St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Thursday, November 23, through Thursday, November 29, 2012

THIS WEEK

BERAM AWARDS BANQUET - The Nicholas G. Beram Veteran's Association 66th Anniversary Celebration and 46th Scholastic Achievement Awards Banquet will be held Saturday, November 24, 2012, 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm at the Holiday Inn in Dedham.  Our own Mary Winstanley O’Conner will receive a Distinguished Service Award.  Contact Karen Noonan 781-646-5222 for tickets.

CHURCH SCHOOL – There will be no Church School classes this Sunday.

CHRISTMAS PAGEANT – Charlie Marge will hold a brief meeting upstairs in the church immediately after Divine Liturgy this Sunday, November 25, for any church school children interested in participating in the Christmas Pageant.  Questions?  Please contact Charlie by e-mail:  marge@alum.mit.edu

MESSIAH – If you have ordered tickets for the December 2 Messiah concert and not yet received them, please see Melissa Nassiff this Sunday. Also, if you would like to join the group for lunch before the concert, please contact her at mnassiff@gmail.com.

PARAKLESIS – This Wednesday, and every Wednesday during Advent, there will be a Paraklesis service at 6:30 pm.

NEW ANNOUNCEMENTS

FELLOWSHIP MEETING – There will be a brief meeting of the Fellowship of St. John the Divine in the Hall after liturgy next Sunday, December 2. New members are always welcome.

YOUTH EQUIPPED TO SERVE – YES, a program of FOCUS North America, will be coming to Providence, RI,  Friday-Sunday, December 14-16.  See the flyer in this week’s Sunday bulletin. For more information and to register go to  www.yesnorthamerica.org.  If you have any questions you can contact Katrina Bitar, Program Director, at Katrina@focusna.org

OCF COLLEGE CONFERENCE – Each year during Christmas Break, the Orthodox Christian Fellowship’s College Conferences host hundreds of college students from across North America for 4 days of fellowship, prayer, and some of the best Orthodox Speakers around! This year’s conference, at the Antiochian Village in Bolivar, PA, will be held Friday-Monday, December 28-31. For more information see http://www.ocf.net/wikis/programs/college-conference.aspx

REMINDERS

NATIVITY FAST - The Nativity Fast continues, from November 15 until Christmas.

CONFESSIONS –  Confessions are heard each Saturday evening before and after Vespers, which start at 5:00 pm,  or by appointment.

DIOCESAN CHRISTMAS CONCERT – Come hear sacred hymns of the Nativity and Christmas Carols sung by our Chanters and Choir Members from throughout our Diocese of Worcester and New England.  The concert will be held next Saturday December 1, at 7:00 pm at the Church of St. John of Damascus, 300 West St, Dedham, MA.  Suggested Donation: $10/person – proceeds will go to IOCC US Emergency Response Fund to provide relief to the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

ST. MARY PARISH  CHRISTMAS CARD– Save yourself time, and let us do the work - let the Women’s Club send a lovely Christmas Card on your behalf to our parishioners.  You will receive this card with the names of parishioners, like yourself, who are wishing a Blessed Nativity and a Merry Christmas to all.  Use the form in the Sunday bulletin or send a note, with your check in any amount, to St. Mary Church - Women’s Club, Attn: MaryEllen Mabardy, 8 Inman St., Cambridge, MA  02139.  All proceeds  benefit Antiochian Women  Project 2012-2013:  The Antiochian Village –Tornado Relief Fund.   Deadline is next Sunday, December 2, 2012.

BISHOP JOHN’S ANNIVERSARY – There will be a Divine Liturgy celebrating the 1-Year Anniversary of Bishop JOHN’s elevation to the Episcopacy on Monday, December 10, at 6:00 pm at St. George Cathedral, Worcester.  Reception to follow.

LESSONS AND CAROLS with POTLUCK - The Fellowship of St. John the Divine cordially invites you to Western Rite Evensong with Lessons and Carols - a service of prayers, scripture readings and Christmas Carols - on Saturday,  December 15, 2012, at 5:00 pm.  The service will be followed by a festive Lenten Pot Luck Supper.  People whose last name begins with A – P please bring a Main Dish or Salad; people whose last name begin with Q – Z  please bring Dessert. Drinks will be provided. For more information, contact Natasha Smith at nasmith05@rcn.com.

SPECIAL COLLECTIONS – CONTRIBUTE ONLINE – We have recently held special collections at St. Mary for some important and worthwhile causes:  Teen SOYO’s help for Special Olympics on October 23; Seminarians on October 30; and Hurricane Sandy on November 4. If you missed the opportunity to contribute on those dates you can still do so online – Special Categories have been set up in eGive for these one-time donations.  Parishioners can also use their credit cards to make these one-time donations on our website:  http://www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/contact/donate.php    Just type the donation target (e.g. Hurricane Sandy) in the Additional Notes area.

