St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Friday, September 10, through Thursday, September 16, 2010


YOUNG ADULT RETREAT – The 2010 Inter-Orthodox Young Adult Retreat, sponsored by the diocesan Fellowship of St. John the Divine,  is being held  Friday through Sunday,  September 10 – 12.  This year’s topic is  “A New Commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you.”  Here isthe schedule:
Friday:  Vespers & Welcome Reception at the Holiday Inn Legacy Place
Saturday:  Keynote address by  Alex Younes and two workshops, with Mr. Younes and our own David Vermette, here at St. Mary Church, Cambridge
Saturday Night:  Dinner & Moonlight Cruise down the Charles River
On Sunday we welcome the participants for  Divine Liturgy at St. Mary, followed by brunch in the Parish Hall.

Blessing- Father Antony will be blessing the Church School teachers and students at the end of the Liturgy.  Students and teachers will remain upstairs with parents throughout the Divine Liturgy.

Registration– During Coffee Hour there will be a Church School Registration table where current students are asked to update their information and new students are asked to fill out registration forms.

Teachers Meeting- Church School teachers and substitutes, and others interested in helping, please meet in the Library at 12:30 pm with your coffee. This will be an opportunity for you to get know your fellow teachers a little better, learn about church school curriculum materials and to look ahead at the church school calendar for the year.


PARISH COUNCIL– The next meeting of the Parish Council will be Wednesday, September 15, at 7:30 pm in the small hall next to the kitchen.

ANTIOCHIAN WOMEN CELEBRATION – You are cordially invited to acelebrationhonoring V. Rev. Fr. Ed Hughes, Spiritual Advisor to the Antiochian Women of the Diocese, next  Sunday, September 19, at St. George, West Roxbury (55 Emmonsdale Rd)  from 4:00 – 7:00 pm.  Hot and cold hors d’oeuvres and desserts will be served, and there will be a short program. You can win a lovely gift! Enjoy refreshments and fellowship!   Everyone is welcome, including men, women and teens. Please RSVP by Monday, September 13 to Gladys Laham at 617-469-0223, or Joyce Hanna at

WELCOME BACK BREAKFAST– The Fellowship of St. John the Divine will hold its annual “Welcome Back College Students” Breakfast on Sunday, October 3, 2010.  A suggested minimum donation of $5 will be gratefully accepted from non-students.  Please RSVP by  calling the Church Office at 617-547-1234.

Place an Order - The Women’s Club is offering for purchase freshly made Sfeeha (ground lamb-meat pizza pies with onion, pine nuts & seasonings) and Kibbeh (8 ½”x 11” tray made with ground lamb-meat and burghul).  Everything is cooked with the finest of ingredients and ready to eat now or freeze for the holidays!  Please use the order form in the  Sunday bulletin, or contact the church office for a copy.  Order deadline is Sunday, October 3.  Pick-Up Dates are  Sunday, October 17  for Sfeeha, and Sunday, October 24, for   Kibbeh.

Help with Cooking- Plan to come to the church on Saturdaymorning, October 16, starting at 9:00 am to help make meat pies with the Women's Club.   Lots of help will be needed – young and old, women and men are all welcome - and it's always lots of fun.  Also, come at 9:00 Friday morning, October 22, to help the Women’s Club cook Kihbbeh


SONIA’S RUN – The second annual 5k road race to benefit the Theophany School, in honor of  beloved friend Sonia Belcher, will be held on Saturday,  September 18 , at St. George Church, West  Roxbury.  The 5K Run/Walk  begins at 9:00 am;  Kids Fun Run at 8:30 am.  Be a runner….Be a volunteer….Be a sponsor!  Call Kim Daly 781-510-1175 or kimdaly4@gmail.comor

WOMEN’S CLUB– The next meeting of the St. Mary Women’s Club will be  Tuesday, September 21, at 7:30, in the small hall next to the kitchen. Feel free to join us!

DEFIBRILLATOR TRAINING- Due to a generous donation, the church is about to install a new Automated External Defibrillator (AED) machine downstairs in the church hall, and plans on hosting a professional training session for the AED machine in the fall for our parishioners.  This training would be at no cost to parishioners and would last approximately 30-45 minutes.
In the alternative, the Parish council is requesting feedback from parishioners about interest in a combination CPR and AED class wherein attendees could receive their certification in these areas.  This class would carry a small cost, would be sanctioned by the Red Cross or other entity, and would last about 4-6 hours. We need to know how many parishioners are interested in order to schedule the training. Please see Raymond Sayeg ( or Eric Straghalis ( by Sunday, September 26, if you are interested in these classes.  

DOCUMENTARY SNEAK PREVIEW– On Wednesday, September 15 at 7:00 pm, St. George West Roxbury will host a  “Special Sneak Preview” of  Little Town of Bethlehem, an acclaimed documentary film which follows the story of three men of three different faiths and their lives in Israel and Palestine. The story explores each man’s choice of nonviolent action amidst a culture of overwhelming violence.  The film will then have an Exclusive Engagement  September 21 from 7-10 p.m.  at Boston College, Cabaret Room, Vanderslice Building.

