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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of March 28, 2010)

posted Mar 30, 2010, 8:14 AM by Ilya Buchkin

Holy Week is Here!-
       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. 

No Office Hours This Week-
       Fr. Ignatius will not have any regularly scheduled office hours this week.  However, if you want to schedule a time for Fr. Ignatius to hear a confession, he would be happy to do so, as long as it doesn't conflict with a service.  Please contact him by phone or email to make an appointment.
Funeral Bier Decorating-
       During the services of Friday evening and Saturday morning, we use a representation of the funeral bier of our Lord.  On Friday, following Royal Hours at about 11AM, we will be decorating the bier with flowers.  If you are interested to help decorate, your help would be very appreciated.
Dyeing Red Eggs-
       The egg, as a symbol of life, has been associated with Pascha for a long time.  It is said that St. Mary Magdalene used the egg as an illustration for the Lord's Resurrection when she was sharing the faith with Emperor Claudius.  Several families signed up to provide red eggs for Pascha.  Thank you.  If you need to purchase the red dye, it is available in the church bookstore for $2 a packet.
Paschal Baskets-
       Since we have been abstaining from many different types of food during the Lenten fast, we joyously now include those foods in our celebration of the Lord's Resurrection.  If you plan to bring a paschal basket of cheese and meat and other goodies to be blessed at the Paschal Midnight service, please place it on the solea (raised step by the iconostasis) between the icons of Christ and St. John the Forerunner, before the end of the Liturgy.
Reading of Gospel in Languages other than English-
       During the Agape Vespers service at 1PM on Sunday, we read the Gospel in as many languages as we are able.  We are blessed with people from many different parts of the globe in this parish.  Please sign up on the bulletin board, to read John 20:19-25.  Check with Fr. Ignatius or Karen Kuntz if you would like to look at a copy of the text.  The church has the text in several different languages.
Paschal Picnic at Coralville Rec. Center-
       Just in case you didn't have enough food and fellowship at 3AM after the Paschal Midnight service, come to Agape Vespers at 1PM and then join us at the Coralville Rec. Center n(1506 8th St., Coralville) for more food and fellowship.  This is a potluck, please sign-up.  There will be an Easter Egg hunt for young children.
Thank You-
       We had a succesful Spring Clean-up Day at church on Saturday.  Thank you to all who spent time making our church building look beautiful for these upcoming days.
Food for Hungry People Boxes-
       If you have taken a Food for Hungry People box home with you during Lent, it is soon time to bring it back to church .   After Pascha, we will consolidate what was collected and send it in so that those who need the help can benefit from it.  Cash and check donations can also be made to this worthy program.  Please write checks to St. Raphael Orthodox Church and mark them Food for Hungry People on the memo line.
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 decorations such as flowers.  Please contact our treasurer Tania Van Dinter if you would like to donate toward the cost. 
Pascha: The Resurrection of Christ TV Special to Air-
       Local Cedar Rapids-Iowa City NBC affiliate KWWL (Channel 7) will air the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese-produced "Pascha: The Resurrection of Christ" at 5AM on Sunday April 4. 
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, contact St. George Church at 319-363-1559
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.
Walk for Life to Benefit Choices Medical Clinic-
       Choices Medical Clinic serves women by offering free services such as: pregnancy testing, STD testing, pap smears, obstetrical ultrasound, early prenatal care, referrals for OB care and social services, adoption liasons and referrals to adoption services, etc.  They do this to offer life-affirming alternatives to an unexpected pregnancy.  On Saturday, May 1st, Choices Medical Clinic will have three different sites at which sponsored walkers can conduct the 2010 Walk for Life: City Park, Kent Park, and Lake MacBride Park.  This fundraising event supports an organization that provides real help for women who may be contemplating abortion.  For more information: go to www.informedchoiceia.org
CONNECT 2010 Program in Lebanon-
       CONNECT 2010 will be taking place from July 1 to 28, 2010, at the main campus of Balamand University in the peaceful hills of North Lebanon. CONNECT is addressed to youth ages 17-25 in the United States and Canada with the goal of introducing them to the heritage, language, and culture of the region and to the Church of Antioch.   It is a global learning experience for all. Dozens of Orthodox youth have participated in previous CONNECT Programs and gained memorable lifetime experiences. Detailed information about the Program can be found at www.balamand.edu.lb/connect .
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.
Thoughts on Stewardship-
           Luke, 12:27-31 … “Consider the lilies, how they grow:  they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, ho w much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?  And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind.  For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things.  But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.”
         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, April 4, the Peterson/Branch 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 everyone who brings food to the paschal potluck feast.

Food For Thought-
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be known to all men.  The Lord is at hand.  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy- meditate on these things.  The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:4-9, the Epistle reading for Palm Sunday