Update for the week Thursday, December 17, through Thursday, December 23, 2010
YOUTH EQUIPPED TO SERVE– Middle school and high school students are participating in a service trip to Providence RI from Friday, December 17, at 5:00 pm through Sunday, December 19th, at 3:00 pm. A group of teens from St. Mary's will join Nadia in a weekend of service, fellowship, and prayer. For more information email Nadia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHRISTMAS CONCERT– The Choir of St. George Norwood will present a Christmas Concert of Hymns and Carols on Sunday, December 19, 2010 at 4:00 pm at the Church, 6 Atwood Ave. in South Norwood. All are Welcome and admission is free. A reception will follow in the church hall.
PLEDGE YOUR SUPPORT FOR ST. MARY- Pledge Cards have been mailed out this week. You may make your pledge for 2011 either by returning the Pledge Card to the church or by filling out the ePledge card on our web site (www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org) as soon as possible, but no later than December 31, 2010.
PARISH MEETING – The Annual Meeting of the Parish will be held Sunday, January 30, after Liturgy. The meeting is expected to be brief, and all members are urged to attend. Snow date is Sunday, February 13.
NATIVITY FAST– The Nativity Fast, also known as the season of Advent, continues until December 24. This is the forty days of fasting and prayer in preparation for the Great Feast of the Nativity of Christ. Each Wednesday during this period there is a Paraklesis service at 6:30 pm.
NO FASTING AFTER NATIVITY - From Christmas Day until January 4th, inclusive, there is a general dispensation from all fasting.
CANNED FOOD DRIVE– The annual FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE Canned Food Drive is being held through December 26, 2010. Bring in your canned goods to the Church and place them in the large, blue plastic containers outside the Church Office – they will be distributed to local food pantries in our area. Since 1984 we have collected over 3,281,200 pounds of food.
RETREATS AT ANTIOCHIAN VILLAGE– Several retreats and conferences at the Village are coming up in the next couple of months: OCF College Conference December 28-31; Marriage Preparation Weekend January 14-17, 2011; and Marriage Enrichment Retreat February 18-20. For more information see http://antiochianvillage.org/center/special_events/upcoming.html
CROSSROAD- Attention High School Juniors & Seniors: CrossRoad is an exciting summer vocation exploration program designed to help students discern their life callings and match their God-given gifts with the needs of the world. CrossRoad session dates for summer 2011 are June 18-28 (first session) and July 5-15 (second session). For more information and to download an application: www.crossroad.hchc.edu
PRISON MINISTRY– If you would like to find out more about Prison Ministry at St. Mary Orthodox Church, please subscribe to the mailing list at http://groups.google.com/group/ocpm-concord
COFFEE HOUR VOLUNTEERS NEEDED – Please sign up to provide a coffee hour – it can be as simple as coffee, juice, and cookies. Lots of Sundays are available in the Fall, and plenty of help is available! Signup sheets are on the bulletin board downstairs outside the Hall, or call Marilyn in the office at 617-547-1234 or email@example.com.
STREAMING VIDEO- Divine Liturgy at St. Mary is broadcast live every week! Do come to church… but if you can’t, then join us on your computer! To see live broadcasts go tohttp://stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/livestream. Divine Liturgy starts at 10:00 am every Sunday September through June, and at 9:30 am during the summer.
If you are interested in helping, please contact Erick Straghalis (firstname.lastname@example.org).
PROTECT YOUR VALUABLES - Please do not leave valuables unattended in the Church Hall or Cloak Room.
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. Please pull all the way in to the parking space, and please do not block the driveway – if the lot is full, you can park on the street or in the lot at the corner of Prospect Street and Bishop Allen Drive.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR SERVICE
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 Communionby 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
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, email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 http://hrocboston.org. Questions? Please contact Liz Straghalis email@example.com phone 617-974-5005, or Tiffany Conroy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
St Paul’s Food Pantry - Volunteers are needed each week in the food pantry at St Paul's Roman Catholic Church in Harvard Square, Saturday mornings from 9:30-11:45.
Food and Clothing – 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, email@example.com, for more information.
