Update for the week Thursday, January 27 through Thursday, February 2, 2012


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

NO CHURCH SCHOOL THIS WEEK – There will be no church school classes this Sunday, January 29, to allow children and teens to participate in the liturgy with Bishop John. Classes will resume next week on Sunday, February 5.


THANKS FOR FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE – The canned goods, etc. (222 lbs.) so generously offered and collected by this parish during the FFHP Campaign of October through December, 2011, were picked up by the personnel of the Cambridge Economic Opportunity Committee (CEOC) Food Pantry at 11 Inman Street on Tuesday, January 24, 2012, for distribution to those in need in the  local area.  Thank you for your generosity.

FAMILY VESPERS –  Church School families are warmly invited to attend our winter Family Vespers, which will be held next Saturday, February 4th, beginning at 5:00 pm. Following vespers, Fr. Antony will hear confession. Pizza will be served in the church hall along with a family activity. In keeping with the Chinese New Year celebration at St Mary's the same weekend, the activity will highlight the Chinese Translation Project. Donations of desserts and salads are welcome.

PARISH COUNCIL – Congratulations to the newly elected Parish Council officers:  President:  Mary Winstanley O’Connor; Vice President: Dino Takles; Treasurer: Nicholas Bezreh; Recording Secretary:  Paul Nahass and Corresponding Secretary:  Renay DiFiore,  and to the newly elected members:   Diane Mabardi, Charlie Marge, Melissa Nassiff, Marc Patacchiola and Raymond Sayeg.

MEATFARE SUNDAY BREAKFAST – Join us for the annual Meatfare Sunday Breakfast, sponsored by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine, on Sunday, February 19, after Liturgy.  Suggested donation: $7 per person, $14 per family


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), next Sunday, February 5, (note new date).  Suggested minimum donation is $5.00 per adult.  Volunteers are need to help set up, decorate, serve, cook or clean up on that Sunday or to donate a desert, drink or dish. Please RSVP to Nelson Mitrophan Chin at mitrophan@orthodox.cnto let him know that you’re coming and how you will help.

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.

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.

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.  Please RSVP to Nadia (nabuelezam@gmail.com) no later than February 9th.

CONGRATULATIONS  -  The Archdiocese has just announced the appointment of our own Charlie Marge to be the new Diocesan Coordinator of Sacred Music for the Diocese of Worcester and New England.  We wish him well in this new ministry.

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.

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, at the Best Western Hotel 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.

SCOUT SUNDAY OBSERVANCE – Scout Sunday is the primary date to recognize the contributions of young people and adults to Scouting.  This year, St. Mary’s will observe Scout Sunday on February 26, which falls in between the anniversaries of The Boy Scouts of America (February 8) and the Girl Scouts of the USA (March 12).  In fact, the Girl Scouts of the USA are celebrating their 100th anniversary this year.  Look for the scouts in our parish to be involved in liturgical service that day.  If your child is a Boy Scout or Girl Scout (all ages) and would like to participate in Scout Sunday, please send an e-mail to Charlie Marge:  marge@alum.mit.edu

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


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!
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:   Ray Sayeg

LITURGICAL SERVICE:  Epistle: Charlie Marge; Left Cloth: Barbara Shoop and Josh Cole; Center Cloth: Tatiana Dalton and Rose Njuguna; Right Cloth: Sarah Byrne and Dimitrios Antos; Left Bread: Julie Jamieson; Right Bread: Melissa Nassiff

COFFEE HOUR:  Parish Council

Saturday, January 28:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, January 29: Orthros 8:45 am, Hierarchical Divine Liturgy 10:00 am;  followed by coffee hour welcoming His Grace, Bishop John.  No Church School  

Epistle: St. Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians 6:16-18; 7:1
Brethren, you are the temple of the living God; as God said, "I will live in them and move among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. …”    Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, and make holiness perfect in the fear of God.

Gospel: Matthew 15:21-28
… a Canaanite woman from that region came out and cried, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely possessed by a demon."  But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, "Send her away, for she is crying after us." He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." But she came and knelt before him, saying, "Lord, help me." And he answered, "It is not fair to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." She said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master's table." Then Jesus answered her, "O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire." And her daughter was healed instantly.

Wednesday, February 1:  Evening Liturgy for the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple 6:30 pm


Saturday, February 4:  Church School Family Vespers and Confession 5:00 pm with pizza dinner and a craft project

Sunday, February 5:  Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am;  Church School lesson 14,  followed by Chinese New Year Missions Breakfast

Saturday, February 11:  Pre-Lenten Retreat at St. George Norwood 10:30 am; Teen Vespers at St. Mary with pizza, activities and discussion 5:00 pm

Sunday, February 12:  Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am;  Church School lesson 15 

Sunday, February 19:  Meatfare Sunday; Judgment Sunday

Sunday, February 26:  Cheesefare Sunday; Forgiveness Sunday

Monday, February 27: Great Lent begins


Have you not heard of the Syrophoenician woman? By the constancy of her entreaty, she elicited the Lord’s compassion.
   - St. John Chrysostom, On Ephesians

Do not grieve if you do not at once receive from God that which you ask. He wishes to benefit you still more by making you persist longer in your patient prayer before Him. For what can be higher than to address one's converse to God and be in communion with Him?
   - St. Nilus of Sinai

...do not despair in any way ignoring God's help, for He can do whatever He wishes. On the contrary, place your hope in Him and He will do one of these things: either through trials and temptations, or in some other way which He alone knows, He will bring about your restoration; or He will accept your patient endurance and humility in the place of works; or because of your hope He will act lovingly towards you in some other way of which you are not aware, and so will save your shackled soul. Only do not abandon your Physician, for otherwise you will suffer senselessly the twofold death because you do not know the hidden ways of God.
   - St. Peter of Damascus

Patient endurance kills the despair that kills the soul; it teaches the soul to take comfort and not to grow listless in the face of its many battles and afflictions.
   - St. Peter of Damaskos