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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of November 14, 2010)

posted Dec 18, 2010, 10:28 AM by Ilya Buchkin
2011 Pledge Packets-
       The Parish Council has prepared and mailed out information on pledging financially to St. Raphael Church for 2011.  Please look over this information and prayerfully consider if you are called to support the church in this way.  If you desire to assist the church financially through a regular pledge, please return your pledge form to church as soon as possible.
Showing the Film "Ostrov" (The Island)-
       We will host a showing of this film on Monday, November 15 at 7PM at the Iowa City Public Library, Meeting Room A.  This film captures authentic Orthodox spirituality as it is told through the life of a fictional monk and fool-for-Christ, who lives on an island monastery in the north of Russia.  The movie is 112 minutes long.  Refreshements will be provided.  This is a good chance to invite friends and family to an outreach event for our church.
Nativity Fast to Begin November 15-
       On November 15, we begin 40 days of preparation for the clebration of the coming in the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ at the Feast of the Nativity.  As part of our preparation, we are asked by the Church to modify our diet according to the fasting guidelines for this season which include refraining from meat, dairy and eggs.  Wine and oil are allowed on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and fish, wine and oil are allowed on the weekends.  As always, this is the ideal, and a spirit of humble, repentant fasting which brings us closer to God is the goal, rather than perfectly following the fast with pride.
November Parish Council Meeting-
       Please note that our Parish Council is not meeting on the normal schedule this month.  The November Parish Council meeting will be Wednesday, November 17 at 7PM.  All are welcome to attend.
Help for Refugees-
       St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Des Moines is asking for help to minister to several Eritrean individuals and families.   One woman and her two children were recently evicted and many of their meager possessions were looted after the possessions were put out on the curb.  In addition to this family, there are four recently arrived young men who are in need of assistance.  Following is a list of things that would be useful to them all.  -Toiletries for men and women:  toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, shampoo, facial tissues, toilet paper.  Clothing for men and women:  hats, gloves, scarves, winter coats, socks, sweaters (men's M and L and women's S and M), pants.  Shoes/boots:  men's sizes 13 and 9 1/2 and 10.  Women's sizes 8 and 8 1/2.  If you intend to provide any donations for these people in need, please get it to church or Fr. Ignatius by this Tuesday, November 16.
Parish Council Openings-
       At our Annual Voters' Meeting on December 5, we will need to fill at least one parish council position.  To satisfy the conditions of our parish constitution, we need two people willing to stand for election for a three year term.    If you are interested in serving the church in this important role, please contact Fr. Ignatius.
Volunteer Needed to Chair Evening in the East-
       For the last two years, we have had a successful fundraiser and outreach event that we have called "Evening in the East."  We plan to do it again this January or February, and we need someone to take on the responsibility of coordinating all of the other volunteers as the chairperson of the event.  Our past chair, Kristi Abuissa, has many useful notes to share, which explain what needs to be done and when.  If you like to organaize and work with people, this is an excellent way to serve the church.  Please contact Fr. Ignatius if you are interested.
Russian Language Classes Beginning-
       Olena Bezugla is starting up Russian language classes again at church.  The first class will begin on Thursday, November 18 at 5:30PM.  Contact Olena at olena.coffin@yahoo.com if you are interested in learning more or attending.  
Handel's "Messiah" Concert-
       The Chamber Singers of Iowa City will present George Handel's famous oratorio "Messiah" on Sunday, November 21, 3PM at St. Patrick's Catholic Church (4330 St. Patrick Dr., Iowa City).  Tickets are $17 for adults, $14 for seniors and $5 for youth and students and can be purchased from Matthew Arndt or at the door.
OCF Midwest College Conference 2010-
        Registration is now open for the Orthodox Christian Fellowship Midwest College Conference 2010 at
http://collegeconference2010ngm.eventbrite.com/.  This gathering of Orthodox Christian college students from around the Midwest will be held over winter break between Dec. 29- Jan. 1 at the New Gracanica Serbian Orthodox Monastery in Third Lake, IL outside of Chicago.  The keynote speaker will be His Beatitude Metropolitan JONAH of the Orthodox Church in America. 
Thoughts on Stewardship-
          Ephesians 4:1-4 … I, therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the spirit, in the bond of peace.  There is one body and one hope, that belongs to your call.”                             
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.  
Coffee Hour-
      On Sunday, November 21, the food for coffee hour and clean-up of the fellowship hall will be provided by the St. Nina team. 
 Church Cleaning-
      During the week following Sunday, November 14, the St. Nicholas team will clean the nave, narthex, bathrooms, stairs, bookstore and nursery rooms.
Choir Leadership-
       During the weekend of November 20-21, Matthew Arndt and Kristi Abuissa will lead the choir during the services.
Food For Thought-
Never neglecting mental prayer but always crying from the depths of thy heart, "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me," thou didst become completely spiritualized, as all bore witness.  Noticing in thee an exceptional sweetness, which radiated from thy serene countenance, the faithful joyfully exclaimed: Alleluia!
Knowing that the Most Holy Virgin is a bulwark for all saints and a joy to monastics, thou didst often offer thy supplications to her with tears and didst commit thyself to her motherly protection.  Writing beautiful hymns, thou didst give to the faithful the gift of thy love, teaching them to sing, "Rejoice, O unwedded Bride!"  Therefore, we cry to thee:
Rejoice, precious chosen one of Christ;
Rejoice, pure fragrance of God!
Rejoice, thou who didst show flaming live for the Lord;
Rejoice, thou who didst always honor His Holy Mother!
Rejoice, boast of the Orthodox Church;
Rejoice, thou who workest many miracles through the power of God!
Rejoice, O Father Nektarios, model ofpatience and lover of virtue.
Kontakion and Ikos X from the Akathist to St. Nektarios of Aegina and Pentapolis