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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of May 10, 2009)

posted May 11, 2009, 7:26 AM by Ilya Buchkin

Bishop MARK's Visit With Us
  What a wonderful and memorable weekend it was, having Bishop MARK with us. As St. Ignatius of Antioch said so well, "Wherever the bishop appears, there let the congregation be; just as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the whole [catholic] Church." This is how we know that we are Orthodox Christians, and the Body of Christ, because our bishop celebrates the Eucharist with us, and he is in communion with all other Orthodox bishops around the world. Many thanks to John and Michelle Bayouth for hosting His Grace at their home and providing some of his transportation while in town. Thank you to Newman and Kristi Abuissa for providing the food that preceded His Grace's Saturday afternoon talk. Thank you to Todd Wiblin and Karen Kuntz for cleaning the chapel in anticipation of this weekend. Thank you to Michelle, Kristi and to all the choir members who lent their voices to help us all worship our God with our bishop. Many years, Master!

Happy Mother's Day
       May God bless all mothers of this parish and all of our mothers for everything you do and have done. Motherhood is a sacred and God-pleasing vocation. May God grant you mothers many years!

College St. Building Update
    Bishop MARK spoke at length with the Parish Council and others about our plans for renovating and repairing the new building. He gave us advice and pointed us in the direction he wants us to go regarding the creation of an altar area, and the installation of an iconostasis. As the Parish Council and Fr. Ignatius digest all of what was discussed this weekend, we will begin to move quickly to initiate what is necessary to get us "in the door" permanently, before the end of June. Stay tuned...

Parish Council Meeting
       The May Parish Council meeting will be Monday May 11 at 7PM. All are welcome.

Providing Food for Coffee Hour
       The Parish Council and Fr. Ignatius rejoice in the growth in numbers we have been seeing at St. Raphael Church over the last several months. By God's grace, this will only continue as we get into our new, larger building soon. The time after Liturgy is a cherished time to spend time with each other, to get to know each other and to replenish our bodies with food and drink. Because God is always sending us more people, the Parish Council is recommending that a family who sign-ups to serve coffee hour, partners with another family. This will help ease the load a bit, so that one family isn't the sole provider of food each week. In addition to this, because of our increased numbers, we are asking that families who sign-up to bring food also consider bringing some of the supplies that we use during coffee hour: foam plates, cups, napkins, plastic ware, etc. Not all of these items need to be brought each week, but, for example, if one week, 100 foam plates were brought by one family, and the next week a package of napkins were brought by another family, and so on, this would help us to maintain our supplies without the church having to look elsewhere for funds to cover these supplies. Due to our increased numbers, our annual budget for these supplies has been nearly exhausted already.

Wedding Bells are Ringing!
       The parishioners of St. Raphael Church are invited by Fr. Elias and Kh. Irene Khouri to join them in the celebration of their daughter Juliana to Frank Dancer on Sunday, July 12 at 3:30PM at St. George Church in Cedar Rapids. An hors d' oeuvre reception will follow at the church. The favor of a reply is requested on or before May 25 via www.julianaandfrank.brides.com or by telephone at 319-396-2324. Please indicate the number of persons attending.

Bridal Shower
       Michelle Bayouth and the St. Raphael Women's Group will be hosting a bridal shower for another soon-to-be bride, Victoria Tsangari. It will be on Saturday, May 16th at 7:30PM at the Bayouth's house. Cocktails and Hors d 'Oeuvres will be served.

Donations for Choir Stands
       Thank you to those who gave financial gifts to help cover the cost of our new, heavy-duty choir stands. We have not yet covered about $100 of the cost. If you would still like to donate, please contact Fr. Ignatius or Tania Van Dinter.

"When the World Spoke Arabic"
       The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City Public Library, UI Middle East and Muslim World Studies Program, African Studies Program, and Medieval Studies Program cordially invite the general public to a film series:

WEDNESDAY, MAY 20, 7PM, ICPL, Meeting Rm. A

"From Arabic to Latin: The Assimilation of Arab Knowledge"* (26 min.) As dissension mounted between the rival Arab dynasties in Baghdad, Cordoba, and Cairo, Christendom rallied to oppose the Muslims in Spain and Jerusalem. This program plots out the decline of the Empire of the Caliphate and the acquisition of Arab knowledge by Europeans starved for Islam's intellectual riches.

"Forgetting the Arabs: Europe on the Cusp of the Renaissance"* (27 min.) Why was Islamic philosophy, once the epitome of Arab learning, eventually rejected by Muslims? And why, after assimilating it, did Europeans distance themselves from its formulators? This program seeks to understand the religious climate of the late Middle Ages, in which universities and madrassas became centers of power and models for evolving sociopolitical systems.

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
       For Sunday May 17, we need a volunteer to provide the holy bread. The food for coffee hour will be brought by the Van Dinter family. Thank you in advance. Anybody who would like to host the coffee hour or bake the holy bread can sign up at church to do so.

Food For Thought:

"It is fitting that you should run together in accordance with the will of your bishop, which thing also you do. For your justly renowned presbytery, worthy of God, is fitted as exactly to the bishop as the strings are to the harp. Therefore in your concord and harmonious love, Jesus Christ is sung. And man by man, become a choir, that being harmonious in love, and taking up the song of God in unison, you may with one voice sing to the Father through Jesus Christ, so that He may both hear you, and perceive by your works that you are indeed the members of His Son. It is profitable, therefore, that you should live in an unblameable unity, that thus you may always enjoy communion with God."

St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ephesians 4:1-2