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From the Weekly Bulletin (week of September 27, 2009)

posted Oct 13, 2009, 1:21 AM by Ilya Buchkin

Bishop's Visit Re-Cap
       His Grace Bishop MARK had a productive and enjoyable visit with us this last week. From several individual meetings and a meeting with the Parish Council, to dinner with the OCF and Vesperal Liturgy, his schedule was full. Liturgy was wonderful. Thank you to the choir for lending us your voices and especially to Lori Branch for pulling all of the music together and for leading the choir. Thank you to Irakli and Nana Tskhakaia for hosting Bishop MARK and Subdeacon James for two nights at their home, and for hosting the bishop's dinner with our college students in OCF. Bishop MARK commented that he really likes what he sees with what we have done with our new building in such a short time. But he also reminded us that the church is not a building, it is the people, and we must always strive to love others and to reach out, to *be* the church, and not just go to church. We have Bishop MARK scheduled to come back and visit for St. Raphael's feastday in November 2010.

Fr. Ignatius Will Be Out of Town
       From Monday, September 28 through Wednesday, September 30, Fr. Ignatius will be out of town, attending a deanery meeting in W. St. Paul, MN. He will be reachable on his cell phone at 319-400-7522. In the case of a pastoral emergency, please contact Fr. Elias Khouri at 319-329-2562. There will be no office hours on Tuesday or Wednesday this week and no matins on Wednesday.

Outdoor Liturgy and Potluck Picnic Oct. 4
       Weather permitting, we will gather in College Green Park (right down the street from our building) at the gazebo for an outdoor Liturgy on Sunday, Oct. 4 at 10AM. Following Liturgy, we will stay and enjoy our last picnic of the season. There will be no matins scheduled for this day, to accommodate the time necessary to set-up for Liturgy. A sign-up sheet for the potluck picnic is posted at church.

Free Lunch Program Volunteering Oct. 6
       St. Raphael Church is scheduled to provide 3-4 volunteers to help with the Free Lunch Program on Tuesday, October 6 from 11:30AM-1:30PM. Please contact Fr. Ignatius if you can help this month.

Sunday School Program has Started
       We look forward to a strong Sunday School program this year. Grades 1 and up is being taught taught by Newman Abuissa and Amy Jongeling. They meet weekly at 9:15AM on Sundays and end at 10AM. Ages 3-5 meet weekly for about 15 minutes immediately after receiving Communion during Liturgy. Hannah and Lizzy Valentine are teaching this class. It's never too late to get your children involved!

Russian Language Classes
       Beginner's Russian language classes will start meeting weekly on Wednesdays at 7PM, beginning October 7.* *Please contact our teacher Olena Bezugla/Coffin at olena.coffin@yahoo.com if you are interested.

Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest Fall Gathering
       Clergy and laypeople from around the diocese will be gathering in Cleveland, OH October 8-12 to worship and pray together, to learn together, and to fellowship together. Seminars include several having to do with icons and iconography. Registration information is attached.

St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church Greek Fall Dinner
       On Sunday, October 11 from 11AM-7PM, St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Cedar Rapids is hosting their Greek Fall Dinner. If you are interested in purchasing tickets, please contact Bogdana Rus at 319-400-2016 or bogdanarus@yahoo.com.

Parish Council Meeting Minutes
       The August 2009 Parish Council meeting minutes are attached.

Back to School Clothing and Winter Outerwear Collection
       The local Consultation of Religious Communities will be having their annual "Back-to-School Clothing and Winter Outerwear Distribution" on October 17. From now until then, we will be collecting at church, new and gently used clothing appropriate for school from pre-school (including infant wear) through high school, as well as winter outerwear (coats, jackets, hats, scarves, mittens, boots) for all ages. All clothing should be clean and in good repair (no tears, missing buttons, broken zippers, etc.). Please leave clothing in bags next to the candlebox in the narthex.

Word Magazine Subscriptions
       If you or anyone in your household is a member of St. Raphael Church, you should be receiving a free subscription to the monthly Antiochian Archdiocese magazine, *The Word. *If you do not receive this magazine and would like to, please let Fr. Ignatius know, and he will forward your address information on to the right office in the Archdiocese so that you can begin receiving it.

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 and Coffee Hour
     On Sunday, October 4, the Buchkin family will provide the holy bread. Food for coffee hour will be brought by all who bring food to our after Liturgy potluck picnic. Anybody who would like to host the coffee hour or bake the holy bread can sign up to do so.

Food For Thought

Adam longed for deification before the proper time.

St. John of Damascus in his "Homily on the Transfiguration", as quoted in "Fellow Workers with God: Orthodox Thinking on Theosis" by Norman Russell, p. 110.