St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Friday, November 5, through Thursday, November 11, 2010

Note: The St. Mary Update was not issued last week, because of the editor’s unexpected hospitalization. We apologize for any inconvenience.


COFFEE HOUSE – Come to the St. Mary Coffee House this Saturday, November 6. Vespers is at 5; the doors open for the coffee house at 6:30; acts begin at 7:00 pm...we will wrap up around 9:30.   Featuring musical performances by David Vermette with the LiveWire Band and guests,  Brooke Wilcox , Amy Clay and Josh Cole, the Fool Saints!   Offering baked goods, coffee and tea. No admission charge; donations to benefit the FSJD.

FSJD Members – Please bring baked goods,  dessert or fruit;  come around 4:00 to help set up; and help clean up afterwards. Your help is much appreciated.

PRISON MINISTRY– Did you know that St. Mary has a ministry to prisoners? Dn. Jeff will tell about it in the homily this Sunday, and you can subscribe to the mailing list here:


MEMORY ETERNAL- We are saddened to advise of the falling asleep in the Lord of Anthony K. Teebagy, Sr. of Somerville and Florida on Monday, October 25, 2010 in Florida.  Beloved husband of Mary Rose (Maloof); beloved father of Judith DeFreitas and her husband, Daniel; Barbara Capuano and her husband, Michael; Anthony Teebagy, Jr. and his wife, Kathleen Buckley; James Teebagy and his wife, Sanaa; Laura Shuman and her husband, Mark; Kaser Teebagy and his wife, Patricia.  The funeral service was held here at St. Mary on Saturday, October 30, 2010, with interment following at Fairview Cemetery.  Donations may be made to the Church or to the American Cancer Society, 30 Speen St., Framingham, MA  01701.  May his memory be eternal.

PARISH COUNCIL– The next meeting of the Parish Council will be Wednesday, November 17, following the Paraclesis service.  (See Reminders, below,  regarding parish council nominations.)

TEEN SOYO– Congratulations to the newly elected officers of the Teen SOYO:  President Theo Smith, Vice-President Sabrina Nebiye, Secretary Gabe Smith, and Treasurer Esther Porr. 

SPAGHETTI DINNER– On Sunday, November 14, the Teen SOYO will sponsor a spaghetti dinner after Liturgy. The menu will feature spaghetti and meatballs (just before the fast!), salad, bread, dessert and coffee/beverage. Everyone is invited; your goodwill donation will be much appreciated.

YOUTH EQUIPPED TO SERVE–  Middle school and high school students are invited on a service trip to Providence RI from Friday, December 17,  at 5:00 pm through Sunday, December 19th, at 3:00 pm.  Nadia is hoping a group of teens from St. Mary's will join her in a weekend of service, fellowship, and prayer.  To register visit: or for more information email Nadia: .

NATIVITY FAST– The Nativity Fast, also known as the season of Advent, begins next Monday, November 15. This is the forty days of fasting and prayer in preparation for the Great Feast of the Nativity of Christ.  On Wednesdays during this period there will be a Paraklesis service at 6:30 pm.

BAKE SALE– The Women’s Club presents its Annual Thanksgiving Charity Bake Sale on Sunday, November 21, 2010All proceeds will benefit the Convent of Saidnaya, North West of Damascus, Syria.  Plan on purchasing all your holiday breads, pies, goodies, Syrian pastries and much more!  Call MaryEllen Mabardy at 781-729-6303, if you can help bake and/or donate.

PARISH CHRISTMAS CARD- Save yourself time, let us do the work and have all proceeds  benefit the Antiochian Women  Project 2010-2011:  The Convent of St. Thekla.   Let the Women’s Club send a lovely Christmas Card on your behalf to our parishioners.  You will receive this card with the names of parishioners, like yourself, who are wishing  a Blessed Nativity and a Merry Christmas to all.  Please use the form in the Sunday Bulletin.  Deadline:  Sunday, December 5, 2010.


WOMEN’S CLUB BOOK DISCUSSION -  The Women's Club members (and anyone else who'd like to join us) are reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  Join us this Tuesday, November 9  for an enjoyable evening of discussion,  refreshments and fellowship! Brief women’s club meeting at 7:30; book discussion will begin at 8:00 pm.

CPR and AED TRAINING –  The Parish Councilis offering training in Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) on Saturday, November 13 – CPR 1:30-3:30, and AED 3:30–5:00.  There is no cost for the training and certification, which has been generously donated by a family in the parish. We have 15 spots to fill.  Participants need no special equipment or knowledge, and should wear comfortable clothes and bring a desire to learn.  The instructor will supply models/dummies for the CPR training and exact replicas of the AED machine recently installed in the Church Hall.  Contact Ray Sayeg if interested:  or 617-872-9774.

PARISH COUNCIL NOMINATIONS- Parish Council nominations and ballotswill be sent out soon.  Please note that there will be several vacancies next year and we are actively looking for  parishioners who would be willing to serve.  If you have any questions or would like to run, please see Ray Sayeg or e-mail him at

COME SEE THE MESSIAH - Join friends from St. Mary’s for the Handel and Haydn Society’s  annual performance of Handel’s Messiah, on Sunday, December 5, at 3:00 p.m.  We will carpool to Symphony Hall after Liturgy and have lunch together before the concert.    Contact Melissa Nassiff at mnassiff@gmail.comfor discounted tickets – possibly separate from the rest of the St. Mary group - or order your own tickets online at Either way, plan to join us for lunch first!

