St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

St. Mary Update for the week Friday, January 8, through Thursday, January 14, 2010

St. Mary Update for the week Friday, January 8, through Thursday, January 14, 2010



VESPERS - Great Vespers will be held at 5:00 pm on Saturday.


CHRISTMAS PAGEANT- The Church School's Christmas Pageant, twice postponed because of snow, will be held this Sunday, January 10th, before Divine Liturgy - at 9:45 am.  Please plan to come early - the students worked very hard preparing this Christmas Play, and are looking forward to sharing it with the parish.

BLESSING OF THE WATERS - Immediately after Divine Liturgy we will have the Great Blessing of the Waters, in observance  of Theophany.


LENTEN FOOD SALE - The Women's Club is now taking orders for Hoomos (hummus), Mjadara (lentils with rice), and Spinach Triangles.  Please use the order form in the Sunday bulletin. Order deadline is Sunday, February 1.   Hoomos and Mjadara will be ready for pickup on Sunday, February 14.  Spinach Triangles will be ready on Sunday, February 21.  If you would like to help cook, join us on Saturday, February 20,  at 9:30 a.m.

MEATFARE SUNDAY BREAKFAST - The annual Meatfare Sunday Breakfast sponsored by  the Fellowship of St. John the Divine will be  Sunday, February 7. Suggested Donation:  $7 per person, $14 per family. Proceeds will help support the many activities of the Fellowship at St. Mary's, including the annual Lessons and Carols and potluck supper; Learning in Lent lecture series; Wednesday evening potluck suppers after Pre-Sanctified Liturgies during Lent; the annual Father John vonHolzhausen lecture; Coffee House ministry; coffee hours and special meals;  this weekly St. Mary Update e-mail newsletter; and much more.

SUMMER CAMP AT ANTIOCHIAN VILLAGE - Registration has begun. Camp serves young people ages 9 - 17.  Take advantage of Early-Bird Registration by paying in full before March 1.   Camp Dates :  Session 1: June 20 - July 2 or June 20 - 27 (one week);  Session 2: July 4 - 16; Session 3: July 18 - 30; and Session 4: Aug. 1 - 13.  See for details.

MEMORY ETERNAL - Warren Nottleson, father of Erik Nottleson and father-in-law of Irina Puscasu, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, January, 6, 2010, after a battle with cancer. The wake was Friday., January 8; and  services were held Saturday,  January 9 at the House of Prayer Lutheran Church, Hingham , MA , followed by burial in St. Paul Cemetery , Hingham MA .  Notes of condolence may be sent to Erik Nottleson and Irina Puscasu at 18 Radcliffe Rd. #2 , Somerville , MA 02145 .


BLESSING OF HOMES - Fr. Antony will be blessing homes after Epiphany (January 6)  and between Pascha (April 4) and Pentecost (May 23).  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 call the church office at 617 547-1234.

TEEN SOYO DANCE - The  Diocesan TEEN SOYO is sponsoring a Winter Wonderland Sock Hop (Dance) next  Saturday, January 16, 2010 at St. Mary Church Hall, Cambridge.  Vespers at 5:00 pm with the Dance 6:00-9:00 pm.  Ages:  7th - 12th Grades.  Refreshments will be served.  Donation:  $3 per teen AND one pair of new, packaged socks to be donated to the City of Cambridge Sock Drive for the Homeless.  Bring your friends!  A special DJ will be on hand to mix some great tunes!  Parents should plan to arrive at 9:00 pm for pick-up.  Your Host:  St. Mary, Cambridge  Teen SOYO.

YOUTH DAY - The first ever Diocesan Youth Day,  Call of Duty - Plan from God,  is Saturday, January 23, at Saint George Cathedral in Worcester .  Discover what a difference YOU can make in the life of the Church.  There will be workshops, speakers (Archdeacon Seraphim and Deacon Nick), food, fun, basketball and more. It is for guys and gals from fourth grade through high school. The day begins at 9:30 am and runs through 3:30 pm.  Check with your Teen SOYO advisor for details or contact Greg Abdalah at

PRE-LENTEN RETREAT - The Antiochian Women of the Diocese of Worcester and New England will sponsor a pre-Lenten retreat on Saturday, January 30, at St. George Church, Norwood. Featured speaker will be  Mother Alexandra, Abbess of the Convent of Saint Thekla at Antiochian Village .  Topic:  "BACK TO THE FUTURE with St. Ignatius:  Then IS Now!"

