Weekly Newsletter for the week of Friday, December 7, 2007 through Thursday, December 13, 2007

Weekly Newsletter

for the week

Friday, December 7, 2007 through Thursday, December 13, 2007




AKATHIST -  This Friday, December 7,  the Akathist to Our Sweetest Lord Jesus will begin at 7:00 p.m.


LESSONS AND CAROLS - The Fellowship of St. John the Divine cordially invites you to  a service of Western Rite Evensong with Lessons and Carols - a service of prayers, scriptures, and Christmas carols - this Saturday, December 8, at 5:00 p.m. 

ALTAR SERVERS NEEDED - At least four altar servers are needed for Lessons and Carols on Saturday. Those interested should be at Church no later (NO LATER) than 3:45 p.m.  First come, first served.

CHOIR - The choir will be singing for Lessons & Carols on Saturday.  We will meet at 3:30 p.m. to rehearse before the service.

POTLUCK SUPPER - Lessons and Carols on Saturday will be followed by a festive pot luck supper.  People whose last names begin with A-P are requested to bring a main dish or salad; Q-Z bring dessert. Drinks will be provided.  For more information contact Tiffany Conroy (president of the Fellowship of St. John the Divine) at trattus1@gmail.com.


PARISH CHRISTMAS CARD - Save yourself time! Let us do the work and have all proceeds  benefit Antiochian Women Project 2007/2008:  Retired Clergy Fund!   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 Bulletin  or mail your request to MaryEllen Mabardy, St. Mary Church - Women's Club, 8 Inman St. , Cambridge , MA  02139 .  Deadline is this Sunday, December 9.

CHURCH SCHOOL -The   Church School lesson will be in the Sanctuary this Sunday, and will include St. Nichols festivities.

SPONSOR A CHILD DURING COFFEE HOUR - The Fellowship of St John the Divine presents the Sponsor-a-Child Christmas Card for the Hogar Rafael Ayau, an orphanage run by Orthodox nuns in Guatemala . During this Nativity season, a signup table will be set up during Coffee Hours. You can sponsor a child from among a list of 43 boys and 33 girls, ranging from one-month-old infants to 19-year-old teenagers.  Write your sponsored child a personal Nativity greeting with Christmas cards which will be provided, and send along your generous tax-deductible donation (make checks payable to "St. Mary Orthodox Church - Fellowship", and earmarked to Hogar) in honor of your sponsored child.  Cards will be delivered to Hogar, and the funds collected will go towards the ongoing construction of Hogar San Miguel, a new orphanage in a safer environment. The last appeal collected $57,304.00 for construction up to September and October. For more info, visit http://hogarafaelayau.org/proyect.htm



CHOIR - There will be one rehearsal for Christmas services: on Tuesday, December 11 at 7:30 p.m., immediately following Paraclesis at 6:30 p.m.

NATIVITY PAGEANT REHEARSAL - The fourth Nativity Pageant rehearsal will be held on Sunday, December 16 in the church proper during Coffee Hour.  Needed:  Sunday School parents to help with the children during and the day of the pageant (December 23).  Please see Charlie Marge (marge@alum.mit.edu) or Paul Nahass (pnahass@comcast.net).

PARISH COUNCIL BALLOTS - The Parish Council ballots have been mailed out.  Please return them, in the self-addressed stamped envelope provided, so they reach the church no later than Tuesday, December 18, 2007.    

PARISH COUNCIL - There will be a special Parish Council meting on Wednesday, December 19, at 7:30 p.m. to count ballots. 

OFFERING ENVELOPES - Envelopes for 2008 are ready for pickup outside of the Church Office.  If you have requested envelopes, you should find your box there. (If you pay less often than weekly, you will not be assigned envelopes.)

HIGH SCHOOL CHRISTMAS RETREAT - St. Vladimir's Seminary, in cooperation with Orthodox Youth Outreach, invites high school students to a retreat entitled Who Is My Neighbor - The Challenge of the Good Samaritan,  December 26 - 29, 2007.  Registration Fee is $100.   Registration Deadline:  December 17.  For more information  call 914-961-8313  Ex. 328 or dbethanc@svots.edu or www.svots.edu. Call the Church Office for required consent forms.

NATIVITY FAST and SERVICES - The Nativity Fast, the period of six weeks anticipating the Nativity of Christ, began Thursday, November 15 and continues through Monday, December 24.  There will be Paraclesis services on Tuesdays, December 4, 11, and 18, and Akathist services on Fridays, December 7, 14, and 21.

DONATE FOOD - As we enter the season that focuses on giving thanks and giving gifts, don't forget those who have too little.   Please bring cans, jars, and boxes of food and place them in the container outside the Church Office.

>   From now through December, our Teens will weigh the canned goods  and give them to the CEOC Food Pantry at 11 Inman St. for distribution, as part of the World Food Day project sponsored by the Archdiocese. 

