Update for the week Friday, March 8, through Thursday, March 14, 2013

Update for the week Friday, March 8, through Thursday, March 14, 2013


BIBLE STUDY – The next meeting of the new Bible Study group at St. Mary, sponsored by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine, will be Thursday, March 7. This discussion group meets in the church library 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). 

DIOCESAN YOUTH DAY – The Fourth Annual Diocesan Youth Day, for those in 4th grade through high school, is this Saturday, March 9, at St. George, Norwood. Matins will be at 9:00 am and Divine Liturgy at 10:00 am (served by Bishop JOHN), followed by Lunch and two discussion groups, divided by age, with our own Fr. Antony Hughes and Dn. Nicholas Belcher. There will also be goodies and t-shirts. There is no cost!

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME BEGINS – Don’t forget to set your clocks forward one hour this Sunday (or Saturday night)  so you’ll be sure to get to church on time.

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.

ANTIOCHIAN WOMEN’S MONTH –  March is Antiochian Women's Month throughout the Archdiocese. Women of the parish will be reading the Epistle, holding the Communion cloths and bread baskets, taking the collection, and delivering the homily. (Attention all women of St. Mary: There is a sign-up sheet on the Bengarri – please sign up for one of these liturtgical services.)
   The sermon for this Sunday (Judgment Sunday) will be given by Sarah Byrne-Martelli.

MEATFARE SUNDAY BREAKFAST - The annual Meatfare Sunday Breakfast sponsored by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine will be this Sunday, March 10, following Liturgy.  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.
   The Fellowship needs help with this event: Saturday afternoon you can help with food prep between 12:00 and 2:00 pm, and Sunday morning you can help prepare and cook the food starting at 9:30 am, or help serve it after Liturgy. Please contact Socrates Deligeorges  (dr.socrates@gmail.com) to let him know when you can help, and to confirm starting times.

ORDER OF ST. IGNATIUS LUNCHEON – There will be a luncheon for St. Ignatius members on Sunday, March 10 at Byblos, starting with cocktails at 3:00 pm; dinner at 4:00 pm.

THEOPHANY SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE – Theophany School is hosting its next open house Monday-Thursday, March 11-14, from 9:30-11:30 am. Come and see how their teachers create a lifetime love of learning through their engaging thematic curriculum in a nurturing Orthodox Christian environment right in Needham. Visit their website www.theophanyschool.org or call them at 781-444-3058 for more information.


FORGIVENESS VESPERS – The last thing we do before beginning the Lenten fast is forgive each other, and ask everyone to forgive us.  Join us next Sunday evening, March 17, at 6:00 pm for the very moving service of Forgiveness Vespers. 

LENTEN SERVICES – Lent begins Monday, March 18, 2013. The first week of Lent there will be a service every evening:

   Great Canon Of St. Andrew – On Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, March 18, 19, and 21, we will pray the penitential Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete beginning at 7:00 pm.

   Presanctified Liturgy and Lenten Potlucks – Every Wednesday during Lent, beginning Wednesday, March 20,  there will be a Presanctified Liturgy at 6:30 pm, followed by a Potluck Supper sponsored by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine.  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. 

   Akathist – On the first five Fridays of Lent, beginning Friday, March 22, we will pray the Akathist to the Theotokos at 7:00 pm.

   Learning In Lent - The Fellowship of St John the Divine (FSJD) will offer its annual lecture series on Fridays in Lent following the Akathist service, beginning Friday, March 22.   Speaker for the first talk will be Bishop JOHN.


MAGAZINES FOR PRISON MINISTRY – Please donate unwanted past issues of Orthodox magazines such as The Word, OCMC or other periodicals to our prison ministry to hand out to inmates.  Please remove any personal mailing address for security purposes and give them to Mitrophan Chin.

CONFERENCE ON LITURGICAL RENEWAL – Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology invites you to an International Conference on Liturgical Renewal on Friday and Saturday, March 15 and 16. For more information, contact Fr. Philip Zymaris at pzymaris@hchc.edu .

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.

