St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Friday, July 23, through Thursday, July 29, 2010


FR. ANTONY AWAY- Fr. Antony is at the annual Clergy Symposium at Antiochian Village  through Friday of this week, and driving home on Saturday.  In case of emergency, contact Ray Sayeg at 617-872-9774. 

SUMMER MEETINGS AT THE VILLAGE – The North American Board of the Antiochian Women and the North American Councils of the Fellowship of St. John the Divine and Teen SOYO will hold their annual Summer Meetings at the Antiochian Village this Friday through Sunday, July 23-25. (This is when the St. Mary Bible Bowl team will represent our Diocese in the Bible Bowl at the national level.)

St. Mary Church offices are closed Thursday and Friday, July 22-23.BIBLE BOWL CHAMPS- Congratulations to our own Thomas Marge, Theo Smith, and Gabriel Smith,  winners of the 2010 Bible Bowl for the Diocese of Worcester & New England, and their coach, Violet Robbat!  Our Bible Bowl team will compete as the New England representatives at the North American Council - Fellowship of St. John the Divine Bible Bowl at Antiochian Village at the Summer Meetings on Saturday, July 24, 2010!


GOING TO TANGLEWOOD?– If you plan to join the St. Mary outing to Tanglewood next Sunday (see Reminders, below) please see Melissa Nassiff this Sunday during coffee hour, so we can arrange car pooling and other details.

PARISH COUNCIL  - The next meeting of the Parish Council will be Wednesday, July 28, at 7:30 pm.

CHILDREN’S BOOK STORYTELLER- An  Orthodox Monastery for women in California (Holy Assumption Monastery) writes books for children on various feasts of the Church.  This Saturday, the monastery provides an opportunity to meet award-winning author and illustrator Randy Houk, who has been reading children's stories on stage at the Hingham Shipyard Festival.  Randy is the founder of children's publisher "The Benefactory."  "The Benefactory" is helping to bring the Monastery's Orthodox children's books to a larger audience and to launch a new series called "Good Neighbors, " which teaches basic Christian values.

     Randy has very kindly agreed to be available this Saturday, July 24, from 1:00 to 2:00 pm in Hingham to meet with anyone who might be interested in meeting with her to learn more about being a storyteller for children's books.  If you are interested, please call 781-294-4715  or e-mail her at RandyHouk@aol.comso that she knows to reserve a meeting place. You are also welcome to call the Monastery at 707-942-6244 should you have any further questions.


BLOOD DRIVE IN HONOR OF JAMIL – There will be a blood drive next Saturday, July 31, at  St. George Church, West Roxbury from 9:00 am. – 2:30 pm, in honor of both Jamil Samara and his father, George. Schedule an appointment by calling the St. George Church Office 617-323-0323 or Sean Santry at 617-517-4866

TANGLEWOOD OUTING– Join your music-loving friends from St. Mary’s as we carpool out to Tanglewood after Liturgy on  Sunday, August 1. We’ll picnic on the lawn and listen to music by Sibelius, Elgar, and Mussorgsky,  with cellist Yo-Yo Ma.  (For more information see  The concert starts at 2:30; lawn tickets are $24.50 (pay at the door). Bring lawn chairs if you want them, and picnic food for yourself and to share.  For more information and to let us know you're coming, especially if you'll need a ride (or can provide one), contact Melissa Nassiff by email ( or phone (508-877-7483).

NEW SKETE PILGRIMAGE  - The Monastic Communities and Chapel Community members of New Skete Monastery in Cambridge, New York, invite you to join them for a day of prayer and reflection celebrating their feast day on Saturday, August 7, 2010 (rain or shine).  The theme of the pilgrimage is "Hidden Holiness."  As is the rule of monastic life, the day will begin and end with prayer--Matins at 8:30 am, followed by the celebration of the Divine Liturgy at 9:30 am and end with Vigil at 5:00 pm.  In addition, a special Healing Service with Anointing will be held at 3:30 pm.  Fr. Michael Plekon, Professor of Sociology and Religious Studies at Baruch College and an Associate Priest at Saint Gregory the Theologian Orthodox Church, Wappinger Falls, NY, will deliver the feature presentation, "Living the Holy Life in Our Time," in the afternoon.  This theme has been very much on Father's mind for several years prompting him to write the book with the title, *Hidden Holiness."  Dr. Olga Solovieva, Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion at Skidmore College, will moderate the discussion.  In addition, the day will include tours of the monastery churches, a demonstration of the monks' dog training program, as well as time for hiking, conversation, reflection and quite.  Activities for children and teens are also planned.  Traditional ethnic and American style food will be available for purchase.

