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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of March 6, 2011)

posted Mar 12, 2011, 1:55 AM by Ilya Buchkin
Lent is Here-
With the observance of Forgiveness Vespers today, March 6, we have entered into the Lenten season, and time of increased church services, fasting, charitable works and repentance.  May we use this time to allow God to work in us the good that He wants to work, as we look forward to the commemoration of His life-giving Passion, Death and Resurrection.  We follow a vegan diet during Lent, eating in moderation and abstaining from meat, fish, eggs, dairy, oil and wine.  Oil and wine are permitted on the weekends.  More importantly than following the fasting guidelines perfectly, is to fast from sin.  If we fast from food and then judge our brothers and sisters who may not be fasting as we are, then our fasting does not benefit us at all. 

Food For Hungry People Campaign-
During Lent, the Antiochian Archdiocese runs the Food for Hungry People Campaign which raises money to help a variety of ministries which provide food and other help to those who are in the most need.  As part of this campaign, we have coin boxes available for you to take hime and fill during this season.  Please take one home, to remind yourself of this important need.  To help children get excited about filling the coin boxes, on the table next to the coin boxes, you will find calendars with daily, fun suggestions for how much to give throughout Lent.

Lenten Letter from Metropolitan Philip-
       "'Come let us purify our souls with the alms and mercy to the poor, not blowing our trumpets, nor making public what we accomplish in charity, lest the left hand know what the right hand is doing, and vain glory does away with the fruit of alms.  Let us however, plead secretly with Him who knows our secrets, crying: Father, forgive us our faults; for You are the Lover of mankind.'

Beloved in the Lord:

As we begin another fast period in the life of the Church, Great Lent, we greet you with this most beautiful and meaningful hymn that is sung on the evening of the First Sunday of the Fast.  How appropriate that we combine our almsgiving with our fasting.  The Church Fathers and Mothers of blessed memory always taught us that the food we give up during Lent should be shared with the less fortunate.  Fasting is a cutting back of our humanity; almsgiving is a sharing of our divinity.  When we are ready to give of our time, talents and resources to the 'least of these my brethren,' we are doing the will of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit in the Church and in the World.

Do not allow a hungry soul to go to bed tonight without your gift.  Do not deny a homeless person the possibility of shelter from the elements.  Do not neglect your responsibilities to the elderly, the infirm, the weak.  Great Lent is a school for our spirituality which we shall nourish all year long. 

We commend to you the Food for Hungry People campaign which has become synonymous with our Great Lenten Season.  Under the guidance of our daughter in Christ, Robin Nicholas, we have been able to help countless numbers of people with the donations given by the faithful of our Archdiocese.

Asking the Almighty God to bless you during this journey to Pascha, we remain

Your Father in Christ,
Metropolitan PHILIP"

Church Calendars Available-
       The printed St. Raphael Church March and April calendar is now available.  If you use Google Calendar, then you can see the church's schedule posted online at www.straphaelorthodoxchurch.org/schedule

Spring Forward!-
Daylight Savings Time begins at 2AM next Sunday, March 13.  Make sure to set your clocks forward one hour before bed on Saturday night.

Sunday of Orthodoxy Procession of Icons-

       Next Sunday, March 13, at the end of Liturgy, we will have a procession while holding the holy icons.  You may bring a favorite icon from home or take an icon of off the walls at church.  If weather permits, we will go outside.

Capital Campaign Update-
To date, we have raised $18,758 toward our mortgage during Phase II of our Capital Campaign.  Thank God!  And thank you to all who have given.

Thank You-
Thank you to Karen Kuntz for sewing the new purple Altar covering that we are using this Lent.  Thank you also to Todd Wiblin and Karen Kuntz for donating the new pyx, the container which sits on the altar and holds the consecrated Eucharist to be used at the Pre-Sanctified liturgy. 

Parish Cookbook Available for Purchase-
Our new parish cookbook, "East, West and Midwest: Recipes from an American Orthodox Parish" is available for purchase in our church bookstore for $5.  All proceeds from the sale of this book will go to our Building fund. 
Call for Lenten Recipes-
If you would like to share a Lent-friendly recipe with other members of the parish, please send one to Fr. Ignatius and they will be included in the weekly emailed bulletins during Lent.

