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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of June 14, 2009)

posted Jun 15, 2009, 8:05 AM by Ilya Buchkin

College St. Building Update
        The red oak floor is progressing nicely. Work on it continues this week. Radon mitigation is scheduled to begin this week. Plumbing work is still to be scheduled. Two new donated icon panels that match the four main panels on our current iconostasis were delivered last Friday. The framework to hold the six panels to make up our new iconostasis is now being constructed. Attached is a picture showing the floor and the very beginnings of the iconostasis, as it looks today. The Council is considering how much work can be done/afforded to improve the drainage from the downspouts away from the building in order to keep the basement dry. We are planning to make the move from Iowa Ave. to College St. beginning on Friday evening June 26 and continuing on Saturday June 27. Please save the dates so that you are available to help. We plan to have vespers on June 27, and matins and Liturgy on June 28, in the new building. If at any time you have questions about the process of our repairs and renovations to the new building and our move there, please don't hesitate to speak with Fr. Ignatius, or a parish council member.

Nominations for New Icons Being Sought
       The iconostasis in the new building will hold six main icons as opposed to our current four. Fr. Ignatius is asking for nominations of saints to be depicted on the two new panels. The deacons St. Stephen and St. Lawrence have been nominated, as have the Archangels Michael and Gabriel. Since these two are matching pairs, they will be voted on as pairs. In other words, when the final vote is held, if you vote for the Archangel Gabriel you are also voting for the Archangel Michael and cannot vote for any other choices. The same holds true for Sts. Stephen and Lawrence. Please contact Fr. Ignatius by this Thursday, June 18 with your nominations. We will schedule a brief Special Voters' meeting following Liturgy on Sunday June 28 to vote on the nominees. Then we will submit the top vote getters to Bishop MARK for his approval. Please consider: 1. The saints have to be considered Orthodox. 2. Because we are not having originals painted, we have to be able to find an existing image of the saint that can properly be reproduced to match the size of the other four, and the image has to be of a style that will make sense visually when it is on the iconostasis with the other icons. Fr. Ignatius and the Parish Council will make any final decisions regarding coherence of style.

Akathist for Sts. Peter and Paul
       On the first day of the Apostles' Fast, Monday June 15 at 7PM, we will gather to pray the Akathist to the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul. These two saints are the patrons of our Patiarchate of Antioch, as they both ministered in Antioch before they ended up in Rome. The Metropolitans of the Holy Synod of Antioch will be meeting, beginning on June 16th. Among the things that they will be discussing is the situation and concerns of the North American Church vis-a-vis the decision they made on February 24th, which changed the status of our bishops here in America. Let us ask these Holy Apostles to pray to the Lord that His will would be done through the decisions of this meeting, and that the North American Church would be strengthened and continue in peace.

Apostles' Fast Begins June 15
       We will enter into one of the four major fasting seasons of the Church year beginning on June 15 and going through June 28, being ended by the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul on June 29. Consult Fr. Ignatius or the green monthly St. Raphael calendar if you have any specific questions regarding the fast.

Thank You From Bishop MARK
       "Dear Fr. Ignatius, members of the parish council and beloved faithful,

Christ is in our midst! He is and ever shall be!

I would like to thank you all for the gracious hospitality that was given to me during my recent visit to St. Raphael Mission. It was truly a blessing to spend valuable time with all of you: especially meeting with the youth on Friday evening and the parish council for breakfast on Saturday morning. I would also like to congratulate you on your new worship space, and I pray for continued growth as we build up the body of Christ.

I am also most grateful for the hospitality and generosity of Dr. John and Michelle Bayouth, Catherine, Lauren and Ellis who hosted me at their home.

May God bestow his blessings upon all of you and I pray to visit with you again soon.

In Christ,
+Bishop Mark"

Saints Alive Book Study
       If there is enough interest (at least 5 people,) we will start a book study called "Saints Alive" on Thursday evenings after Akathist (8PM) beginning sometime this summer. This series is subtitles "Missionaries, Monks and Martyrs" and books that are covered include books on the life of St. Innocent of Alaska, St. Raphael of Brooklyn, St. Seraphim of Sarov, St. Maria (Skobtsova) of Paris, and St. Luke of Simferopol. How this study works, is that each person is assigned to read one of the books, and that person then reports of his or her book to the group. Go to http://www.antiochian.org/sites/antiochian.org/files/Saints_ALIVE-09.pdf for more information on the books to be read and discussed.

