Update for the week Thursday, November 15, through Thursday, November 22, 2012


NATIVITY FAST - The Nativity Fast, also known as the season of Advent, begins today - Thursday, November 15. This is the forty days of fasting and prayer in preparation for the Great Feast of the Nativity of Christ.  Every Wednesday during this period there will be a Paraklesis service at 6:30 pm. The first one will be Wednesday, November 21.

ORTHODOXY ON TAP – Orthodoxy on Tap is a four-part series of lectures and discussion sponsored by the Metropolis of Boston, which meets Thursday evenings at Roggies Brew and Grille (356 Chestnut Hill Ave in Cleveland Circle, Boston). This year’s series is guided by the book "Thinking Through Faith," and continues this week with Fr. Ephraim Peters, of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese, speaking  on Practical and Meaningful Ways to Prepare for the Feast of the Nativity. Come to Roggies tonight, Thursday, November 15 at 8:30 pm. More info on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/301542299947841/

PARISH COUNCIL ELECTIONS - If you are interested in serving on the Parish Council for 2013, contact Fr. Antony or Mary Winstanley O’Connor on or before Friday, November 16.  You must be a member in good spiritual and financial standing for at least 2 years.

WINE & CHEESE LECTURE SERIES – The Fellowship of St. John the Divine at St. John Church, Dedham, is sponsoring a Wine & Cheese Lecture Series beginning Friday, November 16. Topic of Part 1 will be Bringing the Eucharist into your Interfaith Relationships, with guest speaker Bishop JOHN. Wine & cheese at 6:30; Lecture at 7:00 pm.

AL-KAFAAT GALA DINNER – The gala dinner to help Al-Kafaat is this Saturday, November 17 at 6:00 pm (following Vespers at 5:00 pm – note new time), at St. George of Boston, 55 Emmonsdale Rd, West Roxbury.  (Deadline for tickets was Monday, November 12).
   To see an interview with Fr. Timothy Ferguson regarding the Al-Kafaat Foundation and the fundraising banquet, which was broadcast on the Arabic Hour TV recently, go to http://www.arabichour.org and click on “play video.”

BAZAAR –  St. Michael’s Church in Cotuit Holds their International Food Festival this Saturday, November 17, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Traditional Syrian, Lebanese, Russian, Albanian, and Greek foods will be available for take-out. Also a delicious Spanikopita Luncheon will be served.  Come to the Cape and see St. Michael’s  newly dedicated “Fr. Nicholas Manikas Hall” at the same time.

CHARITY BAKE SALE –The Women’s Club will hold its annual Thanksgiving Charity Bake Sale on Sunday, November 18, 2012, the Sunday before Thanksgiving.  Plan on purchasing all your holiday breads, pies, goodies, Syrian pastries and much more!  All proceeds will benefit the Convent of Saidnaya in Syria.  Call Priscilla Goss 781-762-1517, if you can help bake or donate something to sell.

LITURGICAL SERVICE MINISTRY – Starting last Sunday, the Church School began a new Liturgical Service Ministry to encourage church school children and teens to participate more actively in liturgical service roles. All church school participants will be assigned to a liturgical service team, with one team of children and teens participating in assigned roles in the service each week. A description of the new ministry, endorsed by both Fr. Antony and Bp. JOHN, can be found in this Sunday’s bulletin. Questions can be directed to Teva Regule at teva@mit.edu  or Doreen Bargoot at dbargoot@aol.com


THANK YOU FROM TEEN SOYO - Teen SOYO would like to sincerely thank all parishioners who supported our spaghetti dinner fundraiser last Sunday! We had a great time preparing the meal and serving it to our community. The event would not have been possible without the gracious donations made by the Dalton family. Additionally, Andrea Gabriel-Jabbour and Joshua Smith helped the kitchen run smoothly! Thank you also to the Sayeg family in helping to clean up after church. Many thank you's to all!

ST. MARY PARISH  CHRISTMAS CARD– Save yourself time, and let us do the work - let the Women’s Club send a lovely Christmas Card on your behalf to our parishioners.  You will receive this card with the names of parishioners, like yourself, who are wishing a Blessed Nativity and a Merry Christmas to all.  Use the form in the Sunday bulletin or send a note, with your check in any amount, to St. Mary Church - Women’s Club, 8 Inman St., Cambridge, MA  02139.  All proceeds  benefit Antiochian Women  Project 2012-2013:  The Antiochian Village –Tornado Relief Fund.   Deadline is Sunday, December 2, 2012.

BISHOP JOHN’S ANNIVERSARY – There will be a Divine Liturgy celebrating the 1-Year Anniversary of Bishop JOHN’s elevation to the Episcopacy on Monday, December 10, at 6:00 pm at St. George Cathedral, Worcester.  Reception to follow.

LESSONS AND CAROLS with POTLUCK - The Fellowship of St. John the Divine cordially invites you to Western Rite Evensong with Lessons and Carols - a service of prayers, scripture readings and Christmas Carols - on Saturday,  December 15, 2012, at 5:00 pm.  The service will be followed by a festive Lenten Pot Luck Supper.  People whose last name begins with A – P please bring a Main Dish or Salad; people whose last name begin with Q – Z  please bring Dessert. Drinks will be provided. For more information, contact Natasha Smith at nasmith05@rcn.com.

SPECIAL COLLECTIONS – CONTRIBUTE ONLINE – We have recently held special collections at St. Mary for some important and worthwhile causes:  Teen SOYO’s help for Special Olympics on October 23; Seminarians on October 30; and Hurricane Sandy on November 4. If you missed the opportunity to contribute on those dates you can still do so online – Special Categories have been set up in eGive for these one-time donations.  Parishioners can also use their credit cards to make these one-time donations on our website:  https://www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/contact/donate.php    Just type the donation target (e.g. Hurricane Sandy) in the Additional Notes area.