Canned Goods-The annual Food For Hungry People canned food drive is held October through December each year. Bring in your canned goods to the Church and place them in the large, blue plastic containers outside the Church Office – they will be distributed to local food pantries in our area.
"As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me," says our Lord.
THIS WEEK'S VOLUNTEERS
LITURGICAL SERVICE – Epistle: Dan McCabe; Bread and Communion Cloth: Michelle Chin and others
COFFEE HOUR –
LITURGICAL SCHEDULE FOR THIS WEEK
Saturday, December 18: Great Vespers 5:00 pm
Sunday, December 19: Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School Lesson 10
SCRIPTURE READINGS for December 19:
Epistle: St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews 11:9-10; 32-40
Brethren, by faith Abraham sojourned in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he looked forward to the city which has foundation, whose builder and maker is God. And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets - who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, received promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. … Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, that they might rise again to a better life. … And all these, though well attested by their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had foreseen something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.
Gospel: Luke 14:16-24; Matthew 1:1-25
The book of the Genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers… and Jesse the father of David the king. And David was the father of Solomon … and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ. Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way…
Wednesday, December 22: Paraclesis service 6:30 pm
Friday, December 24: Royal Hours for the Nativity 9:00 am, Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil 11:00 am;
Orthros 6:30 pm, Divine Liturgy for the Nativity 8:00 pm
Saturday, December 25, Feast of the Nativity of our Lord (Christmas): No Services
Sunday, December 26: Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; no Church School
Sunday, January 2: Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; no Church School
February 4-6: Midwinter Meetings of FSJD, Antiochian Women, and Teen SOYO at Antiochian Village
Saturday, February 12: Pre-Lenten Retreat sponsored by Antiochian Women, at St. George, Norwood
us also imitate and trust in God's promises, not allowing time to
undermine our resolve, nor any obstacles to intervene in the meantime to
weaken our determination. Trusting instead in God's power as if we
already had before our eyes the revelation of the promises, let us give
evidence of unalloyed faith. Extraordinarily great, you see, are the
promises the Lord has made to us, too, surpassing our imagination - I
mean enjoyment of the kingdom, a share in those ineffable goods, life
with angels, escape from hell. On the other hand, let us never lose
confidence because these things are not visible to bodily eyes; rather,
let us consider the fidelity of the One promising and the greatness of
His power, and thus view them with the eyes of faith and on the basis of
what has already been given let us maintain sound hope in what is to
- St. John Chrysostom
If it were possible to describe all the different tortures which were
devised for their affliction, everything that the enemy, the devil, has
inflicted upon the martyrs and ascetics who loved God, it would be seen
how much they endured and how they have wrestled, triumphing over the
weakness of the flesh by the courage of the soul. They attained to those
good things for which they hoped by counting them more worthy than the
trials of this earthly life. This provides a demonstration of the solid
quality of their faith in two ways. On the one hand, that having endured
a little, they now enjoy great benefits in eternity. On the other hand,
that they so cheerfully endured the physical torments with which the
adversary the devil afflicted them. If therefore we endure affliction
and persevere, with the help of God. we shall be found to be friends of God
indeed. And God will be with us, fighting shoulder to shoulder with us
in the battle, greatly alleviating that which we must endure.
- Abba Palladios in The Spiritual Meadow of John Moschos
To have faith in Christ means more than simply despising the delights of
this life. It means we should bear all our daily trials that may bring
us sorrow, distress, or unhappiness, and bear them patiently for as long
as God wishes and until He comes to visit us. For it is said: 'I
waited on the Lord and He came to me.'
- St. Symeon the New Theologian, The Practical and Theological Chapters
As a congregation meets to worship God, it comes into God’s presence –
where the multitudes of angels unceasingly praise God, in concert with
the fullness of the church of all times and places, the faithful
Christians of past ages who have departed this life and live in God’s
presence. … Any congregation – no matter how humble its building, how
sophisticated its people or how gifted its leaders – partakes of this
privilege as it worships God. … It is part of, joined to and in harmony
with the entirety of the worshippers of God in all times and places –
not just in ideal or thought, but in actuality.
- James R. Payton Jr., Light from the Christian East