Weekly Update for December 18, 2020


ONLINE CHRISTMAS CONCERT with CAROL SING-ALONG - The announcement in this week’s e-newsletter had the wrong time and link for the concert and sing-along tomorrow, Sunday, December 20. This is the correct information:

6:00pm: Concert Broadcast (on Zoom)
7:00pm: Carol Sing-along (on Zoom, with everyone muted to avoid sound delays)
7:20pm: Online Fellowship (on Zoom, unmuted)

Zoom link: https://bit.ly/stmaryxmaszoom  (ZOOM Meeting ID: 977 1559 4945; Passcode: 823475)
Lyric Book: https://bit.ly/stmary2019prog  

Please join us tomorrow for this event!For questions about the event or alternative viewing options, contact Diana Yousef at dymartinek@gmail.com

NEW METHOD TO SIGN UP FOR LITURGY - For the remainder of this year, we are doing a trial period of a new online registration system.  You can use this link to express your interest in attending services at St. Mary's: https://stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/signup. Sign up for ONE Sunday per month.
     For the remaining services in December, if you have already attended a service in the past 3-4 weeks, please wait to give other parishioners time to sign up for one of the remaining Sundays. If additional spots are still available after 6:00pm on the Friday prior to liturgy, you and/or nonmembers may sign up for an open spot.
     We will be operating on the honor system. The goal in using this new system is to keep things as simple as possible for those of us wanting to attend liturgy, and to minimize the administration required to manage the signups.
     For the Christmas (Nativity) services, please sign up for either the morning or the evening services. See Reminders, below, for details about these services.
     If you have any questions, comments, or feedback, please let us know by calling the Church Office (617-547-1234).
ORTHODOX WITNESS TO CHRIST - Registration for the Orthodox Witness to Christ Program: A spiritual Journey is now open for the spring 2021 semester, and we would like to invite you to join us! Registration is limited to the first 30 people who register. For all questions, please email admin@witnesstochrist.org .
     We begin on January 14, 2021, with ten all-online Round Table sessions on Thursday evenings from 6:30-8:00pm, and a Retreat on Saturday, February 20 from 10:00am-3:30pm. Please see program details on the flyer here. 
     The program covers four semesters, and participants can join at the beginning of ANY semester, in either the fall or the spring. The Witness to Christ Program Certificate will be awarded at the completion of the four semesters, even if not taken in order. 
     The purpose of the program is to offer an opportunity for a spiritual journey for anyone interested to learn, reflect, and be transformed through the Orthodox Christian Faith in preparation for various ministries. It aims to empower and equip Orthodox Christians to nourish and share the faith in the 21st century.
     This program is sponsored by the Diocese of Worcester and New England – offered to the laity, Christian educators, parents, chaplains, counselors, therapists, physicians, and clergy. The program has eight units over four semesters led by His Grace Bishop John, D.Min.; Archpriest Antony Hughes, M.Div.; Ioana Popa, MD, BCC; Mary Lou Catelli, M.Ed.; Sebastien Falardeau, a Ph.D. candidate in Theology; and Tenbit Mitiku, MS. 
     To register for the upcoming semester, please fill out the Registration Form.
To receive general program updates, please Sign Up.


CHRISTMAS SERVICES - All services for the Nativity of Christ will be held on Thursday, December 24.  There will be two different opportunities to come to church:
1.  Royal Hours at 9:00am, followed by a 15-minute break, followed by Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil at 11:00am.  In these services we hear all of the Old Testament prophecies about the coming of Christ
2.  Festal Orthros at 6:30pm, followed immediately by the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom at 8pm. 
STEWARDSHIP - Pledges were due on December 6, but it’s not too late. 
Our 2021 Stewardship Pledge Drive is 100% on-line this year and we are asking every one to make a pledge for 2021.
   To make a pledge:
   For more information on our Pledge Drive, including FAQs:
LIVE-STREAMED SERVICES - All the Divine Services held in St. Mary’s Church can also be seen live-streamed at www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/live  or  https://www.facebook.com/stmarycambridge   or   www.youtube.com/stmarycambridge       For the safety of all during the pandemic, please pray with us from home if you have a cough or cold.
DONATIONS TO THE CHURCH - One-time donations to the church (For the Good Health of, In Memory of, etc.) can be made on our website using this form:  https://www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/donate/donate-now
      In addition to bank ACH transfers, we now accept credit cards for these donations, but kindly ask that you check the box to cover the 2.6% fee incurred by the church for this convenience.  For pledge contributions, please sign up for eGive to make ACH transfers.
ENQUIRERS CLASS - The St. Ignatius Catechetical course – Enquirers’ Class is currently postponed due to the illness of Bob Kowalik, its leader. He expects to be back in January.
ORTHODOXY 102 - The adult education class led by Subdeacon James (drjamesis@gmail.com) on Zoom will not meet during the rest of December. It will resume in January.
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. 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.  Remember, many people are ashamed/afraid to ask for help. Keep your eyes and ears open and ask about needs with kind concern.


He became a servant on earth; He was Lord on high.  Inheritor of the height and depth, who became a stranger. But the one who was judged wrongly will judge in truth, and he in whose face they spat, breathed the spirit into the face. He who held a weak reed was the scepter for the world that grows old and leans on him. He who stood [and] served his servants, sitting, will be worshipped. He whom the scribes scorned -- the seraphim sang "holy" before him.
   - St. Ephraim the Syrian
This is the reason why the Word of God was made flesh, and the Son of God became Son of Man: so that we might enter into communion with the Word of God, and by receiving adoption might become Sons of God.
   - Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies
His love for me brought low his greatness.
He made himself like me so that I might receive him.
He made himself like me so that I might be clothed in him.
I had no fear when I saw him, for he is mercy for me.
He took my nature so that I might understand him, 
my face so that I should not turn away from him. 
   - Odes of Solomon (2nd century, author unknown)