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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of November 13, 2011)

posted Dec 4, 2011, 10:29 PM by Ilya Buchkin
Pledge Packets-
       We have begun our annual pledge drive during which we ask our members and friends to consider what we are able to financially contribute to our church for 2012.  If you have pledged in the past, or if Fr. Ignatius thought you may be interested in pledging, you should have received a pledge packet, either in person or though the mail.  The Parish Council encourages you to prayerfully consider what you may be able to regularly contribute by way of a pledge, and to return the pledge form to Kristi ASAP, so that a responsible budget can be formed in time to be voted on at our December 4 meeting. 
Babies, Babies, Babies!-
       Congratulations to Julia Buchkina and Ilya Buchkin on the birth of a baby boy!  Congratulations also to Elena Boriuk and Irakliy Surguladze on the birth of a baby girl!  Both babies were born on the same day, November 7.  May God grant them and their parents many, many years.
Fr. Ignatius Out of Town-
       Fr. Ignatius will be out of town from mid-day on Wednesday, November 16 until the evening of Friday, November 18 to attend a deanery meeting at St. George Church in West St. Paul, MN.  He can be reached on his cell phone (319-400-7522) during this time.  There will be no matins on Friday, November 18.
Teen SOYO Troop Care Package Assembly Work Party-
       On Tuesday, November 15, our teens will gather at church at 5:30PM to assemble collected items into care packages for US troops serving overseas.
Parish Council Meeting-
       Our November Parish Council Meeting will be this Tuesday November 15 at 7PM.  All are welcome to attend.
Pre-Nativity Fast Begins Tuesday-
       In order to prepare our hearts for the Feast of the Nativity of Christ, we are about to begin a period of fasting which begins on November 15 and ends on December 24.  During this fast, we abstain from meat, dairy, eggs, wine and oil.  Fish, wine and oil are allowed on Saturdays and Sundays, and wine and oil are allowed on Tuesdays and Thursdays and the feast days of certain great saints.  For a visual explanation of what each daily expectation for fasting is, look at our Novermber/December church calendars, printed up and available in the narthex.  During this Advent season, we will replace our regularly scheduled Wednesday Akathist with the Nativity Paraklesis service.  Regarding fasting on Thanksgiving, Metropolitan Philip has said that families may choose to relax the fast on the civil holiday of Thanksgiving (this year, November 24) if they desire.  Fasting and repentance go hand in hand.  With this Advent season, we are preparing ourselves for the coming of the Feast of the Nativity of Christ.  Confessions, as always, can be heard following vespers on Saturdays, immediately before Liturgy, and by appointment. 
Feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos-
       We will commemorate the Feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple with vespers at 6PM on Sunday, November 20 and matins (8AM) and Liturgy (10AM) on Monday, November 21.
Invitation to a Baptism-
       Our whole parish is invited to witness the baptism of Sienna Marie Brown, daughter of Tom Brown and Alethia Pantazis at 10:30AM on Saturday, November 26.  Refreshments will be served afterward.  Tom and Alethia request that no gifts be given to Sienna, but that if you desire, a donation to the church in Sienna's name can be made.
Our Bishop is Coming!-
       If all goes according to plan regarding the December episcopal consecrations of the three new auxiliary bishops for our Archdiocese, we are scheduled to receive our new bishop, Bishop Anthony for a parish visit January 6-8.  Bishop (elect) Anthony would like to spend some time teaching us while he is here with a talk on a subject yet to be determined, in addition to presiding at the outdoor Blessing of the Waters which we will host, and our regularly scheduled weekend services.   

Statement of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation-

October 29, 2011

Washington, DC

"The Plight of Churches in the Middle East"

The “Arab Spring” is unleashing forces that are having a devastating effect on the Christian communities of the Middle East. Our Churches in Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine report disturbing developments such as destruction of churches and massacres of innocent civilians that cause us grave concern. Many of our church leaders are calling Christians and all people of good will to stand in solidarity with the members of these ancient indigenous communities.  In unity with them and each other, we the members of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation, gathered October 27-29, 2011, add our voice to their call.

We are concerned for our fellow Christians who, in the face of daunting challenges, struggle to maintain a necessary witness to Christ in their homelands. United with them in prayer and solidarity, we ask our fellow Christians living in the West to take time to develop a more realistic appreciation of their predicament. We ask our political leaders to exert more pressure where it can protect these Churches, many of which have survived centuries of hardship but now stand on the verge of disappearing completely.

