St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

January 2020

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

Christ is Born!

One long-time parishioner told me that he had never seen the parish as active as it was this past December. The doors of St. Mary's have been famously opened for many years and now it seems those doors have been removed altogether. How else can you account for what we have seen?

First a Christmas Concert with a wonderful array of choirs along with the Boston Civic Symphony string quartet and a nearly full house of people from the parish, surrounding community, and sister parishes. Thanks to Michelle Mabardy, Adam Murphy, and Charlie Marge for their leadership.

Secondly, a Christmas lunch for the homeless in cooperation with Starlight Ministries brought another full house, this time to our hall. Volunteers from the parish and from other parishes in the Cambridge area joyfully served the holiday food. For this we must thank our Young Adult Ministry for their pioneering work. Well done.

Thirdly, the Angel Tree Ministry invited parishioners to "adopt" a child whose parent is currently incarcerated. Last year we bought and delivered gifts for 25 children and this year over 50. Greg Flessas was behind this major effort.

Fourth, the group of women from the parish who formed a group called "Rise" sponsored a meal for the women and children who live in the battered women's shelter at the YWCA. Again a wonderful success.

In addition, our on-going prison ministry continues as Mitrophan Chin, Yianno Pantazelos, and I visit MCI Concord every Monday night in an effort begun by Dn. Jeffrey over 10 years ago.

If we take seriously our Lord's words that we must feed the poor, clothe the naked, visit those who are sick and in prison, and welcome strangers, then it begs the question, if we are not doing this, then what in the world are we doing and why do we as church even exist?

In church, we praise God with prayers and hymns, in our daily lives we do it by helping others. One without the other is truncated at best. Thank God for the vision and efforts of everyone involved in making St. Mary's what it is and has become. May all our efforts be blessed.

With great affection,

Fr. Antony