Update for the week Friday, October 4, through Thursday, October 10, 2013


BIBLE STUDY – The Bible Study at St. Mary, sponsored by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine, meets every other Thursday in the church library, and is based on a series of podcasts originally broadcast on Ancient Faith Radio. Join us at 7:00 pm Thursday, October 3, as we continue discussing Genesis (http://orthodoxbiblestudy.info/genesis-part-4/ and http://orthodoxbiblestudy.info/genesiBs-part-5/ ). For more information contact Marianna Sayeg (mksayeg@gmail.com) or Fr. Antony (frawhj@gmail.com). New members are always welcome. Don't worry if you don't have time to listen to all the material, you can still participate in the discussion!

FR. ANTONY’S 20th ANNIVERSARY - Be with us on Saturday and Sunday, October 5 & 6, 2013, as His Grace, Bishop John joins us to celebrate Fr. Antony’s first 20 years at St. Mary and his first 25 years in the priesthood!
   On Saturday, October 5: Great Vespers at 5:00 pm, chanted by the Boston Byzantine Choir, will be followed by a Banquet with Bishop John in the Church Hall. (All proceeds will be used to send our children to Antiochian Village in July, 2014). Sorry, all tickets for the banquet have been sold.
   Sunday, October 6: Orthros at 8:45 am; Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at 10:00 am, followed by a Coffee Hour.

ENQUIRERS’ CLASS - The St. Ignatius Catechetical Group (Enquirers’ Class) will begin meeting this Sunday, October 6 at 9:00 A.M in the library, next door to Fr. Antony’s office. The group is for non-Orthodox adults who are interested in exploring the Christian Faith as it has been – and continues to be – understood, preached, and lived by members of the Holy Orthodox Church, who descend from the early Christian community of Antioch where “the disciples were for the first time called Christians” (Acts 11:26). Bob Kowalik will be teaching the group, using materials developed and piloted by St. Mary catechist emeritus David Vermette. If you would like to participate, please talk to Bob during coffee hour; or get in touch by phone 617-889-3436 or e-mail r.kowalik@comcast.net.

KIBBEH SALE - The Women’s Club is offering for purchase freshly made Kibbeh (8½” x 11” tray made with ground lamb-meat and burghul). Everything is cooked with the finest of ingredients and ready to eat now or freeze for the holidays! To order, fill out the order form in your Sunday Bulletin and return it by this Sunday, October 6 with your check for $35 payable to St. Mary Women’s Club. You may pass it in at the bengarri on Sunday OR mail it to: St. Mary Church, Women’s Club, 8 Inman St., Cambridge, MA 02139, Attn: Shirley Bezreh. Checks must accompany all orders.
   Cooking date will be Saturday, October 19, at 9:00 am. Come help out; it's a lot of fun! Lunch will be served.
   Pick-up date is Sunday, October 20. Any orders not picked up then will be frozen.

TEEN SOYO APPLE PICKING – The teens will be going apple picking at Honey Pot Orchards this Sunday, October 6 after coffee hour, and will return to the church around 5:00pm.

SEMINARIAN WELCOME RECEPTION AND ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION – The Antiochian Women of the Diocese of Worcester & New England cordially invite you to attend their 40th Anniversary Celebration and Seminarian Welcome Reception this Sunday, October 6, 2013, with His Grace, Bishop John.. Vespers begin at 4:00 pm, with Reception following. This event will be held at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, 55 Emmonsdale Rd., West Roxbury, MA. All are welcome!

WOMEN’S CLUB – The next Women’s Club meeting will be Tuesday, October 8 at 7:30 pm in the Church kitchen.


TEEN SOYO OFFICERS ELECTED - Congratulations to the newly elected Teen SOYO officers: Victoria Sayeg-President; Sabrina Nebiye-Vice President and Social Chair; James Jabbour-Treasurer and Fundraising Chair; and Maedot Kassa- Secretary and Service Chair. As officers, these teens will have an important role in leading their peers in Teen SOYO activities.

PARISH COUNCIL – The next meeting of the Parish Council will be Wednesday, October 16, in the church.

