Update for the week Friday, March 16, through Thursday, March 22, 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 “Common questions about Christianity and their uncommon Orthodox answers.”  For the third talk, this Friday, March 16, our speaker will be His Grace, Bishop John.

HELP MAKE SPINACH TRIANGLES – The Women’s Club needs your help, especially if you’ve never made spinach triangles before! (If you’ve done it before, you know it’s fun and rewarding, and we know you’ll be there.) We will be making Spinach Triangles in the Church Hall thisSaturday, March 17, from 9:00 am till 2:00.  Please give us a hand – some of our regulars will be out of town, so we really need you. Expert instruction available! Lunch will be provided, and you can park in the Church Parking Lot.

Lenten foods that you pre-ordered may be picked up  on Sunday, March 18.

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 Sarah Byrne, will be about Healing through End of Life Care, Funeral, and Memorial Services.

THEOPHANY SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE - Interested in learning more about Theophany School for your child? ComeMarch 27th-29th, between 9:30 and 11:30 am, and see what programs Theophany School has to offer. They have added new classes for fall 2012 and will now include a 1st grade class, in addition to the full-day kindergarten and preschool classes. Meet the teachers, see the classrooms, and experience the difference that Theophany School can make in your child's education.  Call 781-444-3058 or email the School (theophanyschool@gmail.com) if you need more information.


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.

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

LENTEN RETREAT FOR WOMEN - The Sts. Mary and Martha Sisterhood of Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church (62 Harvard Ave. Allston, MA) presents a Lenten retreat for women: Finding Your Spiritual Path, with guest speaker Fr. Maximos Monachos, on Saturday, March 24, 2012, from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. Registration begins at 8:30 am.  To preregister please contact P. Paula Tishel via e-mail at ptishel@yahoo.com$35 adult fee / $20 student fee includes lunch and afternoon tea. Pay at the door, check or cash.

LENTEN RETREAT AT NEW SKETE – New Skete Communities (in Cambridge, NY) presents a Lenten retreat: Journey Through Holy Week, on Saturday, March 24, from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. Full day fee of $35 includes breakfast, lunch, and snacks; other options available.  Pre-registration is required – please contact Karen Gladstone, New Skete Communities Director of Advancement and Stewardship, karengladstone@newskete.orgor 518-677-3928 x220.

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.

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.

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.

HOLY FRIDAY RETREAT – As usual, we will have a half-day retreat for children on Holy Friday morning, April 13, from 9:00-12:30, with activities, confessions and luncheon.  Please contact Trish Orlovsky at 781-641-0182  or  t_orlovsky@hotmail.comif you would like to organize or assist with the activities. If you can host a craft, think about a lesson or theme you wish to convey to the children. 

NEW ENGLAND’S GOT TASTE and TALENT –  St. George Norwood, sponsor of this year’s Parish Life Conference, is sponsoring a talent competition and an appetizer cooking competition for talented competitors and chefs from throughout the diocese. Preliminary competition will be Sunday, May 6, at 5:00 pm, at St. John of Damascus in Dedham (final competition at the Conference). To purchase tickets ($15 adults / $10 12 & under) and/or submit talent, call David Franciosi at 617-347-1007.  “Church Chefs” call Erin Kimmett at 781-775-0789.  Or, download applications for “Taste” & “Talent” at www.http://stgeorgenorwood.org/PLC2012See the flyer in this Sunday’s Bulletin for more information.

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

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:  Douglas Shoop

LITURGICAL SERVICE:  Women of the parish

COFFEE HOUR:  Zahie Mabardi


Friday,  March 16:  Akathist 7:00 pm, followed by “Learning in Lent” lecture, with guest speaker His Grace, Bishop John

Saturday, March 17:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, March 18:  Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School lesson 16

Epistle: St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews 4:14-5:6
Brethren, since we have a high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Gospel: Mark 8:34-9:1
The Lord said: "If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. …”

Wednesday, March 21:  Presanctified Liturgy 6:30 pm, followed by Pot Luck Supper

Friday, March 23:  Akathist 7:00 pm, followed by final “Learning in Lent” Lecture

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


Sunday, March 25 the Feast of the Annunciation to the Theotokos:  Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School Lesson 18

Wednesday, March 28:  Presanctified Liturgy 6:30 pm, followed by Pot Luck Supper – every Wednesday in Lent

Friday,  March 30:  Akathist 7:00 pm

Saturday, April 7, Lazarus Saturday: Matins 8:00 am, Divine Liturgy 9:00 am, Communion Breakfast 10:15 am, followed by Church Cleanup and Choir Rehearsal; Great Vespers 5:00 pm.

Sunday, April 8, Palm Sunday:  Matins8:45 am;  Divine Liturgy 10:00 am with
Procession; followed by FSJD annual Fish Dinner.  Bridegroom Matins 7:00 pm

Holy Monday, April 9:  Presanctified Liturgy 7 :00 am; Bridegroom Matins 7:00 pm

Holy Tuesday, April 10:  Presanctified Liturgy 7 :00 am; Bridegroom Matins 7:00 pm

Holy Wednesday, April 11:  Presanctified Liturgy 7 :00 am; Holy Unction 7:00 pm

Holy Thursday, April 12:  Vesperal Liturgy 7 :00 am; Washing of the Feet 6:45 pm and Twelve Gospels 7:00 pm

Holy Friday, April 13: Children’s Retreat 9:30 am;  Royal Hours 1:00 pm;  Unnailing Vespers 3:00 pm; Lamentations 7:15 pm with Procession to Central Square

Holy Saturday, April 14:  Vesperal Liturgy 9:00 am

Saturday-Sunday, April 14-15:  Vigil/Rush Service 10:00 pm; Resurrection Matins 11:00 pm; Great and Holy Pascha Divine Liturgy 12 midnight;  Paschal Festivities in the Church Hall following


The church is not merely a compartment of life, not just an organization of various centers of authority large and small, but it is an organism made up of all Christian people.
   - Bp. Seraphim Sigrist, A Life Together

The sum total of all Christians of all ages past and present comprises one indivisible eternal living assembly of the faithful held together just as much by the unity of consciousness as through the unity of prayer.
   - Alexi Khomiakov, quoted in A Life Together, by Bp. Seraphim Sigrist

 “Think of life coursing through a mighty tree,” says the philosopher Plotinus. A great tree has the most varied life in stem and leaf and branch and bark and root, endless in variety if closely observed and yet that life that enlivens the tree is a single life. So with all the lives of people, this endless variety of the pageant of life could not be if there were not a single unified life of God in which it is all grounded.
   - Bp. Seraphim Sigrist, A Life Together

We know that a circle can have an infinite number of radii moving from the center that become progressively farther apart and yet all meet at the center. So it is with us. Each of us in our experience of the journey of life, and in what we suffer and enjoy and discover, moves in a unique direction over space that no one else has travelled. But there remains the center, where, whatever our experience and personality, we are in God and at the same place. So a life that is anchored in prayer, and in the awareness of and reaching out to God, will be very close to every other life.
   - Bp. Seraphim Sigrist, A Life Together

But really, the church from its beginning at Pentecost until now is a living and growing organism, being built through the fitting together of living stones, as St. Paul says, of people joining together into new unity.
   - Bp. Seraphim Sigrist, A Life Together

Note: Bp. Seraphim will be our Fr. John vonHolzhausen lecturer next Saturday, March 24, 2012.