When one part of the body suffers, all suffer (cf. 1 Cor. 12:26). As Christians in the West, we therefore have the vital responsibility to respond to the needs of our brothers and sisters who live in fear for their lives and communities at this moment. As Orthodox and Catholic Christians we share this responsibility and this concern together.
Daily Orthodox Study Bible Readings for the Week-
       Following are the readings for this week:
            Nov. 13- Joshua 1-3; Psalms 66; Proverbs 13:16-21; Mark 14:1-31 

            Nov. 14- Joshua 4-6; Psalms 67:1-20; Proverbs 13:22-27; Mark 14:32-52

            Nov. 15- Joshua 7-9; Psalms 67:21-36; Proverbs 14:1-5; Mark 14:53-72
            Nov. 16- Joshua 10-11; Psalms 68:1-20; Proverbs 14:6-10; Mark 15:1-20
            Nov. 17- Joshua 12-14; Psalms 68:21-37; Proverbs 14:11-15; Mark 15:21-47
            Nov. 18- Joshua 15-17; Psalms 69; Proverbs 14:16-20; Mark 16
            Nov. 19- Joshua 18-20; Psalms 70:1-13; Proverbs 14:21-25; Luke 1:1-25
            Nov. 20- Joshua 21-22; Psalms 70:14-24; Proverbs 14:26-30; Luke 1:26-56

Evening in the East- Feb. 16, 2012- Save the Date!-
       Our 2012 Evening in the East is scheduled for Thursday, February 16 at Old Brick.  We are excited to announce that we will have with us, Dr. Paul Barnes, professor of piano at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln School of Music, and also chanter at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Lincoln, NE.  Dr. Barnes will be giving a lecture/recital called "Liszt and the Cross: Music as Sacrament in the B Minor Sonata" in which he will explore this piece by composer Franz Liszt and relate it to Orthodox theology of the icon.  To help us plan our event, which takes the cooperation and participation of our whole parish, we will soon be placing a bulletin board up at church, dedicated to this event.  This will be a place for us to network, share ideas and keep informed on the progress of our planning.  The Parish Council is looking for a volunteer or a small team of volunteers to step forward to be the main coordinator(s) for this event.  Please speak with Fr. Ignatius or our council chair Todd Wiblin if you want to help in a leadership role with Evening in the East.   
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-
        On Sunday November 20, the Muste family will provide the holy bread.  Thank you in advance.  Anyone who would like to provide the holy bread can sign up at the bulletin board in the narthex.  Bread seals are available to be loaned out.

Coffee Hour-
      On Sunday November 20, the food for coffee hour and the cleaning of the fellowship hall will be provided by the St. Nina team.
Church Cleaning-
       During the week following Sunday November 13, the cleaning of the nave, narthex, bookstore/library, stairs, nursery and bathrooms will be provided by the St. John the Baptist team.
Choir Leadership-
       On Saturday November 19 and Sunday November 20, Lori Branch will lead the choir. 
Food for Thought-
"By grace ye are saved" (Ephesians 2:5, 8).

Who can comprehend and acknowledge that we are saved by grace - that we are saved by God's grace, and not by our merits and works? Who can comprehend and acknowledge that? Only he who has comprehended and seen the bottomless pit of death and corruption in which man is engulfed by sin, and has also comprehended and seen the height of honor and glory to which man is raised in the Heavenly Kingdom, in the realm of immortality, in the house of the Living God-only such a one can comprehend and acknowledge that we are saved by grace.

A child was traveling by night. He stumbled and fell into hole after hole and pit after pit, until he finally fell into a very deep pit from which he could in no way escape by his own power. When the child gave himself over to the hands of fate and thought his end was near, there was suddenly someone standing over the pit, lowering a rope to him and telling him to grab the rope and hold firmly to it. This was the king's son, who then took the child home, bathed him, clothed him and brought him to his court and set him beside himself. Was this child saved by his own deed? By no means. All he did was to grab the end of the rope, and hold on. By what, then, was the child saved? By the mercy of the king's son. In God's relationship with men, this mercy is called grace.

"By grace ye are saved." The Apostle Paul repeats these words twice in a short span, that the faithful might recognize and remember them.

Brethren, let us comprehend and remember that we are saved through grace by the Lord Jesus Christ. We were in the jaws of death, but have been given life in the courts of our God.

O Lord Jesus Christ our Savior, by Thee are we saved. To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.
St. Nikolai Velimirovic