St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Weekly Newsletter for the week Friday, January 25, 2008 through Thursday, January 31, 2008

NEW ANNOUNCEMENTS

PLEDGES FOR 2008 - Last week at the Annual Meeting of the parish we approved a budget with planned expenditures greater than anticipated income. We need your pledge - and not just a bare minimum, but a percentage of your income (10% is the biblical ideal).  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.   If you do not have a pledge card or need another one, please contact the Office.

REMINDERS

 

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, on February 10.

This Sunday, January 27, the topic will be Growing Spiritually through Liturgy: Our Relationshhips With Others, presented by Teva Regule.  The complete schedule and copies of previous talks in this series can be found on the St. Mary website at http://www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/orthodoxy/2008-LiturgicalCatechesis.php

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).  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 http://www.orthodox.cn/ofasc/index_en.html

The cost for the breakfast is your freewill donation (checks should be made payable to "St. Mary Orthodox Church - Fellowship" and earmarked to Chinese Missions).  Please RSVP to Nelson Mitrophan Chin at mitrophan@orthodox.cn 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.

DIOCESAN MEETINGS -  The winter meetings of the Antiochian Women, Fellowship of St. John the Divine, and Teen SOYO, of the Diocese of Worcester and New England, will be held at St. George Church, West Roxbury on Saturday, February 9.   Liturgy 9 a.m., meetings  10:30 a.m. (Teens at 10 a.m.)

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.

COFFEE HOUR - Most of the upcoming Sundays are still available,  so please sign up to sponsor a coffee hour, individually or with friends.   It doesn't have to be fancy; it can be as simple as coffee, juice, and cookies.   Signup sheets are on the bulletin board downstairs outside the Hall, or you can call the church office.  When no one volunteers, there is no coffee.

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

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 ETutella@sovereignbank.com.          

INSIGHT

   The stand of the Lord towards Zacchaeus should serve as a lesson for Christians. Through His stand the Lord showed that we ought to embrace sinners with our love and not to avoid them. It shows us that we ought to seek the power of God to bring them to the regeneration which is effected by our Saviour Jesus Christ.

   So let us approach sinners with love. And if in the end we do not succeed in bringing them close and fully to the path of God, let us even then not cease praying for them. Perhaps our fervent prayer will be listened to by our compassionate God and He will grant to them the regeneration of their soul.

    - St. Raphael,  Modern Orthodox Saints, Vol. 10: Saints Raphael, Nicholas and Irene of Lesvos

God, Who is by nature good and dispassionate, loves all men equally as His handiwork. But He glorifies the virtuous man because in his will he is united to God. At the same time, in His goodness he is merciful to the sinner and by chastising him in this life brings him back to the path of virtue. Similarly, a man of good and dispassionate judgment also loves all men equally. He loves the virtuous man because of his nature and the probity of his intention; and he loves the sinner, too, because of his nature and because in his compassion he pities him for foolishly stumbling in darkness.

   - St. Maximos the Confessor,  First Century on Love no. 25, The Philokalia

For Christians above all men are forbidden to correct the stumblings of sinners by force . . . it is necessary to make a man better not by force but by persuasion. We neither have authority granted us by law to restrain sinners, nor, if it were, should we know how to use it, since God gives the crown to those who are kept from evil, not by force, but by choice.

   - St. John Chrysostom, Six Books on the Priesthood

If you cannot be merciful, at least speak as though you are a sinner. If you are not a peacemaker, at least do not be a troublemaker. If you cannot be assiduous, at least in your thought be like a sluggard. If you are not victorious, do not exalt yourself over the vanquished. If you cannot close the mouth of a man who disparages his companion, at least refrain from joining him in this.

   - St. Isaac the Syrian, The Ascetical Homilies

LITURGICAL SCHEDULE FOR THIS WEEK

Saturday, January 26:  Great Vespers 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, January 27:  Orthros  8:45 a.m., Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m.; with presentation by Teva Regule:  Growing Spiritually through Liturgy:  Our Relationships With Others

SCRIPTURE READINGS for January 27:

Epistle:  St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews 7:26-28; 8:1-2 Indeed, the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect for ever.

Gospel: Luke 19:1-10 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, make haste and come down; for I must stay at your house today." ...  "For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost."

Wednesday, January 30:  Paraclesis Service 6:30 p.m.

LOOKING AHEAD

Friday, February 1: Evening Liturgy for the Presentation of Christ in the Temple  6:30 p.m.

Saturday, February 2:  Great Vespers 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, February 3:   Orthros  8:45 a.m., Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m.; followed by FSJD Chinese New Year Missions Breakfast

Wednesday, February 6:  Paraclesis Service 6:30 p.m.

Sunday, February 10: Celebration of the Liturgy of St. James:  Process upstairs from Church Hall at 9:45 a.m.         

Monday, March 10: Lent begins

VOLUNTEER SCHEDULES

FOOD PANTRY

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 cmalcala1989@yahoo.com or (617) 876-5684.

January 26:  Steve Walker and Sandra Kondratiuk

LITURGICAL SERVICE

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 jeffw@smoe.org or 781-820-0882.

January 27:    Epistle - 

COFFEE HOUR

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 27:

February 3:  FSJD Chinese New Year Missions Breakfast