Update for the week Thursday, January 13 through Thursday, January 19, 2012


FR. ANTONY IS AWAY –  In cases of emergency from Thursday through Sunday, January 12-15,  while Fr. Antony is out of town, you may contact  Fr. Timothy Ferguson of St. George, West Roxbury at 617-323-0323. This Sunday, in Fr. Antony’s absence, the Liturgy will be celebrated by Rev. Fr. Walter Smith. Church School will resume with Lesson 11. 


PARISH COUNCIL – The next meeting of the Parish Council will be Wednesday, January 18, at 7:30 pm.

HOLY MYRRH-STREAMING ICON –  St. Michael Orthodox Christian Church and St. Tikhon Monastery invite you to come and venerate the Holy Myrrh-Streaming Icon of St. Anna, at St. Michael Orthodox Christian Church, Romanian Avenue, Southbridge, Massachusetts. Come for Great Vespers on Saturday, January 21 at 6:00 pm, or Divine Liturgy on Sunday, January 22 at 10:00 am.  More information about the icon can be found at http://ostash.org/2011/10/the-myrrh-streaming-icon-of-st-anna.html

TEEN SOYO –  “What Do You Want To Do When You Grow Up?” Come to St. Mary Church on Saturday, February 11 for Teen Vespers at 5:00 pm, Pizza dinner at 5:45 pm, Discussion about life before, during and after college and a Presentation about the CrossRoad Summer Institute by CrossRoad Director, Mike Tishel from 6:00-6:45 pm, and Games and fun activities from 7:00-8:30 pm.


BLESSING OF HOMES – Fr. Antony will be blessing homes after Epiphany (January 6)  and between Pascha (April 15) and Pentecost (June 3).  We bless homes to reveal the home as what God created it to be, a way to heaven; to rid the home of every evil;  to show that the family is a small church unit in Christ; to consecrate the home and all activity in it to God; and to fill the home and all who live in it with the fullness of God.  To schedule the blessing of your home, please use the form in the weekly Bulletin or call the church office at 617-547-1234.

BIBLE STUDY – Fr. Antony’s Bible study will continue meeting monthly, with the next  meeting on Thursday, January 19, at 7:00 pm, at the home of Arthur & Beverly Mabbett, 37 Powder House Rd. Ext, Medford (phone 781-391-6530).  We will study thew rfirst chapter of the Gospel of Mark.  If you would like to attend, please RSVP to the Church Office, 617-547-1234.

PARISH MEETING – The Annual Meeting of the Parish will be held Sunday, January 22, after Liturgy.  It is important that all members of St. Mary Church attend this meeting. Snow date is Sunday, January 29.

VISIT FROM OUR NEW BISHOP – On Sunday, January 29, 2012, His Grace, Bishop John Abdalah will visit St. Mary Church, for the first time since his consecration as our Bishop. Hierarchical Divine Liturgy will be at 10:00 am (Orthros at 8:45), followed by January Memorials, and a coffee hour to welcome him hosted by the Parish Council.

CHINESE NEW YEAR BREAKFAST– Join the FSJD for the 2012 Chinese New Year Missions Breakfast, to benefit the Chinese Translation Project via the Orthodox Fellowship of All Saints of China (OFASC), on Sunday, February 5, (note new date).  Suggested minimum donation is $5.00 per adult.  RSVP to Nelson Mitrophan Chin at mitrophan@orthodox.cn

PRE-LENTEN RETREAT – The Antiochian Women of the Diocese invite you to a Pre-Lenten Retreat on Saturday, February 11, 2011, at St. George Church in Norwood. Featured speaker will be His Grace, Bishop John. His topic will be “Relationships: Discovering Myself in God and in My Neighbor.” To register, call Erin Kimmett at 781-775-0789. $15 registration fee includes lunch.  All (men as well as women) are welcome.

PLEDGE ENVELOPES and CALENDARS - Pledge envelopes and church calendars are available for pickup on the table downstairs outside the hall.  Look for your name in alphabetical order.  If you have chosen to pay periodically or through eGive, you have not been assigned a weekly envelope. (Calendars are also available on the Bengarri.)

PLEDGE CARDS - If you have not already returned your Pledge Card, please do so as soon as possible, or fill out the electronic pledge card on our web site: www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org.

COFFEE HOUR SIGNUP – A new signup sheet for coffee hours has been posted on the bulletin board outside the coat room.  There are plenty of dates to choose from – sign up now for the date you will sponsor the coffee hour!

MIDWINTER MEETINGS – The North American Board of Antiochian Women and the North American Council of the Fellowship of St. John the Divine will hold their midwinter meeting February 17-19, in Naples, FL, in conjunction with the Consecration of St. Paul Church there.
Teen SOYO’s meeting will be the same weekend, at Antiochian Village.

