Update for the week Friday, February 15, through Thursday, February 21, 2013

Update for the week Friday, February 15, through Thursday, February 21, 2013


NO VESPERS – There will not be a service of Great Vespers at St. Mary this Saturday, February 16, 2013.

TALENT EXPO POSTPONED –  “St. Mary’s Got Talent,” originally scheduled for this Saturday after Vespers, has been postponed. Watch for a new date after Pascha.

GUEST PRIEST –  We are pleased to welcome Rev. Dn. Damaskinos Issa of  St. George, Norwood, who will celebrate the Liturgy this Sunday.

CHINESE NEW YEAR BREAKFAST– Join the FSJD for the 2013 Chinese New Year Missions Breakfast, to benefit the Chinese Translation Project via the Orthodox Fellowship of All Saints of China (OFASC), this Sunday, February 17.  Suggested minimum donation is $5.00 per adult. 

ORTHODOX CONCERT – This Sunday, February 17, 2013,  The Holy Cross School of Theology Choir will be joined by St. Tikhon's Seminary Mission Choir, Holy Trinity Seminary Choir, and the Eastern American Diocesan Youth Choir in the performance of "The Good Thief: Two Paths Diverged at the Wood," a story of struggle and redemption ending at the wood of our Savior's Cross, told through sacred song and spiritual passages. The concert will be performed at the Maliotis Cultural Center (Hellenic College Holy Cross) at 6:30 pm, following the Vespers service at 5:00 pm. The concert is open to the public and free of charge.


ORTHODOX RELIGIOUS AWARDS FOR SCOUTS – If your son or daughter is a Boy Scout or Girl Scout, St. Mary's Church School invites them to work with other parish scouts to earn their religious awards as outlined by the Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting. There are three award levels based on age: http://eocs.org/religious-awards/youth-emblems. Scout meetings towards the awards will begin next Sunday, February 24 (note new date), from 11:30-noon  during coffee hour in the church library – parents and scouts are welcome. Two additional meetings will be arranged based on participants' schedules. Marie Bernardi will be coordinating this effort. Please let us know if you wish to participate by emailing Marie at mariebernardi114@comcast.net or Andrea Popa at maryandreapopa@gmail.com.

MARCH IS ANTIOCHIAN WOMEN’S MONTH –  Attention all Women of St. Mary: There will be a sign-up Sheet on the Bengarri for assistance with Liturgical Service throughout the month of March.  Please sign up to read the Epistle, help with the collection, or assist with communion cloths and/or bread baskets.

ORTHODOXY LIVE – On the first and third Sunday of every month at 8:00 pm, Ancient Faith Radio offers a live call-in broadcast entitled “Orthodoxy Live with Fr. Evan Armatas” This provides listeners an opportunity to ask pointed questions about the Orthodox Church. Perfect for seekers, converts, and cradle Orthodox Christians alike, this program is your chance to ask the tough questions about the Orthodox Church. Fr. Evan is a great communicator and well-versed in all aspects of Orthodox theology. For more information and to listen, go to  http://ancientfaith.com/orthodoxylive

ORTHODOX MISSION TEAMS –  The Orthodox Mission Center has announced their 2013 Mission Teams.  Mission teams will be heading to 10 locations around the globe to share the teachings of the faith and offer the gift of service through hands-on experience.  For more information call the OCMC at 877-463-6784 or e-mail teams@ocmc.org, or see  http://teams.ocmc.org

PARISH LIFE CONFERENCE – The 2013 Parish Life Conference for our diocese will be held June 27 – 30, 2013, at the Wyndam Hotel in Andover, MA. Room Rate is just $99.00 per night.  Your host is  St. George Church, Lowell, MA. Save the date, and watch for further details.


BIBLE STUDY – The next meeting of the new Bible Study group, sponsored by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine, will be Thursday, February 21. This discussion group meets in a home every other Thursday, from 7:00-8:30 pm, and is open to all interested participants. We are using the course Search the Scriptures, by Dr. Jeannie Constantinou, originally broadcast on Ancient Faith Radio. For more information contact Greg Patrick (greg@dailytradealert.com) or Fr. Antony (frawhj@gmail.com). 

