Weekly Update for January 1, 2021


SATURDAY 1/2/21 – Great Vespers will be held tomorrow at 5:00pm
SUNDAY 1/3/21 – Orthros 8:45am; Divine Liturgy 10:00am
     There will be no Sunday Bulletin this week.
TUESDAY 1/5/21 – The Feast of Theophany (also known as Epiphany) is observed this coming Tuesday, on the Eve of Theophany. Orthros will be at 5:30pm and Divine Liturgy at 7:00pm.

REGISTRATION FOR LITURGY (New Procedure) - Signups are now available to attend Sunday services in person for January 2021.  Due to the governor's updated order, we are at a further reduced capacity in our efforts to keep everyone safe and healthy.  All other requirements (mask wearing, distancing, etc.) remain in effect. Reserve a spot at the following link: https://www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/signup. Sign up for ONE Sunday per month.
     Parishioners who are members of the church may sign up ahead of time for any convenient Sunday.  48 hours prior to a service, if any spots remain, both members and non-members may sign up to fill the remaining spots.  When we are in that 48-hour window prior to the service, it also does not matter if you've attended a Sunday service already during the month.
     Weekday services are open ahead of time to all, members and non-members alike.
     Services for the following month will be made available at the end of each month, at the same link as above.

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.
MORNING PRAYERS – The morning prayer group on Zoom, led by Subdeacon James Wilcox and his wife Brooke and open to anyone who wants to take part, will resume on Monday, January 11.  Prayers run for 15
minutes each morning, Monday through Saturday, beginning at 8:45 am: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/377381275  password: 28052020  
ORTHODOXY 102 - The adult education class led by Subdeacon James (drjamesis@gmail.com) on Zoom, which has not met during most of December, will resume on Monday, January 11, 2021.
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 Thursday, 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.
PARISH MEETING - The annual Parish meeting will be conducted via Zoom on Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. A link will be sent to all parishioners for whom we have an email address. If you do not have email or are uncertain if we have your email information, call Carol Griswold at (617) 523-1010, Ext. 255.
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.
STEWARDSHIP – Our 2021 Stewardship Pledge Drive is 100% on-line this year and we are asking every member to make a pledge for 2021. If you haven’t yet, you can make a pledge by going to: https://www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/donate/stewardship-2021-pledge-card
For more information on our Pledge Drive, including frequently asked questions, see: https://www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/donate/stewardship-2021-pledge-drive
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 sometime this month.
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.


     Jesus sanctified Baptism by being Himself baptized. If the Son of God was baptized, what godly man is he that despises Baptism? But He was baptized not that He might receive remission of sins, for He was sinless; but being sinless, He was baptized that He might give to them that are baptized a divine and excellent grace. For 'since the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise partook of the same' (Heb. 2:14), that having been made partakers of His presence in the flesh, we might be made partakers also of His Divine grace: thus Jesus was baptized, that thereby we again by our participation might receive both salvation and honor.
   - St. Cyril of Jerusalem
     The Holy Spirit came down when the Lord was baptized, that the dignity of Him who was baptized might not be hidden... 'the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and lighting upon Him' (Matt. 3:16)... Of this dove, the dove of Noah, according to some, was in part a figure. For as in his time by means of wood and of water there came salvation to themselves, and the beginning of a new generation, and the dove returned to him towards evening with an olive branch; thus, they say, the Holy Spirit also descended upon the true Noah, the Author of the second birth... The spiritual dove, therefore, as some interpret, came down at the season of His baptism, that He might show that it is He who by the wood of the Cross saves them who believe, He who at eventide should grant salvation through His death.
   - St Cyril of Jerusalem
     Allow the Spirit of God to dwell within you; then in His love He will come and make a habitation with you; He will reside in you and live in you. If your heart is pure you will see Him and He will sow in you the good seed of reflection upon His actions and wonder at His majesty. This will happen if you take the trouble to weed out from your soul the undergrowth of desires, along with the thorns and tares of bad habits.
   - Evagrius of Pontus