Update for the week Thursday, November 14, through Thursday, November 21, 2013


NATIVITY FAST - The Nativity Fast, also known as the season of Advent, begins Friday, November 15. This is the forty days of fasting and prayer in preparation for the Great Feast of the Nativity of Christ.  Every Wednesday during this period there will be a Paraklesis service at 6:30 pm.

FSJD HABITAT FOR HUMANITY – On Saturday, November 16 the Fellowship will sponsor another Habitat outing. We are looking to fill 9 open slots for St. Mary's FSJD Habitat for Humanity build team. It will be held from 9:30am-3:30pm at 65 Bradeen St, Roslindale. Cost per participant is $42, and you must sign up in advance to be part of the fun!  Please contact Phil Stragalis (phil@newtonfireandflood.com ) to sign up and for further details.

ANTIOCHIAN VILLAGE AT HOME - The Antiochian Village is coming to Boston! St. George West Roxbury is hosting a Village at Home on Saturday, November 16.  All children and teens (ages 9-17) are welcome. See Greg (ghakim@gmail.com ) or Hannah (hoakley18@gmail.com ) for more information.

EVENING LITURGY - On Wednesday, November 20, join us for the Evening Liturgy for the Presentation of the Theotokos in the Temple at 6:30 pm

PARISH COUNCIL MEETING - The next meeting of the Parish Council will be held Wednesday, November 20, at 7:30 pm, after Liturgy.

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 talks originally broadcast on Ancient Faith Radio. Join us at 7:00 pm next Thursday, November 21, as we continue our discussion of Genesis (http://orthodoxbiblestudy.info/genesis-part-8/ and http://orthodoxbiblestudy.info/genesis-part-9/ ) For more information contact Marianna Sayeg (mksayeg@gmail.com) or Fr. Antony (frawhj@gmail.com). New members are always welcome.


TEENS' SPAGHETTI LUNCHEON THANK YOU - The teens would like to extend their thanks to Chuck and Buddy Mabardy for donating the food for the Annual Spaghetti Luncheon last Sunday. They would also like to thank Peter Nassiff for making the sauce for the pasta, Socrates Deligeorges for his guidance and help in the kitchen, and all the parents that helped to make the luncheon a huge success. Lastly, thanks to all those who supported our teens by contributing and attending the Luncheon.

FALL LITURGY RETREAT THANK YOU - Doreen Bargoot, Panayiotis Sakellariou, and Teva Regule, the Church School Liturgical Service Coordinators, thank all the parents and friends who came to help with our Fall Liturgy Retreat - The Bread of Life.  We had over 70 church school children, family members, and friends attend the day.  We made Prosphora (Holy Bread), Sweet bread, and Coliva (Memorial wheat), celebrated an Artoklasia (Service of the Five Breads), said Memorial Prayers, and learned about and sampled "Breads from around the World," including those from Greece, Eritrea, Ethopia, Egypt, and China.  All the Prosphora was given to the church to be used at the Divine Liturgy for the next several weeks.  Special thanks to Shannon Sakellariou for coordinating the Prosphora making and Deno Takles for helping us make Coliva.  We hope to continue the tradition again next year.

WOMEN'S CLUB - The Women’s Club does not meet again until February. However, we are planning to go out to dinner for the Christmas Holiday on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 7:30pm to The Cheesecake Factory, 199 Boylston St. (Route 9) Chestnut Hill. Everyone is welcome! Any woman interested in going please call Mary Ellen Mabardy at 781-729-6303.

CHRISTMAS CONCERT - This year our Diocesan Choir will participate in the first “Orthodox Christmas around the World” concert at the Malliotis Center in Brookline on Sunday, December 15 at 4:00pm.  This is a pan-Orthodox effort organized by Holy Cross Seminary, featuring choirs from different jurisdictions.  For more information see Charlie Marge.
Rehearsals will be at St. John of Damascus in Dedham on Sunday, November 24, from 4:00-6:00 pm, Friday, December 6, 7:00-9:00 pm, and dress rehearsal Thursday, December 12, from 7:00-9:00 pm.


VIBRATION MONITORING - Please be advised that vibration monitoring equipment has been placed in a large orange metal Knaack Storage Chest up against the back of the church. Please DO NOT PARK up against the chest.

THANKSGIVING BAKE SALE - The Women's Club's annual Thanksgiving Charity Bake Sale will be held Sunday, November 24, 2013. All proceeds will benefit the Convent of Saidnaya, northwest of Damascus in Syria. Plan on purchasing all your holiday breads, pies, goodies, Syrian pastries and much more! Call Mary Ellen Mabardy @ 781-729-6303, if you can help bake and/or donate.

CHURCH SCHOOL CHRISTMAS PAGEANT -  If you are interested in participating in the Christmas Pageant, please see Sarah Byrne-Martelli or Charlie Marge.  We also need parents to assist at all rehearsals. There will be an organizational meeting for parents and their children who would like to participate in the Christmas Pageant right after church on Sunday, November 24. Rehearsals will be Sundays, December 8 and 15 during coffee hour, and Saturday, December 21, 2:30-4:30 pm. The pageant will be presented Sunday, December 22, after Liturgy.

SCHOLASTIC ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS - St. Mary is proud to announce that our own 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 Beram Awards will be presented at the 47th Annual Awards Banquet on Saturday, November 30, at the Holiday Inn, Dedham, 12:00-4:00 pm. For more information see http://www.stjohnd.org/ngberam/banquet/index.htm

ST. MARY PARISH CHRISTMAS CARD - Save yourself time, let us do the work, and all proceeds will benefit the Antiochian Women Project 2013-2014: Help the Orphans of War in Syria. Let the Women’s Club send a lovely Christmas card on your behalf to our parishioners. You will receive this card with the names of parishioners, like yourself, who are wishing a Blessed Nativity and a Merry Christmas to all. Please use the request form in the Sunday bulletin, or write to St. Mary Church - Women’s Club, 8 Inman St., Cambridge, MA 02139. Make checks payable in any amount to St. Mary Women’s Club. Deadline: Sunday, December 1, 2013.

MESSIAH - Join friends from St. Mary’s for the Handel and Haydn Society’s annual performance of Handel’s Messiah, on Sunday, December 1, at 3:00 p.m. We will carpool to Symphony Hall after Liturgy and have lunch together before the concert. Two more tickets have become available - if you’d like to join us email Melissa Nassiff at mnassiff@gmail.com

DONATIONS FOR HOLY NATIVITY - If you would like to donate toward the Poinsettias and Nativity decorations please use the form in the Sunday bulletin. Donations will be printed in the December 22, 2013 Bulletin. Deadline is December 15, 2013.

COFFEE HOUR VOLUNTEERS NEEDED - The Church School is looking for someone to sponsor the Christmas Coffee Hour on Sunday, December 22. Please see or e-mail Barbara if you are interested (barbara@dsaarchitects.com) or sign up on the Bulletin board outside the hall.

CANNED FOOD DRIVE – The annual FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE Canned Food Drive continues 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!


There are a number of ways you can help the Church, your fellow worshipers, and those in need. Consider serving in one of these ways:
- Be a Greeter
- Participate in Liturgical Service*
- Provide a Coffee Hour
- Join the Prison Ministry
- Help with Video Editing
- Share your talent as Photographer Or Graphic Designer

For information about these opportunities, see https://www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/ministries/volunteering

*Also, during the school year, the Church School students participate in our liturgical celebration by holding candles at the Gospel reading; processing with candles, a festal icon, and the baskets of Antidoron (i.e. extra bread) at the Great Entrance; and then presenting the Antidoron for a blessing during the Hymn to the Theotokos.


Greeter: Richard Robbat

Church School Liturgical Service - Candle Bearers: Tycho Traumann-Davis & David Porr; Icon Bearer: Danait Teclezghi; Bread Baskets: Gaby Mazzoni & Yuel Grmdy

Coffee Hour: The Sayeg Family
Note: Before you leave after coffee hour, please put away your own chair and help put away the table. Thank you!


Friday, November 15: Nativity fast begins

Saturday, November 16: Great Vespers 5:00pm

Sunday, November 17: Orthros 8:45 am, Enquirers' class 9:00 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School lesson 8 (short lesson with children's sermon)

SCRIPTURE READINGS for Sunday, November 17:
Epistle: St. Paul's Letter to the Galatians 2:16-20
Brethren, you know that a man is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ ... For I through the law died to the law, that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Gospel: Luke 12:16-21
The Lord said this parable: "The land of a rich man brought forth plentifully; and he thought to himself, ... 'I will pull down my barns, and build larger ones; and there I will store all my grain and my goods...' But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?' So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."

Wednesday, November 20: Evening Liturgy for the Presentation of the Theotokos in the Temple 6:30 pm


Thursday, November 21: Bible Study 7:30 pm

Saturday, November 23: Great Vespers 5:00pm

Sunday, November 24: Orthros 8:45 am, Enquirers' class 9:00 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School lesson 9

Wednesday, November 27: Paraclesis Service 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, November 28: Thanksgiving (no services at St. Mary); dispensation from fasting

Saturday, November 30: No Vespers

Sunday, December 1: Orthros 8:45 am, Enquirers' class 9:00 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; No Church School

Wednesday, December 4: Paraclesis Service 6:30 p.m.


If a man does not keep himself from covetousness, he shall be defiled by idolatry, and shall be judged as one of the heathen.
   - The Epistle Of Polycarp To The Philippians

The rich are in possession of the goods of the poor, even if they have acquired them honestly or inherited them legally.
   - John Chrysostom

Christian! you must absolutely be humble and meek, and long-suffering, remembering that you are clay, dust, nothingness; that you are impure; that everything good that you have is from God; that your life, your breath and everything you possess are God's gifts; that for your sins of disobedience and intemperance you ought now to redeem your future blessedness in Paradise by the long-suffering which is indispensable in this world of imperfections and innumerable transgressions of the fallen men living together with us, and forming the numerous members of the one sin-sullied human race.
   - Saint John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ

But how can those who are tethered to their inheritance be following Christ? And those who are weighed down by earthly desires be seeking heaven and aspiring to the heights above? They think of themselves as owners, whereas it is they rather who are owned: enslaved as they are to their own property, they are not the masters of their money but its slaves. The Apostle was pointing to our times and to these very men when he said: "For they that will become rich, fall into temptation and into snares and into many hurtful desires, which drown a man into perdition and destruction. For the desire of money is the root of all evil; which some coveting have erred from the faith, and have entangled themselves in many sorrows." (1 Timothy 6:9-10)
   - St. Cyprian of Carthage, The Lapsed

Be merciful to me, O Lover of men! In thee alone do I lay all my hope. Grant that I might repent and be corrected and bring forth the fruits of repentance, that when the end comes I may not be cut down like a fruitless tree, or thrown into the fire like weeds; but like wheat may I be gathered into Thy storehouse.
   - St. Ephraim the Syrian, A Spiritual Psalter