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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of October 16, 2011)

posted Dec 4, 2011, 10:26 PM by Ilya Buchkin

Pledge Packets-
       We have now 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 soon so that a responsible budget can be formed in time to be voted on at our December 4 meeting.
Daily Orthodox Study Bible Readings for the Week-
       Following are the readings for this week:
                 Oct. 16- Numbers 4:34-6:26; Psalms 41-42; Proverbs 8:27-31; Matthew 27:27-44
                 Oct. 17- Numbers 7:1-8:4; Psalms 43:1-9; Proverbs 8:32-35; Matthew 27:45-66
                 Oct. 18- Numbers 8:5-10:36; Psalms 43:10-27; Proverbs 9:1-6; Matthew 28
                 Oct. 19- Numbers 11:1-14:10; Psalms 44; Proverbs 9:7-11; Mark 1:1-20
                 Oct. 20- Numbers 14:11-15:41; Psalms 45; Proverbs 9:12-15; Mark 1:21-45
                 Oct. 21- Numbers 16:1-18:19; Psalms 46; Proverbs 9:16-20; Mark 2
                 Oct. 22- Numbers 18:20-21:9; Psalms 47; Proverbs 9:21-25; Mark 3:1-19
                 Oct. 23- Numbers 21:10-22:41; Psalms 48:1-10; Proverbs 10:1-6; Mark 3:20-35
New Booklet Available-
        "St. Raphael Orthodox Church Iconography: A Self-Guided Tour" is the title of a brand new booklet now available in our narthex.  This booklet is designed to inform everyone, members and visitors, about the many different icons that adorn the nave of our church building.  Have you ever wondered who was depicted on a certain icon?  Would you like to learn about the lives of some of the men and women that we see covering our church walls when we come to worship?  Take a copy (one per household- please) and educate yourself.  
Vesperal Liturgy for St. Luke the Evangelist-
       On Monday, October 17, we will gather at 6PM for a Vesperal Liturgy to commemorate St. Luke the Evangelist.  
Teen SOYO Movie Night-
       Our next teen youth group movie night will be on Tuesday, October 18 at 5:30PM.  Pizza will be provided.  We will watch "Though None Go With Me."  Over the next few weeks, Teen SOYO will be sharing with us about their upcoming service project to provide items to fill care packages for US troops.  Stay tuned.
The Geneva Lecture Series presents-
       Sociologist Dr. Christian Smith will lecture based on his book, "Souls in Transition: The Cultural and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults."  This free lecture will be held on Tuesday, October 18 at 7:30PM in Philips Hall at the University of Iowa.  For more information, go to: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e4izajbwa7334ab5
Change in Food Team Schedule-
       The St. Nicholas food team, which normally provides food on the first Sunday of the month, will be responsible for providing food on Sunday October 30, in lieu of a parish-wide potluck.  On the following Sunday, November 6, we are celebrating our Tenth Anniversary with pizza and ice cream.  
Folding Chairs Needed-
       We have expanded the number of tables in our fellowship hall, and now we find we are short on folding chairs.  We have a need for between 8-12 durable, metal, regular-sized folding chairs and 4 children's sized chairs.  If you would like to arrange to donate chairs or money to purchase chairs, please mention it to Fr. Ignatius or Todd Wiblin. 
Informed Choices Medical Clinic Fundraising Banquet-
       Informed Choices, a local medical clinic that offers life-affirming alternatives to abortion for women who are in crisis pregnancies, will be holding their annual fundraising banquet on Tuesday, October 25 at the Coralville Marriott.  For more information, go to: www.informedchoiceia.org.
St. George Fall Bake Sale-
       St. George Orthodox Church in Cedar Rapids (3650 Cottage Grove Ave., SE)  announces their Fall Bake Sale beginning at 8AM on Saturday, October 29.  Breakfast is served at 8AM and lunch beginning at 11AM.  Many delicious Middle Eastern foods will be available for sale.
Feastday of St. Raphael Services-
       Our patron saint is always commemorated on the first Saturday of November each year.  Therefore, on Friday, November 4, we will have Great Vespers with Litia and Artoklasia at 7PM and on Saturday, November 5, Matins at 8:45AM followed by Divine Liturgy at 10AM.  Come and celebrate our patron saint!
Celebratory Tenth Anniversary Coffee Hour- November 6-
       During the weekend that we will be celebrating our church's patronal feast, we will also be recognizing that St. Raphael Church began ten years ago, in 2001.  To celebrate this important milestone of our parish, we will be having a special pizza and ice cream birthday party coffee hour following Liturgy on Sunday, November 6.  In order to help fund this, we will be asking for freewill donations over the next several weeks by placing a basket near the food line at coffee hour.  Please be generous and help us to mark the passage of the first decade of St. Raphael Church.  If anyone has pictures of parish events that they would like to share on this day, please speak with Kristi Abuissa who can borrow your prints and electronically scan them.
Nov. 12-13 is Family Weekend at UI-
       We will be inviting the families of Orthodox Christian students at 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.
News on Rebuilding of St. Nicholas Orthodox Church at Ground Zero in NYC-
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 October 23, the Van Dinter 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.
Choir Leadership-
       On Saturday October 22 and Sunday October 23, Lori Branch will lead the choir. 
Coffee Hour-
      On Sunday October 23, 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 October 16, the cleaning of the nave, narthex, bookstore/library, stairs, nursery and bathrooms will be provided by the St. Nicholas team.
Food for Thought-
Some people tell me that they are scandalized because they see many things wrong in the Church. I tell them that if they ask a fly: "Are there any flowers in this area?" it will say: "I don't know about flowers, but over there in the heap of rubbish you can find all the filth you want." And it will go on to list all the unclean things it has been to. Now, if you ask a honeybee: "Have you seen any unclean things in this area?" it will reply: "Unclean things? No, I have not seen any; the place here is full of the most fragrant flowers." And it will go on to name all the flowers of the garden or the meadow. You see, the fly only knows where the unclean things are, while the honeybee knows where the beautiful iris or the hyacinth is.