CANNED FOOD DRIVE – The annual FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE Canned Food Drive will be held October through December, 2013. Bring in your canned goods to the Church and place them in the large, blue plastic containers outside the Church Office – they will be distributed to local food pantries in our area. 42 pounds of food will feed a family of four for 3 days - since 1984 we have collected over 3 million pounds of food!

COME SEE THE MESSIAH! - Join friends from St. Mary’s for the Handel and Haydn Society’s annual performance of Handel’s Messiah, on Sunday afternoon, December 1, at 3:00 pm.  Tickets are just $25 – even less if we have a big enough group. We will carpool to Symphony Hall after Liturgy and have lunch together before the concert.  Those who have done this before have thoroughly enjoyed it - not only do we hear a world-class orchestra and chorus with famous soloists singing glorious words (taken directly from the Bible), but we also have an opportunity to spend time getting to know some fellow parishioners we normally may not encounter.  Good seats go fast - please contact Melissa Nassiff at mnassiff@gmail.com by Sunday, October 20, or order your own tickets online at http://www.handelandhaydn.org


YOUTH MONTH – October is Youth Month throughout the Archdiocese. The teens will be helping out with Liturgical Service each week. Please see Greg or Hannah if you would like to participate.

DANCING WITH THE AABA STARS- On Saturday, October 12, 2013 the American Arabic Benevolent Association will present the annual “Dancing with the Stars.” Representing St. Mary’s Church will be Amanda Noonan, daughter of Karen Winstanley Noonan. This event is a fundraiser to benefit senior affordable housing at Cheriton Heights in West Roxbury. The event will take place at The Norwood Theatre, Norwood, MA. Ticket price is $45.00 per person. For tickets, sponsoring or information contact David Franciosi, 617-347-1005. Sponsor seating will have 10 seats reserved plus an AABA Gift bag. Sponsors names will appear in program and donations may be applied as points to dancer.

SYRIA RELIEF BENEFIT – Come to St. Mary Church of Pawtucket, RI on Saturday October 12 for an evening of prayer, food, and support for the relief effort desperately needed in and around Syria. The sweeping violence in Syria has left more than six million people in urgent need of help and more than four million children, women and men displaced in their own country. Your efforts will help the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) respond quickly to those in need by providing emergency relief items such as food, heating, fuel and basic necessities like blankets and hygiene kits. All proceeds to benefit IOCC efforts to help the more than 6 million in urgent need.
   The evening begins with a pan-Orthodox vespers at 5:00 pm, followed by Dinner and a presentation from IOCC's Development officer Lou Zagami. Even if you cannot attend, sponsorships and other opportunities for involvement are available. If you have any questions, or would like to volunteer at the event, please contact Jamil Samara at 617-501-4427 or jamil@jamilsamara.com, or Joe Samra at 401-440-0029 or joesamra@gmail.com. Register online at www.iocc.org/pawtucket

FALL DELEGATES MEETING – The Fall General Assembly Meeting of delegates from the Fellowship of St. John the Divine, Teen SOYO and Antiochian Women will be held here at St. Mary Church, on Saturday, October 26, 2013.

COFFEE HOUR CHANGES – Before you leave after coffee hour, please put away your own chair and help put away the table. As you know, "many hands make light work!”
   From now on, if no one volunteers to provide a coffee hour there will be no coffee hour that Sunday. There are a few empty Sundays still - please get a few friends together and sign up right away! (Signup sheet is on the bulletin board downstairs.)

E-GIVE – Two new donation categories have been added under St. Mary's eGive account:
   “Antiochian Solidarity Day for Syrian Relief: Sep 15” - which you can use if you missed the special archdiocese collection on September 15, or if you want to give more; and
   “Antiochian Village Fundraiser: October 5” - which you can use to pay for your tickets to the banquet/fundraiser in celebration of Fr. Antony's anniversary, or if you want to contribute more to the fund to help St. Mary kids go to camp at the Village.


