Update for the week Thursday, January 9 - Wednesday, January 15, 2020


SATURDAY 1/11 - The Women's Club will host the diocesan Antiochian Women here at St. Mary's this Saturday. All women of the diocese are welcome to attend this event, which begins with Liturgy at 9:00am, followed by coffee and committee reports, and concludes with luncheon at noon.


THE ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN WITNESS PROGRAM: Spiritual Pilgrimage will resume in January 2020. This program and journey is an opportunity for anyone interested to learn, to reflect, and to be transformed through the Orthodox Christian Faith in preparation for various ministries. This spiritual pilgrimage is an interdisciplinary approach to create a cadre of leaders in the church. It is aimed to empower and equip Orthodox Christians to nourish and share the faith in the 21st century. This semester the program has a Round Table discussion unit and a Retreat unit. Anyone can join at any point in the program. We welcome you on behalf of the Program Interdisciplinary Leadership Team: Bishop John of Worcester and New England, Archpriest Antony Hughes, Ioana Popa MD, BCC, Richard J. Robbat Ph.D., Sebastien Falardeau, MA, PhDc.
   ROUND TABLE: "Courage to Live - Fruits of the Holy Spirit". Ten Thursday evening discussions – anyone can register. Dates and Time: Thursdays 7:00pm-9:00pm.  January 23, 30, Feb 6, 20, 27, March 12, 19, 26, April 2, 9, 23 (snow date alternative). Location: Antiochian Orthodox Christian Diocese of Worcester and New England Chancellery: 2 Lydias Path, Westborough MA 01581
        RETREATS: "Free will and Christian Choice". Two Saturday daylong retreats – anyone can register for one retreat or for both. Dates and Time: Saturdays 9:00am-4:00pm. Feb 22, March 21, 2020. Location: Emmaus House, New Ipswich NH, 03071
   To register or for questions, please email at IP.AlongTheJourney@gmail.com or call at 617-274-8336
PARISH COUNCIL OFFICERS – During its regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, January 8th, the Parish Council elected new officers: President Mary Winstanley O’Connor, Vice President Deno Takles, Treasurer Marc Patacchiola, and Secretary Madeline Homsey
SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE - Scholarships ($1,000) are available from the Syrian-Lebanese Women’s club of Greater Boston to young women of Syrian and Lebanese origin, residing in Massachusetts within 50-mile radius of Boston, who plan to pursue a four-year college education.  Scholarships are based on outstanding academic achievement, extra-curricular activities, charitable and civic involvement and good character; and applicants must be in good academic standing in her school and possess those personal attributes, which best serve the community.  Applications are available through the Church Office and must be postmarked by March 31.  If you have any questions, contact Mary Winstanley O’Connor at 617-523-1010 or email at moconnor@koilaw.com.
   + Diocese of Worcester and New England Scholarship: Students graduating in 2019 from high school who are children of members of St. Mary’s may apply.  Deadline is March 31.  Contact Mary Winstanley O’Connor at 617-523-1010 or email at moconnor@koilaw.com for more information.
PARISH LIFE CONFERENCE – St. Mary’s is hosting the 2020 Parish Life Conference at the Cape Codder Resort & Spa in Hyannis, June 17-21.  Hotel registration is now open - special conference rate is $189/night + tax for the evenings of June 19 and 20; pre & post conference rate is $139/night + tax for up to 3 days before or after the PLC. To register for the hotel call 1-888-297-2200 and mention the “Parish Life Conference hosted by St. Mary’s” or book online by visiting www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/plc/hotel-reservation.  To learn more, visit www.stmaryorthodorthodoxchurch.org/plc   
AV SUMMER CAMP – Antiochian Village summer camp registration has opened. Be sure to register early as sessions fill up quickly. St. Mary’s children attend 3rd Session, July 13-25.


FAMILY CAMP – Register now for Winter Family Camp at Antiochian Village, January 17-20, 2020. Family Camp is an opportunity for your family to get away from everyday life and take a weekend as a family to grow closer to Christ, in the beautiful setting of the Antiochian Village Camp. Registration is now open at https://avcamp.org/other-programs/winter-family-camp Cost: $150/parent, $50/child includes meals and lodging.
WOMEN‘S CLUB OUTING - On Sunday, January 26 the Women’s Club will hold a Winter Get-Together at the Bamboo Restaurant in the Holiday Inn Dedham, 55 Ariadne Rd, Dedham. All women of St. Mary’s are welcome to join us there for supper at 5:30pm. E-mail Melissa Nassiff (mnassiff@gmail.com) if you have any questions or would like to join us.
ANNUAL PARISH MEETING – On Sunday, February 2, 2020, our Annual Meeting will be held immediately after Liturgy to approve the Year 2020 budget. (Snow date: February 9.) The Proposed Budget will be available the Sunday before the meeting, on January 26. It is important that all members of St. Mary’s Church attend this brief meeting.
COFFEE HOUR SPONSORS NEEDED – Please sign up to provide a coffee hour. Currently January 26, February 16 and 23, and March 15, 22, and 29 are available. What you provide can be as simple as coffee, juice, and cookies!  When no one volunteers, there is no coffee hour.  Sign up on the bulletin board downstairs outside the coat room or contact the Church Office: 617-547-1234 or Secretary @stmaryorthodoxchurch.org  
JOIN US ONLINE - St. Mary’s Church services are broadcast live each week through an internet video stream. If you can't attend a service in person, or want to share this ministry with a friend or loved one, the live stream can be viewed at www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/live during regularly scheduled service times (see the schedule of services or online). If you have questions or comments about this ministry please contact us at live@stmaryorthodoxchurch.org


The real and true life then is the Father, who through the Son in the Holy Spirit pours forth as from a fountain His heavenly gifts to all; and through His love to man, the blessings of life eternal are promised without fail to us men also. We must not disbelieve the possibility of this, but having an eye not to our own weakness but to His power, we must believe; for with God all things are possible.
   - St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures
Many, unable to endure the self-constraint needed for acquiring the virtue of prayer, do not attain a plenitude of divine gifts; but those who do persist are rewarded with greater manifestations of divine aid, which sustain, support and joyfully carry them forward. Then what is difficult to accomplish is easily achieved, for they are invested with what one might call an angelic capacity, which empowers our human nature to commune with what lies beyond it. This accords with the words of the prophet, that those who persist will grow wings and will gain new strength (cf. Isa. 40:31).
   - St. Gregory Palamas
Without godly love we are not benefited in anything, even if we have all other gifts of the Holy Spirit.
   - Saint Basil the Great