Weekly Update for February 12, 2021
THIS COMING WEEK AT ST. MARY’S
SUNDAY 2/14 - Orthros: 8:45am; Divine Liturgy: 10:00am
THIS WEEK ELSEWHERE
WINTER CAMP – The Antiochian Village will be sponsoring a Virtual Winter Camp via Zoom for those in grades 7 – 12, this Saturday, February 13 from 2:00 to 4:00. Guest Speaker will be Fr. Nick Belcher.
To join the Zoom Meeting go to
Meeting ID: 945 5378 5827
CROSSROAD SUMMER INSTITUTE - CrossRoad is a ten-day academic summer institute that prepares high school juniors and seniors to make big life decisions and invites them to connect with the Orthodox Christian theological and spiritual tradition in a deep and meaningful way. CrossRoad offers a space for young people to form authentic and lifelong friendships, ask hard questions, and explore their calling as an Orthodox Christian in the 21st century. Session 1 is June 12-22, Session 2 is June 29-July 9. Both are in Boston; a third (July 19-29) will be in Chicago. High school juniors and seniors between the ages of 16-18 years old can apply; application deadline is February 16, 2021. Go to www.crossroadinstitute.org
CAPACITY INCREASED FOR SERVICES - In full consideration of the governor's updated orders as well as the health and safety of our clergy and laity, our total capacity has been increased to 46 people for each service. 11 slots will be set aside in advance for Fr. Antony, Dn. Jeff, and other members who are serving behind the altar. In addition, slots for the choir and people who are managing the live stream will also be reserved. This will leave room for 35 individuals and families to reserve seats. (See “Registration for Liturgy” under Reminders, below.)
UPCOMING EVENTS IN THE CHURCH YEAR
SUNDAY 2/21 - Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee
SUNDAY 2/28 - Sunday of the Prodigal Son
SUNDAY 3/7 - Judgement (Meatfare) Sunday
SUNDAY 3/14 - Forgiveness (Cheesefare) Sunday
MONDAY 3/15 - Lent begins
SUNDAY 5/2 - Pascha
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.
WOMEN NEEDED - March is Antiochian Women’s Month in the Archdiocese, where women particularly are invited to participate in our liturgical services. We need women to read the Epistle and help with Communion service, holding the cloths and bread basket at Communion. Women are also invited to carry the icons at the Gospel and in the Great Entrance Procession, and one man to carry the bread basket for the Great Entrance and present the bread for the blessing towards the end of the Anaphora. Please email Teva Regule (firstname.lastname@example.org) to volunteer, this week if possible. (Please specify date and service.)
Once you have volunteered for a date for service, you will need to then sign up for liturgy (see Registration for Liturgy, below) for that date as well.
We are blessed to have many opportunities for service at St. Marys!
REGISTRATION FOR LITURGY (New Procedure) - Due to the governor's updated orders, we are at a 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 beginning of each month at the following link: https://www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/signup. You can sign up for one Sunday per month.
If additional spots are still available after 6:00 p.m. on the Friday prior to a Sunday liturgy, both members and non-members may sign up to fill the remaining spots. When we are in that 48-hour window prior to a 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.
NEW BOOK – Our own Stephani Nur Colby is the author of a new book, Walking with the Inffable, published by Green Writers Press and available on Amazon.com as well as other online bookstores. This is an interesting memoir/autobiographical book on one woman's spiritual journey and her interactions with the indefinable energies of the Holy Spirit.
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 PRAYER - The daily morning prayer group on Zoom, led by Subdeacon James Wilcox and his wife Brooke is open to anyone who wants to take part. Prayers now run Monday through Friday, beginning at 8:30am (no longer 8:45): https://us02web.zoom.us/j/377381275 password: 28052020
ORTHODOXY 102 - This adult education class is led by Subdeacon James (email@example.com) on Zoom. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org (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 email@example.com .
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.
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.
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.
Remember that while you pray, God expects from you a positive answer to His question: "Do you believe that I can fulfill your prayer?" You must be able to answer from the bottom of your heart: "Yes, I believe, O God," and then you will be answered according to your faith.
- St. John of Kronstad
Faith is to believe what we do not see, and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe.
- St. Augustine
The Holy Spirit accomplishes all wonders and miracles. By the same Spirit power is given to one, and to another works of power. You have only to speak with faith, and need have no anxiety as to the fulfillment of the word; the Holy Spirit will care for this.
- St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ
Faith, like active prayer, is a grace. For prayer, when activated by love through the power of the Spirit, renders true faith manifest - the faith that reveals the life of Jesus. If, then, you are aware that such faith is not at work within you, that means your faith is dead and lifeless. In fact you should not even speak of yourself as one of the 'faithful' if your faith is merely theoretical and not actualized by the practice of the commandments or by the Spirit. Thus faith must be evidenced by progress in keeping the commandments, or it must be actualized and translucent in what we do. This is confirmed by St. James when he says, 'Show me your faith through your works and I will show you the works that I do through my faith." (cf. James 2:18)
- St. Gregory of Sinai, The Philokalia