As I have come to understand, some people resemble the honeybee and some resemble the fly. Those who resemble the fly seek to find evil in every circumstance and are preoccupied with it; they see no good anywhere. But those who resemble the honeybee only see the good in everything they see. The stupid person thinks stupidly and takes everything in the wrong way, whereas the person who has good thoughts, no matter what he sees, no matter what you tell him, maintains a positive and good thought.

Once a high school student came to my Kalyvi and knocked on the metal knocker on the door. Even though I was reading a stack of letters at the time, I decided to go and see what he wanted. "What is it you want, my son?" I asked. "Is this the Kalyvi of Father Paisios?" he asked me, adding, "I want to see Father Paisios." "This is his Kalyvi, but he's not here; he went to buy cigarettes," I told him. "It looks like he must have gone to help someone," he responded with a good thought. "He went to buy the cigarettes for himself," I told him. "He smoked them all and was desperate for a cigarette. He left me here alone, and I don't know when he'll be back. If he takes too long, I'll just leave." The student's watery eyes gave away his emotion and again he said with a good thought: "We torment Father Paisios." "Why do you want to see him?" I asked. "I just want to receive his blessing," he said. "What blessing do you expect to receive from him, you fool! He's deluded; I know him well. There's no grace in him. Don't waste your time waiting for him to return. He'll be grouchy; he may even be drunk, because he drinks too." In spite of all this, the young man was still having good thoughts. Finally, I told him: "I will wait for him a little longer, what do you want me to tell him?" "I have a letter to give him," he said, "but I will wait so I can receive his blessing." You see? No matter what negative things I related, he took them all with a good thought. When I told him about the need for cigarettes, his eyes began to well up with tears. "Who knows," he thought, "he must have gone to help someone." Other people are well-educated and read a great deal, but they still don't have the good thoughts of that young student! You demolish his thought, and he immediately creates a better thought and draws an even better conclusion. I marvelled at him! It was the first time I saw such a thing!

Elder Paisios the Athonite, From Spiritual Counsels III: Spiritual Struggle, pp. 29-31.