Update for the week Friday, March 29, through Thursday, April 4, 2013
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.
AKATHIST and Learning In Lent – On the first five Fridays of Lent we pray the Akathist to the Theotokos at 7:00 pm. The first four of these will be followed by the Fellowship of St John the Divine’s annual lecture series, Learning in Lent. Our speaker this Friday, March 29, will be Teva Regule.
TEEN LENTEN RETREAT – There will be a Lenten retreat for teens with Bishop ANTHONY at Contoocook, NH, Friday through Sunday, March 29-31.
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. The sermon for this Sunday will be given by Jen Nahas.
TORNADO RELIEF – At the end of Liturgy this Sunday there will be a special collection for the Antiochian Women’s Project 2013: Antiochian Village Tornado Relief Fund.
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 email@example.com). Completed applications must be postmarked by Sunday, March 31, 2013.
PRESANCTIFIED LITURGY and Lenten Potlucks
– Every Wednesday during Lent there is 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.
FSJD coordinators for the potluck on Wednesday, April 3 are Ashley Hodge (firstname.lastname@example.org) & Kailen Hodge (email@example.com). Our thanks to Tom Perkins for coordinating the potluck on March 27.
PRISION 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.
If you are interested joining the Prison Ministry, there will be an upcoming training. Training is required if you would like to come into prison to volunteer. Please see Deacon Jeff or Father Anthony if you have questions or would like to join, and are not already a member of the OCPM online listserv.
Also, please donate unwanted past issues of Orthodox magazines such as The Word, OCMC or other periodicals to hand out to inmates. Please remove any personal mailing address for security purposes and give them to Mitrophan Chin.
NEW ENGLAND’S GOT TASTE AND TALENT – Attention All
Talents & Chefs!! If you have a hidden talent or can cook an award
winning appetizer, showcase your talent at this year's New England's Got Taste and Talent event hosted by Saint George Antiochian Orthodox Church - Lowell, held on Friday, May 17
at 6:00 pm at our sister Parish in Dedham, MA! Download the document
and please review our rules and details of the event on the website: http://www.saintgeorgelowell.org. If you are interested in signing up for either a chef or as a talent, please e-mail Soraya at LowellPLC2013@gmail.com; deadline to register is April 22!
Everyone – get your tickets for New England's Got Taste and Talent by Friday, May 10. Tickets will NOT be sold at the door. They are $20 for Adults and $10 for Children under 12. Please send in the ticket purchase form along with your checks; you can find this form at the end of the New England's Got Taste and Talent Document located on the Saint George Lowell website.
ANTIOCHIAN WOMEN – The next quarterly meeting of the Antiochian Women of our Diocese will be held on Saturday, April 6, at St. George Cathedral, 30 Anna St., Worcester. Lunch will follow the meeting.
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.
BIBLE STUDY – The next meeting of the Bible Study group at St. Mary, sponsored by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine, will be Thursday, April 11. For more information contact Greg Patrick (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Fr. Antony (email@example.com).
ADULT LENTEN RETREAT – There will be a Lenten retreat for adults at St. Michael Church, Cotuit, on Saturday, April 13. Protopresbyter Alexander Veronis will speak on Living in Tradition & Mission. $20 covers retreat & luncheon. See Registration Forms on our Church Bulletin Board, or call Lorraine Reiley at 508-240-2412 for more information.
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 28. Please be generous!
SCHOLASTIC ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS – The Nicholas G. Beram Veterans Association announces its 47th annual Scholastic Achievement Awards, a program to encourage and support the education of students of Arabic speaking backgrounds. High school seniors can obtain an application with instructions by visiting the web page at: www.stjohnd/ngberam or by contacting our Church Office. All applications must be postmarked no later than June 1, 2013.
CROSS†ROAD – 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, hosted by St. George Church,
Lowell. Room Rate is just $99.00 per night – this special price ends May 30. Book your hotel rooms at: http://www.wyndham.com/groupevents2013/BOSAM_STGEORGE/main.wnt.
For Registration, please go too: https://www.antiochianevents.org/event/96, or go to St. George’s site: http://www.saintgeorgelowell.org. Please feel free to e-mail the Chairperson, Soraya or Co-Chair, +Rt. Rev. Fr. Leonard at: LowellPLC2013@gmail.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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 (email@example.com) 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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR SERVICE
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: email@example.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, firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com 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.
THIS SUNDAY'S VOLUNTEERS
GREETER: Marc Patacchiola
COFFEE HOUR: No coffee hour – no one volunteered.