Article on Quad Cities Antiochian Orthodox Mission-
To read an article, view several pictures and watch a video on the Quad Cities Antiochian Orthodox Mission, go to: http://qctimes.com/news/local/article_455b287c-416a-11e0-885b-001cc4c002e0.html .  The Quad Cities Mission includes several members who are splitting their time between that mission and St. Raphael, including the Johnson family, the Swanson family, Gail Grigg and Fiona, and Carol Gilliam.  May God give this effort blessing upon blessing.

Change in Sunday School Timing-
       The Sunday School teachers for our school aged children have decided it would be best to dismiss the children for Sunday School before the announcements are given after Liturgy.  So, immediately after the dismissal, we will sing to all those who are remembering special days.  Then the children will be dismissed for Sunday School where they will have snacks ready for them.  Then announcements will be given, and after the post-Communion prayers, we will gather downstairs for our Fellowship time. 

Lenten Wednesday Evenings-
On Wednesday evenings during Lent, we celebrate a unique service called the Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts.  What this means is that the bread and wine are consecrated to be the Lord's Body and Blood on the Sunday before, and not during the Wednesday service.  On Wednesday evenings, Fr. Ignatius will be giving a sermon series which focuses on the Canon of St. Andrew, a lengthy hymn that we will be singing at other services during the first week of Lent.  The Canon of St. Andrew is a penitential meditation on the sinfulness of mankind and the all-encompassing love and forgiveness of God.  If you want to know more about the history of salvation that is contained in the pages of Scripture, both Old and New, there is no better way to do it than to listen to or to sing St. Andrew's Canon and to hear the sermons given on this monumental Bible-study-put-to-song.  If you desire to receive the Eucharist on Wednesday evenings, please abstain from food and drink beginning at noon that day.  Following the Pre-Sanctified Liturgy each Wednesday, we will gather downstairs for a simple Lenten soup supper.  We need volunteers to sign-up to provide the soup.  A sign-up sheet is posted at church.

Sunday Lenten Pan-Orthodox Vespers-
       On Sunday evenings at 5:30PM during Lent, we will gather together with the Orthodox churches in Cedar Rapids to worship together at our various locations.  This year, the Orthodox churches of Waterloo and Dubuque are also participating.  St. Raphael will be hosting this service on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, March 13.  A sign-up sheet is posted for the meal we will provide for our guests after the service.  Following, is the rest of the schedule.  If you want to catch a ride with Fr. Ignatius to any of these services, please let him know.
March 20- St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church (613 W. 4th St.) Waterloo
March 27- St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church (3650 Cottage Grove Ave. SE) Cedar Rapids
April 3- St. Elias the Prophet Greek Orthodox Church (1075 Rockdale Rd.) Dubuque
April 10- St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church (501 A Ave NE) Cedar Rapids

Lenten Recipe-
       (From Kristi Abuissa)

Vegetarian Borscht
2 qt. vegetable soup stock
1 carrot, sliced
8 medium beets
1 c. shredded red cabbage
2 large onions, quartered
3 large potatoes, cut into eighths
1/4 c. tomato puree
2 Tbsp. vinegar
2 tsp. sugar
1 c. navy beans

Boil the beets, unpeeled, until tender.  Slip off the skins and cut
each into eighths.

Combine the carrots, cooked beets, cabbage, onions, potatoes, tomato
puree, vinegar, sugar, and soup stock.  Simmer covered, 40 minutes.
Add the beans and simmer, covered, 10 minutes.

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, March 13, the holy bread will be provided by the Valentine family.  Thank you in advance.
Coffee Hour-
      On Sunday March 13, the food for coffee hour and clean-up of the fellowship hall will be provided by the St. Raphael team.

Choir Leadership-
For the weekend of March 12-13, Lori Branch will lead the choir.

Church Cleaning-
During the week following Sunday March 6, cleaning of the nave, narthex, bookstore/library, stairs, bathrooms and nursery room will be done by the St. John the Baptist team. 
Food For Thought-

People give all sorts of reasons to excuse their lack of charity.  Some may say, "hard times."  But if the times are hard for those who have a sufficiency, how much harder are they for the poor?  This pretext alone should lead one to give all the more generously.

St. Theophan the Recluse