Update for the week Friday, September 7, through Thursday, September 13, 2012


FRIDAY – There will be NO services at St. Mary on Friday, the eve of the Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos.  (Note change)

SATURDAY –  Liturgy for the Feast of the Nativity of the Holy Theotokos – 8:30 am   (Note new day and time).  No Orthros.  No Vespers Saturday evening.

CHURCH SCHOOL – Registration for Church School for 2012-2013 will be this Sunday, September 9, after Liturgy. Church School classes will begin next Sunday, September 16.


ATTENTION COLLEGE STUDENTS – If you are a new or returning college or university student, please fill out a pink College Student Address Form on the Bengarri (desk in the Narthex) so that we have your current address and information and you can receive announcements about activities at St. Mary's and on campus.  Please leave the form on the Bengarri.  See Charlie Marge if you have questions. 

ATTENTION PARENTS OF ST. MARY PARISH COLLEGE STUDENTS – If you would like your sons or daughters to receive a copy of the CORNERSTONE each month while they are away at school to keep them in touch with what’s going on at St. Mary’s, please fill out one of the pink College Student Address Forms and return it to Marilyn Robbat.

COLLEGE STUDENT SUNDAY – Nationally celebrated on September 16, College Student Sunday will be celebrated locally on Sunday, September 23, with breakfast after Liturgy provided by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine. For information about registering for OCF’s College Conference see http://www.ocf.net/wikis/programs/college-conference.aspx;  for Real Break, go to  http://www.ocf.net/wikis/programs/real-break-program.aspx  

SFEEHA AND KIBBEH SALE – The Women’s Club is offering for purchase freshly made Sfeeha (ground lamb-meat pizza pies with onion, pine nuts & seasonings) and Kibbeh (8 ½”x 11” tray made with ground lamb-meat and burghul).  Everything is cooked with the finest of ingredients and ready to eat now or freeze for the holidays!  Please use the order form in the  Sunday bulletin, or contact the church office for a copy.  Order deadline is Sunday, October 7.  Pick-Up Dates are  Sunday, October 21 for Sfeeha, and Sunday, October 28,  for   Kibbeh.


CHURCH SCHOOL TEACHERS NEEDED – We need teachers for the following three classes:  Kindergarten, Grade 1-2 and Grade 4, and also a few substitute teachers. Please consider sharing your many blessings by teaching our children the Faith.  There are many materials to assist you.  And substitutes can be arranged for those occasional Sundays during which you cannot attend.  Contact Andrea Popa at maryandreapopa@gmail.com

WOMEN’S CLUB – The first meeting of the Women’s Club will be Tuesday, September 11, at 7:30 in the kitchen

INTER-ORTHODOX YOUNG ADULT RETREAT – The Archdiocese Fellowship of St. John the Divine, in conjunction with Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, Hellenic College Holy Cross, the Theophany School, and the parish of St. George, invite you to their 2012 Inter-Orthodox Young Adult Retreat, Friday – Sunday September 14-16, at St. George Church, West Roxbury. Keynote Speaker will be His Grace Bishop Anthony, of the Antiochian Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest. The weekend will also include Sonia’s Run (see below). For information and registration see http://www.worcesterdiocese.net/organizations/fellowship/retreat or contact  Brendan Ferguson at brendanferguson76@gmail.com. Brendan is the newly elected President of the FSJD of our Diocese.

SONIA’S RUN - The fourth annual 5k road race to benefit the Theophany School, in honor of  beloved friend Sonia Belcher, will be held on Saturday, September 15. This family fun day includes a kids' 50m fun run at 8:30am with medals for all participants, bouncy house, cotton candy, balloon animals, cookout, raffles, and Prizes: cash prizes for top three male and female finishers overall, and medals for top three in each age category. See www.soniasrun.org for registration form and more information.

LITURGICAL MUSIC CONCERTS - The Choir of St. Romanos the Melodist of the Archdiocese of Beirut will be performing a concert of Syro-Byzantine Liturgical Music on their Fall 2012 Tour of the USA from September 10 – 24. The choir is led by the Priest Romanos Joubran, Dean of St. George Cathedral in Beirut and instructor of Byzantine music and has produced several professional recordings and performed throughout Lebanon and Europe.
   The first concert will be Wednesday, September 19 at St. George Cathedral, Worcester at 7:00 pm. Limited Tickets are available. Contact Cathedral Office (508) 752-9150 & reservations are not confirmed until payment is received. Cost: $20/Adult; $10/College Students with a valid school ID; Children 12 and under: Free. Refreshments to follow.
   The second concert will be Friday, September 21 at St. George Church, West Roxbury at 7:30 pm. Admission: $10.00 at the door. Reception following.
   This tour has been funded through the generosity of the Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch, the charitable arm of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America.

