St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Thursday, February 4 through Thursday, February 11, 2016


THURSDAY, 2/4 - The Women’s Club will meet today, Thursday, February 4, at 4:30 pm (note the new time) in the Hall, to begin preparations for the Diocesan meeting on Saturday.
   + The Bible Study group will meet today 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, 2/6 - General Assembly meeting of Diocesan Delegates of Antiochian Women and Teen SOYO here at St. Mary Church.  Morning Prayers start at 9:30 am, meetings at 10:00 and lunch at noon.
   + Great Vespers 5:00 pm. Note: From now on Vespers will held be on the first Saturday of each month.
   + The new Young Adult Fellowship at St. Mary’s will meet after Great Vespers for a Young Adult (18-40) Potluck Dinner and Fellowship. Bring your favorite dish, dessert, or drink to share. Questions? Call Chris at 301-807-8378 or Jamil at 617-501-4427.

SUNDAY, 2/7 – Adult catechism 9:00; Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School lesson 14
   + This is Scout Sunday - the scouts and scout leaders in our parish will be involved in liturgical service. If your child is a Boy Scout or Girl Scout (all ages) and would like to participate, please send an email to Charlie Marge:  
   + 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.

THURSDAY 2/11 - Theophany School is now enrolling for fall 2016, and will hold an Open House next Thursday, February 11 from 6:30-8:00 pm. They are located at 754 Greendale Ave., Needham, MA.  For further information contact 781-444-3058 or


COFFEE HOUR VOLUNTEER NEEDED – Please consider hosting or co-hosting coffee hour next week, February 14. Keep in mind that it can be as simple as bagels, cookies, juice and coffee.  Remember also that you can take advantage of our new Instacart option! A signup sheet is on the bulletin board downstairs outside the Hall, or call the Church Office at 617-547-1234 or email:

ALL THAT JAZZ – You are invited to a musical reception to benefit IOCC (International Orthodox Christian Charities) on Saturday, February 27, at the Maliotis Cultural Center at Hellenic College, 50 Goddard Avenue Brookline, MA. For information and to register or donate on line, go to               

LENTEN FOOD SALE - The Women's Club is now taking orders for their annual Lenten food sale. Use the order form in the Sunday bulletin to place your order for Spinach Triangles, Hoomos, and Mjadara. Order deadline is Sunday, March 6; order pick-up is Sunday, March 13.

LENT – Great Lent will begin on Monday, March 14, 2016


TEEN SOYO PROJECT: Health and Hygiene Kits for Syrian Refugees - The teens of St. Mary's are looking for your support in 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.

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

PARISH COUNCIL - 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

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.

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

As Fr. Antony pointed out recently, 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 – 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 15 minutes before Liturgy, 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: 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 Blessed Bread.  All Orthodox Christians in the Parish are welcome and encouraged to participate. We usually need one Epistle reader and four people to hold the cloths.  If you would like to read the Epistle or assist during Communion, please contact Jeff Wasilko, 781-820-0882,
   Also, members of the Church School and others help by carrying the Icon, Candlesticks, and Bread Baskets in procession during the Great Entrance, and presenting the Bread to be blessed during the Liturgy. To volunteer for this service please contact Teva Regule at

CHOIR – St. Mary’s Church Choir is open to anyone interested in making a commitment to sing each Sunday at Divine Liturgy. Please feel free to join them and/or introduce yourself to the director, Michelle Mabardy, any Sunday after Liturgy.

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 Barbara Shoop 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 monthly Cornerstone), or ask Barbara at 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 Also - please donate unwanted past issues of Orthodox magazines such as The Word, OCMC or other periodicals to our prison ministry to hand out to inmates.  Please remove any personal mailing address for security purposes and give them to Mitrophan Chin.

VIDEO EDITING – Volunteers are wanted to assist with video editing of sermons and lectures. We are looking for volunteers to assist with some basic video editing to post the sermons and lectures from St. Mary's online. If you have experience with digital video editing, please let Jamil Samara or Erick Straghalis know you are interested - email

PHOTOGRAPHERS AND GRAPHIC DESIGNERS – Are you a photographer or a graphic designer? Would you be willing to share your talents with St. Mary Church and her ministries? We are looking for you to help photograph the divine services and events and to design promotional material for events and programs at our parish. Please contact Jamil Samara at with any questions, and to let him know that you are interested in getting more involved.



Working together with him, then, we entreat you not to accept the grace of God in vain. For he says, "At the acceptable time I have listened to you, and helped you on the day of salvation." Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
   - 2 Corinthians 6:1-10

The Lord said this parable: "A man going on a journey called his servants and entrusted to them his property; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. … Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, 'Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.' His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.' … He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, 'Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not winnow; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.' But his master answered him, 'You wicked and slothful servant! … take the talent from him, and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
   - Matthew 25:14-30

He is not yet a faithful servant who bases himself on bare knowledge alone; a faithful servant is he who professes his faith by obedience to Christ, Who gave the commandments.
   - St. Mark the Ascetic

Ultimately…the secret is perfect abandonment to the will of God in all things you cannot control, and perfect obedience to Him in everything that depends on your own volition, so that in all things, in your interior life and in your outward works for God, you desire only one thing, which is the fulfillment of His will.
   - Fr. Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

Therefore, casting out of our souls all faithlessness, sloth, and hesitation, let us draw near with all our heart, with unhesitating faith and burning desire, like slaves who have been newly purchased with precious blood. Indeed, with reverence for the price paid on our behalf, and with love for our Master Who paid it, and as having accepted His love for us, let us recognize that, if He had not wished to save by means of Himself us who have been purchased, He would not have come down to earth, nor would He have been slain for our sake. But, as it is written, He has done this because He wills that all should be saved. Listen to Him say it Himself: 'I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world' (Jn. 12:17).
   - St. Symeon the New Theologian, On the Mystical Life

Wishing to show that to fulfill every commandment is a duty, whereas sonship is a gift given to men through His own Blood, the Lord said: "When you have done all that is commanded you, say: 'We are useless servants: we have only done what was our duty'" (Luke 17:10). Thus the kingdom of heaven is not a reward for works, but a gift of grace prepared by the Master for his faithful servants.
   - St. Mark the Ascetic