CANNED FOOD DRIVE – The annual FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE food drive will be held October through December, 2012. 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. 42 pounds of food will feed a family of four for 3 days - since 1984 we have collected over 3,281,200 pounds of food!

REGULAR REMINDERS

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.

VIDEO STREAMING FOR EVENTS – Now you can video stream your wedding or baptism live from St. Mary’s to friends and family who can't attend your event in person.  The cost for Event Video Streaming is $150 for members, $300 for non-members, and includes a password- protected viewing page and setup and breakdown of the streaming service for your event by a trained staff member.   You can also get a copy of your streamed event on CD: $50 for members, $100 for non-members. Fees are payable to the church. Streaming is subject to staff availability. For general questions on the video streaming ministry or event streaming, please contact live@stmaryorthodoxchurch.org.  To schedule your event and/or request Event Video Streaming, please contact the Church Office.

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:

BECOME A GREETER – If you do not sing in the choir, or chant, serve in the Altar or at the Bengarri, and  are not a Church School teacher,  please consider serving the Church as a GREETER!  Greeters arrive at 9:45 am., get a Greeter Name Tag  from the Bengarri, pin it on and greet visitors/parishioners at the Church Entrance and direct them upstairs to the Church, or to the CloakRoom or RestRooms.  Greeting time ends when Communion starts.  Send your name and e-mail address to Buddy Mabardy: buddymabardy@cjmabardy.com or phone him 781-729-6303. 

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.org or 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:  Paul Demerjian

LITURGICAL SERVICE:   To be determined

COFFEE HOUR:   

LITURGICAL SCHEDULE FOR THIS WEEK

Saturday, November 24: Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, November 25:  Orthros 8:45 am; Enquirers’ Class 9:00 am;  Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; No Church School

SCRIPTURE READINGS for Sunday, November 25:
   Epistle: St. Paul's Letter to the Galatians 3:23-29; 4:1-5
… For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

   Gospel: Luke 18:18-27
… "One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." But when he heard this he became sad, for he was very rich. Jesus looking at him said, "How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God! …”

Wednesday, November 28:  Paraclesis Service 6:30 pm

LOOKING AHEAD

Wednesday, November 28:  Paraclesis Service 6:30 pm

Saturday, December 1:  No Vespers at St. Mary – Diocesan Choir Concert at St. John of Damascus, Dedham 7:00 pm

Sunday, December 2:  Orthros 8:45 am; Enquirers’ Class 9:00 am;  Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School lesson 9, Pageant rehearsal in the Sanctuary during coffee hour

Wednesday, December 5: Paraclesis Service 6:30 pm

Saturday, December 8:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

REFLECTION

Thanksgiving and gratitude is a heartfelt joyous recognition of the divine benevolence and mercy toward us, unworthy ones, shown by Him freely and testified by our heart and mouth.
   - St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

‎You who are strong, help the weak. You who are rich, help the poor. You who stand upright, help the fallen and the crushed. You who are joyful, comfort those in sadness. You who enjoy all good fortune, help those who have met with disaster. Give something in thanksgiving to God, that you are of those who can give help, and not of those who stand and wait for it.
   - St. Gregory of Nazianzus

Labor to acquire thanksgiving toward God for everything, and the power of the Most High will
overshadow you, and then you will find peace.
   - St. Barsanuphius

Wouldest thou learn words of thanksgiving? Hearken unto the Three Children, saying, "We have sinned, we have transgressed. Thou art righteous, O Lord, in all that thou hast done unto us, because thou hast brought all things upon us by a true judgment." (Daniel 3:27) For to confess one's own sins, this is to give thanks with confessions unto God: a kind of thing which implies one to be guilty of numberless offenses, yet not to have the due penalty exacted. This man most of all is the giver of thanks.
   - St John Chrysostom

When evening comes, collect your thoughts and ponder over the entire course of the day: observe God's providential care for you; consider the grace He has wrought in you throughout the whole span of the day; consider the rising of the moon, the joy of daylight, all the hours and moments, the divisions of time, the sight of different colors, the beautiful adornment of creation, the course of the sun, the growth of your own stature, how your own person has been protected, consider the blowing of the winds, the ripe and varied fruits, how the elements minister to your comfort, how you have been preserved from accidents, and all the other activities of grace. When you have pondered on all this, wonder of God's love toward you will well up within you, and gratitude for his acts of grace will bubble up inside you.
   - John the Solitary, The Syriac Fathers on Prayer and the Spiritual Life