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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of May 9, 2010)

posted May 12, 2010, 12:11 AM by Ilya Buchkin
Happy Mother's Day-
       To all mothers, godmothers and future mothers, may God bless you on this Mother's Day!  The love of a mother is one of the most powerful and important forces of good in the world today.  You are deserving of honor!
Authentic Manifestations of the Spirit Class-
        This class is meeting on the Wednesdays throughout May at 7PM (on May 12, after Liturgy, about 7:45PM).  In this class, we will learn about the charismatic gifts which the Holy Elders of Orthodoxy manifest and compare them to some of the spiritual phenomena that take place outside of the Orthodox Church, such as with the faith healers of Charismatic Protestantism and the Yogis of Hinduism.  All are welcome. 
May Parish Council Meeting-
       The May Parish Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 10 at 7PM.  All are welcome.  The April Parish Council meeting minutes are attached.
Ascension Liturgy-
       We will celebrate the Ascension of our Lord with a Vesperal Liturgy on Wednesday, May 12 at 6PM.
       Congratulations to former St. Raphael members Stephanos and Juliana Bibas on the birth of their second son, Maximus Paul.  Congratulations to Florian Velterean and Bogdana Rus on the baptism of their daughter Lorena Maria.  Congratulations to Holly Martin Huffman on becoming a catechumen.  Many years to all!
You Are Invited-
       The Abuissa family invites all members and friends of St Raphael Orthodox parish to come to Tareq's senior recital on Sunday, May 23, Opstad Auditorium, 1900 Morningside Drive, 2:00-3:00, followed by a graduation open house at our home, 1428 Buresh Ave in Iowa City, from 3:30 - 5:00.  For more info, call (319) 354-3142.
Travelling 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. 
       We have been granted a blessing from the Church not to fast on Wednesdays and Fridays since Pascha.  With the coming of the feast of Ascension on May 13, we resume the regular schedule of fasting on Friday, May 14.  There is no fasting the week following Pentecost (May 23-29) in anticipation of one of the four major seasons of fasting, the Apostles' Fast, which begins May 31 and ends on June 29, the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul.
Pentecost Kneeling Vespers-
       At Liturgy on Sunday morning May 23, we will celebrate the great feast of Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit.  On that Sunday evening, at 6PM, we will have the Kneeling Vespers.  In our prayers at church and at home, there is no kneeling between Pascha and Pentecost (for the Lord is Risen.)  With the coming of Pentecost, we return to "normal" with this service called Kneeling Vespers. 
Episcopal Assembly of All North American Orthodox Bishops-
       As a result of a call put out by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, and agreed to by the other patriarchs of the world, for episcopal assemblies to be convened where there are multiple, overlapping ethnic jurisdictions of the Orthodox Church, all 65 Orthodox bishops in North America have been invited to attend an assembly in New York on May 26-27.   The purpose of this important gathering is so that our hierarchs may discuss ways in which to foster unity among the various ethnic expressions in the Orthodox Church, in our case, here in North America.  Our own Bishop MARK will be attending.  In order to support him and all of his brother bishops who will be attending, we will be praying the Akathist to All Saints of North America on the eve of the Assembly, Tuesday, May 25 at 7PM.  Please come and join us in prayer, that our bishops be guided by the Holy Spirit to find solutions to strengthen the witness of the Orthodox Church through increased unity and cooperation. 
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/  
Thoughts on Stewardship-
        1 Corinthians 12: 18, 25-27 … “But as it is, God arranged the organs in the body, each one of them, as he chose … that there may be no discord in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.  If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.  Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” 

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, May 16, 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 and clean-up for coffee hour will be provided by the St. Nina team.
Church Cleaning-
       During the week beginning Sunday, May 16, the St. Nicholas team will be responsible for cleaning the church bathrooms, narthex and nave.
Food For Thought-
Oh, be purified in water, and then you will have a share of that purity which is most perfect in God.  Observe how simple it is in its beginnings, how easily accomplished- just faith and water: faith which is a matter of our own choice, and water which is natural to our life.  And what blessings spring from these- nothing less than kinship with God Himself!
St. Gregory of Nyssa speaking on baptism in his Catechetical Oration 36