PARISH LIFE CONFERENCE – Next year’s Parish Life Conference will be held at The Cliff House, Ogunquit, Maine, June 21-24, 2012. Amazing Room Rate:  $149 (Regularly $310)  Call 207-361-1000 or visit their website www.CliffHouseMaine.com/attendees  User Name:  PARISH  Password: pa986B


DONATE VIA eGIVE– Did you know that you can make your donations to St. Mary through eGive, and have no more envelopes or checks to worry about?   If you have not yet set up an account, you can do it at www.egive-usa.com, or contact Charlie Marge (marge@alum.mit.edu) for help. The Recipient Organization is “St. Mary’s Orthodox Church.”

STREAMING VIDEO – St. Mary’s Church services are broadcast live each week through an internet video stream.  If you can't attend a service in person or want to share this ministry with a friend or loved one, the live stream can be viewed at www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/live  during regularly scheduled service times (see the schedule of services below or online).  If you have questions or comments about this ministry please contact us at live@stmaryorthodoxchurch.org.

PROTECT YOUR VALUABLES – Please do not leave valuables unattended in the Church Hall or Coat Room.

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 notblock 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.

FELLOWSHIP OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE – Join the Fellowship!  It’s a great way to meet new people and be an integral part of our Parish life. We do not hold regular meetings, but we work together on a variety of projects and events. For example, after coffee hour every Sunday we all pitch in to put away tables and chairs. You can join our members’ email news list by contacting Melissa Nassiff at mnassiff@gmail.com.  Also, check us out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/FSJD1


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:

BE A GREETER - The Parish Council is continuing the Greeter Program, similar to other churches, to greet and aid parishioners, guests and visitors into the Church each Sunday.  As a Greeter, you will welcome people into the Church and help to direct visitors upstairs to the Liturgy, as well as keeping an eye on the Vestibule, hallways and entrance ways during church, arriving at Church at 9:45 am.  Greeting time ends when Communion starts.  We need volunteers.  If you would like to be a Greeter, a Sign-Up Sheet is posted on the Church Bulletin Board.  If you have any questions, please contact Buddy by e-mail buddy@cjmabardy.comor call him at 781-729-6303. “I was a stranger, and you invited me in………”   (Matthew 25:35)

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.  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, jeffw@smoe.org

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 new 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.

PRISON MINISTRY – If you would like to find out more about Prison Ministry at St. Mary’s Church, please subscribe to our mailing list at http://groups.google.com/group/ocpm-concord

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


GREETER:  Buddy Mabardy

LITURGICAL SERVICE:  Epistle: Ioana Chirieac;  Left Cloth: Brooke and James Wilcox; Right Cloth: Bob Kowalik and TBD;  Left Bread: TBD; Right Bread: Melissa Nassiff

COFFEE HOUR:  The Fahmy Family


Saturday, January 14:  No Vespers

Sunday, January 15:  Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School lesson 11

Epistle: St. Paul's Letter to the Colossians 3:4-11
Brethren, when Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you ... Here there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all, and in all.

Gospel: Luke 17:12-19
… Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus's feet, giving Him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan…And He said to him: "Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well."


Saturday, January 21:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, January 22:  Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am;  followed by  Annual Parish Meeting

Sunday, January 29: Orthros 8:45 am, Hierarchical Divine Liturgy 10:00 am;  followed by coffee hour welcoming His Grace, Bishop John


The triumph of sin, the main sign of its rule over the world, is division, opposition, separation, hatred. Therefore, the first break through this fortress of sin is forgiveness: the return to unity, solidarity, love.
   -Alexander Schmemann, Great Lent

Love sinners and do not despise them for their faults. Remember that you partake in an earthly nature, and do good to all. Let your manner be always courteous and respectful to all. For love does not know how to be angry or lose its temper or to find fault with anyone out of passion.
   - St. Isaac of Syria

The nature of things is measured by the interior disposition of the soul; that is, the kind of person one is will determine what he thinks of others. He who has attained to genuine prayer and love no longer puts things into categories. He does not separate the righteous from sinners, but loves all equally, and does not judge them, just as God gives the sun to shine and the rain to fall both on the just and the unjust.
   - St. Nikitas Stethatos, from the Philokalia

God is a consuming fire. He alone can refine us like gold, and separate us from the slag and dross of our selfish individualities to fuse us into this wholeness of perfect unity that will reflect His own Triune Life forever.  As long as we do not permit His love to consume us entirely and to unite us in Himself, the gold that is in us will be hidden by the rock and dirt which keep us separate from one another.  As long as we are not purified by the love of God and transformed into Him in the union of pure sanctity, we will remain apart from one another, opposed to one another, and union among us will be a precarious and painful thing, full of labor and sorrow and without lasting cohesion.
   - Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

Let us praise with reverent hymns of peace the Divine Peace, which is the Source of all mutual attraction. For this quality it is that unites all things together and begets and produces the harmonies and agreements of all things. And hence it is that all things long for it, and that it draws their manifold separate parts into the unity of the whole and unites the battling elements of the world into concordant fellowship.
   - Dionysius the Areopagite, On the Divine Names