Christians in Egypt-
       "Archdiocese Calls for Congressional Hearing on the Pattern of Escalating Violence Against the Christian Minority in Egypt"     
       "Shortly after midnight on January 1, 2011 as a Coptic Christian mass was concluding, a suicide bomber exploded a bomb as the Christian congregation was leaving The Saints Church in the port city of Alexandria, Egypt. The innocent worshippers were gathered to give thanks for the New Year. At least 25 were killed and more than 90 were injured in the attack. This was one of the most heinous terrorist attacks on a Coptic Christian church in over a decade, and it marks a serious escalation of organized violence against the Coptic Christian minority in Egypt.  The Egyptian President, Husni Mubarak has condemned the barbaric attack on this church which not only killed Christians, but wounded some Muslims in a nearby mosque.  We condemn these barbaric acts of hatred and targeted persecution against our brethren in Egypt. We demand a Congressional hearing on this and other heinous attacks against the Christian population in Egypt, and we expect the United States Congress to take action to address the painful absence of basic and fundamental human rights in Egypt."

+ The Office of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America – Englewood, NJ

His Eminence Metropolitan Philip calls on all supporters of the Christian minority of Egypt to write their congressional representatives with this same message of solidarity. 

FOCUS North America-
Your Graces, Reverend Clergy and Faithful of this God-protected Archdiocese,

In North America, we have millions of unemployed, working poor, people who go to bed hungry, elderly who must choose between food and medicine, homeless, and so many others in need.  FOCUS North America, which to us Orthodox is a Fellowship of Orthodox Christians United to Serve, provides food, occupations, clothing, understanding and shelter for our most needy neighbors.  It is a vehicle that provides a way for the faithful of all the Orthodox Churches of North America to give a common and powerful witness of our faith through social action ministries and love for our neighbor.

I commend to you and endorse the good works of FOCUS North America and strongly encourage all of our faithful to generously support and volunteer with this worthy ministry.  It is my prayer that through God's mercy and the ministry of FOCUS North America that many hurting and hopeless men, women and children in this land will come to know the love of God and the hope offered through His Church.

Paternally yours,
Metropolitan PHILIP
The Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America

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.

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.   

Coffee Hour-
      On Sunday, January 16, the food for coffee hour and clean-up of the fellowship hall will be provided by the St. Nina team.
Church Cleaning-
     During the week following Sunday, January 16, the St. Nicholas team will clean the nave, narthex, bathrooms, stairs, bookstore and nursery room.
Food For Thought-

       Do you believe, my sons, what I am telling you?  Once I saw the devil standing very tall.  He dared to claim he was the power and providence of God and he said to me, "What do you want me to give you, Anthony?"  But I spat hard in his face and attacked him, protecting my whole self against him with the name of Christ: at once this tall figure of his disappeared just as I was about to get hold of him.  While I was fasting he appeared to me as a monk and offered me bread, trying to persuade me in the following words to eat and indulge this poor body of mine a little, "You, too, are human," he said, "and limited by human weakness.  Cease your efforts for awhile, otherwise illness may snatch you away."  At once I recognized that serpent's ghastly face, and when I sought refuge as usual in the protection of Christ, he vanished like smoke wafting through an open window.  In the desert he frequently tried to trap me with gold or to defile me by making me touch it.  While I was being thrashed (for I admit that I was often beaten by the demons), I would chant words such as these, No one will separate me from the love of Christ.  When they heard this, the demons turned on one another and were put to flight not at my command but at the Lord's....
From "The Life of St. Anthony" by St. Athanasius