Registration:  $15.00 per person.    Men, Women & Teens are welcome!

PARISH MEETING - The Annual Meeting of the Parish will be held Sunday, January 31, after Liturgy.  The meeting is expected to be brief, and it is important that all members  attend.  Snow date is Sunday, February 14.

ORDER OF ST. IGNATIUS - St. Ignatius Holiday Gathering will be on Sunday January 31, 2010  from 2:00 to 6:00 pm at Four Points Sheraton Hotel, Norwood .  Please join us in welcoming Mother Alexandra, Abbess of the Convent of St. Thekla at the Antiochian Village , who  will be our special guest. Cost is $50 (checks payable to St. Ignatius)  Please RSVP by January 18, 2010 to Debbie Laham, 16 Kilronan Rd. , Westwood , MA  02090  781-326-1648

CHINESE NEW YEAR BREAKFAST - The annual Chinese New Year Missions Breakfast, sponsored by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine,  will be Sunday, February 14, 2010 (Cheesefare Sunday).  Watch for further details.

CROSSROADS - CrossRoad Summer Institute is an exciting summer vocation exploration program designed to help students  (high school Juniors & Seniors) discern their life callings and match their God-given gifts with the needs of the world.  Applications are now being accepted for two sessions - due to space limitations, apply by March 1 for first consideration.  Download application and  view video clip at:

WELCOME TO  E-GIVING! - St. Mary's is pleased to announce that in 2010, parishioners will have the option to fulfill their pledge through electronic funds transfer (EFT).  No more envelopes, remembering to write checks, etc.   If you are interested in learning more about this program, please e-mail Charlie Marge (

ENVELOPES AND CALENDARS - 2010 Offering Envelopes are ready for pickup outside the Church Office.  Look for your names carefully in alphabetical order.  Remember:  if you have chosen to pay periodically, you have not been assigned weekly envelopes.  If you wish to change your payment arrangements, call Marilyn Robbat in the Church Office at 617-547-1234 Tuesday - Friday.   Church Calendars are also available for pickup - one per family, please.

CHURCH RESTORATION PROJECT - We are about to embark on another phase of restoration of the church.  This next phase, which will focus on the exterior of the church including work on the foundation,  roofing, siding, and exterior trim, will begin in Spring 2010.  More details to follow - please see Raymond Sayeg or Mary Winstanley O'Connor about contributing to this restoration project.

FIRST IN, LAST OUT - Please do not park in the small lot behind the church unless you intend to stay through the end of coffee hour. The only way out is the single lane driveway, which is sometimes blocked by other cars.  Please pull all the way in to the parking space, and please do not block the driveway - if the lot is full, please park on the street or in the lot at the corner of Prospect Street and Bishop Allen Drive.


There are a number of ways you can help the Church, your fellow worshippers and those in need.  Consider serving in one of these ways:


Liturgical Service - Each Sunday, members of the congregation are needed to read the Epistle and assist during Communion by holding the Communion Cloths and Holy Bread Baskets.  All Orthodox Christians in the Parish are welcome and encouraged to participate. We usually need one Epistle reader and six people to hold cloths and baskets.  If you would like to read the Epistle or assist during Communion, please contact Jeff Wasilko, 781-820-0882,

Coffee Hour - People are needed every week to provide coffee, juice and cookies, or more if desired, and set it up Sunday morning. 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 Robbat in the Parish Office and she will write your name in. If you need any help with figuring out what to bring or do, check the list below the signup sheet (also printed in the Bulletin), or ask Marilyn at or 617-547-1234.