BERAM AWARDS BANQUET - The Nicholas G. Beram Veteran's Association 66th Anniversary Celebration and 46th Scholastic Achievement Awards Banquet will be held Saturday, November 24, 2012, 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm at the Holiday Inn in Dedham.  Our own Mary Winstanley O’Conner will receive a Distinguished Service Award.  Contact Karen Noonan 781-646-5222 for tickets.

DIOCESAN CHRISTMAS CONCERT - After a six-year hiatus, the New England Diocesan Christmas Concert is back by popular demand!  Come hear sacred hymns of the Nativity and Christmas Carols sung by our Chanters and Choir Members from throughout our Diocese of Worcester and New England.  The concert will be held on Saturday December 1, at 7:00 pm at the Church of St. John of Damascus, 300 West St, Dedham, MA.  Suggested Donation: $10/person – proceeds will go to IOCC US Emergency Response Fund to provide relief to the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

COME SEE THE MESSIAH – Join friends from St. Mary’s for the Handel and Haydn Society’s  annual performance of Handel’s Messiah, on Sunday afternoon, December 2, at 3:00 p.m.   You can still order tickets online at http://www.handelandhaydn.org.   We will carpool to Symphony Hall after Liturgy and have lunch together before the concert. If you’d like to join us for lunch, email Melissa Nassiff at mnassiff@gmail.com  

CONFESSIONS –  Confessions are heard each Saturday evening before and after Vespers, which start at 5: pm,  OR by appointment.

CANNED FOOD DRIVE The annual FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE food drive will be held October through December, 2012. Bring in your canned goods to the Church and place them in the large, blue plastic containers outside the Church Office – they will be distributed to local food pantries in our area. 42 pounds of food will feed a family of four for 3 days - since 1984 we have collected over 3,281,200 pounds of food!


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:

BECOME A GREETER – If you do not sing in the choir, or chant, serve in the Altar or at the Bengarri, and  are not a Church School teacher,  please consider serving the Church as a GREETER!  Greeters arrive at 9:45 am., get a Greeter Name Tag  from the Bengarri, pin it on and greet visitors/parishioners at the Church Entrance and direct them upstairs to the Church, or to the CloakRoom or RestRooms.  Greeting time ends when Communion starts.  Send your name and e-mail address to Buddy Mabardy: buddymabardy@cjmabardy.com or phone him 781-729-6303. 

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:  Buddy Mabardy

LITURGICAL SERVICE:   To be determined

COFFEE HOUR:   Women’s Club Thanksgiving Bake Sale


Thursday, November 15:  Nativity Fast begins

Saturday, November 17: No Vespers at St. Mary – Vespers at St. George in West Roxbury 4:30 pm, followed by dinner for Al-Kafaat

Sunday, November 18:  Orthros 8:45 am; Enquirers’ Class 9:00 am;  Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School lesson 8;  Women’s Club Thanksgiving Bake Sale following Liturgy

SCRIPTURE READINGS for Sunday, November 18:
   Epistle: St. Paul's Letter to the Ephesians 2:14-22
Brethren, Christ is our peace… And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.

   Gospel: Luke 12:16-21
The Lord said this parable: "The land of a rich man brought forth plentifully…  And he said… I will pull down my barns, and build larger ones; and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, 'Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, be merry.' But God said to him, 'Fool! … is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."

Tuesday, November 20:  Evening Liturgy for the Feast of the Presentation of the Theotokos in the Temple  6:30 pm

Wednesday, November 21:  Paraclesis Service 6:30 pm


Saturday, November 24: Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, November 25:  Orthros 8:45 am; Enquirers’ Class 9:00 am;  Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; No Church School

Wednesday, November 28:  Paraclesis Service 6:30 pm

Saturday, December 1:  No Vespers at St. Mary – Diocesan Choir Concert at St. John of Damascus, Dedham 7:00 pm


‎The Christian, even here on earth, must accustom himself to living the heavenly life, in faithfulness to Christ and His commandments; in fasting, in renunciation, in prayer, love, meekness, gentleness, patience, courage, and mercy. How hard will be the hour of death be to the person who in his lifetime made idols out of money or food or drink, or earthly honors! In that hour none of these things shall serve him, while his heart because it is strongly attached to them, does not process the true treasure which would give him eternal life. Let us then be faithful servants of Christ, caring principally for the soul, that it may be saved.
   - Saint John of Kronstadt

Not to enable the poor to share in our goods is to steal from them and deprive them of life. The goods we possess are not ours but theirs.
   - John Chrysostom

The All-Knowing saw that we worshipped creatures. He put on a created body to catch us by our habit, to draw us by a created body toward the Creator. Blessed is He Who contrived to draw us to Him. The evil one knew how to harm us; with luminaries he blinded us. With possessions he maimed us, by gold he made us poor. With graven images he made us a heart of stone. Blessed is He who came to soften it.
   - St. Ephrem of Syria

There is harm not only in trying to gain wealth but also in excessive concern with even the most necessary things.  It is not enough to despise wealth, but you must also feed the poor and, more importantly, you must follow Christ.
   - St. John Chrysostom

Lift up and stretch out, your hands, not to heaven, but to the poor; for if you stretch forth your hands to the poor, you have reached the summit of heaven; but if you lift up your hands in prayer without sharing with the poor, it is worth nothing. … The poor are a greater temple than the sanctuary; this altar, the poor, you can raise up anywhere, on any street, and offer liturgy at any hour.
   - St. John Chrysostom