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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of September 26, 2010)

posted Oct 10, 2010, 9:01 PM by Ilya Buchkin
Choir Rehearsal-
       The choir is scheduled to rehearse on Saturday, October 2 from 9AM-Noon at church.  Breakfast will be shared amongst the members.  The choir is always open to new members.  If you would like to learn more about the choir, you may speak with Kristi Abuissa, Lori Branch or Tania Van Dinter.
OCF Dinner-
       Our next Orthodox Christian Fellowship event will be a potluck dinner at OCF president Lindsey Mabe's home (1112 Muscatine Ave.) this Friday, October 1, at 6PM.  Please RSVP to Lindsey at lindsey-mabe@uiowa.edu and ask her what you can bring. 
No Vespers October 9-
       Because of the Gilpin-Carter wedding earlier in the day, there will be no vespers at St. Raphael on Saturday, October 9th. 
Order of St. Ignatius Membership-
       When Bishop MARK visits us on the weekend of November 5-7, he will be happy to induct members into the Order of St. Ignatius, a philanthropic organization within the Antiochian Archdiocese.  Among the many things that membership dues to the Order fund, are the clergy retirement fund, scholarships to our Archdiocese camps, and travel costs for mission priests to attend church-related conferences.  For more information about the Order of St. Ignatius, go to http://www.antiochian.org/order
Bishop MARK Visit and Patronal Feast Weekend-
       Following, is the schedule for the weekend of Bishop MARK visit.
Friday, November 5, 6PM- Vesperal Liturgy for Feast of St. Raphael
Saturday, November 6, 10AM- Time for Bishop MARK to meet with children of parish; 6PM Great Vespers
Sunday, November 7, 8:45AM- Matins; 10AM Hierarchical Divine Liturgy followed by potluck and time with the bishop
Introduction to Orthodoxy Class Series-
       A seven week series of classes introducing the Orthodox faith will begin on Saturday, October 16 at 3:30PM and meet weekly.  This class is for anyone: those who are unfamiliar with the Orthodox faith but would like to learn more, and those who are Orthodox but feel they missed some basic teaching.  Bring a friend! Please contact Fr. Ignatius if you are interested in attending.  This class is based on the last seven chapters of Timothy Ware's "The Orthodox Church." 
Author to Discuss Interaction Between Islam and Christianity-
       Congregational UCC is hosting a reading by Eliza Griswold, author of “ The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam ,” at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 29. The reading, to be held at the church at 30 N. Clinton St. in Iowa City is free and open to the public.
Free Lunch Program Volunteering-
       On Tuesday, October 5, we will help at the Free Lunch Program from 11:30AM-1:30PM.  If you can help serve and/or bring some food, please contact Fr. Ignatius.
Pakistani Christian Leader to Speak-
       Mano Rumalshah, a bishop of the United Christian Church of Pakistan will speak at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church of Iowa City on October 11 at 7PM.  He will speak of his experiences as a church leader in Pakistan, a country in which Christianity is a minority and oftentimes discriminated against.
Russian Guitar Festival-
       The 2010 International Annual Russian Guitar Festival and Seminar will be held in various locations from October 14-17 in both Iowa City and Cedar Rapids.  Among the highlights will be the Gala Concert at the United Congregational Church (30 N. Clinton St., Iowa City) at 7PM on October 17.  This concert will feature the Czar's Guitars and the Russian Guitar Quartet, among others.  For more information, including ticket prices, go to: http://www.iarmac.org/IARGUS.html
Fall Clean-up Day-
       At least twice a year, we gather together at church in order to clean and organize and beautify our church building and grounds.  If you are able to help this time, please plan to come to church on Saturday, October 23 from 1-4PM.  We will be sweeping, vacuuming, polishing, etc.  There will be something for everyone to do.
New Testament Greek Study Group-
       A study group, focusing on New Testament (Koine) Greek is forming at St. Raphael.  Tentatively, the group will meet after Liturgy and coffee hour beginning Sunday, November 14.  We will do some basic work using an interlinear Bible.  This will likely start out at a basic level (the priest is rusty!).  All are welcome.  Contact Tyler Fyotek at tjfyotek@gmail.com if you are interested.     
Thoughts on Stewardship-
          2 Chronicles 31: 5 … As soon as the commandment was circulated, the children of Israel brought in abundance the first fruits of grain and wine, oil and honey, and of all the produce of the field; and they brought in abundantly the tithe of everything.      
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.  
Coffee Hour-
      On Sunday, October 3, the St. Nicholas team will provide the food for coffee hour and clean up the fellowship hall afterward.
Holy Bread- 
       On Sunday, October 3, the holy bread will be provided by the Van Dinter family.  Thank you in advance.  Anyone who desires to bake the holy bread may sign up to do so.  This is a wonderful way to offer yourself and your loved ones to God and the Church. 
Church Cleaning-
      During the week following Sunday, October 3, the St. Nina team will clean the nave, narthex, bathrooms, stairs and bookstore and nursery rooms.
Choir Leadership-
       Kristi Abuissa will lead the choir during vespers on Saturday, October 2 and matins and Liturgy for Sunday, October 3.
Food For Thought-
The wall that separates two worlds is an iconostasis. One might mean by the iconostasis the boards or the bricks or the stones. In actuality, the iconostasis is a boundary between the visible and invisible worlds, and it functions as a boundary by being an obstacle to our seeing the altar, thereby making it accessible to our consciousness by means of its unified row of saints (i.e., by its cloud of witnesses) that surround the altar where God is, the sphere where heavenly glory dwells, thus proclaiming the Mystery. Iconostasis is vision. Iconostasis is manifestation of saints and angels- angelophania- a manifest appearance of heavenly witnesses that includes, first of all, the Mother of God and Christ Himself in the flesh, witnesses who proclaim that which is from the other side of mortal flesh. Iconostasis is the saints themselves. If everyone praying in a temple were wholly spiritualized, if everyone praying were truly to see, then there would be no iconostasis other than standing before God Himself, witnessing to Him by their holy countenances and proclaiming His terrifying glory by their sacred words.

But because our sight is weak and our prayers are feeble, the Church, in Her care for us, gave us visual strength for our spiritual brokenness: the heavenly visions on the iconostasis, vivid, precise, and illumined, that articulate, materially cohere, an image into fixed colors. But this spiritual prop, this material iconostasis, does not conceal from the believer (as someone in ignorant self-absorption might imagine) some sharp mystery; on the contrary, the iconostasis points out to the half-blind the Mysteries of the altar, opens for them an entrance into a world closed to them by their own struckness, cries into their deaf ears the voice of the Heavenly Kingdom, a voice made deafening to them by their having failed to take in the speech of ordinary voices.
Excerpted from "Iconostasis", by Fr. Pavel Florensky.