St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Friday, April 20, through Thursday, April 26, 2012

THIS WEEKEND

NO BIBLE STUDY – The St.  Mary Bible Study group, originally scheduled to meet this evening (Thursday, April 19), has been postponed to a later date to be announced.

FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE- Boxes were due on Palm Sunday.  Please return them to the Bengarri or Violet Robbat this Sunday if you have not already done so.   

NO COFFEE HOUR – Unless someone would like to step up and provide something, there will be no coffee hour this Sunday.

NEW ANNOUNCEMENTS

CHRIST IS RISEN! – Truly He is risen! To learn how to say the Paschal Greeting in more languages than the ten or so we use at St. Mary's, check out this site which has text and voice recordings for over 250 languages:  http://www.srbigham.com/en/langues.html.

NO FASTING – There is no fasting on Wednesday or Friday, not only during Bright Week (April 16-21), but until the Feast of the Ascension (May 13) – for the whole forty days that Christ remained on earth following his resurrection.  This is the decision of the Holy Synod of the Church of Antioch. (This cessation of fasting, however, is purely voluntary; you may fast if you wish.)

ANTIOCHIAN WOMEN – The next Diocesan General Assembly meeting will be held at St. George, Lowell, on Saturday, April 28.  “Coffee and…” will begin at 10:00 am, with meetings following.

ST. GEORGE FEAST DAY – OnSaturday and Sunday, April 28 & 29, St. George West Roxbury will celebrate its Feast Day 2012 with His Grace, Bishop John. Saturday will feature Vespers at 6:00 pm and “Foods of the World” at 7:00; Sunday will have Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at 10:00 am with Luncheon Buffet following. Combo Tickets:  Adults $50, Teens $35, Children $12.   Reservations Required by contacting Susan Jreige 617-640-1992, sujreige@aol.com  Reservation Deadline:  Wednesday, April 25.

FASHION SHOW AND LUNCHEON – The Syrian-Lebanese Women’s Club will hold a Fashion Show and Luncheon on Sunday, April 29, at the Holiday Inn, Dedham, from 12:00 to 4:00 pm.  $50.pp.  Reservations: Carolyn Ganim (781-329-0830) or Mary Shagoury (617-323-4819).

PARISH COUNCIL – The next meeting of the Parish Council will be Wednesday, May 2.

CHURCH SCHOOL GRADUATIONSunday, May 20, will be the closing of Church School, with Graduation and festivities.

REMINDERS

TEENS’ CREATIVE ARTS FESTIVAL EVENT – All teens are welcome to participate in putting the finishing touches on the Creative Arts Festival Photo Collage on Sunday, April 29, from 11:30 – 1:30 pm, immediately following Liturgy.  Lunch will be provided!  If you need instructions for photos or have questions, please contact Nadia Abuelezam (nabuelezam@gmail.com).

SUMMER GREETERS NEEDED – Please help out!  Volunteers are needed for all Sundays in July and August through September 2 (Labor Day Weekend).  Please contact Buddy Mabardy at 781-729-6303 or e-mail: buddy@cjmabardy.com. Summer Hours: Orthros: 8:15 am & Liturgy: 9:30 am.  Summer might be a great time for you to start participating in this Ministry! 

THEOPHANY SCHOOL BENEFIT – Theophany School invites you to a Benefit Evening and Auction “Dinner Party” on Saturday, May 5, at 6:30 pm, at Apollo Functions in Norwood. Tickets are $50 per person. For more information call 781-444-3058 or visit www.TheophanySchool.org.

NEW ENGLAND’S GOT TASTE and TALENT –  St. George Norwood, sponsor of this year’s Parish Life Conference, is sponsoring a talent competition and an appetizer cooking competition for talented competitors and chefs from throughout the diocese. Preliminary competition will be Sunday, May 6, at 5:00 pm, at St. John of Damascus in Dedham (final competition at the Conference). To purchase tickets ($15 adults / $10 12 & under) and/or submit talent, call David Franciosi at 617-347-1007.  “Church Chefs” call Erin Kimmett at 781-775-0789.  Or, download applications for “Taste” & “Talent” at www.http://stgeorgenorwood.org/PLC2012 See the flyer in this Sunday’s Bulletin for more information.

ANTIOCHIAN WOMEN’S SCHOLARSHIP – Scholarships are available to Antiochian Women 25 years of age or older, who choose to continue their education.  You must be a member in good standing of the Antiochian Archdiocese, be actively involved in your parish, be applying for an academic or trade study program and demonstrate financial need.  Scholarship applications are available in the office.  Deadline to apply is June 1, 2012.

N.G. BERAM AWARDS - The N. G. Beram Veterans Assoc. is pleased to announce the continuation of its Scholastic Achievement Awards program for the 46th year, which was established to encourage, promote and support the education of students of Arabic speaking backgrounds.  High school seniors can obtain the application along with the instructions by visiting the web page at:  www.stjohnd.org/ngberam.  All applications must be postmarked no later than June 1, 2012.

FSJD SCHOLARSHIP – Graduating High School Seniors who are actively involved in the parish  and whose parents are members of the parish, are eligible for the Fellowship of St. John the Divine Scholarship.  Please call the Church Office with your name so that an application will be mailed to you directly by Mary Winstanley O’Connor, or contact her at moconnor@koilaw.com or 617-523-1010.