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 – 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 15 minutes before Liturgy, 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.  All Orthodox Christians in the Parish are welcome and encouraged to participate. We usually need one Epistle reader and four people to hold the cloths.  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 monthly Cornerstone), 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.
   Also - 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.
   Our own Deacon Jeff Smith can be heard in a recent interview with Ancient Faith Radio at http://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/features/prison_ministry_awareness_sunday1

VIDEO EDITING – Volunteers are wanted to assist with video editing of sermons and lectures. We are looking for volunteers to assist with some basic video editing to post the sermons and lectures from St. Mary's online. If you have experience with digital video editing, please let Jamil Samara or Erick Straghalis know you are interested - email live@stmaryorthodoxchurch.org.

PHOTOGRAPHERS AND GRAPHIC DESIGNERS – Are you a photographer or a graphic designer? Would you be willing to share your talents with St. Mary Church and her ministries? We are looking for you to help photograph the divine services and events and to design promotional material for events and programs at our parish. Please contact Jamil Samara at webmaster@stmaryorthodoxchurch.org with any questions, and to let him know that you are interested in getting more involved.

"As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me," says our Lord.


Greeter: Paul Demergian

Coffee Hour: Mary Winstanley O’Connor and Christopher O’Connor in memory of Jeanne O’Connor


Saturday, October 5: Great Vespers 5:00 pm, chanted by the Boston Byzantine Choir, followed by Fr. Antony’s 20th Aniversary Banquet with His Grace, Bishop John

Sunday, October 6: Orthros 8:45 am, Enquirers' class 9:00 am, Hierarchical Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; no Church School
SCRIPTURE READINGS for Sunday, September 29:
   Epistle: St. Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians 4:6-15
Brethren, it is the God who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us.

   Gospel: Luke 7:11-16
At that time, Jesus went to a city called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. As he drew near to the gate of the city, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a large crowd from the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, "Do not weep." And he came and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, "Young man, I say to you, arise." And the dead man sat up, and began to speak. And he gave him to his mother. Fear seized them all; and they glorified God, saying, "A great prophet has arisen among us!" and "God has visited his people!"


Saturday, October 12: Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, October 13: Orthros 8:45 am, Enquirers' class 9:00 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; no Church School (Columbus Day weekend)

Saturday, October 19: Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, October 20: Orthros 8:45 am, Enquirers' class 9:00 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School lesson 4

Saturday, October 26: Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, October 27: Orthros 8:45 am, Enquirers' class 9:00 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School lesson 5


...we carry as in earthen vessels - that is to say, in our bodies - the Father's Light in the Person of Jesus Christ, and so can experience the glory of the Holy Spirit.
- St. Gregory Palamas

Therefore silence, prayer, obedience; when you practice these virtues with the help of God, then you will know the light of Christ is within your soul.
- Elder Ephraim of Philotheou Mount Athos, Counsels from the Holy Mountain

Let no one deceive you! God is light, and to those who have entered into union with Him He imparts of His own brightness to the extent that they have been purified. When the lamp of the soul, that is, the mind, has been kindled, then it knows that a divine fire has taken hold of it and inflamed it. How great a marvel! Man is united to God spiritually and physically, since the soul is not separated from the mind, neither the body from the soul.
- St. Symeon the New Theologian

In the beginning there is struggle and a lot of work for those who come near to God. But after that there is indescribable joy. It is just like building a fire: at first it is smoky and your eyes water, but later you get the desired result. Thus we ought to light the divine fire in ourselves with tears and effort.
- Amma Syncletica

The blessed David asks the Lord for understanding with which to recognize those commands written, as he very well knew, in the book of the Law. '”I am Your servant; give me understanding so that I may learn Your decrees” (Psalm 119:125). Now, understanding was something which nature had granted him, and so far as knowledge of God's commands, these were laid down in the readily available Law. Yet he prayed to the Lord for a better grasp of them, for he knew that natural endowment does not suffice unless God's light guides reason, enabling it to enter into the spirit of the Law and to see in a clearer light what it enjoins.
- St. John Cassian

There is nothing colder than a Christian who is not concerned about the salvation of others . . . Do not say, I cannot help others: for, if you are truly a Christian it is impossible not to. … If we behave in the correct way, everything else will follow as a natural consequence. The light of Christians cannot be hidden, a lamp shining so brightly cannot be hidden.
- St. John Chrysostom