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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of November 6, 2011)

posted Dec 4, 2011, 10:28 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 by next Sunday, November 13, so that a responsible budget can be formed in time to be voted on at our December 4 meeting.
Teen SOYO Youth Group Project, Our Teens Need Your Help!-
       Our fledgling teen youth group, known as Teen SOYO, is collecting various items to be put into care packages and sent to US military personnel serving overseas.  All list of items needed is posted and there is a collection box in the narthex at church.  The deadline to bring items is Sunday, November 13.  Speak with our teen group leader, Alli Rockwell, if you have any questions.
Nov. 12-13 is Family Weekend at UI-
       We have invited the families of Orthodox Christian students attending the University of Iowa to come visit St. Raphael Church during our weekend services on November 12-13.  This coincides with Family Weekend at the university.  For coffee hour, we would like to have an abundance of food for any guests that come.  If you are able to help out the food team that is already scheduled to bring food that day (St. Raphael team) please speak with the team leader, Fr. Ignatius.
Choir Practice-
        Our next choir practice is scheduled for Saturday, November 12 at 9AM.  The choir will practice music for the upcoming Nativity season.
Pre-Nativity Fast-
       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.
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. 
Daily Orthodox Study Bible Readings for the Week-
       Following are the readings for this week:
              Nov. 6- Deuteronomy 20-22; Psalms 59; Proverbs 12:11-15; Mark 10:32-52 
              Nov. 7- Deuteronomy 23-25; Psalms 60; Proverbs 12:16-20; Mark 11:1-19
              Nov. 8- Deuteronomy 26:1-28:14; Psalms 61; Proverbs 12:21-25; Mark 11:20-33
              Nov. 9- Deuteronomy 28:15- 29:28; Psalms 62; Proverbs 12:26-31; Mark 12:1-27
              Nov. 10- Deuteronomy 30-31; Psalms 63; Proverbs 13:1-5; Mark 12:28-44
              Nov. 11- Deuteronomy 32; Psalms 64; Proverbs 13:6-10; Mark 13:1-23
              Nov. 12- Deuteronomy 33-34; Psalms 65; Proverbs 13:11-15; Mark 13:24-37
              Nov. 13- Joshua 1-3; Psalms 66; Proverbs 13:16-21; Mark 14:1-31 

2012 OCMC Orthodox Mission Team Opportunities Now Available!-
       In 2011, over 135 Orthodox Christians shared their faith through loving service as part of an OCMC Orthodox Mission Team. They witnessed baptisms, healed the sick, strengthened the church, and brought smiles to the faces of children. They answered the call to make disciples of all nations. Is 2012 your time to share in this journey of faith?  OCMC is pleased to announce 2012 Orthodox Mission Team opportunities. Next year, team members will have the opportunity to share the Orthodox Christian faith by offering evangelism, catechism, healthcare, construction, and youth ministry in 9 countries around the world (including a first-time team to Mongolia). 2012 Mission Team dates and opportunities include:

Kenya – Teaching (3/2/2012)
Share the Gospel and teach the Orthodox Faith in Lodwar.

Uganda – Healthcare (6/2/2012)
Offer health services to the people in the Jinja region of eastern Uganda.

Mongolia – Teaching (6/5/2012)
Proclaim the Gospel and share the Orthodox Faith with Mongolian catechumens as part of a historic first Team to Ulaanbaatar.

Guatemala - Youth Work (7/5/2012)
Offer a youth camp program, "Tren de Chocolate," for the children at the Hogar Rafael Ayau Orphanage in Guatemala City.

Moldova - Youth Work (7/10/2012)
Participate in a youth camp outside the city of Orhei.

Romania - Youth Work (7/19/2012)
Participate in a youth camp outside the city of Cluj. Families with children are welcome.

Tanzania – Teaching (7/22/2012)
Teach the Orthodox Faith and experience the culture and ze al of Orthodoxy in Tanzania, by being a part of a teaching team in Mwanza.

Korea, South - Youth Work (7/25/2012)
Teach English at Orthodox youth camps in Chuncheon and Pusan.

Alaska - Youth Work (8/11/2012)
Travel to Kodiak Island and participate in a youth camp program in Old Harbor, Alaska. Families with children are welcome.

Alaska - Youth Work (8/11/2012)
Travel to Kodiak Island and participate in a youth camp program in historic Ouzinkie, Alaska. Families with children are welcome.

Moldova – Teaching (9/11/2012)
Teach and inspire Orthodox Church leaders in Orhei, Moldova and strategize on ways to bring the youth back to the Church.

Tanzania – Healthcare (10/1/2012)
Be part of a holistic outreach of the Orthodox Church of Tanzania, by offering health care to those who have limited access to medical care.

Tanzania – Teaching (12/5/2012)
Teach the Orthodox Faith and experience the culture and zeal of Orthodoxy in Tanzania, by being a part of a teaching team in Bukoba.

Please prayerfully consider your participation on an Orthodox mission team in 2012. Visit www.ocmc.org, or contact OCMC Teams Director Andew Lekos by phone at 1-866-463-6784 ext. 140 or by e-mail at teams@ocmc.org for more information or to apply.

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 13, the  Branch/Peterson 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 13, the food for coffee hour and the cleaning of the fellowship hall will be provided by the St. Raphael team.
Church Cleaning-
       During the week following Sunday November 6, the cleaning of the nave, narthex, bookstore/library, stairs, nursery and bathrooms will be provided by the St. Nina team.
Choir Leadership-
       On Saturday November 12 and Sunday November 13, Tania Van Dinter will lead the choir. 
Food for Thought-
Deeply rooted in people is the love of idle talk, i.e., empty, unnecessary conversations, and it has become a beloved pastime among them.  It seems we don't know and don't believe that idle talk is a sin, and a serious sin, which gives birth to a multitude of other sins: quarrels, conflicts, gossip, slander, condemnation, calumny, and the like.  Indeed, all the various confusions which fill human life to overflowing, all the disturbances of the inner quiet of the soul, have as their source this same idle talk, which has crept into all of everday life, as though it were its indispensible property and requirement.  If any sin or any passion knows how to clothe itself in an attractive form, it is precisely- idle talk.
It begins under the pretext of conversing, of discussing some business, but then we proceed imperceptibly to an altogether unnecessary, empty, and sinful conversation.  Like a deeply-rooted infection, this sickness does not easily submit to healing.  It has penetrated all layers of social and private life; it is active in people of every age and gender, every class and social position, and has not even spared monasteries.
One deeply thinking pastor, contemporary to us, writes the following on idle talk, among other things: "How heedlessly, how carelessly we use our words, which should be highly valued as a great gift from God!  But on the contrary, what do we least esteem, if not the spoken word?  In what are we fickle, if not in the spoken word?  What do we trhow out every minute, as though it were dirt, if not the spoken word?  O Christian!  Value your words, be attentive to them!"
Abbess Thaisia, Letters to a Beginner, "Letter Nine, On Idle Talk and Gossip", p. 70.