St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week of Thursday, April 30, 2020

For the foreseeable future, activities in the church will continue to include no more than 5 people. We are all encouraged to join the services live streamed at: https://bit.ly/stmarylive or bit.ly/stmarylive  or by clicking the live broadcasts button on the church website:  http://www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org

If you LIKE St. Mary on Facebook you’ll get advanced notice of live-streamed services:
https://www.facebook.com/StMaryCambridge

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Memory Eternal - We regret to inform you of the falling asleep in the Lord of William (Bill) Warfield on April 26. Bill was the beloved husband of Julie (Teebagy) Warfield who predeceased him in December of 2018. He is survived by 4 children: Bill Jr., Doreen, Elaine and James and many grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Contributions in Bill’s memory may be made to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, PO Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284-9168.
 
Our parish family extends heartfelt sympathies to Bill’s family.
 
Food for Hungry People Mite Boxes - Food for Hungry People is due. Please mail a check in to the church office at 8 Inman St. Cambridge, MA 02139, or use Egive and note FFHP in the ‘Other’ dialogue box.
 
Scholarship/Grant Opportunity for Antiochian Women - Each year, the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Women of North America awards grants of $500.00. The grant is to help women with the cost of education or training, undertaken to improve their circumstances or that of their families.  Grants are awarded to women over 26 years old, who are active members of an Antiochian parish and who are perusing higher education or training. Applications are due June 1, 2020. For more info click here: Scholarship Coordinator's Cover Letter & Application Form​​​
 
Virtual Community Prayer Groups - In this very anxiety provoking and isolating time, some in St Mary’s community have found imaginative ways to use social media to support a prayer-life. These opportunities for communal prayer are open to anyone who wants to take part:
 
There is Morning Prayer with James Wilcox who writes: I simply read the Trisagion Prayers, two Psalms, a prayer "waking from sleep," I say a prayer for the sick (with names given from other Orthodox parishioners and friends) and we close with the Prayer of St. Ephraim.
   If anyone would like to join, we start at 8:45 each morning, Monday – Saturday, and go for about 10-12 minutes. Folks will need a Zoom account (which can be accessed on their home computer or their phones). Note the addition of a password to add a level of security. And there is also an adult Sunday school class.
 
On Tuesday Evening at 7:30 the Young Adult Ministry would like to invite everyone in our church community to a virtual Paraklesis to the Theotokos over Zoom. The Paraklesis is a service traditionally sung during times of great distress.
   We will be using the text linked below, and we hope to see you all there! You  don’t have to be a great singer to participate.
http://ww1.antiochian.org/sites/default/files/paraklesis_little-with_music.pdf
   After we offer our prayers we will continue the Zoom call to check in with one another and see what other virtual events/support we can offer one another during this time. We would also like to invite everyone to a weekly virtual coffee hour after our streamed Sunday Divine Liturgy.
 
You can pray the liturgical services at home 
The Archdiocese has published online instructions for reader services (services
without a priest present). You can find them at the Online Liturgical Guide. Look at the list of services on the right side of the page and click on the ones marked ‘Reader Service’.
 
People Helping People
A number of parishioners have made known their desire to help people who need assistance. The church office is keeping a list of volunteers. As of this writing we have 8 people. Call the office if you would like your name added to the list of volunteers. There can’t be too many.
   If you know of anyone who needs any sort of help call the church office (617) 547-1234 to make the connection. We don’t promise we’ll meet all needs but we’ll try as best we can.
 
 
REFLECTION

Prayer, originally, is not the work of man alone. Neither is it performed for his comfort or for the fulfilment of his needs or demands. The greatness of prayer lies in its being the work of spiritual beings in general. It is neither of this age, nor for this age. Thus, if we restrict prayer to the satisfaction on man’s needs and demands or to responding to his pleas in this life, it loses its essential greatness. Through hallowing the name of God, paying homage to him, thanking and honoring him with pure praise, man is transformed into a spiritual being. He thus joins the heavenly host in their transcendent ministry.
   However, we ask God for temporal things because we have fallen from our original spiritual status in which we lacked nothing. Although this is alien to the original concept of prayer, God in his graciousness has come down to our level and promised to listen to our prayers when we bring him our needs and complaints, which he knows only too well. He thus assures us that he will never abandon us for our sins and that our tribulations are a matter of concern to him.
   - Fr. Matthew The Poor