Update for the week Friday, October 11, through Thursday, October 17, 2013


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

Note – There will no Vespers at St. Mary.

PARISH COUNCIL – The next meeting of the Parish Council will be Wednesday, October 16, at 7:30.

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 13 (note extended deadline) 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.


THANK YOU - The Parish Council would like to thank everyone, for making the celebratory banquet for Father Antony Hughes a success. As a result of the generosity of the sponsors for the evening, Violet and Richard Robbat, David Keamy and Family, Selma Winstanley, Mitchell and Shirley Bezreh, the Hamwey Family, Charles and Michelle Mabardy and Family, and Mary Winstanley O’Connor, we were able to raise enough funds to provide scholarships of approximately 50% of the tuition costs for our children planning on attending Antiochian Village camp for the 2014 session. Antiochian Village is a wonderful experience for our children, keeps them immersed in the Orthodox faith and allows them to make lasting friendships with other Antiochian Orthodox children in our Archdiocese.

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. Join our next meeting at 7:00 pm Thursday, October 24 (note new date), for a special discussion of the topic “Ancestral vs. Original Sin,” growing out of our study of the early chapters of Genesis. Resources for this discussion include the article, Ancestral vs. Original Sin by Fr. Antony (https://www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/orthodoxy/articles/ancestral_versus_original_sin) and the podcast on St. Augustine & St. Jerome (http://orthodoxbiblestudy.info/st-augustine-and-st-jerome/) in the Orthodox Bible Study series. For more information contact Marianna Sayeg (mksayeg@gmail.com) or Fr. Antony (frawhj@gmail.com). New members are always welcome.

HARVEST COFFEE HOUR - The Church School parents will be hosting the Harvest Coffee Hour on Sunday, October 27. We need parent volunteers to bring in food items (baked goods, cheese/crackers, and fruit). Please see Barbara Shoop to volunteer.

LITURGY WORKSHIP - Mark your calendars: our Church School Fall Liturgy Workshop will be held Monday, November 11, 2013 (Veteran's Day), 9:30 am - 3:00 pm, with the theme: "The Bread of Life." Learn about the various ways we use bread in our liturgical life (e.g. communion, memorial service, etc.) and help us make prosphora (i.e. Holy Bread), coliva/kutya, and sweet bread. Open to all Church School students, teachers, parents, and friends. Donation: $5/child; $10/family.  RSVP to Doreen Bargoot (dbargoot@aol.com). VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!

CONGRATULATIONS - St. Mary is proud to announce that Tatiana Dalton, Theo Smith and Julia Shoop have been awarded 2013 Scholastic Achievement Awards by the Nicholas G. Beram Veterans Association. Julia Shoop has also been selected by the American Arabic Benevolent Association as a recipient of their 2013 Scholastic Achievement Awards. The Awards will be presented at the 47th Annual Awards Banquet on Saturday, November 30, at the Holiday Inn, Dedham.


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.

ENQUIRERS’ CLASS - The St. Ignatius Catechetical Group (Enquirers’ Class) began meeting last 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.

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 $20 – we get their group rate. 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

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. Divine Liturgy is at 9:00am, meetings at 10:30am.

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!

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: Ray Sayeg
Coffee Hour: The Bernardi Family


Saturday, October 12: IOCC Syria Relierf Benefit at St. Mary, Pawtucket - NO Vespers at St. Mary

Sunday, October 13: Orthros 8:45 am, Enquirers' class 9:00 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; no Church School (Columbus Day weekend)
SCRIPTURE READINGS for Sunday, October 13:
Epistle: St. Paul's Letter to Titus 3:8-15
Titus, my son, the saying is sure. I desire you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to apply themselves to good deeds; these are excellent and profitable to men. But avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels over the law, for they are unprofitable and futile. As for a man who is factious, after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is perverted and sinful; he is self-condemned.

Gospel: Luke 8:5-15
The Lord said this parable: "A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell along the path, and was trodden under foot, and the birds of the air devoured it. And some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns grew with it and choked it. And some fell into good soil and grew, and yielded a hundredfold." And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant, he said, "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God; but for others they are in parables, so that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand. Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, that they may not believe and be saved. And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy; but these have no root, they believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. And as for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bring forth fruit with patience." As he said these things, he cried out "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."


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; Harvest Coffee Hour


The devil tries to soil and defile every good thing a man would do by intermingling with it his own seeds in the form of self-esteem, presumption, complaint, and other things of this kind, so that what we do is not done for God alone, or with a glad heart. Abel offered a sacrifice to God of the fat and firstlings of his flock, while Cain offered gifts of the fruits of the earth, but not of the firstfruits; and that is why God looked with favor on Abel's sacrifices, but paid no attention to Cain's gifts (cf. Gen. 4:3-5). This shows us that it is possible to do something good in the wrong way - that is to say, to do it negligently, or scornfully, or else not for God's sake but for some other purpose; and for this reason it is unacceptable to God.'
- St. Symeon Metaphrastis

Each day examine yourself: What have you sown for the age to come: wheat or weeds? Having tested yourself, arrange to become better the next day, and spend the rest of your life in that manner. In the event that you spent today badly, did not honestly pray to God, did not feel even once contrition in your heart, did not become humble in thought, gave no alms and did no act of charity, but instead did not refrain from anger, from words, from food and drink, or if you sank your mind in unclean thoughts, honestly examine all of this, condemn yourself for it, and firmly resolve that tomorrow you will be more careful to do good and to avoid evil.
- St. Moses of Optina

Basically, humility is the attitude of one who stands constantly under the judgment of God. It is the attitude of one who is like the soil. Humility comes from the Latin word humus, fertile ground. The fertile ground is there, unnoticed, taken for granted, always there to be trodden upon. It is silent, inconspicuous, dark and yet it is always ready to receive any seed, ready to give it substance and life. The more lowly, the more fruitful, because it becomes really fertile when it accepts all the refuse of the earth. It is so low that nothing can soil it, abase it, humiliate it; it has accepted the last place and cannot go any lower. In that position, nothing can shatter the soul’s serenity, its peace and joy.
- Metropolitan Anthony Bloom, Living Prayer

Allow the Spirit of God to dwell within you; then in His love He will come and make a habitation with you; He will reside in you and live in you. If your heart is pure you will see Him and He will sow in you the good seed of reflection upon His actions and wonder at His majesty. This will happen if you take the trouble to weed out from your soul the undergrowth of desires, along with the thorns and tares of bad habits.
- Evagrius of Pontus