WINTER DELEGATES MEETING - The Fellowship of St. John the Divine, Teen SOYO and Antiochian Women will hold their Diocesan General Assembly next Saturday, February 23, at St George Cathedral, Worcester.  Morning Prayers at 10:00 am, followed by meetings.   Luncheon at 12:30.

SCOUT SUNDAY OBSERVANCE – Scout Sunday is the primary date to recognize the contributions of young people and adults to Scouting.  This year, St. Mary’s will observe Scout Sunday on February 24, which falls in between the anniversaries of The Boy Scouts of America (February 8) and the Girl Scouts of the USA (March 12).  Look for the scouts in our parish to be involved in liturgical service that day.  If your child is a Boy Scout or Girl Scout (all ages) and would like to participate in Scout Sunday, please send an e-mail to Charlie Marge:  marge@alum.mit.edu

PRE-LENTEN RETREAT – The Antiochian Women of the Diocese invite you to a Pre-Lenten Retreat on Saturday, March 2, 2013, at St. George Church in Norwood. Featured speakers will be father-daughter team,  Dr. John Dalack and Kh. Laila Ellias, who will talk about “Slow to
” (see James 1:19-20). To register, send  $15 registration fee per person,  payable to Antiochian Women – DOWNE,  to Kh. Erin Kimmett, 17 Austin Street, Norwood, MA 02062. Lunch is included.  Everyone (men as well as women) is welcome. Note – advance registration, by February 24, is required.

BLESSING OF HOMES – Fr. Antony will be blessing homes after Epiphany/Theophany (January 6)  and between Pascha (May 5) and Pentecost (June 23).  We bless homes to reveal the home as what God created it to be, a way to heaven; to rid the home of every evil;  to show that the family is a small church unit in Christ; to consecrate the home and all activity in it to God; and to fill the home and all who live in it with the fullness of God.  To schedule the blessing of your home, please use the form in the weekly Bulletin or call the church office at 617 547-1234.

ANTIOCHIAN VILLAGE SUMMER CAMP – Summer Camp registration for 2013 is now open.  For information see  http://antiochianvillage.org/camp/programs/summercamp.html   To register see http://antiochianvillage.org/camp/programs/registration.html.  Please don't wait to register - camp fills up very quickly.  Please note that you are not registered until you have paid the $100 deposit and receive a confirmation email.  Also note that to take advantage of the early-bird discount you must have your camper tuition fees paid in full by March 1st.  Scholarships are available – contact Fr. Antony.

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 is Sunday, March 10;  pickup date is Sunday, March 24.  Also, please plan to come help make the Spinach Triangles on Saturday, March 23, at 9:30 am.

MEATFARE SUNDAY BREAKFAST - The annual Meatfare Sunday Breakfast sponsored by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine will be Sunday, March 10.  The suggested donation – $7 per person, $14 per family – will help support the many activities of the Fellowship at St. Mary's, including the annual Lessons and Carols evening; Learning in Lent lecture series; Wednesday evening potluck suppers after Pre-Sanctified Liturgies during Lent; the annual Father John vonHolzhausen lecture; Coffee Hours and special meals; the weekly St. Mary Update e-mail newsletter; and more. If you would like to know more about the Fellowship or join, contact Julie at Julie31415pi@gmail.com.

LENTEN RETREAT AT NEW SKETE – New Skete Monastery, in Cambridge, NY, invites you to a Lenten Retreat on Saturday, March 16, 2013 from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. The theme of the retreat is "Lent and the Experience of Sin, Forgiveness and Gratitude.”  To see their flyer and information on accommodations go to http://www.newskete.org/pdfs/2013%20Lenten%20Retreat%20Flier%20and%20accommodations.pdf For the registration form see http://www.newskete.org/pdfs/2013%20Lenten%20Retreat%20Response%20form%20FINAL.pdf 

REAL BREAK – This spring, be a light to the world! Real Break is a popular alternative to the traditional spring break for college students.  Entering its 12th year, OCF Real Break continues to offer transformative, priest-led trips both domestically and internationally.  To find detailed information regarding the Real Break trips in March 2013 and to register, please visit www.ocf.net/realbreak.  Be a part of this year's life-changing week-long Real Break experience.