LITURGICAL SCHEDULE FOR THIS WEEK
Friday, March 29: Akathist (Madayeh) Service 7:00 pm, followed by Learning in Lent lecture
– speaker: Josh Solaz
Saturday, March 30: Great Vespers 5:00 pm
Sunday, March 31, (Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas) : Orthros 8:45 am; Enquirers’ Class 9:00 am; Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School Lesson 19
SCRIPTURE READINGS for Sunday, March 31:
Epistle: St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews 1:10-14; 2:1-3
… But to what angel has he ever said, "Sit at my right hand, till I make thy enemies a stool for thy feet?" Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation? Therefore we must pay closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. … how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?
Gospel: Mark 2:1-12
… And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near [Jesus] 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, April 3: Pre-Sanctified Liturgy 6:30 pm, followed by Pot Luck Supper
Friday, April 5: Akathist (Madayeh) Service 7:00 pm, followed by Learning in Lent lecture
Saturday, April 6: Great Vespers 5:00 pm
Sunday, April 7, Sunday of the Holy Cross: Orthros 8:45 am; Enquirers’ Class 9:00 am; Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School Lesson 20
Wednesday, April 10: Pre-Sanctified Liturgy 6:30 pm, followed by Pot Luck Supper
Friday, April 12: Akathist (Madayeh) Service 7:00 pm, followed by Learning in Lent lecture
Saturday, April 13: Great Vespers 5:00 pm
Sunday, April 14: Orthros 8:45 am; Enquirers’ Class 9:00 am; Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; No Church School
Saturday, April 20: FSJD von Holzhausen lecture
Saturday, April 17: Lazarus Saturday
Sunday, April 28: Palm Sunday
Sunday, May 5: Holy Pascha
The room of the soul is the body; our doors are the five bodily senses.
The soul enters its room when the mind does not wander here and there,
roaming among the things and affairs of the world, but stays within, in
our heart. Our senses become closed and remain closed when we do not let
them be passionately attached to external sensory things and in this
way our mind remains free from every worldly attachment, and by secret
mental prayer unites with God its Father. God who sees all secret
things sees mental prayer and rewards it openly with great gifts. For
that prayer is true and perfect which fills the soul with divine grace
and spiritual gifts.
- St. Gregory Palamas, How All Christians Must Pray Without Ceasing
...without love the works of virtue are not praiseworthy or profitable
to the man who practices them, and the same is true of love without
works. St. Paul makes this fully clear with reference to works when he
writes to the Corinthians, 'If I do this and that, but have no love, it
profits me nothing' (cf. I Corinthians 13:1-3); and with
reference to love the disciple especially beloved by Christ writes, 'Let
us not love in word or tongue but in action and truth' (I John 3:18).
- St. Gregory Palamas
Since the Word of God though His descent to us has brought the kingdom
of heaven close to us, let us not distance ourselves from it by leading
an unrepentant life. Let us rather flee the wretchedness of those who
sit "in darkness and the shadow of death" (Isaiah 9:2). Let us
acquire the fruits of repentance: a humble disposition, compunction and
spiritual grief, a gentle and merciful heart that loves righteousness
and pursues purity, peaceful, peace-making, patient in toil, glad to
endure persecution, loss, outrage, slander and suffering for the sake of
truth and righteousness. For the kingdom of heaven or, rather, the King
of heaven - ineffable in His generosity - is within us (cf. Luke 17:21);
and to Him we should cleave through acts of repentance and patient
endurance, loving as much as we can Him Who so dearly has loved us.
- St. Gregory Palamas
Unless we bear with patience the afflictions that come to us unsought,
God will not bless those that we embrace deliberately. For our love for
God is demonstrated above all by the way we endure trials and
temptations. First the soul has to surmount afflictions embraced
willingly, thereby learning to spurn sensual pleasure and self-glory;
and this in its turn will permit us readily to bear the afflictions that
- St. Gregory Palamas
Many, unable to endure the self-constraint needed for acquiring the
virtue of prayer, do not attain a plenitude of divine gifts; but those
who do persist are rewarded with greater manifestations of divine aid,
which sustain, support and joyfully carry them forward. Then what is
difficult to accomplish is easily achieved, for they are invested with
what one might call an angelic capacity, which empowers our human nature
to commune with what lies beyond it. This accords with the words of the
prophet, that those who persist will grow wings and will gain new
strength (cf. Isa. 40:31)."
- St. Gregory Palamas