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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of March 7, 2010)

posted Mar 8, 2010, 2:28 PM by Ilya Buchkin

A Word Regarding Confession-
       Lent, being a time of self-reflection and repentance, is the perfect time to schedule your confession.  If it has been awhile since your last confession, take advantage of this season of the Church, and benefit from the healing that making a confession brings.  Father is available to hear your confession after most services or by appointment.   
Thank You-
       Thank you to Kristi Abuissa for sewing two new analogia (icon stand) coverings in purple for the Lenten season.  They look great!
Pan-Orthodox Vespers Schedule-
       On Sunday evenings during Lent, our church comes together with St. John the Baptist Church and St. George Church of Cedar Rapids to worship and pray at vespers.  Following is the schedule of rotation.  Please consider traveling to Cedar Rapids at least once or twice to share in prayer with our fellow Orthodox Christians there, and please welcome them when they come to Iowa City on the evenings we are hosting them.
March 14- St. George Church, 5:30PM
March 21- St. Raphael Church, 5:30PM
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, we will celebrate a Vesperal Liturgy for the feast of the Annunciation on Wednesday, March 24 at 6PM.  This will replace the Pre-Sanctified Liturgy.  There will be no service on Thursday, March 25.
Food for Hungry People Lenten Collection-
       Each Lent, our Archdiocese launches the Food For Hungry People campaign.  The money collected is sent in to the Archdiocese and distributed to many organizations who work to relieve hunger.  The FFHP collection boxes are now available at church to pick up.  Filling them up with your loose change during Lent is an easy way to help our Archdiocese minister to the needs of those who do not have enough to eat.  For our children, there are calendars in the narthex that give fun suggestions for how to give to this campaign.  "He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward him for what he has done." Proverbs 19:17
Prayer at Abortion Clinic-
       Fr. Ignatius will be on the sidewalk in front of the Emma Goldman Abortion Clinic (227 N. Dubuque St.) at 10AM on March 13 and 20.  On behalf of all of those who have participated in abortion and for the victims of abortion, he will be praying the Akathist for Repentance of One Who Has Aborted a Child and the Supplicatory Service for the Victims of Abortion.  This is a time of prayer, not a protest.  All are welcome to come.  
"Joy" Orthodox Children's Magazine-
       From the Archdiocese of Bosra-Hauran in the Middle East, comes the brand new English magazine titled "Joy" for children ages 7-13.  The first issue, in full color and about 40 pages, is now available.  To subscribe, send an email to bp.saba@yahoo.com.
"Theosis: The True Purpose of Life" Booklet-
       If you are interested in the teaching of theosis, one of the primary ways the Orthodox Church looks at salvation, then Fr. Ignatius encourages you to download and read the free booklet, "Theosis: The True Purpose of Life" by Archimandrite George of St. Gregorios Monastery on Mount Athos.  It is available in English and nine other languages here http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/general/theosis.aspx
Letter from Metropolitan PHILIP Recognizing March as Women's Month-
       "Beloved Hierarchs, Clergy and Faithful of our Archdiocese,
Greetings and blessings in the spirit of Great Lent which is leading us to the glorious Pascha.
The month of March is designated as Women's Month in our Archdiocese.  Since its inception in 1973, the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Women of North America have raised over two million, three hundred thousand dollars toward funding and support of many of our projects, such as Antiochian Village, Married Seminarians, Project Orphanages and the Katherine Ajar Endowment Fund, Retired Clergy Housing Fund, Children With Special Needs and many others.  Through their hard work, dedication and commitment, they have continued to find many ways to strengthen their ministry in the Orthodox Church....
'Project 2010- The Convent of St. Thekla at the Antiochian Village' is an exciting endeavor which deserves our undivided attention.  At the Convent, a nun's life is one that will maintain a monastic prayer life, a presence not only to the many ministries at Antiochian Village but also to the local church communities.  The obedience of a nun is that of 'Hospitality'.  The future of the Convent is bright as Mother Alexandra has been appointed as Acting Abbess of the Convent of St. Thekla.  We are truly blessed to have her.  The Convent will be a wonderful addition to the many ministries at Antiochian Village.  In order to see this project to fruition, please support this worthwhile cause so that all of our lives may be enriched by the presence of Mother Alexandra, the Convent of St. Thekla, the teachings of Christ and all the future holds with this wonderful endeavor.
May this Great Lent bring to all of us a great measure of spiritual renewal.
Your Father in Chrst,
+ Metropolitan PHILIP"
Holy Week Schedule-
       Believe it or not, it's not too early to begin thinking of Holy Week.  Palm Sunday is just three weeks 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, 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, 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
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.
Spring/Pre-Pascha Church Clean-up Day-
       Please mark your calendars.  On Lazarus 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.  Please consider giveing of your time for a few hours on this day to help keep our church looking tidy and beautiful.

Thoughts on Stewardship-
            Luke 21: 1-4 … “And Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and he saw a certain poor widow put in more than all of them; for they all put their surplus into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on.” 
         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?”
A Holy and Wise Riddle-
       There is a sign above the entrance of a Monastery on Mount Athos that reads:  "If you die before you die, then when you die, you will not die."  Think about it a bit.  Hint- consider its meaning in light of today's Gospel reading (Mark 8:34-9:1 and also John 12:24)

Lenten Recipe-
       Betsy's Lentil and Couscous Curry from VegWeb
1/2 cup dried red lentils
1 cup uncooked couscous
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped or crushed
chopped fresh vegetables (peppers, zuchini, carrots, etc.)
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
2 cups vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste
Saute' onion, garlic, cumin, turmeric and coriander in 2 T of vegetable broth for about 3 minutes.
Add chopped vegetables.  Cook for about 6-8 minutes or until vegetables are somewhat tender but not completely cooked.
Add lentils and rest of vegetable broth, bring to boil.  Bring down heat and let simmer for about 20 minutes or until curry thickens and lentils are tender, stirring occasionally.  Add water if necessary.
Cook couscous according to package instructions and serve with curried lentils/vegetables.  Salt and pepper to taste.
Serves 4-6.

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 14, Meghan Gilpin and Tony Carter 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. Raphael team.

Choir Leadership-
       On Saturday, March 13,  Amy Jongeling will direct the choir for Vespers.  We need a volunteer to direct the choir for matins and Liturgy on Sunday, March 14. 

Food For Thought-
O Almighty Lord, who hast made all created things in wisdom, and by Thine inexpressible providence and great goodness hast brought us to these all-holy days, for the purification of body and soul, for the controlling of carnal passions, and for the hope of the Resurrection; who, during the forty days didst give into the hands of thy servant Moses the tablets of the Law in characters divinely traced by Thee; enable us also, O Good One, to fight the good fight; to accomplish the course of the Fast; to preserve inviolate the Faith; to crush under foot the heads of invisible serpents; to be accounted victors over sin; and uncondemned, to attain unto and adore Thy Holy Resurrection.  For blessed and glorified is Thine all-honorable and majestic Name: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages.  Amen.
Prayer Behind the Ambon of the Pre-Sanctified Liturgy