Update for the week Friday, April 5, through Thursday, April 11, 2013


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. Last week (March 29) our speaker was Josh Salès.
   Our speaker this Friday, April 5, will be Teva Regule, speaking on Christian Formation as Participation in the Mystagogical Catecheses of Cyril of Jerusalem – “It might sound arcane, but it really is quite relevant to Lent as the period of formation and preparation for all of us, especially for those wishing to be baptized/enter the Church at the Paschal Vigil.  It is amazing how much of this ancient initiation practice we have retained in our present day liturgical life.”

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. Morning Prayers with Bishop JOHN will be at 10:00 am in Father Ghannam Hall, and the meeting and luncheon will follow. (Park in the back of the church - the Hall is to your right as you enter the building.)

FSJD MEETING – The Fellowship of St. John the Divine will hold its next meeting during coffee hour this Sunday, April 7. Please join us and help plan the vonHJolzhausen lecture, Lazarus Saturday activities, and a new Habitat for Humanity initiative. New members are always welcome.

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 10 are Jeff and Julie Wasilko (julie31415pi@gmail.com).

HOW CAN THE BIBLE BE "TRUE" IF IT SAYS THE EARTH IS FLAT? – This is just one example of the kind of questions we address in our Bible Study here at St. Mary's. For more examples, look for the handout on the bengarri. Our Bible Study meets every other Thursday and is sponsored by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine. If you'd like to join us, our next meeting will be Thursday, April 11. For more information contact Greg Patrick (greg@dailytradealert.com) or Fr. Antony (frawhj@gmail.com).


SUBDEACON STEVE UPDATE - Subdeacon Steve Walker is being released on Friday, April 4, 2012, from  the rehab facility in Chestnut Hill and will be recuperating at the home of Dn. Jeff & Natasha Smith.   Ways to help Steve while he is at the Smiths and when he goes home will be posted at https://www.lotsahelpinghands.com/c/702605

WOMEN’S CLUB – The next meeting of the Women’s Club will be Tuesday, April 9, at 7:30 pm, in the kitchen. New members are always welcome.

THANK YOU TO THE CHURCH SCHOOL KIDS – The Prosphora (holy bread) we will be using in Divine Liturgy for the next several weeks was made by the Church School students at the recent Liturgy Workshop.  

vonHOLZHAUSEN LECTURE – The annual Father John von Holzhausen lecture, sponsored by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine, will be held Saturday, April 20, at 6:30 pm  (Vespers is at 5:00 pm, and will be followed by a light supper.) This year’s speaker will be Dr. Tiffany Ann Conroy Moore, who will talk about Performing Faith: Can you be God’s Actor?  Dr. Moore currently teaches literature, writing, public speaking and film at several New England colleges, and has also been working as a professional actor for over twenty-five years in film, television, print, internet media and theater, with a specialization in Shakespeare.  Her book, Kozintsev’s Shakespeare Films (McFarland), came out last November: it is a study of Hamlet and King Lear in Russia, with an emphasis on the works of filmmaker and theater artist Grigory Kozintsev. This event is free and open to the public - free-will donations to The Fellowship of Saint John the Divine are welcome.

BAKE SALE – The Women’s Club’s Pascha Bake Sale is scheduled for Sunday, April 23, 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.

DONATIONS FOR HOLY WEEK – For the special services of Holy Week, the Church needs donations of olive oil for the Unction Service (Wednesday), flowers for the tomb of Christ (Friday), flowers to distribute on Great and Holy Friday, rose water to anoint the faithful (Friday), incense, Paschal lilies and other flowers,  and candles. Deadline is Palm Sunday, April 28. Please use the donation form in the Bulletin.

TORNADO RELIEF – Last Sunday there was a special collection for the Antiochian Women’s Project 2013:  Antiochian Village Tornado Relief Fund. If you missed that and would still like to contribute, you can do so by writing a check to St. Mary Women’s Club, earmarked “Project 2013,”  or through www.eGive-usa.com – look for the new category for special donations. “Seminarians” is also a new category there.

NO PARKING – The parish Council reminds all parishioners that there is no parishioner parking in the church parking lot Monday through Friday until after 6:00 pm. Our parking lot is rented to others during the day.


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.

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. See their flyer at http://www.stmichaelcotuit.org/assets/files/Retreat%204-2013.pdf

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.

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.org/ngberam (note corrected website address) or by contacting our Church Office.   All applications must be postmarked no later than June 1, 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, 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 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.


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.

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.

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. (That No Parking area is now being marked with orange cones.) 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:   Paul Nahass

COFFEE HOUR:  The Marge family


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, Adoration of the Holy Cross: Orthros  8:45 am; Enquirers’ Class 9:00 am;  Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School  Lesson 20

SCRIPTURE READINGS for Sunday, April 7:
   Epistle: St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews 4:14- 5:6
… For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

   Gospel: Mark 8:34-9:1
The Lord said:  "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it.  For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? 

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 

Wednesday, April 17:  Pre-Sanctified Liturgy 6:30 pm, followed by Pot Luck Supper

Friday, April 19:  Akathist (Madayeh) Service 7:00 pm

Saturday, April 20:  FSJD von Holzhausen lecture

Sunday, April 21:  Orthros  8:45 am; Enquirers’ Class 9:00 am;  Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School  Lesson 21

Saturday, April 27:  Lazarus Saturday

Sunday, April 28, Palm Sunday 

Sunday, May 5:  Holy Pascha


There can only be two basic loves... the love of God unto the forgetfulness of self, or the love of self unto the forgetfulness and denial of God.
   - St. Augustine

In tempting our ancestors, Satan offered them a counterfeit of something that God had already given them. In accepting Satan’s false promise, they entered into egoism, self-love and self-absorption. Unselfish love became distorted and deadened within them even though not completely snuffed out.
   - Archbishop Lazar Puhalo, Neurobiology of Sin (http://www.cas.sc.edu/socna/research/papers/puhalo-neurology.pdf)

If you want to be freed from all the vices simultaneously, renounce self-love, the mother of evils.
   - St. Thalassios the Libyan

For it is precisely through undergoing many trials and temptations, and through patiently enduring them, that a man acquires experience; and as a result he comes to know both his own weakness and the power of God
   - St Peter of Damaskos

If a person walks a straight path, for him there is no cross. However, when he starts to lurch from one side to the other, then different circumstances appear which push him back onto the right track. These elements constitute a cross for a person. Of course they occur differently, according to the individual’s need.
   - St Ambrose of Optina