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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of June 5, 2011)

posted Jul 10, 2011, 6:35 PM by Ilya Buchkin
No Matins Monday-
      
There will be no matins on Monday, June 6.
 
Free Lunch Program Volunteering-
       St. Raphael Church is scheduled to send volunteers to help serve lunch at the Free Lunch Program this Tuesday, June 7 from 11:30AM-1:30PM.  If you are able to help out for all or part of this time, please let Fr. Ignatius know.

Pentecost Services-
      
On Sunday, June 12, we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Church at the Feast of Pentecost.  Following our normal schedule of Sunday morning services, we will gather again for Kneeling Vespers at 6PM.
 
Parish Camping Trip/Liturgy in the Park-
       On Father's Day weekend, we will have services and meals together outdoors at lovely secluded FW Kent Park, 3 miles west of Iowa City on Hwy. 6.  The camping is free, but those camping need to bring their own tents and sleeping bags. Sign up sheets and maps are available at church. Even if you don't come for the camping, please come for our regular liturgy.  The schedule for the weekend is as follows:

Sat. June 18, Noon: Camping opens at Youth Camp Area #5. *Please sign up at church if you will be camping overnight.
Sat. June 18, 6pm: Vespers at the Bob White Shelter.  Cookout and camping overnight for those who wish.
Sun. June 19, 8:45 Matins, 10 am Liturgy, at the Bob White Shelter.  Regular coffee hour meal/potluck/cookout afterwards, followed by fun and fishing for kids.
 
Parish Council Meeting-
       The June 2011 Parish Council meeting will be on Monday, June 13 at 7PM.  All are welcome to attend.
 
Food For Hungry People Collection-
       During Lent, we collected $325.79 to go to the Antiochian Archdiocese Food For Hungry People Program.  Thank you to all who generously gave.

Orthodox News from Around the World-
       Did you know that there are Orthodox Christians in both Japan and Indonesia?  Both of these countries have suffered through recent natural disasters: Indonesia, a volcano; and Japan, an earthquake and tsunami. For updates on how Orthodox Christians in these countries are recovering and also helping those around them to recover from the devastation of these events go to the world news section of www.orthodoxnews.com to read relevant articles.

Iowa City Hospice Volunteering-
      
The Iowa City Hospice announces an upcoming series of training sessions for volunteers.  This training program will give volunteers all the tools they need to provide services directly to Iowa City Hospice patients, family members and care providers.  Pre-registration is required and all sessions must be attended.  Session dates and times are Monday, June 20, 8AM-2PM; Wednesday, June 22, 8AM-2PM; Friday, June 24, 8AM-2PM.  All sessions are at the Iowa City Public Library.  To register, contact Sarah Neary at sarah.neary@iowacityhospice.org or (319) 688-4216 by June 13. 

Parish Life Conference-
       The 64th annual Midwest Diocese Parish Life Conference will be hosted by St. George Orthodox Church of Cleveland, OH from June 15-19 2011.  For more information, go to: www.stgeorgecleveland.com     
    
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-
       On Sunday, June 12, the holy bread will be provided by the Surguladze/Boriuk family.  Thank you in advance.  Anyone who wants to provide the holy bread can sign up to do so.

Choir Leadership-
       
During the weekend of June 11-12, Matthew Arndt will lead the choir.

Coffee Hour-
      On Sunday June 12, the food for coffee hour and clean-up of the fellowship hall will be provided by the St. Raphael team. 

Church Cleaning-
      
During the week following Sunday, June 5, the St. Nina team will clean the nave, narthex, bookstore/library, stairs, bathrooms and nursery room.
       
Food For Thought-
 
In his remarkable treatise, On Repentance, Mark the Monk (430AD) writes: "the person who knows reality does not repent for things done or wrongs remembered; rather, he confesses to God about things to come."  The mystery of repentance is not, in other words, a backward-looking reflection upon evils committed in the past but a courageous forward movement into life.  It is an act of faith.  "This thing I do," writes St. Paul, "forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead" (Phil. 3:13).  When the Baptist John cries "Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is coming" (Mt. 3:2), he is alerting our attention forward, to the future.
 
Hesychius the Elder, who lived in the desert of Mt. Sinai during the ninth century, similarly envisions repentance not as a return to something in the past but as the anticipation of a "reward from God."  The world may turn backward, as did the Jordan River at the baptism of its Creator, but in Christ, who "has overcome the world," we are called to transcend the criteria of the world.
 
Repentance, accordingly, becomes not repellant magnification of our deformity but an attractive reflection of God's beauty.  It is an invitation not to hopeless guilt but to freedom and responsibility.  The purpose is not that we be ashamed, as though this were an end in itself.  Demoralization is not the goal.  The aim, rather, is true life, a life characterized by honesty, integrity and personal accountability to God, to all others, and to oneself.  Only such a life can bring inner peace and happiness.  We are thus told by our Lord: "go and sin no more'...
 
Just as repentance, then, does not begin with our determination to make changes in our life but with God's determination that we be saved, so also repentance is not a matter of doing or acquiring something, but of relinquishing our life into the loving hands of our Savior.  Repentance , like baptism, is an act of faith and surrender, and this implies a kind of death.  It requires unlearning all our self-centered behavior, undoing all our willfulness, and letting go of all our our self-conceit.  It is an act of trust, a risk.  This is not a precondition for God to love us.  God has already shown us the unconditional nature and extent of His love in Christ.  Every day, He shows us His love for us in multitudinous ways, not least of which is the simple fact that we "are."  However, if we wish to love Him in return, if we wish to know life in its fullness, if we wish to become one with God, the source and giver of life, we must repent.
 
Deacon John Chryssavgis, "Soul Mending: The Art of Spiritual Direction" pp. 3, 6
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