Update for the week Friday, March 2 through Thursday, March 8, 2012


AKATHIST and LEARNING IN LENT – On the first four Fridays in Lent, after the Akathist (Madayeh) service, which starts at 7:00 pm, the Fellowship of St John the Divine will offer its annual lecture series.  This year’s series is titled “Orthodox Backtalk: 4 questions or assertions about religion we often hear and may be uncomfortable/unsure about how to respond to.”  The first talk, this Friday, March 2, is scheduled to address the question “Are you saved?”

DIOCESAN YOUTH DAY – A Diocesan Youth Day hosted by His Grace, Bishop John, is scheduled for Saturday, March 3, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm, at the new Chancery in Westborough.

TRIUMPH OF ORTHODOXY CONCERT – Several local choirs, including our own Boston Byzantine Choir, will present a concert of sacred music to celebrate The Triumph of Orthodoxy on Saturday,March 3, at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, 41 Alewife Brook Parkway, Cambridge. Vespers at 6:00 pm, Concert at 7:00 pm, refreshments to follow. Admission: free!

 ANTIOCHIAN WOMEN’S MONTH – March is Antiochian Women’s Month throughout the archdiocese.  Every Sunday this month, the women here will be giving the homily (each looking at a different aspect of Healing Through the Sacramental Life of the Church), reading the Epistle, taking the collection, and helping with Communion.  If you would like to participate, please put your name on the sign-up sheet on the Bengarri, or contact Priscilla Goss at 781-762-1527.   This week’s homily, by Melissa Nassiff, will be about Healing in the Liturgy.

LENTEN FOOD SALE – The Women's Club is now taking orders for Hoomos (hummus), Mjadara (lentils with rice), and Spinach Triangles.  Please use the order form in the Sunday bulletin.  Order deadline isthisSunday,March 4;  pickup date is Sunday, March 18. 
   Also, please plan to come help make the Spinach Triangles on Saturday, March 17,  at 9:00 am. Expert instruction available!!  Everyone is welcome!

BOOK DISPLAY AND SALE – A sales representative from Holy Cross Bookstore will be at St Mary's on Sunday, March 4, with a selection of Lenten and children's books and gifts for Pascha. Please come prepared to take advantage of this opportunity to buy books for yourself and your family.

SUNDAY OF ORTHODOXY VESPERS – His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios and The Metropolis of Boston Federation of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians invite you to Vespers of the Sunday of Orthodoxy on Sunday, March 4, at 5:00 pm, at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 457 Oak Street, Brockton, MA.  Metropolitan Methodios has asked our own Fr. Antony to preach.


MEMORY ETERNAL – James D. “Don” Brennan, Marilyn Robbat’s brother-in-law, passed away on February 25, 2012. Funeral Service will be held Friday, March 2, 2012 at 10:00 am at St. Mary Church. Visiting hours will be held Thursday, March 1, 2012 4:00-7:00 pm at the Kfoury Keefe Funeral Home.  More information may be found at http://kfouryfuneral.com/services/default.htm    

FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE – You are urged during this season of prayer, self-discipline and fasting, to be very generous in your contribution to the Food for Hungry People program of our Archdiocese. Money Boxes for collecting alms at home will be on the Bengarri; please pick one or two up and place them throughout your home, fill them up, and return them on Palm Sunday, April 8. Remember:  He that feeds the hungry also feeds God.

BAKE SALE – The Women’s Club’s Pascha Bake Sale is scheduled for Sunday, April 1, the Sunday before Palm Sunday. Plan on purchasing all your Pascha/Easter desserts, pastries and goodies!  If you can help bake or bring something for us to sell, please call Priscilla Goss at 781-762-1527.


BIBLE STUDY GROUP - The next meeting of the Bible study group will be held at the home of Nadia and Bahig Kaldas on Thursday, March 8th at 7:30 pm. Please reply to Nadia if you plan to attend - bkaldas@rcn.com. She will provide directions.

PRESANCTIFIED LITURGY and LENTEN POTLUCKS – Every Wednesday during Lent there will be a Presanctified Liturgy at 6:30 pm, followed by a Potluck Supper sponsored by the FSJD.  Do plan to come and bring something to share.  Any Lenten fare is welcome:  main courses, sides, salads, desserts, as well as beverages and snacks.  This is a wonderful opportunity for fellowship during Lent, plus we get to sample each other's Lenten recipes.  Please stay for supper even if you can't bring food--there's room at the table for everyone.

AKATHIST and LEARNING IN LENT – On the first four Fridays in Lent, after the Akathist (Madayeh) service, which starts at 7:00 pm, the Fellowship of St John the Divine offers its annual lecture series.  This year’s series is titled “Orthodox Backtalk: 4 questions or assertions about religion we often hear and may be uncomfortable/unsure about how to respond to.”  The second talk, on Friday, March 9, is scheduled to address the question, “Do you believe in the bible?” or “Do you believe that the bible is the inerrant word of God?”

LEADERS NEEDED – People are needed to lead the following upcoming projects--feel free to volunteer singly, in pairs or in small groups. Leaders will be in charge of recruiting and organizing volunteers for the events...FSJD can give you plenty of information about how each event usually unfolds!  Please contact Tiffany ASAP to volunteer, at trattus1@gmail.com
     1. Lenten Pot-luck Suppers after Pre-Sanctified Liturgies on Wednesday evenings in Lent: involves getting people to bring stuff, setting up the Hall, then cleaning up the Hall and Kitchen.
     2. Von Holzhausen Lecture: involves setting up the Hall, preparing food, serving and cleaning up the Hall and Kitchen.  Saturday, March 24th: Vespers at 5:00 pm, Dinner at 6:00  pm, Lecture begins at 6:45 pm.
     3. Palm Sunday Fish Dinner: we need people to set-up/decorate the Hall, prepare food, serve, clean-up Hall and Kitchen.    

