St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Weekly Newsletter for the week Friday, February 1, 2008 through Thursday, February 7, 2008


GROWING SPIRITUALLY THROUGH LITURGY - For several weeks there has been 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, at a future date to be announced (not  on February 10, as originally announced).

This Sunday, February 3, the topic will be Preview of the Liturgy of St. James, presented by Fr. Antony.  The complete schedule and copies of previous talks in this series can be found on the St. Mary website at

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.  Our parishioner Nelson Mitrophan Chin will offer a brief talk on Chinese Missions and new developments in Orthodoxy in that region of the world, followed by Q&A, during the Breakfast.

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).  Thanks to the 10 families/ couples and individuals who did RSVP to attend and/or help at the Breakfast.  FSJD is opening the Breakfast to all the parishioners after Sunday Liturgy so please plan to join the festivities even if you didn't get a chance to RSVP.   The Fellowship could also use your help Sunday morning with setup, food prep or cleanup (especially cleanup!)


LENTEN FOOD SALE - The Women's Club is now taking orders for Spinach Triangles, Hoomos and Mjadara.  Please use the order form in the Sunday bulletin. Order deadline is Sunday, March 2.   If you would like to help cook, join us on Saturday, March 15 (note new date)  at 9:30 a.m. The food you order will be ready for pickup on Sunday, March 16.

PARISH COUNCIL - The next meeting of the Parish Council will be Wednesday, February 13, at 7:30 (following Paraclesis).

FOOTLAMPS - The next lecture in the 2007-2008 Footlamps series, sponsored by the Diocesan Fellowship of St. John the Divine, will be Saturday, February 23, at St. George Church in West Roxbury .   The topic will be A Year in the Company of Angels, with Dr. Timothy Patitsas.  Dr. Patitsas currently teaches Ethics at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline .   All are invited to attend. Vespers begin at 5:00 p.m. followed by the lecture and light refreshments.  Suggested donation $5.  RSVP to Ghada Khouri at 781-275-7244 or nerfellowship@yahoo.comThere will be no Vespers at St. Mary's on that date.

PRE-LENTEN RETREAT - A Pre-Lenten Retreat will be held on Saturday, March 1,  at St. George Orthodox Church, Norwood MA , sponsored by diocesan Antiochian Women. The theme is "An Orthodox Perspective On Contemporary Bioethical Issues, (Church teaching and stem cell research, cloning, organ transplants and other current bioethical issues)," and the leader will be Deacon Seraphim Solof.  Deacon Seraphim received his Bachelor of Science degree from  MIT  and his Master of Divinity degree from Saint Vladimir's seminary, and now serves as Deacon of Saint George Orthodox Cathedral in Worcester , MA .  The cost, including luncheon, is just $15; registration deadline is Sunday, February 24..  Make checks payable to "Antiochian Women" and  return to Kh. Louise Ferguson, 10 Brahms St. , Boston , MA 02131 .

MEATFARE SUNDAY BREAKFAST - The annual Meatfare Sunday Breakfast sponsored by  the Fellowship of St. John the Divine will be  Sunday, March 2. Your generous free-will donation will be much appreciated, and will help support the many activities of the Fellowship which benefit the parish, including this weekly e-mail newsletter; coffee hours and special meals  (such as College Students' Welcome Back, Meatfare Sunday, Palm Sunday, and more); the annual Father John vonHolzhausen lecture series; the Wednesday evening potluck suppers after Pre-Sanctified Liturgies during Lent; the annual Lessons and Carols evening; and much more.

CROSSROAD  - Attention High School Juniors & Seniors:  Take the challenge of your life! CrossRoad is a ten-day Orthodox Christian summer program where you focus on Christ and His calling for your life. You'll experience mini classes taught by Orthodox professors, visit Orthodox Churches in Boston area, community outreach, field trips & spiritual reflection. There will be two sessions:    CrossRoad June:  June 21 - July 1, 2008; and CrossRoad July:  July 5 - 15, 2008

Application deadline is March 1.  Call 617-850-1309 for more information. Application may be downloaded:

NEW ePLEDGE CARD!  - At the Annual Meeting of the parish, we asked every family to increase their pledge to reflect the realities of 34% inflation over the past 11 years.  Given that 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).  Our target is that the average household would contribute $2000-$3000 per year.  To update your pledge for 2008 (even if you already filled out a card), you can either get a new pledge card from Marilyn Robbat in the church office or you can take advantage of the new convenient electronic pledge card on the Stewardship page of our parish website:



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, beginning with prayer at 10:00 a.m. (note change of schedule). Lunch will follow.

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 - Many 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.

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 "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 Acceptance:

"...If you accept that this day was blessed of God, chosen by God with his own hand, then every person you meet is a gift of God, every circumstance you will meet is a gift of God, whether it is bitter or sweet, whether you like or dislike it. It is God's own gift to you and if you take it that way, then you can face any situation."

--Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom)

28 And we know that to them that love God all things work together for good, even to them that are called according to his purpose.  29 For whom he foreknew, he also foreordained to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren:  30 and whom he foreordained, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

The Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans 8:28-30

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.

The Second Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians 1:3-5

21 From that time began Jesus to show unto his disciples, that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and the third day be raised up. 2 And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall never be unto thee. 23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art a stumbling-block unto me: for thou mindest not the things of God, but the things of men. 24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.  25 For whosoever would save his life shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it.

The Gospel According to St. Matthew 16:21-25


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.; with presentation by Fr. Antony:  Preview of the Liturgy of St. James


Epistle:  The First Letter of St. Paul to Timothy,  Chapter 4:9-15   Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.  ... Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophetic utterance when the council of elders laid their hands upon you.

Gospel: Luke 19:1-10 And there was a man named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector, and rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was...

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


Saturday, February 9:  Great Vespers 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, February 10:  Orthros  8:45 a.m., Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m. (Celebration of the Liturgy of St. James postponed)

Wednesday, February 13:  Paraclesis Service 6:30 p.m.

Monday, March 10: Lent begins

Sunday, April 27:  Pascha



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.

February 2:  Christian Alcala and David Vermette


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.

February 3:    Epistle - 


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.

February 3:  FSJD Chinese New Year Missions Breakfast

                (Thanks to Michelle and the Choir for last week's coffee hour!)