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 

WORKSHOP FOR CHILDREN AND TEENS -  St. Mary's Church School invites families to attend a workshop designed for children and teens, entitled Living the Liturgy, on Friday, March 29, 2013 (Western Good Friday), from 9:30-3:00 at St. Mary's.  The day will feature making of Prosphora (holy bread), a "teaching" proscomedia service  (seeing the preparation of bread and wine for Eucharist), alter tour, morning prayer "reader" service, liturgical ministry practice/review and age-appropriate break-out activities to learn more about the liturgy. Lunch will be provided and a donation of $5/child or $10/family is requested.
   Please let us know as soon as possible if your family plans to attend so we have an idea of the group size. RSVP to Andrea Popa at maryandreapopa@gmail.com or 857-526-6706.
Please also let her know if you are a parent or teacher and can assist with activities for the day. To inquire about carpooling for the day, please contact Panayiotis Sakellariou at psakellariou@yahoo.com or 617-606-0750.  (Please note: This event is scheduled for Western Good Friday, a day off school for many, and is different from the Children’s Retreat which we always hold on Orthodox Holy Friday – this year May 3, 2013.)

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.

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 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

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.  Scholarships are available – contact Fr. Antony.

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.

ARCHDIOCESE CONVENTION – The 2013 national convention of the  Antiochian Archdiocese will be held July 21-28 in Houston TX, hosted by St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church. For information and registration see http://www.achouston2013.com.

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://www.ocmc.org/about/open_teams.aspx. Note that the July mission to Albania is led by our own Panayiotis and Shannon Sakellariou.

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:   Karen Noonan

COFFEE HOUR:   FSJD Meatfare Sunday Breakfast


Saturday, March 9:  Diocesan Youth Day at St. George, Norwood -  Divine Liturgy 10:00 am, followed by lunch and discussion.   Great Vespers at St. Mary 5:00 pm

Sunday, March 10, Judgment Sunday:  Orthros  8:45 am; Enquirers’ Class 9:00 am;  Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School Lesson 17

SCRIPTURE READINGS for Sunday, March 10:
   Epistle: St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians 8:8-9:2
Brethren, food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. Only take care lest this liberty of yours somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. … Thus, sinning against your brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food is a cause of my brother's falling, I will never eat meat, lest I cause my brother to fall.
   Gospel: Matthew 25:31-46
… “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?” And the King will answer them, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.”


Saturday, March 16:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, March 17, Forgiveness Sunday:  Orthros  8:45 am; Enquirers’ Class 9:00 am;  Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School Lesson 18;  Forgiveness Vespers 6:00 pm

Monday, March 18:  Great Lent begins - Great Canon of St. Andrew 7:00 pm

Tuesday, March 19:  Great Canon of St. Andrew 7:00 pm

Wednesday, March 20:  Pre-Sanctified Liturgy 6:30 pm, followed by Pot Luck Supper

Thursday, March 21:  Great Canon of St. Andrew 7:00 pm

Friday, March 22:  Akathist (Madayeh) Service 7:00 pm,  followed by Learning in Lent lecture series – speaker: Bishop JOHN

Saturday, March 23:  No Vespers at St. Mary

Sunday, March 24, Sunday of Orthodoxy: Orthros  8:45 am; Enquirers’ Class 9:00 am;  Divine Liturgy 10:00 am, followed by Procession with Icons


There is a difference between a man who gives to the poor, and a man who loves the poor and so gives them. He who loves is better, even if he has nothing to give, because God looks to the heart before the hand
   - Pope Shenouda

Holiness is not simply righteousness, for which the righteous merit the enjoyment of blessedness in the Kingdom of God, but rather such a height of righteousness that men are filled with the grace of God to the extent that it flows from them upon those who associate with them. Great is their blessedness; it proceeds from personal experience of the Glory of God. Being filled also with love for men, which proceeds from love of God, they are responsive to men’s needs, and upon their supplication they appear also as intercessors and defenders for them before God.
   - St. John Maximovitch

To some people your love will be expressed with joy and to others it will be expressed with your pain. You will consider everyone your brother or your sister, for we are all children of Eve. Then, in your prayer you will say: “My God, help those first who are in greater need, whether they are alive or reposed brothers in the Lord.” At this point, you will share your heart with the whole world and you will have nothing but immense love, which is Christ.
   - Elder Paisius of Mount Athos

Lift up and stretch out your hands, not to heaven but to the poor; for if you stretch out 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 the liturgy at any hour.
   - St. John Chrysostom

You are not making a gift of your possession to the poor person. You are handing over to him what is his. 
   - Ambrose of Milan