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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of May 24, 2009)

posted May 25, 2009, 1:14 AM by Ilya Buchkin

College St. Building Update
       The nave was professionally painted. We are working with the city to secure a building permit to allow us to construct the raised altar area and are receiving bids from plumbers to improve the bathrooms and to work on plumbing for a kitchen. If at any time you have questions about the process of our repairs and renovations to the new building and our move there, please don't hesitate to speak with Fr. Ignatius, or a parish council member.

Goodbye to the Kulps
     Sunday May 24 was our last Sunday with the Kulp family who is moving to Oregon because of a job change. We will miss you Arian, Karen, Damian, and Gabriel. You have been a wonderful part of our church family. may God grant you all many year

No Office Hours May 25
       Due to the Memorial Day holiday on Monday May 25, Fr. Ignatius will not be holding any office hours that day.

Ascension Vesperal Liturgy May 27
       We will celebrate the feast of the Lord's Ascension on Wednesday May 27 at 6PM. Please join us.

Fasting Resumes Friday May 29
       With the 40-day Paschal season coming to a close with the Feast of the Ascension on May 28, the usual weekly Wednesday and Friday fasting discipline resumes in the Church this Friday, May 29.

Lawn Mowing at 722 E College St.
       We are looking for volunteers to mow the lawn at our new building approximately once every 7-10 days. It takes about 1 1/2 to 2 hours with a non-riding power mower to complete the job. There is a sign-up sheet posted at church. This is a perfect opportunity for teens or college students to help out, especially as summer is upon us and classes are finished or will be finished soon. Since the church does not (yet) have our own lawn mower (donation anyone?) please bring your own or if you don't have one but would like to volunteer, please contact Fr. Ignatius.

Bridal Shower
       Michelle Bayouth and the St. Raphael Women's Group will be hosting a bridal shower for Juliana Khouri on Saturday, May 30 from 12PM-3PM. A luncheon will be served. Please let Michelle know if you will be attending.

Free Lunch Program Volunteering
       We are scheduled to provide 3-4 people to help serve at the Free Lunch Program on Tuesday June 2 from 11:30AM-1:30PM. Please let Fr. Ignatius know if you can help this month.

Pentecost Potluck Picnic Sunday June 7
       We will be resuming our practice from the past few summers of having a church potluck picnic on the first Sunday of each month beginning with June 7. A sign-up sheet for food is posted at church. The location will be announced next week.

Meals on Wheels
       The Meals on Wheels program of Elder Services, Inc. is actively recruiting volunteers to deliver hot noon meals and a smile to seniors in the greater Iowa City area. MOW currently has eight weekday routes and five weeked routes; all but two are driven by volunteers. Their goal is to increase their pool of drivers by approximately 20 new volunteers. Individuals or groups would drive once a week and should be available between 10:45AM-12:15PM on their day of service. Please contact Elizabeth Wallace, Meals on Wheels Coordinator for more information: 356-5213 or ewallace@elderservicesinc.com.

Current St. Raphael Budget Attached
       Because of uncertainty about our property purchase and move, the Parish Council presented two budgets to the voting members of St. Raphael Church at the annual voters' meeting in December 2008, one which reflected our move, and one which did not. Thank God, the purchase occurred and we are on our way to making the move into the new building. We have been operating off of the budget which was approved by voters at the February 24 special voters' meeting, the budget which reflects the reality of our move. Recently, the Parish Council has had to modify that budget slightly, due to a decrease in pledged income based on the situations of some pledging families. Attached is that most recent, updated budget in two different formats.

Saints Alive Book Study
       If there is enough interest (at least 5 people,) we will start a book study called "Saints Alive" on Thursday evenings after Akathist (8PM) beginning sometime this summer. This series is subtitles "Missionaries, Monks and Martyrs" and books that are covered include books on the life of St. Innocent of Alaska, St. Raphael of Brooklyn, St. Seraphim of Sarov, St. Maria (Skobtsova) of Paris, and St. Luke of Simferopol. How this study works, is that each person is assigned to read one of the books, and that person then reports of his or her book to the group. Go to http://www.antiochian.org/sites/antiochian.org/files/Saints_ALIVE-09.pdf for more information on the books to be read and discussed.

Midwest Diocese Parish Life Conference
       St. James Antiochian Church in Loveland, OH (suburban Cincinnati) is hosting the 2009 Midwest Diocese Parish Life Conference on July 1-5. This conference is for all and not just for clergy! Among the highlights on the schedule are two excellent presenters, Drs. Dan and Jane Hinshaw, from the University of Michigan, who will be presenting on "An Orthodox Approach to End-of-Life Issues". Fr. Ignatius heard part of this presentation last year and he highly recommends what they have to say, especially to those who are involved in the medical field. Please go to http://www.stjamesloveland.org/2009plc/2009plc.html for more information on the conference and to register.

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 signs up 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. As a reminder, there is no requirement to bring a full meal. Bagels and cream cheese or something else simple is fine.

       Because of our increased numbers, we are also 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.

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 31, we need a volunteer to bake the holy bread. We also need a volunteer (or two) to provide the food for coffee hour. We do not have anybody signed up for future weeks either. 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:

O Christ God, Thou spiritual Sun of Righteousness, Who by Thine immaculate touch didst bestow a twofold enlightenment upon him who from his mother's womb was deprived of sight, illumine Thou the eyes of our souls also, and prove us to be sons of the day, that we may cry to Thee with faith: "Great and ineffable is Thy compassion toward us, O Friend of man; glory be to Thee."

Stichera of the Aposticha of Vespers of the Sunday of the Blind Man, John 9:1-38