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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of May 30, 2010)

posted May 31, 2010, 8:36 AM by Ilya Buchkin
No Office Hours Monday-
       Due to the Memorial Day holiday on Monday May 31, Fr. Ignatius will not be holding office hours that day.  There will still be matins at 8:30AM.
 
Episcopal Assembly-
       Last week, most of the Orthodox bishops in North America met in New York City to lay the ground work for more cooperation and unity amongst the various Orthodox jurisdictions in our land.  You may read the official statement released by the Assembly and see a picture of all present hierarchs at http://www.antiochian.org/node/23101.   Below, is an excerpt from Bishop MARK's reflections on the meetings:
 
"Christ is in our midst!
By the grace of God we have completed our First Episcopal Assembly, chaired by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North America and attended by 57 of the 65 Hierarchs of North and Central America. He is truly a gracious, loving and patient man and certainly a gift to our Church in North America. May God grant him good health and many years![...]
 
When building a new house, the most difficult aspect can be assessing the soil and digging deep down to find the bedrock upon which to lay a strong foundation. His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios commented that when one looks at a beautiful building, one rarely considers the effort that went into creating a sufficient foundation for the building. By the grace of God we hope we have begun to lay an unyielding foundationupon which to bring the living stones, the faithful in Christ from our various jurisdictions, for the building up of a beautiful Church in North America to the Glory of God.
 
May the All-Holy Spirit direct and guide our Hierarchs as they seek to do Lord’s will.
 
Your unworthy father in Christ,
+ Mark, Bishop of Toledo and the Diocese of the Midwest"
 
New Candle Stands-
       We now have two new candle stands in church at the iconostasis.  Thank you to all who pledged to help purchase these stands and to cover the transportation costs of our new altar.  If you responded to the pledge appeal, but have not sent yours in, now is the time to do so.
 
Farewell-
       With sadness, we said goodbye, last Sunday, to the Calin, Luciana and Philip Chindris.  Congratulations to Calin on his new position at the University of Missouri.  We enjoyed their presence at St. Raphael for two years.  May God grant you many years!
 
Congratulations-
       Grant Swanson and Tareq Abuissa have both graduated from high school!  Congratulations and "Many Years" to you both.
 
Sunday School-
       Sunday School for grades 1-8 will now take a break until September.  Thank you to Newman Abuissa and Amy Jongeling for leading the classes.  If your children weren't involved this year, consider making it a priority to bring your children when Sunday School begins again in early Fall.  Sunday School for ages 3-5 will continue to meet through the summer after Holy Communion, at the end of Liturgy.
 
Free Lunch Program Volunteering-
       We are helping to serve a meal at the Free Lunch Program (120 N. Dubuque St.) this Tuesday, June 1 from 11:30AM-1:30PM.  Please let Fr. Ignatius know if you can help out.
 
New Pamphlets in the Narthex-
       Recently, we have added to the selection of pamphlets in the literature racks in the narthex.  Topics include the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Church Etiquette, Inner Beauty and Modesty, the Five Stages of Sin, The Road out of Sin, the Problem of Evil (or "If God is Good Why Do Bad Things Happen"), and St. Xenia of St. Petersburg. Please take and read whatever looks interesting to you and then share with others.  We also now have some church "business" cards available in the narthex.  Anyone can carry around a few of these, and if in conversation with someone, the subject of St. Raphael Church comes up, and you feel it is appropriate to share with them a little information about our church, handing them one of these cards is an easy way to do so.
 
Apostles' Fast-
       In memory of the Holy Apostles and their suffering and labor, we begin the Apostles' Fast on Monday, May 31 and continue until the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul on June 29th.  Please ask Fr. Ignatius if you have any questions about fasting. 
  
When to Call the Priest (Adapted from Fr. John Peck)-
       Many are confused about when they should call the parish priest in the many events of life. Calling the priest is necessary to maintain the bond of love in our community and to bring the Grace of God into our lives through the Holy Sacraments. The priest should be aware of the spiritual and physical needs of all our families in order to be the pastor. The priest should not be seen as “too busy”!  He is here to shepherd us and his first priority is the people of the parish.  Should any of the following needs or situations arise, call Fr. Ignatius at 319-400-7522 or email him at frignatius@straphaelorthodoxchurch.org:

Whenever you, or someone you know, needs prayer

Whenever there is a major medical procedure or visit to the hospital

Whenever there is an emergency room visit to the hospital (before, or during, not only after please!)

Whenever a family member is close to death or has a life threatening illness

When a baby is born

Prior to a medical procedure- ask to be anointed at the end of the Divine Liturgy

Prior to a major travel event- ask for travel prayers at the end of the Divine Liturgy

When a family is making a major family decision- advice can be sought

When opening a new office, moving to a new home or you buy a new car

When getting engaged or making marriage plans

When you are having struggles with the Faith

When you would like to schedule time for confession

When you would like to have a pastoral visit

When you have questions about the Faith

When you have a conflict with someone that you cannot resolve

Whenever you have an unexpected trip to the hospital or spend the night in the hospital

When you need help with funeral plans (everyone does)

When you have a question about the Scriptures

When you have a question about God

When you have a question about yourself 

Traveling Overseas-
       Many of our members and friends travel overseas during the summer months.  If you are doing so, please consider purchasing some unique gift items that represent the culture of the country you are visiting for the purpose of donating them to the church for use in next winter's Evening in the East fundraiser silent auction.
    
63rd Annual Midwest Diocese Parish Life Conference-
       Hosted by St. George Cathedral of Toledo, OH, laity and clergy from around our diocese will gather June 30-July 4 for the 2010 Parish Life Conference at the Hilton Garden Inn in Perrysburg, OH.  This year's conference will feature speakers Fr. Thomas Hopko and Dr. Albert Rossi and much more.  For more information, go to http://www.midwestplc2010.org/  
 
Sacred Music Institute-
       The 25th Annual Antiochian Archdiocese Sacred Music Institute will be held at the Antiochian Village in Western Pennsylvania from July 28-August 1.  If you are interested in learning more about Orthodox Church music, this is an excellent opportunity.  For more information, go to http://www.antiochian.org/sacred_music_institute
 
Thoughts on Stewardship-
        Ephesians 3: 14-15 … “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.”    

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, June 6,  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.  We do not have anyone signed up beyond next Sunday for most of the rest of the year.  Please look at the sign-up sheet, and put your name down as you are able.  Food and clean-up for coffee hour will be provided by all the St. Nicholas team.
 
Church Cleaning-
       During the week following Sunday, June 6, the St. Nina team will be responsible for cleaning the nave, narthex, stairs and bathrooms of the church.
 
Food For Thought-
 
       We could take a cue from Orthodoxy, whose priests stand with their backs to their congregation, leading a liturgy that is neither clever nor impassioned, but simply beautiful, like stone smoothed by centuries of rhythmic tides. It's an austere ritual, in the sense of - there's nothing new here; it's sublime, in the sense of - creating a clearer view into Heaven. The priest can be any priest. Who he is, what he looks like, how he speaks, and what he thinks matter little. He hasn't written the service that he officiates. It isn't about him or his prowess. He's an interchangeable functionary draped in brocaded robes, obscured by incense, and, as such, never points to himself, a flawed human, pointing ever and only to the Perfection of the Mysterious Divine. That is the role of every priest or preacher - invisibility, while making God seen.
 
The Invisible Priest, author unknown
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