Update for the week Thursday, January 30 - Wednesday, February 5, 2020


SATURDAY 2/1 – Chanters rehearsal 4:00pm, Vespers for the Presentation 5:00pm, followed by Young Adult Ministry dinner and activity
SUNDAY 2/2 - Presentation of Christ In the TempleFebruary Orthros 8:45am; St. Ignatius Catechetical Group, 9:00am, Orthodoxy 102 9:00am; Divine Liturgy 10:00am followed by Church School 
   - The St. Mary’s Parish Annual Meeting will be held this Sunday immediately after Liturgy to approve the Year 2020 budget. It is important that all members of St. Mary’s Church attend this brief meeting.


THURSDAY 1/30 - ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN WITNESS PROGRAM: Spiritual Pilgrimage - Round Table discussion. One of ten Thursday evening discussions on "Courage to Live - Fruits of the Holy Spirit", 7:00pm-9:00pm. Location: Diocese Chancellery: 2 Lydias Path, Westborough MA 01581. Anyone can register - to register or for questions, please email IP.AlongTheJourney@gmail.com or call at 617-274-8336

SATURDAY 2/1– Teens from the Diocese will hold their Winter Meeting and go ice-skating this Saturday at St. George Church, West Roxbury, at 12:00 noon. Registration link and event info can be found here: https://forms.gle/95bqa78f2psm9NS49
TUESDAY 2/4 – The Diocese Council is made up of lay leaders from throughout the Diocese who assist His Grace Bishop John with programming and administration of the Diocese. The Council meets every other month, and will meet next this Tuesday at the Diocese Chancery beginning with potluck dinner at 6:30 pm followed by the meeting from 7-9 pm. All are invited to attend. If you would like more information, please contact Bishop John or Richard Robbat (robbatr@gmail.com)


HIERARCHICAL DIVINE LITURGY – Bishop John will be with us on Sunday, February 9 for Liturgy and for our Scout Sunday observance, when he will present Orthodox scout patches and awards.

WOMEN’S CLUB – The next meeting of the St. Mary’s Women’s Club will be Sunday, February 9, during Coffee Hour.
FORGIVENESS VESPERS – Vespers for Forgiveness Sunday will be Sunday, March 1, at 6:00pm
MISSIONS COFFEE HOUR - A parish-wide collaboration of groups (Young Adults, Hospitality etc.) is planning a special coffee hour for the Sunday of Orthodoxy (March 8) to celebrate and learn about Orthodox missions activities around the world and to enjoy food from those places.  (Featured will be China Translation Project; Project Mexico; OCMC work in Albania, Guatemala, Kenya, S Korea, New Zealand, Romania, and Sweden; and possibly more.) If you would like to help with planning and with preparing food, please contact Shannon Sakellariou at srsakellariou@gmail.com or 617-792-75780


THE ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN WITNESS PROGRAM: Spiritual Pilgrimage resumed 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, beginning January 23. Anyone can register. Dates and Time: Thursdays 7:00pm-9:00pm.  Febuary 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. February 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
PLC MEETING – The next meeting of the Parish Life Conference planning committee will be Wednesday, February 26, at 7:00pm in the church hall.
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.
RETREAT and YOUTH DAY – The 2020 Lenten Retreat and Youth Day of the Diocese will be held on Saturday, March 28 from 9:00-3:30, at St. John of Damascus, Dedham. The theme of the retreat will be Don’t Stop Believin’, a Journey to the Kingdom of Heaven. Fr. Gregory Abdalah will be the guest speaker.

PARISH LIFE CONFERENCE – St. Mary’s is hosting the 2020 Parish Life Conference at the Cape Codder Resort & Spa in Hyannis, June 19-21.  Hotel registration is now open - special conference rate is $189/night + tax for the evenings of June 19 and 20; Pre-Conference Rate is $109/night + tax for up to 3 days before (Tuesday-Thursday nights) the conference; Post-Conference Rate is $139/night + tax (Sunday - Tuesday nights). 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.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/plc  
AV SUMMER CAMP – Antiochian Village summer camp registration has opened. Be sure to register early as the sessions fill up quickly - see https://avcamp.org/summer-camp.  St. Mary’s children attend 3rd Session, July 12-24.
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


Do not pray for easy lives; pray to be stronger men.  Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers; pray for powers equal to your tasks.  Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you yourself shall be a miracle.  Every day you shall wonder at yourself, at the richness of life which has come to you by the grace of God.
   - Phillips Brooks
The one who has come to understand the weakness of human nature has had experience of the divine power, and such a person who because of it has succeeded in some things and is eager to succeed in others never looks down on anyone.  For he knows that in the same way that God has helped him and freed him from many passions and hardships, so can He help everyone when He wishes, especially those who are striving for His sake. Although for His own reasons He does not deliver all from their passions right away, still as a good and loving physician He heals in His own good time each one of those who are striving.
   - St. Maximus the Confessor, Four Centuries on Love