PROJECT MEXICO – Project Mexico is an ongoing Orthodox Christian mission project. Groups of Orthodox Christians, led by experienced builder/leaders, build houses for poor Mexican families near St. Innocent Orthodox Orphanage in Rosarito, Mexico.  Families (with children at least 10 yrs. old), teens over 14, and adults are welcome to join a Home Building Team.    Anyone interested in forming a St. Mary's Project Mexico Home Building Team for August 2011 please contact Fr. Anthony, or Kera Dalton (a 2009 Project Mexico attendee and new member of St. Mary's) at  or (781)789-8458. 

CANNED FOOD DRIVE– The annual FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE Canned Food Drive will be held  through December 26, 2010.  Bring  in your canned goods to the Church and place them in the large, blue plastic containers outside the Church Office – they will be distributed to local food pantries in our area. Since 1984 we have collected over 3,281,200 pounds of food.

ON-LINE STEWARDSHIP SIGN-UP - There will be a table at Coffee Hour for the next few Sundays for those who would like to try eGive.  We’ll have a laptop to help walk you through the process on the spot.  All you need to bring is a sample check from your checking account.  Please e-mail Jamil Samara ( or Charlie Marge ( if you have any questions.

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. 

If you are interested in helping, please contact Erick Straghalis ( 

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 and six 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 at  phone 617-974-5005,  or Tiffany Conroy at

St Paul’s Food Pantry - Volunteers are needed each week in the food pantry at St Paul's Roman Catholic Church in Harvard Square, Saturday mornings from 9:30-11:45. 

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.

Canned Goods-The annual Food For Hungry People canned food drive  is  held  October through  December each year.  Bring  in your canned goods to the Church and place them in the large, blue plastic containers outside the Church Office – they will be distributed to local food pantries in our area.

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


LITURGICAL SERVICE – To be announced

COFFEE HOUR – Ray and Melissa Sayeg


Saturday, November 6:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm, followed by St. Mary Coffee House

Sunday, November 7:  Orthros 8:45 am,  Divine Liturgy 10:00  am;  Church School Lesson 7

Epistle:  St. Paul's Letter to the Ephesians 2:14-22
And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.

Gospel:  Luke 8: 41-56
As he went, the people pressed round him. And a woman who had had a flow of blood for twelve years and had spent all her living upon physicians and could not be healed by anyone, came up behind him, and touched the fringe of his garment; and immediately her flow of blood ceased. …  But Jesus said, "Someone touched me; for I perceive that power has gone forth from me." And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. And he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace."


Saturday, November 13:  Church School Family Vespers and Confession, followed by pizza, 5:00 pm

Sunday, November 14:  Orthros 8:45 am,  Divine Liturgy 10:00  am;  Church School Lesson 8

Monday, November 15:  Nativity Fast begins

Wednesday, November 17:  Paraclesis service 6:30 pm

Saturday, November 20:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm     

Sunday, November 21: Orthros 8:45 am,  Divine Liturgy 10:00  am;  Church School Lesson 9, followed by Pageant rehearsal

Wednesday, November 24:  Paraclesis service 6:30 pm

Saturday, November 27:  NO Vespers at St. Mary

Sunday, November 28:  No Church School


Our wickedness shall not overpower the unspeakable goodness and mercy of God; our dullness shall not overpower God’s wisdom, nor our infirmity God’s omnipotence.
   - St. John of Kronstadt

For the act of faith is an act in which the intellect is content to know God by loving Him and accepting His statements about Himself on His own terms.
   - Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

We come to the mystical gifts and are sanctified, becoming partakers of the holy flesh and the honorable blood of Christ, the Savior of us all. We do not receive it as ordinary flesh … but as genuinely life-giving and the Word’s own flesh. Since, by his nature as God he was life, when he became one with his own flesh, he made it life-giving.
   - St. Cyril of Alexandria, The Third Letter to Nestorius

In Christ we possess everything. Let every soul approach him, be it sick with sins of the flesh, infixed by the nails of worldly desires, admittedly still imperfect, progressing by intense meditation, or already perfect in its many virtues. Everyone is in the Lord's power, and Christ is all things to us. If you desire to heal your wounds, he is your doctor; if you are on fire with fever, he is your fountain; if you are burdened with iniquity, he is your justification; if you need help, he is your strength; if you fear death, he is your life; if you desire heaven, he is your way; if you are fleeing from darkness, he is your light; if you are seeking food, he is your nourishment: Taste and see that the Lord is good. Happy is the man who takes refuge in him.
   - St. Ambrose of Milan

Since thou art a divine river of mercy, like unto a fathomless gulf of plentiful sympathy, O Bountiful One, manifest the divine streams of thy mercy, and heal all men. Pour forth abundantly fountains of wonders and cleanse all; for resorting ever unto thee, we fervently implore thy grace.
   - Kathisma for Wednesday of Holy Week