Weekly Newsletter for the week Friday, April 27, 2007 through Thursday, May 3, 2007

Christ is Risen!  Truly He is Risen! 


THE SOUNDS OF ARAB CLASSICAL MUSIC - A concert in the Evelyn Abdalah Menconi Memorial Cultural Series, featuring The Bassam Saba Ensemble, will be held Tuesday, May 8, at the National Heritage Museum , Lexington , MA .  Reception 6:00 - 6:45 p.m. Program:  7:00 - 9:00 p.m.  Tickets:  $25   Students & Seniors:  $20. All proceeds  from ticket sales will support the relief/reconstruction effort in Lebanon .  For program information, call 781-762-4160.

PARISH LIFE CONFERENCE - The 2007 Diocesan Parish Life Conference will be June 28 through July 1, at the Radisson Hotel in Plymouth , MA . Theme:  Missions and Outreach. Keynote speaker will be Fr. Michael Keiser.  All proceeds will go toward establishing a Mission Endowment Fund for our Diocese.  This year the entire Diocese is hosting the conference, led by co-chairpersons Paul Nahass (pnahass@comcast.net) and Michael Marge (michael_marge@yahoo.com)  To see the schedule of events and register for the conference, click on  www.WorcesterDiocese.net - you can register either online or on paper.  To register for the hotel call 508-747-4900.  Please register for both by May 28 in order to get Early Bird rates for the conference, and the  special room rate of $119 per night for the hotel.


DIOCESAN MEETINGS - Next Meeting of the Diocese of Worcester & New England will be held on Saturday, April 28, at St. Mary Church, Pawtucket , RI .   A short church service will be held at 10 a.m. with meetings following at 10:30 a.m. for Antiochian Women, Fellowship of St. John the Divine and Teen SOYO.

THEOPHANY SCHOOL ANNIVERSARY - In celebration of its 10th anniversary, Theophany  Orthodox Christian School is holding  a Gala Evening and Auction, hosted by Maria Stephanos, on Sunday, April 29, at 4:00 p.m. at the Greek Orthodox Annunciation Cathedral Center , 162 Goddard Avenue , Brookline , Massachusetts .  Tickets are $40 per person (includes appetizers, dinner, dessert, wine & non-alcoholic beverages) and $15 per child (with children's menu).  There is also a raffle for a 2007 Mercedes-Benz C230 Sport Sedan; only 500 tickets will be sold.  All proceeds will directly benefit Theophany School , the first pan-Orthodox Christian preschool serving the needs of families of the greater Boston area.  If you have any questions, you can contact Michelle Chin at javachip23@hotmail.com, or call the school.

BENEFIT CONCERT - The Boston Byzantine Choir will give a benefit concert for St. Athanasios Greek Orthodox Church in Arlington on Saturday, May 5, at 7:00 p.m., to help pay off the mortgage on their beautiful new location.  The program of Paschal hymns will be preceded by Paschal Vespers at 6:00 p.m. (Note - no Vespers at St. Mary's that evening).  Suggested donation $10.  St. Athanasios is located at the corner of Mass Ave and Appleton Streets in Arlington .  For more information see Charlie Marge:  charlie.marge@verizon.net .

COFFEE HOUR FOR ORPHANAGE - On Sunday, May 6 the Fellowship of St. John the Divine will sponsor a coffee hour to help raise funds for a much-needed new orphanage building for the Hogar Rafael Ayau in Guatemala.  Many of you know Orthodox families who have adopted children from this orphanage, and therefore know firsthand of the amazing work that happens there.  Michelle & Mitrophan Chin will present a video of their summer 2002 missionary trip to the Hogar during the coffee hour.  You can learn a little more about the orphanage at http://www.hogarafaelayau.org/

The cost is your free-will donation (for a tax-deductible receipt, make check payable to OCMC with memo "Hogar Rafael Ayau - MFC") If you are able to contribute food items or your time (cooking, set-up, clean-up), please contact FSJD Chair Abra Greene at abrayanti@gmail.com or call 617-718-9616.

PHOTOS - Photos of this year's  Holy Week celebrations can be viewed on the  St. Mary website: https://www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/  And Jeff Wasilko has posted photos from the Paschal Feast on his website:  http://www.smoe.org/jeffw/gallery-new/holyweek_pascha_2007_paschal_feast  Special thanks to Jeff, Erick Straghalis, and  webmaster Jamil Samara.

NO FASTING - There is no fasting on Wednesday or Friday, not only during Bright Week, but for the whole forty days until the Feast of the Ascension on May 17.  (This is the decision of the Holy Synod of the Church of Antioch .)  This cessation of fasting, however, is purely voluntary;  you may fast if you wish.

VON HOLZHAUSEN LECTURE & DINNER  - Please join us for the 2007 Father John Von Holzhausen Memorial Lecture & Dinner on Saturday, May 19, after Vespers (5:00 pm).   Jeff Kaiser, former St. Mary's parishioner and currently a PhD candidate at McGill University , will speak on "With Eyes Unveiled: Seeing the Glory of God in the New Testament."  This event is sponsored by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine at St. Mary's, and is open to anyone who wishes to come.

PARISH PICNIC - On Sunday, May 20, immediately following Divine Liturgy, we will be celebrating the close of the Church School year with a "family style" picnic in the Church parking lot, under a big tent.  Festivities will include Bar-B-Que hot dogs & hamburgers; Silly Willy the Clown with a magic show, balloon sculptures & face painting; DJ's Peter and Nick Gonchar; raffle prizes; crafts, backgammon, and more. The entire parish is invited to attend. Please contact Michelle Mabardy at mmmabardy@aol.com or 781-860-8899  if you can help.