MEN’S WEEKEND –  There will be an Orthodox Men's Get-Away Weekend September 21-23, 2012, at The Saint Methodios Faith and Heritage Center - 329 Camp Merrimac Road Contoocook, NH 03229 (www.boston.goarch.org/faith_heritage_center.html), sponsored by  St. Stephen's Orthodox Church (www.stsoc.org).  Guest Speakers will be  Fr. Michael Keiser and Fr. Kenneth DeVoie, both of the Department of Missions & Evangelism for the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America, and others TBA. Cost:  $189.00  (2 night stay, all meals, snacks and use of recreational facilities).  For more information  see the brochure at https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=2&ik=c173523fb2&view=att&th=138145dad9b77f31&attid=0.1&disp=safe&zw  or contact Jeff St. Jean at  jeffstjean11@verizon.net.

ST. THEKLA PILGRIMAGE – The annual pilgrimage to St. Thekla Convent at Antiochian Village will be held Friday through Sunday, September 21-23.  Registration deadline: Saturday, September 1.

ENQUIRERS' CLASS - The St. Ignatius Catechetical Group - Enquirers’ Class will begin meeting on Sunday, September 23 at 9:00 am in the library (next door to Fr. Antony’s office). The group is for non-Orthodox adults who are interested in exploring the Christian Faith as it has been – and continues to be – understood, preached, and lived by members of the Holy Orthodox Church who descend from the early Christian community of Antioch where “the disciples were for the first time called Christians” (Acts 11:26). Bob Kowalik will be teaching the group using materials developed and piloted by St. Mary catechist emeritus David Vermette. If you would like to participate, please talk to Bob during coffee hour; or get in touch by phone at 617-889-3436 or e-mail r.kowalik@comcast.net. Brochures are available on the Rack behind Bengarri. For those seeking to be received into the Orthodox Church, participation in the group and Fr. Antony’s blessing are required.

“WELCOME BACK COLLEGE STUDENTS" BREAKFAST – After Liturgy on Sunday, September 23 (note new date), the Fellowship of St. John the Divine (FSJD) will host a special breakfast to welcome college students back to St. Mary, their "Church home away from home." Please join us in welcoming and supporting students who strive to remain connected to the Church while away from their families.  All are welcome! A suggested minimum donation of $5 will be gratefully accepted from non-students.

PASTORAL VISIT – Join us for the Pastoral Visit of His Grace, Bishop JOHN on Saturday and   Sunday, September 29 & 30, 2012.
  Saturday, September 29:  Great Vespers at 5:00 pm, followed by Dinner with Bishop JOHN in the Church Hall (a fund raiser to send our children to Antiochian Village in July, 2013).  Tickets for Adults:  $45.00 per person includes Dinner, Beer, Wine & entertainment by Fouad Hajjar.  Children Under 18:  $35 per person.  NO TICKETS SOLD AT DOOR.
   Sunday, September 30:  Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at 10:00 am, followed by a Celebratory Coffee Hour.
   For reservations contact Mary Winstanley O’Connor at 617-523-1010 moconnor@koilaw.com, or Diane Mabardi at 617-720-6100 diane@ggatravel.com  Tables of 8 may be reserved in advance.

SEMINARIANS RECEPTION – The Antiochian Women of our Diocese invite you to a Reception honoring our Seminarians on Sunday, September 30, at St. George West Roxbury.  Vespers will be at 4:00 pm, followed by the reception in the Church Hall.  Hot & cold hors d’ouevres and dessert will be served.   All are welcome.

ORTHODOX STUDY BIBLES FOR SALE - There are a few ORTHODOX STUDY BIBLES (Old and New Testaments) available for purchase at our cost of $25.00 (usually $50.00). Anyone interested in purchasing one should speak to Marilyn Robbat in the Church Office to reserve a copy. Checks should be made payable to St. Mary Orthodox Church.

MARRIAGE SEMINAR - The Deanery of Worcester & New England will offer a Seminar for Couples on Thursday (note change) and Saturday, October 4 & 6, at St. John of Damascus Church, 300 West St., Dedham, MA. The seminar is for those preparing for marriage and all those interested, and guest speaker will be His Grace, Bishop JOHN.  Registration forms are available on the St. Mary church bulletin board; cost is $30/couple.  Talks and sessions will include A Vision of Marriage; Betrothal – Commitment and Grace;  Crown Them With Honor;  For This Cause Shall a Man Leave Father & Mother – Family Dynamics;  and You Just Don’t Understand – Man/Woman Communication and Culture

DANCING WITH THE AABA STARS – The American Arabic Benevolent Association invites you to “Dancing With the AABA Stars” on Friday, October 5 at Moseley’s-on-the-Charles, Dedham, MA at 7:30 pm.  Each parish will have one contestant competing  for their respective parish - our parish will be represented by Erica (Bezreh) Dooley.  Individual Ticket:  $50 per person includes Appetizer Buffet, Munchies at Tables, Coffee & Dessert.  Reservations ONLY – No tickets sold at door.  For tickets, tables reservations and Sponsor Forms, contact Shirley Bezreh 781-648-0685.
   In addition to food vouchers and scholarships, AABA’s major project is the funding and construction of federally subsidized elderly housing.  AABA has broken ground on another elderly subsidized facility and is utilizing this fundraising project to assist in building the building.  Please consider sponsoring Erica.  Sponsor forms can be found on the Bengarri and given to Shirley Bezreh.

