Update for the week Thursday, March 5 - Wednesday, March 11, 2020

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME BEGINS this Sunday, March 8 – Don’t forget to set your clocks forward one hour this Sunday (or Saturday night), so you’ll be sure to get to church on time.

FRIDAY 3/6 - AKATHIST (Medayah) Praises of the Holy Theotokos will be prayed on Fridays in Lent, March 6, 13, 20, 27, and April 3

SATURDAY 3/7 - No Vespers at St. Mary's.
SUNDAY 3/8 - Orthros 8:45am; St. Ignatius Catechetical Group, 9:00am, Orthodoxy 102 9:00am; Divine Liturgy 10:00am, followed by Church School 
   + 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 prepare food, please contact Shannon Sakellariou at srsakellariou@gmail.com  or 617-792-75780
WEDNESDAY 3/11 – PreSanctified Liturgy 6:30PM, followed by Lenten Potluck Supper
BIBLE BOWL - All Teens, ages 13 - 19 and Pre – Teens,  ages 10 - 12 interested in competing in this year's Bible Bowl please contact Violet Robbat at 781-718-5369 or by e-mail at vmkrobbat@yahoo.com    for further instruction.  This year we will be studying the Gospel of John as found in the New Testament of the Orthodox Study Bible.  The Orthodox Study Bible is available from Ancient Faith Bookstore, Barnes and Noble, Holy Cross Bookstore and Amazon if you do not have one.  
Our first meeting/practice will begin in mid-March (exact date TBD).  We meet immediately after Church School ends and every Sunday until the competition. We will meet in the small area right outside the secretary’s office.  Be sure to bring a chair with you.  We look forward to having two great teams again this year!!   


SATURDAY 3/7 – Pan-Orthodox Vespers for the Triumph of Orthodoxy will be Saturday, March 7 at 6:00pm, at St George Cathedral, Worcester. Our own Bishop JOHN will be presiding along with Orthodox clergy from Massachusetts.
   Note: If you are interested in singing with the Pan-Orthodox 4-part SATB or Byzantine Chant choir, please e-mail Charlie Marge, charlie.marge@verizon.net  
   Young Adults - If you would like a ride to Vespers please email christina_palis@mail.harvard.edu


ANNUNCIATION LITURGY – There will be a Vesperal Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Annunciation on Wednesday, 3/25 (not Tuesday 3/24, as previously announced) at 6:30pm.
   + Note: there will be no PreSanctified Liturgy that week, but there will still be a Lenten Potluck afterwards (fish is permitted for the feast).
FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE MITE BOXES - are available in the narthex on the bengarri. Take one  home, drop in a little money every day, and return it on Palm Sunday to help the Archdiocese feed the hungry. Use the box as a tool for teaching your children about generosity and almsgiving. Remind yourself of the power of the ‘Widow’s Mite’—the first window on the right side of the nave.
NEW DIOCESE CAMP PROGRAM - Due to the long wait lists at AV, our Diocese is excited to offer this new Diocese camp program as an additional option to your young people. We hope that some campers who are going to AV this summer will also come to Camp St. Herman, and we also hope the many, many young people who are not going to AV will take advantage of the many benefits of a local program:
   - It's close! CSH is held in Contoocook, NH at the St. Methodios Faith & Heritage Center where we have gone for many years for our Teen Retreats. It is only a short 1-2 hour drive for the majority of our Diocese.
   - Only a week! A shorter program (1 week) may be appealing to new campers (and parents!) who are not ready to spend 2 weeks away from home at AV.
   - No Wait List! The Village filled up in less than a day back in December, and left too many campers on the wait list. Camp St. Herman will follow the standards of the Antiochian Village program, the accreditation standards of the American Camp Association, and provide a quality experience for our young people to experience their faith in the camp setting just like at AV.
   - Diocese Connections! Camping programs are very effective ways to develop close relationships between those that attend. A local program for our Diocese will help to foster and develop relationships between our young people at the various local parishes. These relationships will continue to develop throughout the year at diocese activities.
  - Camper registration is now available online along with more details at www.CampStHerman.org
HOLY FRIDAY RETREAT NEEDS A NEW LEADER – After 25 years, Trish Orlovsky is stepping down from her role as leader of the children’s activities at the Holy Friday retreat. Please contact Trish at trishorlovsky@gmail.com if you can step in and continue the tradition.
PALM SUNDAY FISH DINNER – On Palm Sunday, April 12, the Hospitality Group invites you to stay for the annual Palm Sunday Fish Dinner, donated by Ed and Lisa Brylczyk. Cost is $9.00 per person; $18 per family. Volunteers are needed to help with setup, serving the food, and especially with cleanup.


LENTEN LUNCHEON – St Mary’s Women’s Club invites you to a Lenten luncheon fundraiser on Sunday March 22 after Liturgy. The women will be serving homemade mjaddara (rice and lentils with caramelized onion), hoomos , stuffed grape leaves, sautéed green beans with garlic and onion, pita bread, salad & desert. Pizza will be available for children under 12. The price, with reservation, is $12 for adults and $6 for kids under 12. Price at the door for an adult will be $15.  There is a sign-up sheet for reservations at the Bengarri or you can call Marilyn Robbat at 781-729-3033 or email mbtrobbat@gmail.com. This luncheon will not go forward unless a minimum of 60 people make reservations before the Sunday March 15th deadline.  As of March 1, 15 have reserved a place.
PRESANCTIFIED LITURGY – On Wednesdays during Lent (March 11, 18, & 25, and April 1 & 8) there will be a Presanctified Liturgy service at 6:30pm, followed by a Lenten potluck supper.
   + Early Presanctified Liturgy – On April 1 the PreSanctified Liturgy will begin at 5:30 instead of 6:30, in order to make it easier for families with children to participate in a midweek Lenten service.
MORE POTLUCK LEADS NEEDED – We still need a few more volunteer leads to coordinate the  potluck supper after Presanctified Liturgy. Being the Lead means (a) providing a main dish, (b) coordinating what others bring if asked, and (c) coordinating setup and cleanup. Contact Nadine Salib (nadinesalib1980@gmail.com) or Diana Yousef (dymartinek@gmail.com) for the potluck lead instruction sheet, or to sign up as a potluck lead. 
THE ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN WITNESS PROGRAM: Spiritual Pilgrimage 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, 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
    RETREAT: "Free Will and Christian Choice". Saturday daylong retreat – anyone can register. Date and Time: Saturday March 21, 2020, 9:00am-4:00pm.. 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
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. Dr. Gregory Abdalah will be the guest speaker.
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 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
JOIN THE CHOIR – St. Mary Church Choir welcomes individuals (especially basses and altos!) interested in making a commitment to sing each Sunday at Divine Liturgy.  Please feel free to join them and/or introduce yourself to the director, Michelle Mabardy, any Sunday after Liturgy. 

“Give us this day.” Why do we beseech God for bread only today? Because we know that we are not the masters of our lives, but our Creator is. Also that it might startle us from the accumulation of wealth for the uncertain tomorrow, while letting our brothers go hungry today. Feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked. No one gathering more than what is needed, out of the fear of what tomorrow will bring, is able to fulfill these commandments of God.”
   - St. Nicholas Velimirovich