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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of May 31, 2009)

posted Jun 1, 2009, 7:51 AM by Ilya Buchkin   [ updated Jun 1, 2009, 7:54 AM ]

College St. Building Update
        The nave was professionally painted. The rough carpentry for the raised altar area has been constructed. Plumbing and flooring contractors should be scheduled to work in the next week or two. Radon mitigation in the lower level is scheduled for mid-June. We are planning to make the move from Iowa Ave. to College St. beginning on Friday evening June 26 and continuing on Saturday June 27. Please save the dates so that you are available to help. 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.

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.

Pray for our Catechumens
       God willing, all six of our catechumens will be received into the Church as new members this coming weekend. Maria Buchkina will be baptized on Saturday, June 6 at 10AM. Julia Buchkina, Anthony Carter, Meghan Gilpin, Sue Swanson and Courtney Briley will be chrismated during Liturgy on Sunday, June 7.

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. We will gather at College Green Park after Liturgy.

New Church Directories Available
       We now have the 2009 edition of the St. Raphael Church directory available for you to pick up from church. There is no cost for these but please limit yourself to one copy per family. Thank you to Karen Kuntz who put on the finishing touches (like a new cover) and got them printed.

Thank you
       Thank you to Arian Kulp and family for the donation of a lawn mower for the church.

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.

Fr. Fred Shaheen Ordination Anniversary Dinner
       On Saturday June 13, the faithful of St. Raphael Church are invited to join with those at St. George Church in Cedar Rapids to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the ordination of Fr. Fred Shaheen. Dinner follows 5PM Vespers. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. Contact Nick Abou-Assaly at nick@simmonsperrine.com to reserve your tickets. Note: We will not have Vespers at St. Raphael on Saturday, June 13 as Fr. Ignatius will be at St. George Church that evening. Please join him at St. George for Vespers and the dinner.

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.

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 June 7, the Buchkin/Buchkina family will provide the holy bread. The food for coffee hour will be brought by all who bring food for the potluck picnic. 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:

Behold, let no one say: "I have committed many sins- there can be no forgiveness for me." He who says this does not know that God is the God of the penitent, that He came to earth not to save the righteous, but to call sinners to repentance, and that when someone repents, the heavens rejoice over him.
True repentance consists of withdrawing from sin and nurturing hatred for it. For, lo, when someone says from his heart: "I have hated deceit and been repelled by it"- then God accepts him with joy.
But behold, also let no one dare to say: "I have not sinned." He who says this is blind; he has shut his eyes. He deceives himself and knows not that Satan is robbing him blind- both in word and deed, through all the senses, sight, hearing and touch, and through thoughts. For who can boast that he has an innocent heart and that all his senses are pure?
No one is sinless, no one is clean of defilement, no man is free from guilt except Him alone Who for our sake was impoverished though He was rich. He alone is sinless Who took upon Himself the sins of the world, wants all men to be saved, desires not the death of a sinner and is a lover of mankind, abundantly benevolent, kindhearted and sincerely loving.
Let us also run to Him, for all sinners who have run to Him have found salvation.

St. Ephraim the Syrian, "A Spiritual Psalter," Psalm 126