>   Other packaged food (pasta and rice, boxes of macaroni and cheese, peanut butter, jelly, boxes of cereal, parmalat milk, etc.) will be given to St. Paul 's Food Pantry in Harvard Square , where volunteers from St. Mary help every Saturday. 

Please be generous - it takes 42 pounds of food to feed a family of four for 3 days.

SOUP KITCHEN - Three or four St. Mary's volunteers are needed to help each week at the Open Doors Meal Ministry at Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church in Allston, Mondays any time between 4:00 p.m. and 7:30. Contact Liz Tutella at 617-974-5005 or ETutella@sovereignbank.com.          

FOOD PANTRY - Two to four St. Mary's volunteers are needed to help each week in the food pantry at St. Paul 's RC Church in Harvard Square . Contact Christian Alcala  at cmalcala1989@yahoo.com or 617-876-5684.


The Incarnation of the Word, and His assumption of human nature, took place for the overthrow of death and destruction and of that envy nourished against us by the wicked serpent, who was the first cause of evil. This is plainly proved to us by the facts themselves. And so He set free the daughter of Abraham from her protracted sickness, calling out and saying, "Woman, you are freed from your infirmity." A speech most worthy of God, and full of supernatural power, for with the kingly inclination of His will He drives away the disease. And He also lays His hands upon her and immediately, it says, she was made straight. And from this, too, it is possible to see that His holy flesh bore in it the power and activity of God.

   - St. Cyril of Alexandria , Commentary on the Gospel of Saint Luke

Every kind of help comes to our souls through Him, and an appropriate title has been devised for each particular kind of care. When He presents a blameless soul to Himself, a soul which like a pure virgin has neither spot nor wrinkle, He is called "Bridegroom," but when He receives someone paralyzed by the devil's evil strokes, and heals the heavy burden of his sins, He is called "Physician." Because He cares for us, will this make us think less of Him? Or will we not be struck with amazement at our Savior's mighty power and love for mankind, who patiently endured to suffer our infirmities with us, and condescended to our weakness?

   - St. John Chrysostom, On the Holy Spirit

If a single word of an earthly king causes great deeds to come to pass in his kingdom -- he speaks the work begins and is accomplished -- then will not the word of the Lord of all material and spiritual, visible and invisible creatures, accomplish everything He desires? Shall He speak and it not be created? Shall He speak and it not be done? O Almighty Power, able to accomplish everything in one single moment, do not leave us on account of our sins, and above all on account of our incredulity and despair, to be tormented by our own infirmities, lest we be destroyed like earthen vessels. Grant that we may not doubt in the fulfillment of our every right request.

   - St. John of Kronstadt, My Life of Christ.


Friday, December 7:  Akathist to Our Sweetest Lord Jesus 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, December 8:  Western Rite Evensong with Lessons and Carols, followed by potluck supper 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, December 9:  Orthros  8:45 a.m., Divine Liturgy 10 a.m.;   Church School in the Sanctuary, with St. Nicholas festivities



Epistle:  St. Paul 's Letter to the Galatians 4:22-27  Abraham had two sons, one by a slave and one by a free woman. But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, the son of the free woman through promise. Now this is an allegory...

Gospel: Luke 13:10-17  [Jesus said] "Woman, you are freed from your infirmity." And he laid his hands upon her, and immediately she was made straight, and she praised God. But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the sabbath, said to the people, "There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be healed, and not on the sabbath day."  

Tuesday, December 11:  Paraclesis 6:30 p.m.


Friday, December 14:  Akathist to Our Sweetest Lord Jesus 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, December 15:  Great Vespers 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, December 16:  Orthros  8:45 a.m., Divine Liturgy 10 a.m.; Church School pageant dress rehearsal following Liturgy

Tuesday, December 18:  Paraclesis 6:30 p.m.

Monday, December 24:  

Royal Hours for the Nativity 9:00 a.m.

Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil  11:00 a.m.

Orthros 6:45 p.m.

Divine Liturgy for the Nativity 8:00 p.m.

Tuesday, December 25:   Feast of the Nativity of our Lord - No Services at St. Mary



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.

December 8:


The Epistle each Sunday is read by a member of the congregation, and six members of the congregation hold the cloth and Holy Bread baskets during Communion.  If you would like to help with these services,  please contact Jeff Wasilko at jeffw@smoe.org or 781-820-0882.

December 9:    Epistle - Bob Kowalik

Communion Assistance - Victoria Reynolds, Andrew Drillok, Badia Ibrahim, Amie Kandalaft, Louise Homsey, Nadia Kaldas


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.

December 9: The Woldehemanot and Mazzone families

December 16: The Shoop and Mabbet families

December 23: Church School Pageant and Christmas Festivities

December 30:  Jeanne  Brickman