     In years past, a number of us have gone out for the weekend to help the Chapel Community with the "leg-work" for the day.  They are hoping a number of us will do so again this year.  Let Teva Regule ( know if you are interested as she will be arranging housing for all the Boston helpers.  For those wishing to stay the weekend, there is a parish picnic on that Sunday afternoon to which we are all invited.       In addition, a few of us will be trekking out there the weekend before (7/30-8/1) to help with the clean-up on that Saturday.  At present, some plan to join the St. Mary group at Tanglewood that Sunday afternoon on the return trip home.  Let Teva know if you can help for the cleanup weekend as well.

SACRED MUSIC INSTITUTEAND CONCERT– The annual Sacred Music Institute  at Antiochian Village will be held July 28 – August 1, and will include a 25th anniversary concert on July 31,  featuring the Sacred Music Chamber Choir and our own Boston Byzantine Choir.

COFFEE HOUR VOLUNTEERS NEEDED – Please sign up to provide a coffee hour – it can be as simple as coffee, juice, and cookies, and it’s easier now when summer attendance is lighter.  Plenty of help is available! Signup sheets are on the bulletin board downstairs outside the Hall, or call Marilyn in the office at 617-547-1234 or VIDEO STREAMING VOLUNTEERS – The video streaming ministry has been a great success!  A special thank you to Erick Straghalis,  Marc Patacchiola, and Nadia Abuelezam who have been instrumental in making this possible.     Marc and Erick are looking for more volunteers who can help set up the streaming service prior to Liturgy on Sunday mornings and potentially during other events (speakers, vespers, etc.).  Volunteers would rotate weekly, taking turns setting up the camera, computer and microphones each week.  Some technical expertise may be required, but training will be provided. If you are interested, please contact Erick Straghalis (   Thank you!

CARE PACKAGES FOR “OUR” MARINE– Fr. Antony's "spiritual son" Scott is still in the Marines,  and has been deployed to Afghanistan.  The Fellowship of St. John the Divine is once more helping collect items for care packages for him and his fellow Marines. Thanks to the generosity of St. Mary parishioners, the Fellowship has been able to send  several  care packages already. We hope to send a box every month or so, so please continue to donate the items he needs.  He has especially asked for Gatorade powder (dark blue kind if possible), Tuna, Beef jerky, Sunflower seeds, Sour skittles, Protein bars, and Non perishable food.

     A box has been set up outside the church offices for your donations, and we would also welcome monetary contributions to help with postage, shopping, etc.  - make checks payable to Fellowship of St. John the Divine or to St. Mary Church (earmarked FSJD), and give them to any member of the FSJD Steering Committee (Tiffany Conroy, Mike Decerbo, Melissa or Peter Nassiff, Socrates Deligeorges or Steve Walker), or mail them to the Church. Thank you for your caring concern and prayers for Scott and his fellow Marines!

STREAMING VIDEO- Divine Liturgy at St. Mary is broadcast live every week!  Do come to church…  but if you can’t, then join us on your computer. To see live broadcasts go to  Divine Liturgy starts at 10:00 am every Sunday through the end of June (except for June 20), and at 9:30 during the summer.

FIRST IN, LAST OUT– Please do not park in the small lot behind the church unless you intend to stay through the end of coffee hour. The only way out is the single lane driveway.  Please pull all the way in to the parking space, and please do not block the driveway – if the lot is full, you can park on the street or in the lot at the corner of Prospect Street and Bishop Allen Drive.


There are a number of ways you can help the Church, your fellow worshippers and those in need.  Consider serving in one of these ways:


Liturgical Service - Each Sunday, members of the congregation are needed to read the Epistle and assist during Communionby holding the Communion Cloths and Holy Bread Baskets.  All Orthodox Christians in the Parish are welcome and encouraged to participate. We usually need one Epistle reader and eight people to hold cloths and baskets.  If you would like to read the Epistle or assist during Communion, please contact Jeff Wasilko, 781-820-0882, Hour – People are needed every week to provide coffee, juice and cookies, or more if desired, and set it up Sunday morning. To sign up for an available Sunday, please put your name on the signup sheet on the bulletin board outside the Hall or call Marilyn Robbat in the Parish Office and she will write your name in. If you need any help with figuring out what to bring or do, check the list below the signup sheet (also printed in the Bulletin), or ask Marilyn at secretary@stmaryorthodoxchurch.orgor 617-547-1234.


