St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Weekly Newsletter for the week Friday, January 11, 2008 through Thursday, January 18, 2008

Weekly Newsletter for the week Friday, January 11, 2008 through Thursday, January 18, 2008


COFFEE HOUR - There will be no coffee hour this week, because no one volunteered to do it.  Thanks very much to Abra Greene, the Parish Council, the Church School parents, the Hamwey family, the Hughes family, the Mabardy family, the Boyko Family, the Nassiffs, the Marge and Orlovsky families, the Popa family, the Woldehemanot and Mazzone families, the Shoop and Mabbet families, Jeanne  Brickman, and the Sayeg family, all of whom provided a coffee hour in the last few months. If your name is not on this list, please consider signing up now!

BLESSING OF HOMES - Fr. Antony will be blessing homes after Epiphany (January 6)  and after Holy Pascha (April 27).  We bless homes to reveal the home as what God created it to be, a way to heaven; to rid the home of every evil;  to show that the family is a small church unit in Christ; to consecrate the home and all activity in it to God; and to fill the home and all who live in it with the fullness of God.  To schedule the blessing of your home please use the form in the weekly Bulletin or the monthly Cornerstone, or call the church office at 617 547-1234.

TEEN SOYO AND YOUTH WORKERS - January is Teen SOYO Education Month, and contributions are being requested to provide scholarships to our parish youth workers to participate in the Antiochian House of Studies Youth Ministry Education Program.  Checks may be made payable to SOYO Youth Worker Fund and sent c/o Department of Youth, P.O. Box 389 , Westwood , MA   02090

Also, a lay representative from St. Mary's is needed  to serve on the Youth Ministry Committee of the New England Council, which will help direct the use of funds for Youth Ministry throughout the New England Diocese.   If interested, see Fr. Antony. 

CHINESE NEW YEAR BREAKFAST - On Sunday, February 3, the Fellowship of St. John the Divine will sponsor the 2008 Chinese New Year Missions Breakfast, to benefit Chinese Missions via the Orthodox Fellowship of All Saints of China (OFASC).  The cost is your freewill donation (checks should be made payable to "St. Mary Orthodox Church - Fellowship" and earmarked to Chinese Missions).  Through fund-raising events by participating parishes world-wide, OFASC is looking to underwrite Orthodox participation in an Orthodox conference for Chinese academia being organized by the Institute of Sino-Christian Studies of Hong Kong.  More information about OFASC can be found at

Please RSVP to Nelson Mitrophan Chin at by Wednesday January 30, with the number of people attending and any diet restrictions. Also RSVP if interested in donating a dessert or food item, or to provide a helping hand with setup, food prep or cleanup.

CALENDARS AVAILABLE - The 2008 Church Calendars have arrived and  are on the table outside the Church Office.  One per family, please.

2008 OFFERING ENVELOPES - Any 2008 envelopes not picked up will be mailed out  via first class, so please help and pick up any nearby relative's envelopes and save us some time and money. 

BYZANTINE CHANT - As part of the Boston Early Music Festival,  Greek Byzantine Choir directed by Lycourgos Angelopoulos will perform Byzantine Chant Traditions on Saturday, January 19, at 8 p.m. at Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Parker St. , Boston .  Tickets:  $25, $38, $49, $64 for reserved seating.  Advance Reservations Recommended.      Call 617-661-1812 or go to



GROWING SPIRITUALLY THROUGH LITURGY - For the next several weeks there will be a short presentation at each liturgy highlighting the ways that we can all learn about and grow closer to God and one another though our liturgical experience.  The series will culminate in the celebration of one of the more ancient liturgies of the Orthodox Church, the Liturgy attributed to St. James.

This Sunday, January 13, the topic will be Growing Spiritually through Liturgy: Holy Communion, presented by Rev. Deacon Jeffrey Smith.  The complete schedule and copies of previous talks in this series can be found on the St. Mary website at

PARISH COUNCIL -  Parish Council members for 2008 will be sworn in this Sunday, January 13.  The next meeting of the Parish Council will be Thursday, January 17, at 7:30 p.m., in the small Hall next to the kitchen.

