St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Thursday, January 21 – Thursday, January 28, 2016


THURSDAY, 1/21 - The Bible Study group will meet this evening, Thursday January 21, at 7:00 pm in the church library. We will continue our discussion of Isaiah, using the podcasts at and
   The Bible Study at St. Mary meets every other Thursday, and is based on a very interesting course originally broadcast on Ancient Faith Radio, entitled Search the Scriptures. For more information contact Marianna Sayeg ( ) or Fr. Antony ( ). New members are always welcome.

SATURDAY, 1/23 - No Vespers at St. Mary.

SUNDAY, 1/24 – Adult catechism 9:00; Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00; No Church School.  
   + The Annual Meeting of St. Mary's Parish will be held this Sunday, January 24, 2016 (snow date: January 31.)  At this time we will vote on the budget for 2016. The meeting will be brief; no other reports will be given. It is important that all members of St. Mary’s Church attend this meeting.


CHILDREN AT COMMUNION – NEW PROCEDURE - On Sundays when there is Church School, immediately after the Communion prayers and while Fr. Antony is preparing the Communion, all Church School children and their teachers will line up to be ready for receiving Communion. Once you see the Superintendent of the Church School (Barbara Shoop) walk to the front of the Church, you should send your children up to form a single line in the left aisle. This will allow the Church School children to get to their classes in a timely and orderly manner.  If you have any questions regarding this procedure please see Fr. Antony.

VESPERS – Vespers will resume on the first Saturday of each month, starting Saturday, February 6.

NEW YOUNG ADULT MINISTRY - The first event for the new Young Adult Fellowship at St. Mary’s will be Saturday, February 6 – join us on the first Saturday of the month for Great Vespers, food, and fellowship. Other exciting events being planned include a Lenten Friday evening speaker series following the Akathist service; young adult small group discussions; and a retreat at New Skete Monastery. Take a survey at, To learn more or to get involved, email or call Jamil at 617-501-4427.    

ICONOGRAPHY PRESENTATION - The St. Mary Women’s Club will be hosting an Iconography presentation by Iconographer Khouria Erin Kimmett of St. George Norwood on Friday evening, March 18, immediately following the Medayeh/Akathist service. Watch for more information.


HELP REFUGEES IN SYRIA - “A Meal for Refugees” will be shared on Monday, January 25 at 7:00 pm at St. George Orthodox Church, West Roxbury to benefit the internally displaced refugees in Syria.  His Grace, the Right Reverend Bishop Elia of Arthoussa (in Syria) will present an up-to-date personal perspective on the refugee crisis there.  Monetary donations will be accepted that evening to assist Bishop Elia’s ongoing ministry to refugees. Donations are tax deductible and will be acknowledged. Please bring your check made out to “St. George Church” with the memo, “Syrian Refugee Appeal.” Please RSVP so they may prepare properly: 617-323-0323 or  

TEEN SOYO PROJECT: Health and Hygiene Kits for Syrian Refugees - The teens of St. Mary's are looking for your support. Throughout the months of December and January, our teens will be collecting items and putting together hygiene and health kits to send to refugees in Syria.  We are in need of the following donations:
   - Individual hand towels & washcloths 
   - Combs 
   - Metal nail files and/or nail clippers 
   - Bars of soap
   - Toothbrushes
   - Band-Aids
Basic items like this may seem small, but putting them together can have a major impact to those in need. Please bring and place donations in the  marked bins located in the room next to the church kitchen. If you have any questions, please ask a member of Teen SOYO.

PLEASE HELP THE WOMEN’S CLUB - The Women’s Club provides the Cambridge YWCA Family Shelter with baskets filled with household goods, to help residents ready to move to their own apartments.  We ask for your help by providing monetary donations to offset the cost of the items. Please give your donation to Marilyn Robbat or Barbara Shoop or mail it to the Church office c/o the Woman’s Club.  

PLEDGE - Pledge cards for 2016 have been mailed. Please return Pledge Cards to the church, or ePledge on St. Mary’s website, immediately.

GOLDEN RULES FOR THE GOLDEN YEARS – Tune in on Thursday, January 28th from 1:00-2:00 pm for a webinar discussing Resources to Help Reduce Symptom Burden and Caregiver Burnout in Older Adults, featuring Dr. Evgenia Litrivis, board certified internist, geriatrician and palliative care physician. The goals of this webinar are to provide an understanding of  1) The beneficial role of palliative care as a medical specialty for age related illnesses;  2) The role of the caregiver and strategies to reduce caregiver burnout, and 3) Advance directives. These topics will be discussed within the context of dementia - a leading cause of illness and need for caregiver support among older adults. This webinar is sponsored by the Center for Family Care of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. Register at

HOUSE BLESSING - Fr. Antony will be blessing homes after Theophany (January 5), and between Pascha and Pentecost.  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.

2016 CHURCH CALENDARS & OFFERING ENVELOPES - New church calendars and 2016 offering envelopes are available for pick-up. Please only one calendar per family. We wish to thank Lou Kfoury of Kfoury Keefe Funeral Home for once again sponsoring the calendar. The calendar’s iconography is by our own Kh. Erin Kimmett of St. George Norwood.

CROSS+ROAD - CrossRoad is a ten-day academic summer institute that prepares high school juniors and seniors to make big life decisions and connect with the Orthodox Christian theological and spiritual tradition.  Hosted on the Hellenic College Holy Cross campus, participants experience daily worship, visit local parishes, tour Boston, and spend a day at the beach.  CrossRoad is now accepting applications for their summer 2016 sessions.  Session one: June 18-28. Session 2:  July 5-July 15 Complete your application by February 1, 2016. Applications received after that date will be reviewed on a rolling basis depending on availability.  For more information or to apply online go to

WOMEN’S CLUB – The next meeting of the Women’s Club will be Thursday, February 4, at 7:30.