CROSSROAD - CrossRoad is a summer institute for high school juniors and seniors on the campus of Hellenic College/Holy Cross.  Participants take part in daily classes, visit neighboring Orthodox parishes and participate in service activities.  CrossRoad now offers two sessions.  Download an application and view a video clip at www.crossroad.hchc.edu

PARISH LIFE CONFERENCE – This year’s Parish Life Conference will be held at The Cliff House, Ogunquit, Maine, June 21-24, 2012. Amazing Room Rate:  $149 (Regularly $310)  Call 207-361-1000or visit their website www.CliffHouseMaine.com/attendees  User Name:  PARISH  Password: pa986B

REGULAR REMINDERS

COFFEE HOUR SIGNUP – A signup sheet for coffee hours is posted on the bulletin board outside the coat room.  There are plenty of dates to choose from after Pascha – sign up now for the date you will sponsor the coffee hour!

CHURCH SCHOOL CALENDAR – Church School continues through May 20, 2012. The Church School calendar can be found online at http://stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/assets/files/2011-2012-ChurchSchoolCalendar.pdf

DONATE VIA eGIVE– Did you know that you can make your donations to St. Mary through eGive, and have no more envelopes or checks to worry about?   If you have not yet set up an account, you can do it at www.egive-usa.com, or contact Charlie Marge (marge@alum.mit.edu) for help. The Recipient Organization is “St. Mary’s Orthodox Church.”

STREAMING VIDEO – St. Mary’s Church services are broadcast live each week through an internet video stream.  If you can't attend a service in person or want to share this ministry with a friend or loved one, the live stream can be viewed at www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/live  during regularly scheduled service times (see the schedule of services below or online).  If you have questions or comments about this ministry please contact us at live@stmaryorthodoxchurch.org.

PROTECT YOUR VALUABLES – Please do not leave valuables unattended in the Church Hall or Coat 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.

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:

BE A GREETER - The Parish Council is continuing the Greeter Program, similar to other churches, to greet and aid parishioners, guests and visitors into the Church each Sunday.  As a Greeter, you will welcome people into the Church and help to direct visitors upstairs to the Liturgy, as well as keeping an eye on the Vestibule, hallways and entrance ways during church, arriving at Church at 9:45 am.  Greeting time ends when Communion starts.  We need volunteers.  If you would like to be a Greeter, a Sign-Up Sheet is posted on the Church Bulletin Board.  If you have any questions, please contact Buddy by e-mail buddy@cjmabardy.comor call him at 781-729-6303. “I was a stranger, and you invited me in………”   (Matthew 25:35)

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  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, jeffw@smoe.org

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 new 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 secretary@stmaryorthodoxchurch.orgor 617-547-1234.

PRISON MINISTRY – If you would like to find out more about Prison Ministry at St. Mary’s Church, please subscribe to our mailing list at http://groups.google.com/group/ocpm-concord

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

THIS SUNDAY'S VOLUNTEERS

GREETER:  Barbara Shoop

LITURGICAL SERVICE:  Epistle: Walter Porr;  Left Cloth: Robert Kowalik and Teva Regule;  Right Cloth: Ioana Chirieac and Linda Arnold;  Left Bread: TBD;  Right Bread: Larisa Patacchiola

COFFEE HOUR:  (no volunteers)

LITURGICAL SCHEDULE FOR THIS WEEK

Saturday, April 21:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, April 22, Thomas Sunday:   Matins 8:45 am;  Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School lesson 20

SCRIPTURE READINGS for Thomas Sunday: 
Epistle: Acts of the Apostles 5:12-30
   In those days, many signs and wonders were done among the people by the hands of the apostles. … The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed.

Gospel: John 20:19-31
   On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them … Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him: "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them: "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in His side, I will not believe." Eight days later, His disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them, and said: "Peace be with you." Then He said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing." Thomas answered Him, "My Lord and my God!"

LOOKING AHEAD

Saturday, April 28:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, April 29,  Matins 8:45 am;  Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School lesson 21

Sunday, May 20:  Church School Graduation

Thursday-Sunday, June 21-24:  Parish Life Conference

INSIGHT

You cannot be a man of faith unless you know how to doubt. You cannot believe in God unless you are capable of questioning the authority of prejudice, even though that prejudice may seem to be religious. Faith is not blind conformity to a prejudice – a "pre-judgment. " It is a decision, a judgment that is fully and deliberately taken in the light of a truth that cannot be proven. It is not merely the acceptance of a decision that has been made by someone else.
   - Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

A faith which has not overcome doubts and temptation is seldom a real faith. No progress in Christian life is possible, alas, without the bitter experience of failures.
   - Alexander Schmemann, Great Lent

Love does not depend on time, and the power of love continues always. There are some who believe that the Lord suffered death for love of man but because they do not attain to this love in their own souls it seems to them that it is an old story of bygone days. But when the soul knows the love of God by the Holy Spirit she feels without a shadow of doubt that the Lord is our Father, the closest, the best and dearest of fathers, and there is no greater happiness than to love God with all our hearts, with all our souls, and with all our minds, according to the Lord's commandment, and our neighbor as ourself. And when this love is in the soul, everything rejoices her; but when it is lost sight of man cannot find peace, and is troubled, and blames others as if they had done him an injury, and does not realize that he himself is at fault – he has lost his love for God and has accused or conceived hatred for his brother.
   - St. Silouan the Athonite    

 This chaos [of our inner life] can be so disturbing and so confusing that we can hardly wait to get busy again.  Entering a private room and shutting the door (Matt. 6:6), therefore, does not mean that we immediately shut out all our inner doubts, fears, bad memories, unresolved conflicts, angry feelings, and impulsive  desires…We often use our outer distractions to shield ourselves from the interior noises.  It is thus not surprising that we have a difficult time being alone.   The confrontations with our inner conflicts can be too painful for us to endure.
   - Henri J. M. Nouwen, Devotional Classics