DIOCESAN TEEN SOYO LENTEN RETREAT– There will be a retreat for teens in grades 7-12 held the weekend of  March 23-25  at St. Methodios Faith & Heritage Center, Contoocook, NH.  Leader will be Katrina Bitar, with the topic:  “Heroes of the Old Testament”

vonHOLZHAUSEN LECTURE - We are pleased to announce that Bishop Seraphim Sigrist will be  giving the annual Father John vonHolzhausen lecture, sponsored by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine, on Saturday, March 24, 2012. Vespers for the Feast of the Annunciation to the Theotokos will begin at 5:00 pm, dinner at 6:00, and the lecture at 6:45.  Bp. Seraphim is the author of four books, and will talk about his newest book, A Life Together: Wisdom of Community from the Christian East. More information about him can be found at http://orthodoxwiki.org/Seraphim_%28Sigrist%29_of_Sendai

SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE –The Syrian-Lebanese Women’s Club of Greater Boston will make available a number of scholarship awards in the amount of $1000.00 each to young women of Syrian and Lebanese origin, residing in Massachusetts within a 50 mile radius of Boston, who plan to pursue a four-year college education.  Applications are available in the Church Office or by calling or e-mailing Mary Winstanley O’Connor (617-523-1010or moconnor@koilaw.com).  Completed applications must be postmarked by March 31, 2012.

REAL BREAK – Each year hundreds of thousands of college students in North America travel during their spring break for oftentimes, empty experiences.  Entering its 11th year, OCF Real Break continues to offer the transformative, priest-led trips both domestically and internationally.  To find detailed information regarding the 2012 Real Break trips and to register, please visit www.ocf.net/realbreak. Be a part of this year's life-changing week-long Real Break experience.

CROSSROAD - CrossRoad is a summer institute for high school juniors and seniors on the campus of Hellenic College/Holy Cross.  Participants take part in daily classes, visit neighboring Orthodox parishes and participate in service activities.  CrossRoad now offers two sessions.  Download an application and view a video clip at www.crossroad.hchc.edu

PLEDGE ENVELOPES and CALENDARS - Pleasepick up your Pledge envelopes, if you have not yet done so – they are on the table downstairs outside the Hall.

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.

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 207-361-1000or visit their website www.CliffHouseMaine.com/attendees  User Name:  PARISH  Password: pa986B


COFFEE HOUR SIGNUP – A signup sheet for coffee hours is 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!

UPDATED CHURCH SCHOOL CALENDAR – The Church School calendar calendar can be found on-line at https://www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/assets/files/2011-2012-ChurchSchoolCalendar.pdf

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 not block the driveway – if the lot is full, you can park on the street.

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:     Paul Demerjian

LITURGICAL SERVICE:   Women of the parish

COFFEE HOUR:   Marie Bernardi


Sunday, March 4, Sunday of Orthodoxy:  Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; with procession of Icons (no Church School)

SCRIPTURE READINGS for March 4, Sunday of Orthodoxy
Epistle: St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews 11:24-26, 32-40 
Brethren, by faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to share ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. … And all these, though well attested by their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had foreseen something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

Gospel: John 1:43-51
… Philip found Nathanael, and said to him, "We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."  Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?"  Philip said to him, "Come and see."  … Jesus answered him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you."

Wednesday, March 7:  Presanctified Liturgy 6:30 pm, followed by Pot Luck Supper – every Wednesday  in Lent

Friday, March 9:  Akathist 7:00 pm, followed by “Learning in Lent” Lecture Series


Wednesday, March 14:  Presanctified Liturgy 6:30 pm, followed by Pot Luck Supper – every Wednesday in Lent

Friday, March 16:  Akathist 7:00 pm, followed by “Learning in Lent” Lecture Series – first four Fridays in March

Sunday, March 18:  Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School Lesson 17

Saturday, March 24:  Vespers for Feast of the Annunciation to the Theotokos 5:00 pm; Dinner 6:00 pm, followed by vonHolzHausen Lecture

Saturday, April 7:  Lazarus Saturday

Sunday, April 8:  Palm Sunday

Sunday, April 15:  Great and Holy Pascha


Thy pure image do we venerate, O good One, asking forgiveness of our sins, O Christ our God; for by thine own will thou didst ascend the Cross in thy body, to save thy creatures from the bondage of the enemy.  Thou hast verily filled all with joy, since thou didst come, O our Savior, to save the world.
   - Troparion for the Sunday of Orthodoxy

No one could describe the Word of the Father, but when He took flesh from thee, O Theotokos, He accepted to be described and restore the fallen image to its formal state by uniting it to divine beauty.  We confess and proclaim our salvation in word and images (icons).
   - Kontakion for the Sunday of Orthodoxy

 As the prophets beheld, as the apostles have taught, as the Church has received, … thus we preach Christ our true God, and honor His Saints in words, in writings, in thoughts, in sacrifices, in churches, in Holy Icons; on the one hand worshipping and reverencing Christ as God and Lord, and on the other hand honoring the Saints as true servants of the same Lord of all and accordingly offering them veneration.
   - The Synodikon of the Seventh Ecumenical Council at Nicea (787 AD) http://www.orthodox-christianity.com/2011/03/the-synodikon-of-the-seventh-ecumenical-council-at-nicea-787-ad/

Eastern Orthodox Christians, however, understand another, personal dimension  and meaning of the icons. Those depicted in them are understood to be spiritually present in the church, especially during the liturgy, since in the services the kingdom of heaven is open – the royal doors are open – and those in heaven praise and thank God along with those on earth. It is an assembly of the entire communion of saints.
   - Michael Plekon, Hidden Holiness