Update for the week Friday, November 29, through Thursday, December 5, 2013


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

MESSIAH - Some of us from St. Mary’s will be going to the Handel and Haydn Society’s annual performance of Handel’s Messiah this Sunday, December 1, at 3:00 p.m. We will gather during coffee hour and carpool to Symphony Hall after Liturgy, and have lunch together before the concert. If you have any questions email Melissa Nassiff at mnassiff@gmail.com

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.

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

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, December 5, as we continue our discussion of Genesis (http://orthodoxbiblestudy.info/genesis-part-10/ and http://orthodoxbiblestudy.info/genesis-part-11/ ) For more information contact Marianna Sayeg (mksayeg@gmail.com) or Fr. Antony (frawhj@gmail.com). New members are always welcome. Note: this will be our last meeting until after Christmas. We will resume again in mid-January.


PARISH COUNCIL – The next meeting of the Parish Council will be Tuesday, December 17, at 7:30 pm.

CONCERT AND SING-ALONG – The Metropolitan Wind Symphony Orchestra presents “Holiday Pops and Christmas Sing Along”, to benefit St. John of Damascus Church, on Saturday, December 7, 6:00 - 9:00pm at the Church. Tickets are $15/Adult, $5/child. Call the Church office to reserve tickets at 781-326-3046.

YOUTH EQUIPPED TO SERVE – YES, a program of FOCUS North America, will be coming to Bridgeport, CT Friday-Sunday, December 13-15. YES (Youth Equipped to Serve) is a ministry designed to encourage teens to get involved in outreach. For more information and to register go to www.yesnorthamerica.org. Registration fee is $150; scholarships are available.


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.

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. 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.

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.

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 .

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.

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 http://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.


Church School Liturgical Service - Candle Bearers: Mary Neguse and Kasonet Mehary; Icon Bearer: Ben Crea; Bread Baskets: Anthony and Charles Mabardy ; Team Leader: Zanta Ephrem


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
SCRIPTURE READINGS for Sunday, December 1:
Epistle: St. Paul's Letter to the Ephesians 2:4-10
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God: not because of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Gospel: Luke 18:35-43
At that time, as Jesus drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging... And he cried, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent; ... And Jesus stopped, and commanded him to be brought to him; and when he came near, he asked him, "What do you want me to do for you?" He said, "Lord, let me receive my sight." And Jesus said to him, "Receive your sight; your faith has made you well."

Wednesday, December 4: Paraclesis Service 6:30 pm

Thursday, December 5: Bible Study 7:00 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

Saturday, December 14: Great Vespers 5:00

Sunday, December 15: Orthros 8:45 am, Enquirers' class 9:00 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School lesson 11; Pageant rehearsal 2 during Coffee Hour

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

Sunday, December 22: Orthros 8:45 am, Enquirers' class 9:00 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am, followed by Church School Nativity Pageant

Tuesday, December 24: Royal Hours for the Nativity 9:00am; Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil 11:00 am;
Orthros 6:45 pm; Festal Divine Liturgy of St. Basil 8:00pm


No one heals himself by wounding another.- Saint AmbroseMoral outrage is often a form of confession because we hate most in others what we fear most in ourselves. Indeed, even gossip can be a form of self-confession. Moral grief can be healing, moral outrage can destroy one’s soul. - Archbishop Lazar Puhalo , Neurobiology Of Sin

Is it permissible to go to doctors for healing, and to take medications? There is no sin whatsoever in this, for everything is from our Lord God - both the healing substances and the healers themselves. The sin is not in a man’s resorting to medical procedures, but in a sick man’s resting all of his hopes for recovery on the doctor and on medical resources, thus forgetting that everything depends upon the All-merciful and All-powerful God, Who Alone determines who lives or dies.- St. Ambrose of Optina

This world is a sick man, whom sin has made sick, for sin is a sickness, and to scorn sinners is to scorn the sick. With prayer our healer walks around the grievously sick patient, with prayer he walks and with prayer he heals and makes whole. Do not scorn sinners, but pray for them. Feel pity and compassion for every creature, but do not condemn.- Father Justin (Popovich), Introduction to “Prayers by the Lake“ by St. Nikolaj Velimirović

Thou, Healer of all, hast visited me in my sicknesses! Payment for Thy medicines I cannot give Thee, for they are priceless. Thy mercies surpass Thy medicines in richness. They cannot be bought, they are given freely; it is for tears they are bartered. … Apply to my afflictions the medicine of Thy salvation, and the passion of Thy help! Thy sign can become a medicine to heal all.- St. Ephraim the Syrian