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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of November 28, 2010)

posted Dec 18, 2010, 10:30 AM by Ilya Buchkin

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.
Free Lunch Program Volunteering-
       We need 3-4 volunteers to help serve food at the Free Lunch Program on Tuesday, December 7 from 11:30AM-1:30PM at the Wesley Center (Market and Dubuque St.).  Please let Fr. Ignatius know if you can help this month.
Thank You-
       Thank you to Kristi Abuissa for the sewing the new (dark) red altar covering for the Advent season.
Capital Campaign Phase II to Begin-
       Very soon, the Capital Campaign Committee will be mailing out hundreds of brochures introducing people to Phase II of our Capital Campaign, to raise funds in order to keep our building affordable for us.  As we did during Phase I about 2 years ago, the committee is requesting names and addresses of family and friends who you would like us to send information to about our fundraising efforts for the building.  Please contact committee members Newman Abuissa, Bill Spencer, Lori Branch or Fr. Ignatius with contact information of those who you would like to be on the updated mailing list.
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.
House Blessings-
       Following the Feast of Theophany on January 6, Fr. Ignatius is available to come to your home for a house blessing until the beginning of Lent.  A sign-up sheet is posted at church if you would like to reserve a date and time. 
Russian Language Classes-
       Olena Bezugla has started 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 the bulletin board at church.
Parish Council Meeting Minutes-
       The November 2010 Parish Council meeting minutes are attached.
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-
           Mark 12: 41-44 … “Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury.  And many who were rich put in much.  Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans.  So He called His disciples to Himself, and said to them, ‘ Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”           
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, December 5, the Van Dinter 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, December 5, the food for coffee hour and clean-up of the fellowship hall will be provided by the St. Nicholas team.
 Church Cleaning-
      During the week following Sunday, December 5, the St. Nina team will clean the nave, narthex, bathrooms, stairs, bookstore and nursery room.
Choir Leadership-
       Tania Van Dinter will lead the choir during the services of December 4-5.
Food For Thought-
Keep on studying the Gospel until the end of your life.  Never stop.  Do not think that you know it enough, even if you know it all by heart.
St. Ignatius Brianchaninov