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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of November 20, 2011)

posted Dec 4, 2011, 10:30 PM by Ilya Buchkin
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.
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.  
Fr. Ignatius Out of Town-
       Fr. Ignatius will be out of town from Tuesday evening, November 22 until Friday evening, November 25 for the Thanksgiving holiday.  He can be reached on his cell phone (319-400-7522) during this time.  There will be no Paraklesis service on Wednesday November 23, no OCF compline and book study on Thursday, November 24 and no matins on Friday, November 25.
Thank you-
        Thank you to Irakliy Surguladze and Rezo Gvarjaladze for recently cleaning out the gutters at church.  Thank you also to Kristi Abuissa for sewing work on the Nativity season altar cloth.   
Teen SOYO Movie Night-
       Our teens will gather to share dinner and watch a movie at 5:30PM on Tuesday, November 29.
Church Wireless Internet to be Ended-
       In order to help us to keep expenses in line with income, we will no longer have wireless internet available at church after November 30.
Annual Voters' Meeting is December 4-
       Every year, on the first Sunday of December, we meet after Liturgy for our annual Voters' Meeting.  Our meeting this year is on December 4.  At this meeting, we will discuss and vote on our 2012 budget and also elect a parish council member. Please plan to stay and participate in these important decisions for our parish.  More details regarding the agenda will be sent to all voters soon.
Pre-Nativity Fast-
       In order to prepare our hearts for the Feast of the Nativity of Christ, we have began a period of fasting on November 15 which 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.  
Church Library-
       Did you know that our church has a library?  In the room to the right of the top of the stairs, on the other side of the room from the bookstore shelves, are several shelves of our small church library.  The books in this library are available for church members to borrow.  We do not have a formal check out process.  We rely on the honor system.  You are encouraged to look at our library and take advantage of these resources.  If you have any books relating to the Orthodox faith that you would like to donate to the church library, please speak with Fr. Ignatius.
Non-Perishable Food Collection Reminder-
       We collect non-perishable food year-round to pass along to the Crisis Center which runs the local food pantry.  The donation box is located in the narthex underneath one of the tables.  During this season leading up to the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord, would you consider bringing some cans or boxes of food for the hungry in our community?
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.   
Daily Orthodox Study Bible Readings for the Week-
       Following are the readings for this week:
            Nov. 20- Joshua 21-22; Psalms 70:14-24; Proverbs 14:26-30; Luke 1:26-56
            Nov. 21- Joshua 23-24; Psalms 71; Proverbs 14:31-36; Luke 1:57-80
            Nov. 22- Judges 1-2; Psalms 72:1-14; Proverbs 15:1-5; Luke 2:1-24
            Nov. 23- Judges 3-4; Psalms 72:15-28; Proverbs 15:6-10; Luke 2:25-52
            Nov. 24- Judges 5:1- 6:10; Psalms 73:1-11; Proverbs 15:11-15; Luke 3:1-20
            Nov. 25- Judges 6:11- 7:25; Psalms 73:12-23; Proverbs 15:16-20; Luke 3:21-38
            Nov. 26- Judges 8-9; Psalms 74; Proverbs 15:21-26; Luke 4:1-30
            Nov. 27- Judges 10-11; Psalms 75; Proverbs 15:27-32; Luke 4:31-44

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 27, the 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 27, the food for coffee hour and the cleaning of the fellowship hall will be provided by the St. John the Baptist team.
Church Cleaning-
       During the week following Sunday November 20, the cleaning of the nave, narthex, bookstore/library, stairs, nursery and bathrooms will be provided by the St. Nicholas team.
Choir Leadership-
       On Saturday November 26 and Sunday November 27,  Matthew Arndt will lead the choir. 
Food for Thought- 

In spite of our sinfulness, in spite of the darkness surrounding our souls, the Grace of the Holy Spirit, conferred by baptism in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, still shines in our hearts with the inextinguishable light of Christ ... and when the sinner turns to the way of repentance the light smooths away every trace of the sins committed, clothing the former sinner in the garments of incorruption, spun of the Grace of the Holy Spirit. It is this acquisition of the Holy Spirit about which I have been speaking.

St. Seraphim of Sarov