Weekly Newsletter for the week Friday, May 11, 2007 through Thursday, May 17, 2007
HELP NEEDED FOR GRADUATION/PICNIC -The St. Mary Parish Picnic/Closing of Church School/Graduation is Sunday, May 20. Your help is needed to set up chairs and tables in the Church parking lot before Liturgy and, following the Picnic, to break them down again and put them away. Please plan to arrive at 8:30 a.m. to help. If you have any questions, contact Michelle Mabardy at email@example.com or 781-860-8899.
Also, the Fellowship of St. John the Divine will be spearheading an effort to clean up the parking lot in preparation for this event, on Saturday morning, May 19. Your help is needed then, too. Please contact Abra Greene at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
PARISH COUNCIL - The next meeting of the Parish Council will be Tuesday, May 15, in the library.
MEMORIAL DAY - Fr. Antony will be blessing graves at Fairview Cemetery in Hyde Park on Memorial Day, May 28, starting at 9 a.m. If you would like him to bless the graves of your loved ones in other cemeteries, please let him know by calling the Church Office at 617-547-1234.
LORD HAVE MERCY - Teen SOYO is selling "Lord Have Mercy" Bracelets. They are black with "Lord Have Mercy" written on them in English, Arabic, and Greek. They are selling fast, so get yours now! Cost: 1 for $3, 2 for $5, and 3 for $7
ASCENSION - The Feast of the Ascension of our Lord will be celebrated on Wednesday, May 16, at 6:30 p.m. Fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays, which was suspended from Pascha until the Feast of the Ascension, will resume after May 17. (This is the decision of the Holy Synod of the Church of Antioch .)
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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 (email@example.com) and Michael Marge (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.
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: email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org or (617) 547-1234 so that an application may be mailed to you directly from the FSJD.
St. Mary's is an exceptionally friendly and welcoming community. Yet there is even more we could do to encourage visitors to come back and to make newcomers feel at home, and the FSJD has been exploring this subject recently. Coincidentally, this month's Word magazine (May 2007) contains a thought-provoking article entitled "Church Growth Orthodox Style." The author is Kevin Allen, co-host of "The Illumined Heart" radio program on Ancient Faith Radio. Below are some excerpts:
"It's not about programs, advertising or special events. It's about inviting people to church and knowing what to do with them when they come! It's about keeping them once they have visited."
"Make sure visitors and inquirers know they are welcome! Let them know they do not have to 'do' anything (kiss icons; venerate the cross; stand during services) if they don't feel comfortable. Encourage them to ask questions after services about anything they don't understand. Consider having several friendly and outgoing parishioners assigned to meet and talk to visitors if you don't have greeters."
"Coffee klatches of parishioners and family often form and 'newbies' stand on the sidelines, like awkward teenagers at a high school dance. If a newcomer is standing around awkwardly, go up and introduce yourself and bring him or her to your table."
"Can your parish welcome the homeless, the poor, the needy, the prisoner? We don't know who God is sending our way; our job is to figure out how to welcome them, to love them, and to form them."
"Let's face it. There are plenty of easier places to be a 'Christian' than in the Eastern Orthodox Church, if you struggle to live this faith. Most people who visit and come back aren't looking for 'easy.' Many have already had that and are looking for something deeper and more meaningful. They are looking for 'real.'"
"Welcoming 'converts' isn't only a job for 'converts.' Newcomers have as much or more to learn from mature Orthodox who have lived the faith longer than those of us who are 'eleventh hour laborers.'"
The full article can be found online at http://www.antiochian.org/assets/word/MAY2007WORD.pdf
LITURGICAL SCHEDULE FOR THIS WEEK
May 12: Great Vespers 5:00 P.M.
May 13: Orthros 8:45 a.m.; Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m.
SCRIPTURE READINGS for May 13:
Epistle: Acts of the Apostles 16:16-34 And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, and brought them out and said, "Men, what must I do to be saved?" And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household." (The entire reading may be found at http://www.goarch.org/en/chapel/lectionary.asp?type=epistle&code=17&event=912
Gospel: John 9:1-38 "... We must work the works of him who sent me, while it is day; night comes, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." (The entire reading may be found at http://www.goarch.org/en/chapel/lectionary.asp?type=gospel&code=36&event=912&DL=EN)
May 16: Evening Liturgy for the Feast of the Ascension of our Lord 6:30 p.m.
May 17: Feast of the Ascension of our Lord. Wednesday & Friday fasting resumes
May 19: Great Vespers 5:00 P.M., followed by dinner and von Holzhausen lecture, sponsored by FSJD
May 20: Orthros 8:45 a.m.; Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m., followed by Parish Picnic and Closing of Church School/Graduation
May 27: Feast of Pentecost
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 email@example.com or (617) 876-5684.
May 12: John Rodriguez 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 617 921-6395.
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.
May 20: Parish picnic
TABLES AND CHAIRS
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 email@example.com
May 13: Andy Whittacre
May 20: Parish Picnic