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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of October 23, 2011)

posted Dec 4, 2011, 10:27 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 soon 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 this Wednesday morning, October 26 through this Saturday afternoon, October 29.  He will be attending part of the Diocesan Fall Gathering held this year in Flint, MI.  He can be reached on his cell phone at 319-400-7522.  In the case of a pastoral emergency in which a priest's presence is desired, please contact Fr. Elias Khouri at 319-329-2562.  There will be no matins this Friday, October 28. 
Change in Food Team Schedule for Sunday-
       The St. Nicholas food team, which normally provides food on the first Sunday of the month, will be responsible for providing food this 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.
Holy Bread Needed for Sunday-
       The opportunity to provide the holy bread for Liturgy on Sunday, October 30 is still available.  Please contact Fr. Ignatius if you are able to do this.
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.  Also, we would like to do something fun during coffee hour.  If you have a baby, toddler or young child picture of yourself that you can lend to Kristi, she will make a copy, and we will post them on the wall and try to guess who is shown in each picture!
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.
Thank You-
       Thank you to Alli Rockwell for donating the cost and labor for much-needed carpet cleaning at church recently.  The carpets look much better.
Daily Orthodox Study Bible Readings for the Week-
       Following are the readings for this week:
             Oct. 23- Numbers 21:10-22:41; Psalms 48:1-10; Proverbs 10:1-6; Mark 3:20-35 
             Oct. 24- Numbers 23-24; Psalms 48:11-21; Proverbs 10:7-11; Mark 4:1-20
             Oct. 25- Numbers 25:1-27:11; Psalms 49:1-15; Proverbs 10:12-16; Mark 4:21-41
             Oct. 26- Numbers 27:12-29:39; Psalms 49:16-23; Proverbs 10:17-22; Mark 5:1-20
             Oct. 27- Numbers 30-31; Psalms 50:1-10; Proverbs 10:23-27; Mark 5:21-43
             Oct. 28- Numbers 32-33; Psalms 50:11-21; Proverbs 10:28-33; Mark 6:1-29
             Oct. 29- Numbers 34-36; Psalms 51; Proverbs 11:1-5; Mark 6:30-56
             Oct. 30- Deuteronomy 1-2; Psalms 52-53; Proverbs 11:6-10; Mark 7:1-23
Worthy Podcast Episode-
       For those of you who listen to podcasts online, Fr. Ignatius commends on 10 minute podcast by fellow Orthodox priest Fr. John Oliver called "Be Merciful."  This podcast, available on Ancient Faith Radio, can be found at this link: http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/hearts_and_minds/be_merciful
Today's Sermon Attached-
       As requested, the sermon that Fr. Ignatius gave today, October 23 is attached.
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.  
St. George Fall Bake Sale This Saturday-
       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. 
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.
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 30, 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.
Choir Leadership-
       On Saturday October 29 and Sunday October 30, Tania Van Dinter will lead the choir. 
Coffee Hour-
      On Sunday October 30, the food for coffee hour and the cleaning of the fellowship hall will be provided by the St. Nicholas team.
Church Cleaning-
       During the week following Sunday October 23, the cleaning of the nave, narthex, bookstore/library, stairs, nursery and bathrooms will be provided by the St. Raphael team.
Food for Thought-
If we expect our children and grandchildren to grow into adulthood as practicing Orthodox Christians, we must give daily witness to the importance of our faith in our everyday life. If we are lax in our fasting, church attendance, and piety, our children will see by our lack of seriousness a faith that will mean nothing to them. If they do not see us keeping a prayer rule, they will not have prayer as a part of their lives. If they do not see us putting the divine services before entertainment, they will abandon Orthodoxy, once they’ve left the nest.
 - Abbot Tryphon