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 617-523-1010 or moconnor@koilaw.com).  Completed applications must be postmarked by March 31, 2013.

CROSSƗROAD –  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 this coming year (2013):  CrossRoad June: June 22-July 1 AND  CrossRoad July: July 8-18.  Download an application and view a video clip at www.crossroad.hchc.edu

FAMILY MISSION TO ALBANIA – All Orthodox Christians from North America who have experience with children are invited to prayerfully consider helping with a family retreat program in Albania this coming July, sponsored jointly by the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Center for Family Care. Families with children, couples, and individuals are encouraged to apply. The mission will be led by our own Panayiotis and Shannon Sakellariou. For more information see http://www.ocmc.org/resources/view_article.aspx?ArticleId=899

PLEDGE CARDS – If you have not yet made your pledge for 2013, please return your signed card right away. Or you can make your pledge online at  https://www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/ministries/stewardship.php


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.”
     If you missed the opportunity to contribute to some of the special collections held recently,  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 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.

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.

CONFESSIONS –  Confessions are heard each Saturday evening before and after Vespers, which start at 5:00 pm,  or by appointment.

PARKING –  If you park in the Church parking lot, you need to plan on remaining until after the Coffee Hour or other church function.  Do not park in the Church parking lot if you need to leave immediately after church. 
   Additionally, do not park beyond the sign that prohibits parking at the corner of Inman Street and Bishop Allen Drive.  It is difficult for large vehicles to turn the corner if cars are parked there.  Failure to heed this warning may result in the City preventing parishioners from parking on Inman Street.  Your cooperation is appreciated.


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

COFFEE HOUR:  FSJD’s Chinese New Year Breakfast


Saturday, February 16:  No Great Vespers at St. Mary; “St. Mary’s Got Talent” postponed

Sunday, February 17:  Chinese New Year Missions Breakfast, sponsored by FSJD; no Church School

SCRIPTURE READINGS for Sunday, February 17:
   Epistle: St. Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians 6:16-18; 7:1
Brethren, you are the temple of the living God; …  Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, and make holiness perfect in the fear of God.

   Gospel: Matthew 15:21-28
… a Canaanite woman from that region came out and cried, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely possessed by a demon." … He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." … "It is not fair to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." She said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master's table." Then Jesus answered her, "O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire." And her daughter was healed instantly.


Saturday, February 23:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, February  24:  Scout Sunday;  Orthros  8:45 am; Enquirers’ Class 9:00 am;  Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School Lesson 15

Saturday, March 2:  Antiochian Women 2013 Pre-Lenten Retreat

Sunday, March 10:  FSJD Meatfare Sunday Breakfast following Liturgy

Sunday, March 17:  Forgiveness Vespers 6:00 pm

Monday, March 18:  Lent begins


Faith is not a supposition that something might be true, but the assurance that someone is there.
   - Bishop Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way

Remember that while you pray, God expects from you a positive answer to His question: "Do you believe that I can fulfill your prayer?" You must be able to answer from the bottom of your heart: "Yes, I believe, O God," and then you will be answered according to your faith.
   - St. John of Kronstad

Faith is to believe what we do not see, and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe.
   – St. Augustine

When the time comes to enter the darkness in which we are naked and helpless and alone; in which we see the insufficiency of our greatest strength and the hollowness of our strongest virtue; in which we have nothing to rely on, and nothing in our nature to support us, and nothing in the world to guide us or give us light - then we find out whether or not we walk by faith.
   - Fr. Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.
   - Martin Luther King, Jr.