Holy Resurrection Open Doors - The Holy Resurrection Open Door Meal Ministry in Allston needs volunteers every Monday evening (there is a special need in the summer).  The official hours of the project are 4:30 pm-7:30 pm, but it is fine to come anytime and leave any time.  Best times would be 5:30-5:45 to 7:15-7:30 pm.  You can serve meals, coffee and tea to the people who arrive for dinner (6-7 pm) or just stay behind the scenes doing set-up and clean-up.  It is a very rewarding, hands-on, face-to-face way to serve the community with (mostly) other Orthodox Christians—we even chant the Our Father together before the meal begins. Church info can be found at    Questions? Please contact Liz Straghalis  phone 617-974-5005,  or Tiffany Conroy at

St Paul’s Food Pantry - Two to four volunteers help each week in the food pantry at St Paul's Roman Catholic Church in Harvard Square, Saturday mornings from 9:30-11:45.  If you are interested in helping, please contact Christian Alcala at, or (617) 876-5684.


Food and Clothing – Holy Resurrection in Allston takes donations of non-perishable food items and clothing to distribute at the Open Door Ministry on Monday evenings.  You can bring your donations by on Monday nights between 4:30 pm and 7:30 pm or contact Tiffany Conroy,, for more information.

- St. Paul’s Food Pantry in Harvard Square, where volunteers from St. Mary help every Saturday, depends upon regular donations of canned and packaged foods.  To help, contact Christian Alcala at, or (617) 876-5684.

"As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me," says our Lord.


LITURGICAL SERVICE – Epistle: Bob Kowalik;  Left Cloth:  Brooke Wilcox and TBD;  Right Cloth: Melissa Nassiff and TBD;  Left Bread:  Linda Arnold;  Right Bread: Maggie Arnold

If you would like to read the Epistle or assist during Communion through the rest of the summer, please contact Jeff Wasilko,   If you have held the bread or communion cloth before, and see an empty space, feel free to step in and help.

COFFEE HOUR – Demetri Georgeady


Saturday, July 24:  NO Vespers at St. Mary

Sunday, July 25:  Orthros  8:15 am,  Divine Liturgy  9:30 am (Summer hours)


Epistle:  St. Paul's Letter to the Galatians 4:22-27

Brethren, Abraham had two sons, one by a slave and one by a free woman. …  Now this is an allegory: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; … But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother.

Gospel:  Matthew 14:22-34

… But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out for fear. But immediately he spoke to them, saying "Take heart, it is I; have no fear." And Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, bid me come to you on the water." He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus; but when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me." Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, "O man of little faith, why did you doubt?"


Saturday, July 31:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, August 1:  Orthros  8:15 am,  Divine Liturgy  9:30 am  (Summer hours)

Sunday, August 1: Dormition Fast begins

Wednesday, August 4:  Paraclesis Service 6:30 pm

Thursday, August 5: Evening Liturgy for the Feast of the Holy Transfiguration 6:30 pm, with Blessing of Grapes

Wednesday, August 11:  Paraclesis Service 6:30 pm

Sunday, August 15, Our Patronal Feast Day:  Orthros 8:15 am,  Lamentations 9:30 am,  followed by Festal Divine Liturgy for the  Feast of the Dormition of the Blessed Theotokos; followed by a celebratory coffee hour

Saturday, August 21: No Vespers at St. Mary


...while the Lord's victory is certainly an accomplished fact, my personal participation in that victory is as yet far from complete...My trust is therefore in Christ, not in myself, and I am confident that Christ is faithful and stands firm.

   - Bp. Kallistos Ware, How are We Saved?

Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.

   - Martin Luther King, Jr. an unreserved opening of the mind to the truth, whatever it may turn out to be. Faith has no preconceptions; it is a plunge into the unknown.

   - Alan Watts

"…when the time comes to enter the darkness in which we are naked and helpless and alone; in which we see the insufficiency of our greatest strength and the hollowness of our strongest virtue; in which we have nothing to rely on, and nothing in our nature to support us, and nothing in the world to guide us or give us light—then we find out whether or not we walk by faith."

   - Fr. Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

Faith and love which are gifts of the Holy Spirit are such great and powerful means that a person who has them can easily, and with joy and consolation, go the way Jesus Christ went. Besides this, the Holy Spirit gives man the power to resist the delusions of the world so that although he makes use of earthly good, yet he uses them as a temporary visitor, without attaching his heart to them. But a man who has not got the Holy Spirit, despite all his learning and prudence, is always more or less a slave and worshipper of the world.

   - St. Innocent of Irkutsk,  Indication of the Way into the Kingdom of Heaven