DIOCESE MEETING - There will be a General Assembly meeting of Diocesan Delegates of Antiochian Women and Teen SOYO on Saturday, February 6, here at St. Mary Church..  Morning Prayers start at 9:30 am, meetings at 10:00 and lunch at noon.

THEOPHANY SCHOOL -  Theophany School is now enrolling for fall 2016, and will hold an Open House on Thursday, February 11 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm.  They are located at 754 Greendale Ave., Needham, MA.  For further information contact 781-444-3058 or

ST. IGNATIUS GET-TOGETHER - The Order of St. Ignatius Winter Get Together will be February 14 at Kens Steak House in Framingham.  Cocktails at 4:00 pm and dinner at 5:00 pm.  Any questions contact Debbie Laham at

PARISH COUNCIL - Congratulations to the newly elected officers of the parish council: Mary Winstanley O’Connor, President; Raymond Sayeg, Vice President; Nick Bezreh, Treasurer; and Marc Patacchiola, Secretary
   + The next meeting of the Parish Council will be Wednesday, February 17, at 7:30.

CHINESE NEW YEAR – Plan to join the Hospitality Group on Sunday, February 21 after Liturgy, for the annual Chinese New Year Missions Breakfast, to benefit the Chinese Translation Project via the Orthodox Fellowship of All Saints of China (OFASC). RSVP to Mitrophan Chin at by Wednesday, February 17.  We look forward to your support of this worthwhile project and to seeing you at this event!.

PRE-LENTEN RETREAT - The Antiochian Women of the Diocese of Worcester & New England invite you to a Pre-Lenten Retreat on Saturday, February 27.  The Retreat, entitled “The Light at the End of the Tunnel,”  will be from 9:00 - 2:30 at St. John of Damascus Church, Dedham.  See the flyer insert in the Sunday Bulletin for reservation and payment form.

ANTIOCHIAN VILLAGE SUMMER CAMP -  Registration for Summer Camp at Antiochian Village has begun.  St. Mary’s Children attend 3rd session.  The camper fee is $750 for the two-week camp session. Camper fees paid in full by March 1 receive a $50 discount.  Register on line at

COFFEE HOUR MADE EASY! - To make sponsoring a Coffee Hour a little bit easier, St. Mary’s will be offering a delivery service through “Instacart”, for the basic foods necessary to host a Coffee hour.  Simply select a date, mail a check to the office and we will order the food and have it delivered to the church on that Sunday between 9:00 and 10:00 am.  You will need to be at the church to accept the order and you will be required to set up for the coffee hour and clean up both the kitchen and hall at the end of the coffee hour.  Two menus will be offered.  Menu one will include: bagels, mini muffins, fruit, hummus/Syrian bread, juice and coffee for $160.  Menu two will include: bagels, juice and coffee for $70. Prices DO NOT include a 20% tip for delivery and are subject to change based on current market pricing of items.  Cream cheese, peanut butter, jam and coffee creamer are included with each menu.  As usual, St. Mary’s will provide the plates, cups, napkins, utensils, serving platters, and sweetener for coffee.  If you are interested in taking advantage of this service and signing up for a coffee hour please contact the office at 617-547-1234 or e-mail


This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief…  Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
   - 1 Timothy 1:15-17

Then it happened, as He was coming near Jericho, that a certain blind man sat by the road begging. And hearing a multitude passing by, he asked what it meant. So they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. And he cried out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Then those who went before warned him that he should be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be brought to Him. And when he had come near, He asked him, saying, “What do you want Me to do for you?”  He said, “Lord, that I may receive my sight.” Then Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.
   - Luke 18:35-43

   A brother named John came from the coast to Father Philimon and, clasping his feet, said to him: "What shall I do to be saved? For my intellect vacillates to and fro and strays after all the wrong things." After a pause, the father replied: "This is one of the outer passions and it stays with you because you still have not acquired a perfect longing for God. The warmth of this longing and of the knowledge of God has not yet come to you."
   The brother said to him: "What shall I do, father?" Abba Philimon replied: "Meditate inwardly for a while, deep in your heart; for this can cleanse your intellect of these things."
   The brother, not understanding what was said, asked the Elder: "What is inward meditation, father?" The Elder replied: "Keep watch in your heart; and with watchfulness say in your mind with awe and trembling: Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy upon me. For this is the advice which the blessed Diadochos gave to beginners."
   - The Philokalia

When you supplicate Him with faith, He will hear you, and you will learn that it is God who rescued you. Then you will understand that your Creator strengthens you and guards you.
   - St. Isaac the Syrian

Mercy is opposed to justice. Justice is the equality of the even scale, for it gives to each as he deserves; and when it makes recompense, it does not incline to one side or show respect of persons. Mercy, on the other hand, is a sorrow and pity stirred up by goodness, and it compassionately inclines a man in the direction of all; it does not requite a man who is deserving of evil, and to him who is deserving of good it gives a double portion.
   - St Isaac the Syrian

A handful of sand, thrown into the sea, is what sinning is, when compared to God’s Providence and mercy. Just as an abundant source of water is not impeded by a handful of dust, so also the Creator’s mercy is not defeated by the sins of His creations.
   - St. Isaac the Syrian