St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Friday, May 18, through Thursday, May 24, 2012

THIS WEEKEND

PRISON MINISTRY - This Sunday is Prison Ministry Awareness Sunday.  Rev. Dn. Jeffrey Smith will give the sermon on Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry (OCPM).

CHURCH SCHOOL GRADUATION FESTIVITIES - Come celebrate the end of the Church School year this Sunday, May 20th. Graduation certificates and teacher acknowledgements will be held in the church after liturgy, with special recognition of graduating seniors. Lunch and ice cream sundaes will follow in the church hall. Families wishing to contribute food (chili or ice cream fixings) please contact Lea Crea at leacrea@hotmail.com.

SACRED MUSIC FOR PLC –  A vocal workshop for the Diocese in preparation for the Parish Life Conference will be held on Sunday, May 20, from 2:30 to 5:30 pm, here at St. Mary. The workshop, which will also serve as the first rehearsal for the PLC, will be led by our own Brooke Wilcox, a  professional vocalist and voice coach. We would like people to register so we can plan ahead - www.mysignup.com/vocalworkshop
   Also, the Diocesan Choir Rehearsal for PLC will be held at St. George in Norwood on Sunday, June 10, from 2:30 to 5:30 pm.

NEW ANNOUNCEMENTS

FEAST OF THE ASCENSION – The Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord is next Thursday, May 24.  Evening Liturgy for the Feast will be celebrated Wednesday, May 23, at 6:30.  Fasting on Wednesday and Friday, suspended since Pascha, resumes after the Feast.

REMINDERS

BLESSING OF GRAVES – On Memorial Day, Monday, May 28, Fr. Antony will be blessing graves at Fairview Cemetery in Hyde Park, MA. starting at 9:00 am.  If you would like him to bless the graves of loved ones in other cemeteries, please let him know by calling the Church Office at 617-547-1234 or e-mail frawhj@gmail.com

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.

PARISH LIFE CONFERENCE – This year’s Parish Life Conference will be held at The Cliff House, Ogunquit, Maine, June 21-24, 2012.  For conference registration and information go to the conference website:  http://stgeorgenorwood.org/PLC2012/index.html 
   Hotel info -  Rooms at the Cliff House in Ogunquit are sold out.Rooms are available at the Best Western in York, just 8 miles away.  Rates are $99 / night.Phone them direct at 207-363-8903.
   Talent competition -  After the First Round, the top three were Greg Abdalah of Worcester, Tyler Campbell of Norwood, and Heather Feldman of Dedham; however all acts will be going through to the Finals at the Parish Life Conference.  St. Mary’s competitors include: Anthony Marge, Charlie & Arlene Marge, and a quartet of Paul Nahass, Michelle Mabardy, Charlie and Arlene Marge.

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! 

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

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!

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:  Arthur Mabbett

 LITURGICAL SERVICE: Epistle: Teva Regule;  Left Cloth: Brooke Wilcox and TBD; Right Cloth: Julie Jamieson and Jeff Wasilko; Left Bread: TBD; Right Bread: TBD

COFFEE HOUR:  Church School Parents and Teachers 

LITURGICAL SCHEDULE FOR THIS WEEK

Saturday, May 19:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, May 20:  Matins 8:45 am;  Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School Graduation and festivities

SCRIPTURE READINGSfor Sunday, May 20: 
Epistle: Acts of the Apostles 16:16-34
… they seized Paul and Silas and … brought them to the magistrates … And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, … But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and every one's fetters were unfastened. When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried with a loud voice, "Do not harm yourself, for we are all here."

Gospel: John 9:1-38
… he [Jesus] saw a man blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be made manifest in him." … Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. … Some of the Pharisees said, "This man is not from God, for he does not keep the sabbath." But others said, "How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?" … He answered, "Whether he is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I know, that though I was blind, now I see." … And they reviled him, saying, "You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from." The man answered, "… We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. … If this man were not from God, he could do nothing."

Wednesday, May 23:  Evening Liturgy for the Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord 6:30 pm

LOOKING AHEAD

Saturday, May 26:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, May 27:  Matins 8:45 am;  Divine Liturgy 10:00 am

Monday, May 28: Blessing of Graves at Fairview Cemetery, Hyde Park 9:00 am

Saturday, June 2:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, June 3:  Matins 8:45 am;  Divine Liturgy 10:00 am

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

INSIGHT

In the souls of the Pharisees and sectarians, the law and mercy do not stand together, i.e., they are unable to fulfill the regulations of the law and to show mercy, but they argue about which is more important of these two; one they omit, and the other they adhere to. The Pharisees literally observed the letter of the Law, but they completely abandoned mercy and love for men.
   - Prolog of Ochrid - reflection for Jan 31

But God said, "I require mercy, and not sacrifice; and the acknowledgement of God, and not whole burnt offerings" (Hosea 6:6).  What is meant by mercy? and what by sacrifice? By mercy then is signified justification and grace in Christ; even that which is by faith. For we have been justified, not by the works of the law that we have done, but by His great mercy. And sacrifice means the law of Moses.
   - St. Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on the Gospel of St. Luke

Zeal is not reckoned among men to be a form of wisdom, but one of the illnesses of the soul, namely narrow-mindedness and deep ignorance. The beginning of divine wisdom is clemency and gentleness, which arise from greatness of soul and the bearing of infirmities of men.
   - St. Isaac of Nineveh

The nature of things is measured by the interior disposition of the soul; that is, the kind of person one is will determine what he thinks of others. He who has attained to genuine prayer and love no longer puts things into categories. He does not separate the righteous from sinners, but loves all equally, and does not judge them, just as God gives the sun to shine and the rain to fall both on the just and the unjust."
   - St. Nikitas Stethatos, from the Philokalia

Ever let mercy outweigh all else in you. Let our compassion be a mirror where we may see in ourselves that likeness and that true image which belong to the Divine nature and Divine essence. A heart hard and unmerciful will never be pure.
   - St. Isaac of Syria