Holy Resurrection Open Doors - The Holy Resurrection Open Door Meal Ministry in Allston needs volunteers every Monday evening (there is a special need in the summer).  The official hours of the project are 4:30 pm-7:30 pm, but it is fine to come anytime and leave any time.  Best times would be 5:30-5:45 to 7:15-7:30 pm.  You can serve meals, coffee and tea to the people who arrive for dinner (6-7 pm) or just stay behind the scenes doing set-up and clean-up.  It is a very rewarding, hands-on, face-to-face way to serve the community with (mostly) other Orthodox Christians-we even chant the Our Father together before the meal begins. Church info can be found at    Questions? Please contact Liz Straghalis at  phone 617-974-5005,  or Tiffany Conroy at

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


Food and Clothing - The Food for Hungry People canned food drive continues through December 27, 2009 - see Reminders, above.  Bring  in canned goods to the Church and place them in the large, blue plastic containers outside the Church Office. 

- Holy Resurrection in Allston takes donations of non-perishable food items and clothing to distribute at the Open Door Ministry on Monday evenings.  You can bring your donations by on Monday nights between 4:30 pm and 7:30 pm or contact Tiffany Conroy,, for more information.

- St. Paul 's Food Pantry in Harvard Square , where volunteers from St. Mary help every Saturday, depends upon regular donations of canned and packaged foods.  To help, contact Christian Alcala at, or (617) 876-5684.

Monetary Contributions - The Agape Canister Program is an Orthodox non-profit development program of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center .  It is dedicated to meeting the needs of children, families, and communities throughout the world, regardless of race, color, or creed. All funds collected by the Agape Canister Program are earmarked for medical care and clinics, water wells, agricultural development, food and clothing, support personnel (e.g. doctors, nurses, teachers), the construction of schools, and the education of indigenous people in their own communities.  Please contribute each Sunday - A clear plastic box is on the Bengarri.

"As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me," says our Lord.



January 9:  If you are interested in helping, please contact Christian Alcala at, or (617) 876-5684.


Sunday, January 10:   Epistle: Teva Regule;  holding Communion Cloths and Holy Bread Baskets include Linda Arnold,  Maggie Arnold, Melissa Nassiff, and others.  If you would like to assist during Communion, please contact Jeff Wasilko, 781-820-0882,


Sunday, December 10:  The Gabriel Family (memorial)


Saturday, January 9:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, January 10:  Orthros 8:45 am; Divine Liturgy 10:00 am with Blessing of the Waters;  No Church School - Church School children remain upstairs for the Blessing of the Water


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

...  spoken by the prophet Isaiah ... "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."


Saturday, January 16:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, January 17:  Orthros 8:45 am; Divine Liturgy 10:00 am;  Church School Lesson 10

Saturday, January 23:  Great Vespers 5:00

Sunday, January 24:  Orthros 8:45 am; Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School lesson 11

Sunday, February 7:  Meatfare Sunday

Sunday, February 14:  Cheesefare Sunday - Chinese New Year Breakfast

Monday, February 15:  Great Lent begins


To Adam, blinded in Eden, appeared a Sun from Bethlehem, and He opened his eyes, washing them in the waters of the Jordan. An unquenchable light shone upon him who had been covered with darkness and shadows. No more will there be night for him; but all is day. The dawn before daybreak has been born for him. For in the twilight he was covered over, as it was written.  He who fell in the evening found light shining upon him; he escaped from darkness and advanced towards dawn, which has appeared and illumined all things.

   - St Romanos the Melodist, On the Epiphany

As a magnifying glass concentrates the rays of the sun into a little burning knot of heat that can set fire to a dry leaf or a piece of paper, so the mystery of Christ in the Gospel concentrates the rays of God's light and fire to a point that sets fire to the spirit of man. ... Through the glass of His Incarnation He concentrates the rays of His Divine Truth and Love upon us so that we feel the burn, and all mystical experience is communicated to men through the Man Christ.

    - Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

As a bright ray of sun penetrates the darkness, enhancing the smallest details found within, so does the Holy Spirit, having descended upon people, disclose to them all the weakness and wretchedness of their soul. Enlightened by the Heavenly light, Christians can no longer boast about their good works, because they realize their soul needs healing and complete renewal. This realization makes them more humble, and they begin to repent and decide to live more carefully. They stop relying on themselves and ask God for guidance and help.

   - St. Innocent of Irkutsk, Indication of the Way Into the Kingdom of Heaven

...we carry as in earthen vessels - that is to say, in our bodies - the Father's Light in the Person of Jesus Christ, and so can experience the glory of the Holy Spirit...

   - St. Gregory Palamas, Those Who Practice a Life of Stillness