Update for the week Friday, March 9 through Thursday, March 15, 2012


BIBLE STUDY GROUP- The next meeting of the Bible study group will be held at the home of Nadia and Bahig Kaldas this evening (Thursday, March 8) at 7:00 pm. Please call Nadia (781-861-1571) if you need help finding their home.

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.”  The second talk, this Friday, March 9, is scheduled to address the question “Do you believe that the Bible is the inerrant word of God?”

SILENT LENTEN RETREAT– Beginning with the Akathist at 6:30pmFriday, and ending with Liturgy at 5:00am Saturday (followed by breakfast), join the Fellowship at St. George Cathedral in Worcester, this Friday, March 9, through Saturday, March 10, for an all-night vigil, with featured speakers His Grace Bishop John, our own Father Antony Hughes, Father Timothy Cremeens, and Father Milad Selim presenting at intervals throughout the night. More information:


DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME BEGINS – DST begins this Sunday, March 11.  Don’t forget to set your clocks forward one hour so you’ll be sure to get to church on time.

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 Shannon Sakellariou, will be about Healing through Unction.


HELP MAKE SPINACHTRIANGLESThe 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 on Saturday, 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. Orders may be picked up  on Sunday, March 18.

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.org or 518-677-3928 x220.

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.com if 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 & 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/PLC2012 See the flyer in this Sunday’s Bulletin for 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.

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
     > 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.
     > Palm Sunday Fish Dinner: we need people to set-up/decorate the Hall, serve, and 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

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.

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:  Barbara Shoop

LITURGICAL SERVICE:  Women of the parish

COFFEE HOUR: FSJD and friends

Sunday, March 11:  Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School lesson 16

Epistle: St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews 1:10- 2:3
… Therefore we must pay closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For if the message declared by angels was valid and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?

Gospel: Mark 2:1-12
… And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and when they had made an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "My son, your sins are forgiven." … “But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins" – he said to the paralytic – "I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home."

Wednesday, March 7:  Presanctified Liturgy 6:30 pm, followed by Pot Luck Supper
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


We thank You, Lord, our God, for the communion of Your holy, most pure, immortal, and heavenly Mysteries which You have granted us for the benefit, sanctification, and healing of our souls and bodies. Grant, Master of all, that the communion of the holy Body and Blood of Your Christ may become for us faith unashamed, love unfeigned, fullness of wisdom, healing of soul and body, repelling of every hostile adversary, observance of Your commandments, and an acceptable defense at the dread judgment seat of Your Christ.
   - Liturgy of St. Basil,  Prayer of Thanksgiving after Communion

God does not punish man for his sins and sinfulness in this life, or even in the life to come. We forge our own destiny. That which we call "hell" is our own creation. We may experience it already in this life and, by our own choices, experience the fullness of it in the age to come.
- Archbishop Lazar Puhalo,  "The Neurobiology of Sin" 

A handful of sand, thrown into the sea, is what sinning is, when compared to God’s Providence and mercy. Just as an abundant source of water is not impeded by a handful of dust, so also the Creator’s mercy is not defeated by the sins of His creations.
   - St. Isaac the Syrian

 How immense is the grace of the divine compassion and condescension that knows no limit! God comes down to the level of sinful men and women; the good Lord speaks with His rebellious servants; the Holy One calls those who are impure to forgiveness. Humanity created out of mud addresses its Fashioner with familiarity, dust converses with its Maker. Let us, therefore, show awe when we sinners stand in the presence of this Majesty and speak. Even though we are so impure in our deeds, He draws us close to the sight of Himself in the spirit; let us therefore repeat with trembling the words of the blessed Prophet Isaiah: "Woe is me, for I am dazed. I am a man of unclean lips, yet my eyes have beheld the King, the Lord Almighty."
   - St. Martyrius, in The Syriac Fathers on Prayer and the Spiritual Life.