Choir Rehearsal for Khouri-Dancer Wedding
       To prepare for the July 12 wedding of Juliana Khouri and Frank Dancer, which will take place at St. George Church in Cedar Rapids, those who plan on singing in the choir should meet at St. Raphael (Iowa Ave.) on Saturday, June 20 at 10AM.

Midwest Diocese Parish Life Conference
       St. James Antiochian Church in Loveland, OH (suburban Cincinnati) is hosting the 2009 Midwest Diocese Parish Life Conference on July 1-5. This conference is for all and not just for clergy! Among the highlights on the schedule are two excellent presenters, Drs. Dan and Jane Hinshaw, from the University of Michigan, who will be presenting on "An Orthodox Approach to End-of-Life Issues". Fr. Ignatius heard part of this presentation last year and he highly recommends what they have to say, especially to those who are involved in the medical field. Please go to http://www.stjamesloveland.org/2009plc/2009plc.html for more information on the conference and to register.

Camp St. George
       It's that time of year again. Camp St. George is right around the corner, August 9-15. If your child is planning on attending, it is time to complete the application. All necessary documents are available for download at www.campstgeorge.org. This is a wonderful opportunity for our children ages 9-17 to experience a fun, safe, faith-filled week of summer camp. It is highly recommended by those who have attended. If you are interested in volunteering as an adult staff member, please contact Fr. Ignatius.

Archdiocese Annual Financial Report
       A copy of the Archdiocese's Annual Financial Report is available at church for any one who is interested to look at.

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
       We need volunteers to bring holy bread and food for coffee hour on Sunday, June 21. Please contact Fr. Ignatius if you can do either. Anybody who would like to host the coffee hour or bake the holy bread can sign up at church to do so.

Food For Thought

Having children is a matter of nature; but raising them and educating them in the virtues is a matter of mind and will.
By the duty of raising them I mean not only not allowing them to die of hunger, as people often limit their obligation toward their children to doing. For this, is needed neither books nor rubrics, for nature speaks of it quite loudly. I am speaking of the concern for educating children's hearts in virtues and piety-a sacred duty which cannot be transgressed without thereby becoming guilty of the childrens murder, in a certain sense.
Your children will always be sufficiently wealthy if they receive from you a good upbringing that is able to order their moral life and behavior. Thus, strive not to make them rich, but rather to make them pious masters of their passions, rich in virtues. Teach them not to think up illusory needs, reckoning their worth according to worldly standards. Attentively watch their deeds, their acquaintances and their attachments-and do not expect any mercy from God if you do not fulfill this duty.
Children who are submissive and faithful to God in their obedience to His law will have found an abundant source of happiness, even in this temporal life. A poor man with Christian morals inspires respect and love from others. Meanwhile, with an evil and depraved heart, all your riches will not save you from the displeasure and aversion of everyone around you.
The youth to whom you give a good upbringing will not only enjoy general respect, he will also become dearer to you yourselves! Your attachment to him will not be a mere natural attraction-it will be the fruit of his virtue. For this, during your old age, you will in turn receive from him the services of his filial love. He will be your support. For just as those who do not revere the Lord also have contempt for their own parents, those who revere God, the Father of all men, will have every respect for those who gave them life.
...Do you want your child to be obedient? Then from the beginning bring him up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Do not think that it is not necessary for a child to listen to the Scriptures; the first thing he will hear from them will be, Honor thy father and mother (Ex. 20:12), and immediately you will begin to reap your reward. Do not say, Bible is for monks; am I turning my child into a monk? No! It is not necessary for him to be a monk. Make him into a Christian! Why are you afraid of something so good? It is necessary for everyone to know Scriptural teachings, and this is especially true for children. Not knowing divine truths, they do know something of the pagan stories, learning from them about wondrous lives, about heroes in their sight, who served the passions and were afraid of death. Such an example is Achilles, inconsolably dying for his mistress; another who gives himself over to drunkenness, and on and on! Therefore your children need remedies for these things, in the retribution and teachings of the Lord.
We are so concerned with our children's schooling; if only we were equally zealous in bringing them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord! And then we wonder why we reap such bitter fruit when we have raised our children to be insolent, licentious, impious, and vulgar. May this never happen; instead, let us heed the blessed Paul's admonition to bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Let us give them a pattern to imitate; from their earliest years let us teach them to study the Bible. He repeats this over and over again, you say, we are sick of listening to it. Never will I stop doing my duty!

St. John Chrysostom, Excerpted from "Admonitions for Parents: Lessons by our Holy Father John Chrysostomos on Parenting" found at http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/parenting.aspx