ANNUAL PARISH MEETING - The Annual Meeting of St. Mary Parish will be held on  Sunday, January 20, 2007, immediately following Divine Liturgy.  It will be brief;  we will approve the Year 2008 budget, review expenses for 2007, and hear short committee reports and updates. All members of the parish are urged to attend.  In case of inclement weather, the snow date will be Sunday, January 27.

2008 PLEDGE CARDS - If you still haven't done so, please take the time to fill out your 2008 pledge card and return it to the Church Office as soon as possible in the self-addressed stamped envelope provided.  Your annual pledge is a vital part of support for the paris h.  Everyone, including students and new arrivals, is encouraged to make a stewardship commitment to St. Mary's.  If you do not have a pledge card, please contact the Paris h Office so that you may receive a New Member Packet.

CHRISTMAS BASKET DONATIONS - Once again, the Women's Club is requesting your support with monetary donations toward the purchase of items for our annual Christmas Baskets for the Battered Women's Family Shelter.  Each year, gifts baskets are made up of household items and given to the families to facilitate their moves into new homes and apartments.  Please see Louise Homsy or Shirley Bezreh at the Bengarri.  Make checks payable to St. Mary Women's Club and earmark:  Battered Women.  It's not too late! Thank you.

FOOD DONATIONS CONTINUE - Even though the Teens' World Food Day project has ended, please continue to bring cans, jars, and boxes of food and place them in the container outside the Church Office. The need is still great at St. Paul 's Food Pantry in Harvard Square , where volunteers from St. Mary help every Saturday. 

SOUP KITCHEN - Three or four St. Mary's volunteers are needed to help each week at the Open Doors Meal Ministry at Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church in Allston, Mondays any time between 4:00 p.m. and 7:30. Contact Liz Tutella at 617-974-5005 or          


This week we present "The Ancient Paths," a Bible study combining patristic passages and Scripture.  It is provided periodically by Deacon Neal Hughes, Fr. Antony's brother.  Deacon Neal maintains his own mailing list for "The Ancient Paths;" if you would like to receive them all, you may contact him at and request to be included on his list.  

On Detachment:

"To throw yourself before God, not to measure your progress, to leave behind all self-will - these are the instruments for the work of the soul."

   - Abba Poemen

 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.

   - The Epistle of St. Paul to the Philippians 2:5-8

 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.  For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

   - The Gospel According to St. Matthew 16:24-26

Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.

   - The Gospel According to St. John 12:24-26


Saturday, January 12:  Great Vespers 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, January 13:  Orthros  8:45 a.m., Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m.; followed by presentation by Deacon Jeffrey Smith: Growing Spiritually Through Liturgy:  Holy Communion


Epistle:  St. Paul's Letter to the Ephesians 4:7-13  ... and his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

Gospel: Matthew 4:12-17  ... that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:  "... the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned."

Wednesday, January 16:   Evening Liturgy for Feast of St. Anthony the Great 6:30 p.m.


Saturday, January 19:  Great Vespers 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, January 20:   Orthros  8:45 a.m., Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m.

      Parish Meeting immediately following Liturgy

Sunday, February 3: Chinese New Year breakfast



Two to four volunteers help each week in the food pantry at St. Paul 's RC Church in Harvard Square , Saturday mornings from 9:30-11:45.  If you are willing to help, contact Christian Alcala at or (617) 876-5684.

January 12:  John Rodriguez and Paul Joseph


The Epistle each Sunday is read by a member of the congregation, and six members of the congregation hold the cloth and Holy Bread baskets during Communion.  If you would like to help with these services,  please contact Jeff Wasilko at or 781-820-0882.

January 13:    Epistle - 

Communion Assistance -


To sign up for an available Sunday, please put your name on the signup sheet on the bulletin board outside the Hall or call Marilyn in the Office 617-547-1234 and she'll write your name in.

January 13:  (no volunteers)