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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of March 22, 2009)

posted Mar 22, 2009, 8:32 PM by Arian Kulp

Pan-Orthodox Vespers-
       The Iowa Orthodox Christian Clergy Association (IOCCA) is sponsoring Sunday evening pan-Orthodox Vespers services at 5:30PM throughout Lent.  The faithful of St. Raphael Church, and both St. George Church and St. John the Baptist Church of Cedar Rapids will be worshipping together at each other's churches.  On Sunday, March 29, we will be worshipping at St. George Church, 3650 Cottage Grove Ave SE, Cedar Rapids.

Pre-Sanctified Liturgies-
       On Wednesday evenings during Lent, we will celebrate the Pre-Sanctified Liturgy at 6PM, except on March 25, when we will have a Vesperal Liturgy for the Annunciation.  The sermons during the Pre-Sanctified Liturgies will focus on the Anaphora prayer of St. Basil's Liturgy.  Each Wednesday evening service service will be followed by a simple lenten soup supper.  We need volunteers to bring the soup each week.  A sign-up sheet is posted at church for these meals.
Friday Evenings During Lent-
       On Friday evenings during Lent, we will celebrate Little Compline with the Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos at 7PM.
Feast of Annunciation Potluck-
       On Wednesday March 25 at 6PM, we will celebrate the joyous feast of the Annunciation, at which we remember the coming in the flesh of the Son of God in the womb of the Virgin Mary.  Following this Vesperal Liturgy, we will have a potluck at which fish will be allowed.  A sign-up sheet is posted at church for this meal.

 Orthodox Parenting Retreat-
       The Iowa Orthodox Christian Clergy Association is happy to bring Kh. Maggie Hock to Cedar Rapids for a one-day retreat on Saturday, April 4 at St. George Church.  Kh. Maggie is the Director of the Dept. of Marriage and Parish Family Ministries of the Antiochian Archdiocese. She will present on parenting and raising families on a path to holiness, based on the writings of St. Theophan. Please make plans to be at St. George on April 4 for what promises to be an enriching, edifying experience.  A schedule and registration form can be accessed at http://sites.google.com/site/ioccaweb. The deadline to register is March 29.
A Reminder Regarding Confession-
       The fasting seasons of the Church, and especially Great Lent, are times during which Orthodox Christians should be examining themselves and taking advantage of the blessings and forgiveness that the Sacrament of Confession offers to us.  If it has been awhile since you have made a confession, it is never too late.  Fr. Ignatius is available to hear confessions after most services, especially after Vespers on Saturday evenings, at the end of matins on Sunday morning (about 9:45AM) and by appointment. 
Holy Week is Coming-
       Orthodox Christians take Holy Week seriously- there are services every day and the numbers of people increase as the week goes on.  In these wonderful, life-giving days we participate in the events by which Christ our God saved us.  As much as possible, set other things aside this week and come to church.  If you can't get to church, pray at home. 
       Holy Week Schedule
       Friday April 10- 7PM Little Compline with Canon of St. Lazarus
       Lazarus Saturday, April 11- 8:45AM Matins, 10AM Liturgy, 6PM 9th Hour/Vespers
       Palm Sunday, April 12- 8:45 AM Matins, 10AM Liturgy, 7PM Bridegroom Matins
       Holy Monday, April 13- 7PM Bridegroom Matins
       Holy Tuesday, April 14- 7PM Bridegroom Matins
       Holy Wednesday, April 15- 9AM Pre-Sanctified Liturgy, 7PM Holy Unction Service
       Holy Thursday, April 16- 9AM Vesperal Liturgy, 7PM Service of the Twelve Passion Gospels
       Holy Friday, April 17- 9AM Royal Hours, 3PM Great Vespers, 7PM Lamentations followed by all-night Psalm-reading vigil
       Holy Saturday, April 18- 9AM Vesperal Liturgy, 11:30PM Rush Service
       Holy Pascha, April 19- Midnight Paschal Matins & Liturgy followed by feast, 1PM Agape Vespers followed by Paschal Picnic
Holy Week Sign-up Sheets-
       Posted at church, are sign-up sheets for Holy Friday Psalm-Reading Vigil, Holy Friday Funeral Bier Decoration, Red Eggs for Pascha, Food for Paschal Feast and Gospel-reading at Agape Vespers.

Save the Date!-
       Bishop MARK is scheduled to make an archpastoral visit with us the weekend of May 8-10.  A more detailed schedule will be released soon.  Please keep this weekend open on your calendar so that you may be able to spend it with His Grace.  
New Choir Music Stands for Choir-
       The church recently purchased six new heavy duty music stands for use with our choir as our current ones are about six years old and are not standing up well.  Thank you to Tania Van Dinter for getting us a good deal.  Because the choir does not have a large budget at all, we are seeking donations to help cover the cost.  If every choir member (or friend of a choir member) contributed $20, they would be paid off. 

Lost and Found Items-
       Our Lost and Found area is getting very unruly.  Please look it over and claim any items which are yours.  We will be clearing items out and disposing of them soon.  
Lenten Appeal from Project Mexico-
       Help make a difference this Lent!  Does your home keep you warm and dry?  For thousands of Mexican families, "home" is a crude dwelling that leaves them susceptible to the elements.  Babies and elderly DIE when it rains.  Also, countless children roam the streets- orphaned, abandoned or abused.  With your help, we can make a difference.  Since 1988, over 7,000 Orthodox youth have helped Project Mexico build more than 180 homes for poor families.  Award-winning St. Innocent Orthodox Orphanage provides a loving and caring home for orphan teenage boys.  There's still so much to do!  Please donate at www.projectmexico.org.  "Give something however small to the one in need; for it is not small to the one who has nothing; neither is it small to God, if we have given what we could." - St. Gregory of Nazianzus

Prayer on Behalf of the Victims of Abortion-
       On Saturdays at 10AM during Lent, on the sidewalk in front of the Emma Goldman clinic at 227 E. Dubuque St. in Iowa City, Fr. Ignatius will be praying the Office of Prayer and Supplication for the Victims of Abortion and the Akathist of Repentance For One Who Has Aborted a Child.  Please join him if the Lord leads you.  This will be a time of prayer and repentance, and not a protest.

Holy Bread and Coffee Hour-
       On Sunday March 29 the Holy Bread will be brought by the Van Dinter family.  Food for coffee hour will be brought by the Johnson family.  Thank you in advance.
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.

Food For Thought:

Pilate set up three crosses in the place of the Skull, two for the thieves and one for the Giver of Life. Seeing Him, hell cried to those below: "O my ministers and powers! Who is this that has fixed a nail in my heart? A wooden spear has pierced me suddenly, and I am torn apart. Inwardly I suffer; anguish has siezed my belly and my senses. My spirit trembles, and I am constrained to cast out Adam and his posterity. A tree brought them to my realm, but now the Tree of the Cross brings them back again to Paradise."

Ikos from the Matins Canon of the Sunday of the Cross, the Third Sunday of Lent