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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of March 21, 2010)

posted Mar 30, 2010, 8:12 AM by Ilya Buchkin

Pro-life Talk-

       On Monday, March 22, at 7PM, the president of Feminists for Life, Ms. Serrin M. Foster, will give a speech entitled "The Feminist Case Against Abortion" at Drake University in Des Moines.  This free speech will take place on campus in the Bulldog Theater of the Olmstead Center.  Feminists for Life has been leading a revolution on campus to educate students at highest risk of abortion about our rich pro-life feminist heritage and has been working to redirect the debate toward woman-centered solutions. Serrin’s landmark speech has been recognized as one of the "Great Speeches in History" in an anthology on Women's Rights.  Fr. Ignatius is planning on attending.  Please contact him if you would like a ride.

Feast of Annunciation Liturgy-
       A change has been made to the schedule of services on March 24 and 25.  Please disregard what is printed on the St. Raphael March calendar for these days.  Instead, of a Pre-Sanctified Liturgy, we will celebrate a Vesperal Liturgy for the feast of the Annunciation on Wednesday, March 24 at 6PM.  A meal will follow.  We need a volunteer to provide the food after this service.  Fish is allowed in honor of the feast.  There will be no service on Thursday, March 25.
 
Spring/ Pre-Pascha Church Clean-up Day-
       Please mark your calendars.  This Saturday afternoon, March 27, from 1PM-5PM, we need volunteers to come and help clean the church building in anticipation of Holy Week and Pascha.  Window cleaning, dusting, floor cleaning, bathroom cleaning, metal polishing and other chores need to be done to help make our building as beautiful as possible for this special time of year.  Please consider giving a few hours of your time on this day to help keep our building looking tidy.
  
Holy Week Schedule-
       We are on the door step of Holy Week.  Palm Sunday is just one week away!  Please plan now to be at as many services as is practical for you.  This is the most special time of the Church Year!  Here is our schedule:
 
Friday March 26- Compline with Canon of St. Lazarus, 7PM
Lazarus Saturday, March 27- Matins, 8:30AM; Liturgy, 10AM; Vespers, 6PM
Palm Sunday, March 28- Matins, 8:30AM; Liturgy with procession, 10AM; Bridegroom Matins, 7PM
Holy Monday, March 29- Bridegroom Matins, 7PM
Holy Tuesday, March 30- Bridegroom Matins, 7PM
Holy Wednesday, March 31- Pre-Sanctified Liturgy, 9AM; Holy Unction Service, 7PM
Holy Thursday, April 1- Vesperal Liturgy, 9AM; 12 Gospels Service, 7PM
Holy Friday, April 2- Royal Hours, 9AM; Vespers, 3PM; Lamentations Service with procession, 7PM, followed by Psalm reading through night
Holy Saturday, April 3- Vesperal Liturgy, 9AM; Rush Service, 11:40PM
Great and Holy Pascha, April 4- Paschal Matins and Liturgy, 12AM, followed by Paschal feast at church; Agape Vespers, 1PM, followed by Paschal picnic at Coralville Rec. Center, 2PM-5PM
 
There are numerous sign-up sheets posted at church related to Holy Week activities and services.  These include a sign-up for the Holy Friday Funeral Bier decoration sign-up, Holy Friday Psalm-reading Vigil sign-up, Paschal Red Egg sign-up, Paschal feast and Paschal picinic food sign-ups, and Agape Vespers Gospel reading sign-up.  In addition to these opportunities to serve the church and become involved, we also need choir members and altar servers at the extra services.
 
Paschal Greeting Cards-
       We have a small quantity of Pascha greeting cards for sale at the church bookstore.  The bookstore is open to browse through after services and while Fr. Ignatius is holding office hours.
 
Greetings from St. Raphael Member Luke Snyder-
       Fr. Ignatius recently was able to visit Luke Snyder, a member of our parish who is currently incarcerated.  Luke sends his greetings to all of you.  He appreciates receiving letters and cards and he values your prayers for him.  If you would like to send him a Paschal geeting and you need his address, please contact Fr. Ignatius.  His address has changed from what is printed in the parish directory.
 
Seeking Donations for Holy Week/Pascha Flowers-
       During this special time of the year, we desire that our church look as beautiful as possible and part of that means decorating with flowers for a few of the servcies.  Flowers have been ordered, but the parish council is asking for donations to help cover the cost as we were not able to budget anything this year for liturgical decoarations such as flowers.  Please contact our treasurer Tania Van Dinter if you would like to donate toward the cost. 
  
Vespers and Dinner At St. George with Bishop MARK-
       On Saturday, April 17, following Vespers at 5:00PM, St. George Church in Cedar Rapids is hosting a dinner to benefit Camp St. George scholarships.  His Grace Bishop MARK will be visiting St. George Church that weekend, to be with them as they celebrate their patronal feast.  For more information, including how to purchase tickets, see attached flier.
 
Parish-Wide Discussion on Sunday April 18-
       Following Liturgy, we will hold a parish-wide discussion during coffee hour.  We will discuss and evaluate our current system of rotating teams to provide foood for coffee hour, give an update on our church finances and discuss priorities regarding future projects with the building and fundraisers.
 
The Theology of Orthodox Church Architecture-
       In the manner of how things are done in the Church nothing is meaningless.  From music to iconography to architecture, all of these things are meant contribute to bringing mankind into communion with God.  For a fascinating article on the theology and meaning of traditional Orthodox church architecture, written by a premier American Orthodox architect, go to http://www.newworldbyzantine.com/articles/pdf/12571623810822660.pdf.
 
Antiochian Women's Scholarships Available-
       Scholarships are available for women who:
1. Are 25 years of age or older
2. Are active members in good standing at an Antiochian parish or mission
3. Are enrolled in or accepted to an academic or trade study program
4. Demonstarte financial need
For more information, please contact Fr. Ignatius. The deadline to apply is May 14.
  
A Call for Recipes-
       Karen Kuntz and Amy Spencer are beginning to collect recipes for a St. Raphael’s cookbook that will include both Lenten and regular food from all the cultures represented at our church. Please contact either one of them about including your favorite recipes.
 
March Parish Council Minutes-
       The March 2010 Parish Council meeting minutes are attached for your information.
 
Thoughts on Stewardship-
            St. John Chrysostom- “For what did not they of old do?  They gave tithes, and tithes again upon tithes for orphans, widows, and strangers; whereas some one was saying to me in astonishment of another person, ‘Why, such a one gives tithes!’ What a load of disgrace does this imply, since what was not a matter of wonder with the Jews has come to be so in the case of the Christians? If there was a danger then in omitting tithes, think how great it must be now!”
 
         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, March 28,  the Wiblin/Kuntz family 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. John the Baptist team.

Choir Leadership-
       On Saturday, March 27,  Tania Van Dinter will direct the choir for Vespers.   Tania will direct the choir for matins and Liturgy on Sunday, March 28. 

Food For Thought-
 
O ye choirs of the righteous, rejoice like David in the Lord today, and all ye that are upright in heart, make your boast in Him, looking upon Mary who is worthy of our praise.  Completing her life in holiness, she has been glorified by God with miracles and many acts of power, which show to us and all tha faithful what honour she enjoys in heaven, and what boldness she has gained in the presence of the Master.  At her prayers, O Christ our God, grant salvation to our souls.
 
Stichera from the Litia of St. Mary of Egypt-  To read the full and very edifying Life of St. Mary of Egypt, go to http://www.dowama.org/sites/docs/TheLifeofourHolyMotherMaryofEgypt.pdf
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