ST. THEKLA PILGRIMAGE – Theannual St. Thekla pilgrimage will take place over the weekend of  September 24 – 26, 2010 at Antiochian Village.  This year’s theme will be  Ascending the Mountain:  It’s a Family Road Trip.   Presiding Hierarch will be  Rt. Rev. Bishop THOMAS, with Mother Alexandra, Abbess of the Convent of St. Thekla, as an additional speaker.  For more information, visit www.antiochianvillage.orgor contact the office at the Antiochian Village 724-238-3677.  See brochure on Church Bulletin Board.  Registration and payment deadline:  September 1, 2010.
(Note:  If you are going to this event, please contact Joyce Kilsey at 401-636-0268.  She’s interested in finding people to go with.)

WOMEN’S CLUB SUMMER READING -  This summer Women's Club members (and anyone else who'd like to join us) will be reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Read the book over the summer, and join us on Tuesday, October 5  for an enjoyable evening of discussion,  refreshments and fellowship! Book discussion will begin at 8:00 pm, following a brief business meeting to begin at 7:30 pm.

RI PARISH CENTENNIAL– St. Mary, Pawtucket RI, will be celebrating their 100th anniversary the weekend of October 8-10, with Metropolitan PHILIP presiding.  Events include a “Walk Down Memory Lane,” a Grand Hafli,  Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, and a Grand Banquet.  More details to follow.
HELP NEEDED: FOOD PANTRY COORDINATORTwo to four volunteers from St. Mary are scheduled to 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 volunteer to be the new coordinator - contact outgoing coordinator Christian Alcala at, or (617) 876-5684. Our grateful thanks to Christian for serving in this capacity for the past several years.

COFFEE HOUR VOLUNTEERS NEEDED – Please sign up to provide a coffee hour – it can be as simple as coffee, juice, and cookies.  Lots of Sundays are available in the Fall, and 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

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  September through June, and at 9:30 am during the summer.

This ministry is 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!

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,

Coffee 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 volunteer to be the new coordinator -  contact outgoing coordinator 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.

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


LITURGICAL SERVICE – Epistle:  Teva Regule;  Left Cloth:  Bob Kowalik and TBD,  Right Cloth:  Melissa Nassiff and Linda Arnold,  Left Bread:  Maggie Arnold, Right Bread: Larisa Patacchiola



Saturday, September 11:  Great Vespers 5:00

Sunday, September 12:  Orthros 8:45 am,  Divine Liturgy 10:00  am;   Church School registration

SCRIPTURE READINGS for September 12:
Epistle:  St. Paul's Letter to the Galatians 6:11-18
But far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. Peace and mercy be upon all who walk by this rule, upon the Israel of God.  

Gospel:  John 3:13-17
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.  For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.

Monday, September 13:  Evening Liturgy for the Feast of the Elevation of the Holy Cross 6:30 pm


Saturday, September 18:  Great Vespers 5:00

Sunday, September 19:  Orthros 8:45 am,  Divine Liturgy 10:00  am;   Procession of the Holy Cross;  Church School classes start

Sunday, October 3:  Welcome Back Breakfast


“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up" (John 3:14). And just exactly as all who were bitten by the serpents looked upon the bronze serpent which was suspended and were healed, thus also every Christian who believes in our Christ and has recourse to His life-bearing wounds, who eats His Flesh and drinks His all-holy Blood, is cured of the bites of the spiritual serpent of sin and by this most holy nourishment is made to live unto the renewal of a new creation, that is, new life in harmony with His life-giving commandments.
   - Elder Ephraim of Philotheou Mount Athos, "Counsels from the Holy Mountain"

The renewal of creation has been wrought by the Self-same Word Who made it in the beginning. There is thus no inconsistency between creation and salvation; for the One Father has employed the same Agent for both works, effecting the salvation of the world through the same Word Who made it in the beginning.
   - St. Athanasius

Thee alone I follow, Lord Jesus, Who heals my wounds. For what shall separate me from the love of God, which is in Thee? Shall tribulation, or distress, or famine? I am held fast as though by nails, and fettered by the bonds of charity. …  Secure me in the bonds of Thy love; cut away what is corrupt in me. … With Thy new washing, cleanse in me all that is stained.
    - St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan(St. Ambrose attributed this prayer to the Apostle Matthew, upon the occasion of the Apostle's conversion.)

If you have a heart, you can be saved.
   -- Abba Pambo, from Sr. Benedicta Ward, “The Desert Christian”

The central idea of the Eastern Fathers was that of theosis, the divinization of all creatures, the transfiguration of the world, the idea of the cosmos and not the idea of personal salvation...Only later Christian consciousness began to value the idea of hell more than the idea of the transfiguration and divinization of the world...The Kingdom of God is the transfiguration of the world, the universal resurrection, a new heaven and a new earth.
    - Nicholas Berdyaev,  Salvation and Creativity: Two Understandings of Christianity