Weekly Update for March 26, 2021


FRIDAY 3/26 – Akathist 7:00pm
SATURDAY 3/27 - Lenten retreat 1:00pm – Diocesan Lenten Retreat “Don’t Stop Believin’” with guest speaker Greg Abdalah.  Attend either in-person @ St. George Norwood or on-line from the comfort of your home via YouTube. (Pre-registration by 3/20 required).  Questions? Contact Erin at 781.775.0789 or ErinMaryK@aol.com
SUNDAY 3/28 – Orthros 8:45am, Divine Liturgy 10:00am; Memorials 11:30am
WEDNESDAY 3/31 – Presanctified Liturgy 6:30pm
FRIDAY 4/2 – Akathist to the Theotokos 7:00pm

MEMORY ETERNAL - We regret to inform you that Judge John Regule, father of Teva Regule, passed away on Wednesday, March 24. Funeral services and burial will be held at Holy Transfiguration Romanian Orthodox Monastery, Ellwood City, PA. May his memory be eternal.   
YOUNG ADULTS - The Young Adult Book Club is moving to Thursday nights at 7:00pm. They are reading Beginning to Pray by Archbishop Antony Bloom; if you have any questions, please email Cali Touloumes cpantazis91@gmail.com
E-NEWS EDITOR RETIRING – As Father Antony announced last week, the Editor of this e-Newsletter, Melissa Nassiff, is going to be retiring. Her last day will be Friday, April 16, unless a new volunteer steps forward to take her place before then. If you’re interested in taking over this position please contact Fr. Antony or Ray Sayeg (rsayeg@koilaw.com)   Plenty of help and guidance will be provided.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED - In addition to editor of the eNewsletter (which provides church-related information to 675 subscribers), we are looking for volunteers to assist with more of the technical responsibilities pertaining to outreach at the church:
Website Maintenance
   - volunteer to post news, events, important announcements, custom forms and other
     functionality, on our website.
   - update calendar, review usage statistics.
   - periodic redesigns of website.
   - monitoring of listings in online directories, such as Yelp, Google Business, etc. including     communicating comprehensive web, marketing, and     communications strategy for the parish.
Social Media Maintenance and Monitoring
   - volunteer to post news, events, important announcements on our social media pages.
   - monitor inboxes and comments, responding to or forwarding messages as needed.
   - potential for expansion into other Social Media Platforms.
Sermon Editing and Posting on Web and Social Media
   - volunteer to weekly edit and post sermons on the church website.
   - possible future expansion including posting sermons to additional social media channels, including Instagram, Snapchat and creation of a podcast of the sermons.
Occasional Tech Support, Layout, and Graphic Design Work for Various Church Ministries
   - volunteer to assist with tech support and design work to support the administrative work and ministries of the church.
   - meet and work with other parish members and provide valuable technical assistance.
Please contact Father Antony or Raymond Sayeg to sign up.

REGISTERING FOR SERVICES – You can now register at https://stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/signup  to attend the Lenten services (primarily the Presanctified Liturgies on Wednesdays, and the Akathist services on Friday evenings).  If you're not a member of the parish, you can sign up to attend one of these services at 10:00am on the previous day. 
     Holy Week services will be available for registration around the middle of April.  These will be restricted to members of St. Mary only and will be limited to one service that week.
     For regular Sunday services you can sign up for one Sunday per month. If additional spots are still available after 6:00 pm on the Friday prior to a Sunday liturgy, non-members as well as members may sign up to fill the remaining spots, even if they've already attended a Sunday service that month.
     If you find that you can’t make it on a date you’ve signed up for, please cancel your reservation so someone else can use it.
WOMEN’S MONTH - March is Antiochian Women’s Month throughout the Archdiocese. Each Sunday our women will be reading the Epistle, taking the Collection, taking part in the Procession, assisting during Communion, and giving the Homily.  
     This Sunday 3/28, Kyra Limberakis will read the Epistle, Jacelyn Limberakis + Michele Chin will carry the Icons, and Mitrophan Chin will present the Bread basket.   Nicole Farkouh + Katie Farkouh will hold the cloths during Communion, and Kyra Limberakis will distribute the bread. The Homily will be given by Andrea Popa.  Thanks to everyone who has volunteered.
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 ask that you kindly 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. 
    Donations for Holy Week and Pascha will be accepted until Monday, 4/19, 2021. Please email the church secretary or Mary Winstanley O’Connor at moconnor@koilaw.com  with your name, to what you are donating and the reason, i.e. good health or in memory of someone. Donations will be accepted for the palms, holy oil, flowers to decorate the epitaphios for Good Friday, flowers to adorn the altar, and incense. Any questions, please call Mary Winstanley O’Connor at (617) 523-1010.
    Please submit your donations for Holy Week either by mail to the church office (8 Inman St, Cambridge MA 02139) or by E-give, designating to what you are donating, i.e. Good Friday flowers for the Tomb, Easter Lilies, Holy Oil, and how you would like your donation listed in the bulletin. All donations will appear in the Palm Sunday bulletin, April 25, 2021
PASCHA this year will be Sunday 5/2
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 church office (617) 547-1234) if you would like your name added to the list of volunteers. There can’t be too many! 
   - Members of St Mary's are offering assistance to anyone who needs help registering for a Covid vaccine.  If you or anyone you know wants help, call 617-997-6740 (Theo Smith) to get over-the-phone support.  If we cannot answer at the time of your call, leave your name and number and we will call you back.  We can assist with technical issues, searching for available vaccine appointments, and general questions about the process.
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. 

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: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/377381275  password: 28052020   
ORTHODOXY 102 - This adult education class is led by Subdeacon James (drjamesis@gmail.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 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. 

GOOD BOOKS TO READ DURING LENT - Thirty Steps to Heaven: The Ladder of Divine Ascent for All Walks of Life  by Vassilios Papavassiliou can be found at Ancient Faith Publishing and Amazon.  This book is divided into seven parts and each part is further divided into steps.  There are a total of thirty steps that can be read a step a day, or more if you would like.  Each step will take approximately 10 - 15 minutes a day to read.  You will find that this book is written in laymen's terms making it easy for us to read and understand.  The beauty of having a book like this is that it can be reread every Lent leading up to Pascha. (Recommended by our own Violet Robbat, Diocesan Religious Coordinator for the Antiochian Women of North America)
     Another good book is Beginning to Pray by Metropolitan Anthony Bloom. You can access a free pdf at: https://ss.stgeorge.ca/download/attachments/26116178/BeginningToPray_AnthonyBloom.pdf.  The Young Adult Ministry is currently using this for its book discussion, which will be will be moving to Thursday nights at 7:00pm.  

Observe the faith of the paralytic. When he had heard, "Take up thy bed and walk," he did not mock, nor say, "What can this mean? … Do You, a man, by a bare command and word hope to be able to do greater things than Angels?"... But he neither said nor imagined anything like this, but at once he heard and arose, and becoming whole, was not disobedient to Him that gave the command.  
   - St. John Chrysostom, Homily 37 on the Gospel of St. John. 
The merciful person is he who gives to others what he has himself received from God, whether it be money, or food, or strength, a helpful word, a prayer, or anything else that he has through which he can express his compassion for those in need. At the same time he considers himself a debtor, since he has received more than he is asked to give.  
   - St. Peter of Damascus 
O Lord and Master of my life!  Take from me the spirit of sloth, faint-heartedness, lust of power, and idle talk. But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to thy servant. 
Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own errors and not to judge my brother; 
For Thou art blessed unto ages of ages. Amen. 
   - St. Ephrem the Syrian