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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of June 26, 2011)

posted Jul 10, 2011, 6:37 PM by Ilya Buchkin
      The Apostle's Fast ends with the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul on Wednesday, June 29.  If you have any questions about the exact fasting rules during this period, consult the printed St. Raphael calendar or talk with Fr. Ignatius.

St. Raphael Calendars-
The July-August St. Raphael calendars showing the serevices and other events for the next two months are now printed and available at church.

Christ Blessing the Children Icon-
We have obtained a new icon which will be kept on a low stand in the church narthex.  It depicts Christ blessing the children.  It is purposefully placed so as to be accessible for veneration by young children.

Episcopal Elections-

       At the Archdiocese Convention which will be held in Chicago from July 25-31, among the decisions to be made, the clergy and lay delegates will be nominating two episcopal candidates who will then be elected by the Synod of Bishops.  It is likely that one of the two men elected will become our new bishop.  The seven candidates are: Rt. Rev. Archimandrite John Abdalah, Rt. Rev. Archimandrite Michel Boghos, Rev. Jeremy Davis, Rt. Rev. Archimandrite Daniel Griffith, Rt. Rev. Archimandrite Daniel Keller, Rt. Rev. Archimandrite Anthony Michaels and Rt. Rev. Archimandrite Nicholas Ozone.  Printed copies of the biographies of each of the candidates are available in the narthex.  Links to the biographies can be found online at www.antiochian.org/auxiliary-bishop-candidates.  Fr. Ignatius is interested in any opinions members of St. Raphael Church have on these men.  Your voice matters in this process and Fr. Ignatius will take your opinions into consideration when he casts votes in July.  For descriptions of some Biblical qualifications for a bishop, read Titus 1:7-9 and I Timothy 3:1-7.

 Upcoming Service-
       On Tuesday June 28, we will celebrate the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul with a Vesperal Liturgy at 6PM.

Free Lunch Program Volunteering-
Our next turn to volunteer at the Free Lunch Program is Tuesday, July 5 from 11:30AM-1:30PM.  Please let Fr. Ignatius know if you are able to help this month.
Nuns from Convent of St. Elisabeth, Minsk, Belarus to Visit Iowa-
On Wednesday, July 6, two nuns from St. Elisabeth Convent in Minsk, Belarus will be visiting St. George Church in Cedar Rapids (3650 Cottage Grove Ave. SE).  Vespers will be served at 6PM followed by a supper and a presentation from the nuns.  Their monastery supports charitable work in Minsk among the mentally disabled and drug and alcohol addicts.  They will be selling icons, and other church items and crafts in order to raise money for their work.  Please join Fr. Ignatius and Fr. Fred in welcoming the nuns and please consider supporting their work by purchasing some of the items they will offer.  Attached is a poster explaining their visit.
Taking the Gospel to the Ends of the Earth-
       As Christians, we have a responsibility to share God's love and to preach the saving message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ "to the ends of the earth".  The following two videos show Orthodox Church work in two remote places on our planet: the drought-stricken region of Northern Kenya inhabited by the nomadic Turkana tribe; and  the Antartica, the forgotten continent.  Following are two videos showing what Orthodox Christians are doing in these two parts of the world.  http://youtu.be/VvtHcLydf-8 and http://byztex.blogspot.com/2011/06/russian-temple-in-antartica.html.

Annual Archdiocese Financial Report-
A copy of the Archdiocesan Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year which ended on January 31, 2011 is available at church for anyone to look at.  In addition, a copy of the proposed budget for the fiscal year ending January 31, 2013 is available to see.  This budget will be discussed and voted on at the Archdiocese Convention in Chicago at the end of July.

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 July 3, the food for coffee hour will be provided by the St. Nicholas team.
Holy Bread-
       On Sunday, July 3, the Surguladze/Boriuk family will provide the holy bread for Liturgy.  Thank you in advance.  All are welcome to sign-up to provide holy bread.  A sign-up sheet is located on the bulletin board in the narthex.

Church Cleaning-
       During the week following Sunday, June 26, the St. Raphael team will clean the nave, narthex, bookstore/library, stairs, bathrooms and nursery room.

Food For Thought-
When the messengers of John had departed, He [Jesus] began to speak to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?  But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed those who are gorgeously appareled and live in luxury are in kings’ courts.  But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet.  This is he of whom it is written: 

      ‘ Behold, I send My messenger before Your face,
      Who will prepare Your way before You.’

For I say to you, among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” And when all the people heard Him, even the tax collectors justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John.  But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.  And the Lord said, “To what then shall I liken the men of this generation, and what are they like?  They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another, saying: 
‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;  We mourned to you, and you did not weep.’ 

For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’  The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’  But wisdom is justified by all her children.”

Luke 7:24-35, The Nativity of St. John John the Baptist and Forerunner was celebrated on June 24