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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of September 25, 2011)

posted Sep 26, 2011, 1:36 AM by Ilya Buchkin
Teen SOYO Apple Orchard Trip-
       This Saturday, October 1, the teen SOYO group will meet at church at 11AM (Yes, that is a new time- different from what was announced in church) to drive to Wilson's Apple Orchard.  Bring a bag lunch.  We will have a picnic.  We will go on a tractor ride.  Picking and buying apples or pumpkins is optional.  During this outing, we will discuss plans for our first service project, which will be to assemble care packages for US troops.  We will return to church at 2PM.  Our next movie night will be Tuesday, Oct. 18 at 5:30.  If anyone would like to help the Teen SOYO by providing food for this or future movie nights, please communicate that with Alli Rockwell. 
Georgian Classical Guitar Concert-
       St. Raphael's own Tariel Iberi will be performing a concert of his own compositions on Friday, October 7th at 7PM at the church.  In lieu of admission, a freewill donation will be accepted, which will support the church's building fund.  If you can help distribute promotional posters around town, please speak with Fr. Ignatius or Tariel. 

Daily Orthodox Study Bible Readings for the Week-
       Following are the readings for this week:
                      Sept. 25- Exodus 19-21; Psalms 26; Proverbs 5:7-14; Matthew 16
                      Sept. 26- Exodus 22-24; Psalms 27; Proverbs 5:15-19; Matthew 17
                      Sept. 27- Exodus 25-27; Psalms 28; Proverbs 5: 20-23; Matthew 18:1-20
                      Sept. 28- Exodus 28-29; Psalms 29; Proverbs 6:1-6; Matthew 18:21-35
                      Sept. 29- Exodus 30-32; Psalms 30:1-14; Proverbs 6:7-12; Mattthew 19
                      Sept. 30- Exodus 33-34; Psalms 30:15-25; Proverbs 6:13-16; Matthew 20:1-16
                      Oct. 1- Exodus 35-37; Psalms 31; Proverbs 6:17-19; Matthew 20:17-34
                      Oct. 2- Exodus 38-40; Psalms 32:1-12; Proverbs 6: 20-25; Matthew 21:1-22
Parking Considerations for Oct. 9-
       On Sunday October 9, the annual Run for the Schools will be held on the streets of Iowa City, including right in front of our church building.  The Johnson County Sheriff informs us that College St. will be shut down between Linn St. and Muscatine Ave., beginning 5AM that day; Gilbert St. will be shut down between Washington and Burlington Streets, beginning at 6AM.  Dodge and Governor Streets will also be shut down near the church beginning at 6AM.  It would be a good morning to walk or bike to church if you are close enough.  Otherwise, it is suggested that you rely on Lucas and Johnson when traveling north or southbound near the church, and Washington and Burlington when traveling east or westbound near the church.  Unless you can find street parking on Lucas, Johnson, Washington or Iowa, you should plan on parking in the parking garage a few blocks to the west of the church by entering on Washington between Van Buren and Gilbert.  All roads should be re-opened by noon.
IARGUS 2011 Gala Concert-
       The International Annual Russian Guitar Festival (IARGUS) is fast approaching.  The festival culminates with the Gala Concert to be held on Sunday, October 9 at 7PM at the Congregational Church (30 N. Clinton St.)  Admisison is $12.  For more information, go to: www.iarmac.org

Byzantine Chant Workshop-
        Do you want to participate more fully in the various chanting parts of services, but feel like you're just winging it or faking it? You're not alone! We would like to invite Richard Barrett, choir leader at All Saints Orthodox Church in Bloomington, Indiana, who has studied Byzantine chant for many years and undergone an intensive two-month tutelage with the master chanter Ioannis Arvinitis in Athens, to give a weekend chanting workshop here on Saturday, October 15, and Sunday, October 16. You may remember his previous visit for An Evening in the East. The registration fee would be $30 per person. If we can secure pledges from at least ten participants, we will be able to guarantee that the accumulated honorarium from pledges and other sources will be sufficient to sponsor Richard's visit. I would ask that you please let me know within a week whether you are interested in taking part, so that we can determine whether we will be able to host the workshop. We are also sending invitations to other churches in the area.  Please contact Matthew Arndt at matthew-arndt@uiowa.edu for more information or to register.  
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
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 6PM 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.
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 2, the Muste 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 1 and Sunday October 2,  Lori Branch will lead the choir.
Coffee Hour-
      On Sunday October 2, 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 September 25, the cleaning of the nave, narthex, bookstore/library, stairs, nursery and bathrooms will be provided by the St. Raphael team.
Food for Thought-
[I]n the church, particularly during the Divine Liturgy, we are surrounded by the angelic hosts.  That is why, as Elder Ephraim of Philotheou (Mt. Athos) says, we should "stand in church with fear and reverence, for our Christ is invisibly present with the holy angels."  Therefore, St. Ephraim the Syrian (+ AD 373) says, "Just as the angels stand with great fear, and chant their hymns to the Creator, likewise should we stand in psalmody."  St. John Chrysostom also says: "The angels surround the priest.  The whole sanctuary and the space around the altar are filled with heavenly powers to honor Him Who is present on the altar." 
The presence of the spiritual powers is felt strongly throughout the celebration of the Divine Liturgy.  Since we have entered God's Kingdom, we are continuously in their company.  The Entrance with the Holy Gospel is made together with the holy angels.  The angelic hymn is offered together with them.  The angelic hosts surround the Offering.  With them the people sing the Trisagion hymn.  It is through an appeal for their protection that the Divine Liturgy concludes.  As we said, the reason there are so many references to angels is because our worship takes place in the Kingdom of God, before the heavenly throne.
The angelic presence may be invisible (to most, anyhow), however many Saints and pious clergy and people have attested to have seen them surrounding the Holy Table.  A holy priest of our own times describes as follows his experiences to a deacon: "Ah, father, if you could only see what is going on during the Cherubic Hymn, when the priest reads the prayer, you would all go away.  Angels go up and down invisibly, and many times I feel their wings hitting my shoulders."
In the ubiquitous presence of the incorporeal powers in the celebration of the Divine Mysteries we witness the extent to which the Church is conscious of the indivisibility of the liturgy and the worship of the heavenly hosts.... In the Liturgy we participate in the one, eternal Liturgy of heaven; and heaven itself stoops toward us and enfolds us, raising up our transfigured humanity to heaven.
Adapted from "The Angelic Presence" in The Heavenly Banquet: Understanding the Divine Liturgy by Fr. Emmanuel Hatzidakis