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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of November 21, 2010)

posted Dec 18, 2010, 10:29 AM by Ilya Buchkin
Thanksgiving Holiday-
       There will not be matins this Wednesday, November 24, nor will Fr. Ignatius hold office hours that day or Thursday, November 25 due to the Thanksgiving Holiday.
2011 Pledge Packets-
       If you have not yet returned your 2011 pledge packet and you intend to regularly support St. Raphael Church financially next year, please be in contact with our treasurer, Kristi Abuissa, so that she can have the latest financial information for our budgetary planning.
2011 Annual Voters' Meeting-
       Our Annual Voters' Meeting will follow Liturgy on Sunday, December 5th.  At this meeting, we will discuss and approve our 2011 budget, and vote to fill one vacancy on the Parish Council.  As we need a quorum in order to conduct business, your presence as a voting member is important.  Please plan on joining us.
Nativity Fast-
       On November 15, we began 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.
2011 Calendars Now Available-
       The 2011 calendars which show the saints for the day, daily Scripture readings and fasting seasons are now available in the narthex at church.  There is no cost for these.  Pick up a few to bring home with you.
Parking Sign Needed-
       Because parking is tight in the neighborhood of the church, our driveway is very valuable to us as a place to park a few cars.  Occasionally, we have had non-church members or guests park in our driveway.  The Parish Council has decided to post a "Parking for Church Members Only" sign.  The cost for a customized sign is $45.  If you are interested in helping to fund this, please let Kristi Abuissa or Fr. Ignatius know.
Russian Language Classes-
       Olena Bezugla is starting up Russian language classes again at church.  Contact Olena at olena.coffin@yahoo.com if you are interested in learning more or attending.
Local Charitable/Volunteer Opportunity Available-
       Help local underprivileged children and their families by volunteering at or donating to the 2010 Annual Homeless Children's Trust Christmas Shopping & Party event.  New toys, stuffed animals, puzzles, books and games for children (ages 0-17); caps, gloves, mittens, scarves (for same ages) can be donated by December 1 at various local drop-off points.   Volunteers are needed on December 4.  Duties include compaion shopping, gift wrapping, child care, party preparation and clean-up.  For information on locations to volunteer or drop-off donations, see information sheets on bulletin board at church.
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-
         Word Magazine, November, 2005, Fr. John Adbalah, referencing remarks by Metropolitan Philip to the 2005 General Assembly of the Antiochian Archdiocese in Detroit, Michigan …

“Tithing, like praying and fasting, puts God first and teaches us to trust Him, rather than ourselves, as our leader.  When we tithe, God is given the first part, the first tenth of the gifts that He gave to us.  When we tithe, we enter into His ministry at a serious level that will allow the parish and the Archdiocese to minister as they should.  Only when the parish and the Archdiocese operate at a level pleasing to God, can the people receive the ministry that God wants them to have.  Contributing tithes to the Church is different than making a pledge.  Tithes are based on what God has given us, not what we think the local parish needs to operate.  Tithes also represent the first part, not what is left over after we pay our bills and have our recreation.  Tithing represents a significant shift in thinking.  That is why tithing, like praying and fasting, is a spiritual gift that deepens our relationship with God and changes our life.”

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 28, the Gvarjaladze/Rockwell family will bring the Holy Bread.  Thank you in advance.  Anyone who would like to provide the holy bread can sign up to do so.  This is a wonderful way to serve the church and to have prayers offered up for your family and friends.   
Coffee Hour-
      On Sunday, November 28, the food for coffee hour and clean-up of the fellowship hall will be provided by the St. John the Baptist team.
 Church Cleaning-
      During the week following Sunday, November 28, the St. Raphael team will clean the nave, narthex, bathrooms, stairs, bookstore and nursery rooms.
Food For Thought-

Let us believers exchange glad tidings, singing to the Lord with psalms and songs of praise, honoring His holy tabernacle, the living ark who contained the uncontainable Word; for in a supernatural manner is she offered to God as a babe. And Zachariah the great High Priest receiveth her rejoicing since she is God’s abode.


From Great Vespers of the Feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple (Nov. 21)