FOOTLAMPS - The next talk in the Footlamps Monthly Lecture Series will be held Saturday, May 19,  at St. Michael Church, Cotuit , MA . Speaker will be Dr. John Chirban.  Open to everyone. Vespers service begins at 5:00 pm followed by lecture and light refreshments. Suggested Donation $5.  For more information and to RSVP please Contact Ghada Khouri at 781-275-7244 or nerfellowship@yahoo.com 

NO VOLUNTEERS = NO COFFEE - Several upcoming Sundays are available,  so please sign up to sponsor a coffee hour, individually or with friends.  Some do this to celebrate a special event or anniversary, others simply as an act of hospitality. It can be as simple as coffee, juice, and cookies.   Signup sheets are on the bulletin board downstairs outside the Hall.

LITURGICAL SERVICE - Each Sunday, members of the congregation are needed to read the Epistle and assist during Communion by holding the Communion Cloths and Holy Bread baskets.  Six people are needed each week, in addition to the reader.  If you would like to read the Epistle or assist during the Communion, contact Maria McDowell at 617-921-6395 or email: mariagwyn@gmail.com

SCHOLARSHIPS - Attention High School Seniors:  The Fellowship of St. John the Divine gives out scholarships each year to high school seniors who are planning to attend a four-year college in the fall.  Please contact the Church Office at secretary@stmaryorthodoxchurch.org  or (617) 547-1234 so that an application may be mailed to you directly from the FSJD.



At the Sheep's Pool, a man lay in illness; and on seeing Thee, O Lord, he cried: "I have no man, that, when the water is troubled, he might put me in it. But when I go, another precedes me and receives the healing, and I lie in illness." And immediately, taking compassion him, the Savior said to him: "For you I became man, for you I am clothed in flesh, and do you say, 'I have no man?' Take up your bed and walk." All things are possible for Thee, all things are obedient to Thee, all things are subject to Thee. Remember us all and have mercy on us, O Holy One, since Thou art the Friend of man.

   - Glory of the Entreaty (Liti) from The Pentecostarion

Observe ...  the faith of the paralytic. When he had heard, "Take up thy bed and walk," he did not mock, nor say, "What can this mean? An Angel comes down and troubles the water, and heals only one, and do You, a man, by a bare command and word hope to be able to do greater things than Angels?"... But he neither said nor imagined anything like this, but at once he heard and arose, and becoming whole, was not disobedient to Him that gave the command.

   - St. John Chrysostom, Homily 37 on the Gospel of St. John .

It is in this way that we are accounted worthy of mercy, that is, through the fifth commandment: "Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy." (Mt. 5:7) The merciful person is he who gives to others what he has himself received from God, whether it be money, or food, or strength, a helpful word, a prayer, or anything else that he has through which he can express his compassion for those in need. At the same time he considers himself a debtor, since he has received more than he is asked to give.

   - St. Peter of Damascus, The Seven Commandments, Philokalia, Vol. 3.


April 28: Great Vespers 5:00 p.m.
April 29:  Orthros 8:45 a.m.; Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m.

SCRIPTURE READINGS for  April 29, Sunday of the Paralytic:

Epistle:  Acts of the Apostles 9:32-42  ... And Peter said to him, "Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; rise and make your bed." And immediately he rose. ... Now there was at Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which means Dorcas. She was full of good works and acts of charity. In those days she fell sick and died... But Peter put them all outside and knelt down and prayed; then turning to the body he said, "Tabitha, rise." And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up.      (The entire reading may be found at  http://www.goarch.org/en/chapel/lectionary.asp?type=epistle&code=54&event=856

Gospel: John 5:1-15  ... One man was there, who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew that he had been lying there a long time, he said to him ... "Rise, take up your pallet, and walk." And at once the man was healed, and he took up his pallet and walked.  (The entire reading may be found at  http://www.goarch.org/en/chapel/lectionary.asp?type=gospel&code=22&event=856&DL=EN  )


May 5:  No Vespers at St. Mary's - Vespers and BBC at St. Athanasios Church, Arlington 6:00 p.m.
May 6:  Orthros 8:45 a.m.; Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m., followed by Missionary coffee hour
May 16: Evening Liturgy for the Feast of the Ascension of our Lord 6:30 p.m.
May 19:  von Holzhausen lecture (Vespers, dinner and lecture), sponsored by FSJD
May 20:  Parish Picnic and Closing of Church School/Graduation
June 28 through July 1:  Parish Life Conference 



Two to four volunteers help each week in the food pantry at St. Paul 's RC Church in Harvard Square , Saturday mornings from 9:30-11:45.  If you are willing to help, contact Christian Alcala at cmalcala1989@yahoo.com or (617) 876-5684.

April 28:  Eric Ayoub and  Sandra Kondratiuk


The Epistle each Sunday is read by a member of the congregation.  If you would like to be one of the readers,  please contact Maria McDowell at mariagwyn@gmail.com or 617 921-6395.

April 29:  Kate Jellinghaus

May 6:  Melissa Nassiff


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 in the Office 617-547-1234 and she'll write your name in.

April 29:  The Kouyoumjian family
May 6:  FSJD fundraiser for Rafael Ayau Orphanage
May 13:
May 20:
  Parish picnic
May 27:


These volunteers will take the lead each week in getting the tables and chairs put away and the floor swept after Coffee Hour.  Please help them - the more people there are doing it, the easier it is for all.  To volunteer, please contact Abra Greene  at abrayanti@gmail.com

April 29:  Peter & Melissa Nassiff
May 6:   FSJD
May 13:  Andy Whittacre
May 20:  Parish Picnic
May 27: