Update for the week Thursday, November 21, through Thursday, November 28, 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 talks originally broadcast on Ancient Faith Radio. Join us at 7:00 pm this 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.

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 at 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.


AXION ESTIN ICONThe people of St. Mary's are invited to join the Dormition of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church in Somerville, for the arrival of the Axion Estin Icon. It will be received into the church this Saturday Evening, November 23, followed by Vespers and a reception open to all in attendance in the social hall. Metropolitan Methodios will be in attendance. For information about the icon see http://www.dormitionchurch.org/100_celebration/axion-estin

EARLY DEADLINE - Please be advised that because to the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, November 28, the deadline for the December 1 Bulletin is 11:00am on Wednesday, November 27.

APARTMENT WANTED - Our own Subdeacon Steve Walker needs a new place to live, as his apartment building is undergoing renovation. It must be near public transportation, with or without a roommate (grad student or older). If you have such a place or know of one, please contact Steve at smwalk@gmail.com.

PARISH COUNCIL ELECTIONS - If you are interested in serving on the Parish Council please speak to Mary Winstanley O’Connor or Fr. Antony, right away. To be eligible to serve you must be a member of St. Mary’s for two years and in good financial standing.

HELP DECORATE THE CHRISTMAS TREE - Volunteers are needed to decorate the NEW church Christmas tree on Sunday, December 1, after Liturgy (No assembly required!!). Please plan on offering your assistance. Barbara Shoop will coordinate.

LESSONS AND CAROLS with POTLUCK - The Fellowship of St. John the Divine cordially invites you to Western Rite Evensong with Lessons and Carols - a service of prayers, scripture readings and Christmas Carols - on Saturday,  December 21, 2013, at 5:00 pm.  The service will be followed by a festive Lenten Pot Luck Supper.  People whose last name begins with A – P please bring a Main Dish or Salad; people whose last name begin with Q – Z  please bring Dessert. Drinks will be provided. For more information, contact Julie Wasilko at julie31415pi@gmail.com


NATIVITY FAST - The Nativity Fast, also known as the season of Advent, began 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.

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 in front of the chest.

SCHOLASTIC ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS - St. Mary is proud to announce that our own Tatiana Dalton, Theo Smith and Julia Shoop ave 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. You can still order tickets online at http://www.handelandhaydn.org. We will carpool to Symphony Hall after Liturgy and have lunch together before the concert. If you’d like to join us email Melissa Nassiff at mnassiff@gmail.com

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.

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.

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.

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, and who to contact, 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: Martin and Meg Scrivener

Church School Liturgical Service - Candle Bearers: Robel Mahari & Yoel Grmdy; Icon Bearer: Tycho Traumann-Davis; Bread Baskets: Mary Neguse & Alex Dalton; Team Leader: Gaby Mazzoni

Coffee Hour: Women's Club Bake Sale
Note: Before you leave after coffee hour, please put away your own chair and help put away the table. Thank you!


Thursday, November 21: Bible Study 7:00 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

SCRIPTURE READINGS for Sunday, November 24:
Epistle: St. Paul's Letter to the Galatians 6:11-18
... far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. Peace and mercy be upon all who walk by this rule, upon the Israel of God.

Gospel: Luke 18:18-27
At that time, a ruler came to Jesus and asked him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" ... Jesus said..."One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." But when he heard this he became sad, for he was very rich. Jesus looking at him said, "How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!

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 pm

Saturday, December 7: Great Vespers 5:00

Sunday, December 8: Orthros 8:45 am, Enquirers' class 9:00 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School lesson 10; Pageant rehearsal 1 during Coffee Hour

Wednesday, December 11: Paraclesis Service 6:30 pm

Wednesday, Decermber 18: Paraclesis Service 6:30 pm

Saturday, December 21: Western Rite Evensong with Lessons and Carols 5:00 pm, followed by Potluck Supper


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

Some people with possessions possess them dispassionately, and so when deprived of them they are not dismayed but are like those who accepted the seizure of their goods with joy (cf. Hebrews 10:34). Others possess with passion, so that when they are in danger of being dispossessed they become utterly dejected, like the rich man in the Gospel who went away full of sorrow (cf. Matthew 19:22); and if they actually are dispossessed, they remain dejected until they die. Dispossession, then, reveals whether a man's inner state is dispassionate or dominated by passion.
- St. Maximos the Confessor

When the day is done and the night falls (which, however, we ought to call day: it is night for sinners and day for the just),when the play is over, when we all find ourselves confronted with our own actions and not with our riches or dignity or the honors we have had or the power we have wielded, when we are asked to give an account of our lives and our works of virtue, ignoring both the feats of our opulence and the humility of our need, when we are asked: "Show me your deeds!" then the disguises will fall and we shall see who is truly rich and who is truly poor.
- St. John Chrysostom, Homily on Lazarus

When you fast and are nourished with abstinence, do not store the leftovers for tomorrow, but, as the Lord became poor and enriched us, feed someone who does not want to be hungry, you who hunger willingly. Then your fast will be like the dove who brings and joyfully proclaims salvation to your soul from the flood.
- St. Gregory Palamas