ABBA SENIOR HOUSING - AABA (American Arabic Benevolent Association) encourages seniors who may want to live in either of their senior housing facilities to fill out an application now and get your name on the waiting list.  If you are handicapped or 62 years or older, you qualify for Cheriton Grove, their present facility.  If you are 62 years of age or older, you qualify for Cheriton Heights, their 70-unit senior housing facility under construction and ready for occupancy by June 2012.  Call Cheriton Grove at 617-325-1939 and speak with Rita Ludington to schedule an appointment with her, or ask Rita to send you an application.


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!

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.

VIDEO STREAMING FOR EVENTS – Now you can video stream your wedding or baptism live from St. Mary’s to friends and family who can't attend your event in person.  The cost for Event Video Streaming is $150 for members, $300 for non-members, and includes a password- protected viewing page and setup and breakdown of the streaming service for your event by a trained staff member.   You can also get a copy of your streamed event on CD: $50 for members, $100 for non-members. Fees are payable to the church. Streaming is subject to staff availability. For general questions on the video streaming ministry or event streaming, please contact live@stmaryorthodoxchurch.org.  To schedule your event and/or request Event Video Streaming, please contact the Church Office.

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.


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.org or 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:  Bob Kowalik

LITURGICAL SERVICE:   If you would like to read the Epistle or assist during Communion, please contact Jeff Wasilko, 781-820-0882, jeffw@smoe.org. If you have helped with Communion before, and see an empty place, please step up to fill it.

COFFEE HOUR:   Church School Teachers and Linda Arnold


Saturday, September 8:  Liturgy for Feast of the Nativity of the Holy Theotokos 8:30 am  (note change)   No Vespers at St. Mary

Sunday, September 9:  Orthros 8:45 am; Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School registration

SCRIPTURE READINGS for Sunday, September 9:
   Epistle: St. Paul's Letter to the Galatians 6:11-18
…. But far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.

   Gospel: John 3:13-17
… For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.

Thursday, September 13:  Evening Liturgy for the Feast of the Elevation of the Cross 6:30 pm


Saturday, September 15:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, September 16:  Orthros 8:45 am; Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School classes begin

Saturday, September 21: No Vespers at St. Mary

Sunday, September 23:  St. Ignatius Catechetical Group (Enquirers’ Class) begins;  “Welcome Back College Students" Breakfast

Saturday, September 29:  Pastoral Visit of Bishop JOHN – Great Vespers 5:00 pm, followed by Dinner

Sunday, September 30:  Pastoral Visit continues – Orthros 8:45 am;  Hierarchical Divine Liturgy 10:00 am, followed by a Celebratory Coffee Hour.


Our Lord saves us by becoming what we are, by sharing totally in our humanity, thereby enabling us to share in what he is. Thus through a reciprocal exchange of gifts he takes our humanity and communicates to us his divine life, reestablishing that communion between Creator and creation which sin has destroyed.
   - Timothy Ware (Bishop Kallistos), How are we Saved?

Therefore, casting out of our souls all faithlessness, sloth, and hesitation, let us draw near with all our heart, with unhesitating faith and burning desire, like slaves who have been newly purchased with precious blood.  Indeed, with reverence for the price paid on our behalf, and with love for our Master Who paid it, and as having accepted His love for us, let us recognize that, if He had not wished to save by means of Himself us who have been purchased, He would not have come down to earth, nor would He have been slain for our sake. But, as it is written, He has done this because He wills that all should be saved. Listen to Him say it Himself: 'I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world' (Jn. 12:17).
   - St. Symeon the New Theologian, On the Mystical Life

Those who want to be saved scrutinize not the shortcomings of their neighbor but always their own and they set about eliminating them. Such was the man who saw his brother doing wrong and groaned, `Woe is me; him today - me tomorrow!' You see his caution? You see the preparedness of his mind? How he swiftly foresaw how to avoid judging his brother? When he said `me tomorrow' he aroused his fear of sinning, and by this he increased his caution about avoiding those sins which he was likely to commit, and so he escaped judging his neighbor; and he did not stop at this, but put himself below his brother, saying, `He has repented for his sin but I do not always repent. I am never first to ask for forgiveness and I am never completely converted.'
   - St. Dorotheos of Gaza, Discourses and Sayings

Love never hates anyone, never reproves anyone, never condemns anyone, never grieves anyone, never abhors anyone, neither faithful nor infidel nor stranger nor sinner nor fornicator, nor anyone impure, but instead it is precisely sinners, and weak and negligent souls that it loves more, …, imitating Christ Who called sinners, and ate and drank with them.
   - Abba Ammonas