Weekly Update for January 15, 2021


SUNDAY 1/17 – Orthros 8:45am; Divine Liturgy 10:00am
MONDAY 1/18 – The daily morning prayer group on Zoom, led by Subdeacon James Wilcox and his wife Brooke and open to anyone who wants to take part, has resumedNote change: Prayers now run Monday through Friday (no longer Saturday), beginning at 8:30am (no longer 8:45): https://us02web.zoom.us/j/377381275  password: 28052020 

HOUSE BLESSINGS – Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Fr. Antony will not be visiting homes for house blessings this year. However, you are encouraged to bless your own homes with your family using your Holy Water bottle from Theophany and the Service for the Blessing of Homes (which you can print as a two-sided booklet) found at this link: www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/houseblessing.
You may pick up a Holy Water bottle the next time you are in church.

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.
ORTHODOXY 102 - The adult education class led by Subdeacon James (drjamesis@gmail.com) on Zoom, has resumed.  Orthodoxy 102 is an adult education class designed for Christians who have spent many years in the Orthodox church, but have never had any formal teaching on the theology and liturgical structure of Eastern Christianity. This is the second year the class is being offered. It will meet weekly to journey through the structure of the Divine Liturgy, while taking an in-depth look at Scripture, the Ecumenical Councils, our iconography, and the meaning and application of Orthodox theology. If you would like more information or want to join, please email drjamesis@gmail.com (or introduce yourself to Subdeacon James on any Sunday following the liturgy, if you’re there in person). The class begins at 7:00pm every Monday on Zoom.
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 began on Thursday, January 14, 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.
GODLY PARENTING WEBINAR – All are invited to join His Grace Bishop JOHN and Dr. Ioana Popa on Monday, January 18 from 7:00-8:30 pm for a frank and realistic Q&A discussion on Godly Parenting in this Current Post-Christian Era. Our Orthodox tradition has much to say to the post-modern world. To get the zoom webinar link, please register at http://Register.WorcesterDiocese.net
   This webinar will be a Question & Answer format, so please bring your questions or submit them in advance when you register. This webinar is open to all.
   Please contact Dr. Ioana Popa at IoanaPopa@TeamForTheSoul.com  with any questions.

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 still 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
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.

A man has no right to be called faithful, if his faith is a bare word and if he has not in him a faith made active by love or the Spirit. Thus faith must be made evident by progress in works, or it must act in the light and shine in works, as the divine Apostle says: "Show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works" (James 2:18), thus showing that the faith of grace is made evident by works performed in accordance with the commandments, just as the commandments are fulfilled in deed and are made bright through the faith which is in grace.
   - St. Gregory of Sinai (Texts on Commandments and Dogmas no. 119)
Faith is to believe what we do not see, and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe.
   - St. Augustine
“Faith without works is dead" (James 2:26). The works of faith are love, peace, longsuffering, mercy, humility, bearing one’s cross and life by the Spirit. True faith cannot remain without works. One who truly believes will also surely perform good works.
   - St. Seraphim of Sarov