St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week of Thursday, March 31 through Friday, April 8, 2016

THIS WEEK AT ST. MARY'S

THURSDAY, 3/31 - The Bible Study group will meet tonight, Thursday, March 31, at 7:00 pm. We will continue our discussion of the Trials and Crucifixion of Christ, using the podcasts found at http://orthodoxbiblestudy.info/the-jewish-trial-part-1/ and http://orthodoxbiblestudy.info/the-jewish-trial-part-2/  The next meeting will be next week, Thursday, April 7.

   The Bible Study at St. Mary is based on a very interesting course originally broadcast on Ancient Faith Radio, entitled Search the Scriptures. For more information contact Marianna Sayeg (mksayeg@gmail.com) or Fr. Antony (frawhj@gmail.com). New members are always welcome.

FRIDAY, 4/1 – Akathist (Madayeh) Service 7:00 pm, followed by an interesting, inspiring speaker sponsored by the Young Adult Ministry, with refreshments.  Our speaker will be Dr. Albert Raboteau, Ph.D., whose talk will be "On Contemplative and Silent Prayer."

SATURDAY, 4/2 - Young Adult Fellowship Night. Great Vespers 5:00 pm (open to all), followed by a Young Adult (18-40) potluck dinner & fellowship. Bring your favorite lenten dish, dessert, or drink to share. Questions? Text/Call Chris (301-807-8378) or Jamil (617-501-4427).

SUNDAY, 4/3 – Adult catechism 9:00; Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School short lesson, then children return to Liturgy for Veneration of the Holy Cross

MONDAY, 4/4 - The next Women’s Club meeting will be Monday, April 4, 7:30 at the church.

WEDNESDAY, 4/6 – Presanctified Liturgy 6:30, followed by Potluck Supper.

   + Do stay for the Potluck and bring something to share, and please help with cleanup after the meal (The hall and kitchen must be cleaned, and all dishes washed, dried, and put away.)  Any Lenten fare is welcome: main courses, sides, salads, desserts, as well as beverages and snacks.  This is a wonderful opportunity for fellowship during Lent, plus we get to sample each other's Lenten recipes. Contact Melissa Nassiff (mnassiff@gmail.com) with any questions

THURSDAY, 4/7– Bible Study 7:00 pm.

FRIDAY, 4/8 - Akathist (Madayeh) Service 7:00 pm, followed by speaker sponsored by the Young Adult Ministry, with refreshments.  This week's speaker will be Dr. Anthony Bashir, Ph.D., whose talk will be "Watchfulness and the Seven Deadly Sins"

THIS WEEK ELSEWHERE

Thursday-Sunday, 4/7-10 – There will be a St. Emmelia Homeschooling Conference at the Antiochian Village and Retreat Center Thursday–Sunday, April 7-10.  Fr. Noah Bushelli, Director of the Department. of Homeschooling for the Antiochian Archdiocese will present topics of homeschooling and the marriage relationship.  For more information visit www.saintemmeliaconference.com

NEW ANNOUNCEMENTS

ANTIOCHIAN WOMEN SPRING MEETING – The Spring delegates’ meeting of the Antiochian Women will be Saturday, April 16, at St. Mary’s Church in Pawtucket. Discussions will include the Parish Life Conference hosted this year by St. George of Lawrence/Methuen, the success of our project, “Hungry Children,” humanitarian projects, and the NAB summer meeting at the Antiochian Village. Plus Olga Hawwa, an esthetician and make-up artist, will be speaking at 1:30 on skincare and aging gracefully

PRE-SANCTIFIED LITURGY CHANGE – The Pre-Sanctified Liturgy on Wednesday, April 20, will begin at 5:00 instead of 6:30, in order to accommodate families with young children. The service will be followed by a pot-luck supper as usual.

THEOPHANY SCHOOL BENEFIT EVENING – Theophany School invites you to its 16th annual Benefit Evening on Sunday, May 22 at 4:00pm, at St. Demetrios Orthodox Church, 57 Brown St., Weston. To learn more visit http://theophanyschool.org/news/events/16th-annual-benefit-evening

ABBA VILLAGE - Applications are available for Market Value, Tax Credit and Section 8 apartments in AABA Village in West Roxbury. Please have them call Vivian Haidar at 617-325-1913 and an application will be mailed.  AABA Village is a multi-cultural community with many residents of Syrian/Lebanese descent. Amenities include on-site Resident Service Coordinators, accessible laundry rooms, sun room, game room, and library/computer labs. There are weekly and monthly activities including yoga, massage, The Ride and the Boston senior shuttle.

REMINDERS

WOMEN’S LENTEN RETREAT – You are invited to a retreat at Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church, 62 Harvard Ave, Allston, on Saturday, April 9, from 9:00-4:00, sponsored by the Saints Mary and Martha Sisterhood. The retreat, entitled “If we die with Him, we shall rise with Him,” will be led by Mother Gabriella, Abbess of Holy Dormition Monastery. Register at http://tinyurl.com/lkh5ash. $35 fee ($20 for students) includes lunch and afternoon tea. See the schedule at http://hrocboston.org/assets/files/2016-Womens-Retreat-Schedule.pdf

BIBLE BOWL - Any teen interested in being on St. Mary's Bible Bowl Team please see Violet Robbat or call her at 781-862-4388.  We will be studying the Gospel of John.  Participants must be present for all sessions.  The Bible Bowl will be held at our Diocesan Parish Life Conference. Study sessions will begin on Sunday, April 10 after Liturgy, in the Library.

PASCHA BAKE SALE – The St. Mary Women’s Club will be offering its annual Pascha Bake Sale on Sunday, April 17 during coffee hour. Plan on purchasing all your Pascha/Easter desserts, pastries and goodies. If you can help bake please call Marilyn Robbat at 781-729-3033

RELIC ON DISPLAY - A Relic of St. Charbel is touring the US and will be displayed for veneration at Our Lady of the Cedars Church, Rockwood Ave., Jamaica Plain, on Saturday and Sunday, April 16 and 17.  Everyone is welcome.

PARISH COUNCIL – The next meeting of the Parish Council will be Tuesday, April 19 at 7:30 at the church

FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE –You are urged during this season of prayer, self-discipline and fasting, to be very generous in your contribution to the Food for Hungry People program of our Archdiocese. Collection Boxes for collecting alms at home will be on the Bengarri; please pick one or two up and place them throughout your home, fill them up, and return them on Palm Sunday, April 24. Please be generous! “Whoever gives a hand to help his neighbor is helped by God’s own hand” - St. Isaac the Syrian

SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE:

Francis Maria Scholarship - Several $2500 scholarships will be awarded to students attending an accredited 4-year college. See the Archdiocese Scholarship page, www.antiochian.org/scholarships. Applications must be postmarked by May 15, 2016.

Antiochian Women’s Scholarship - Scholarships are available to females 25 years of age and older in good standing of the Antiochian Archdiocese, actively involved in their parish and who demonstrate need.  The application deadline is June 1, 2016.  Applications are available in the Church Office.  E-mail cindy@cnyhondas.com with any questions.

Nicholas G. Beram 50th Scholastic Achievement Awards - Awards are available for high school seniors of our Arab American Community planning to attend a 4 year college full time.   Applications are available in the Church office or on-line at www.stjohn.org/ngberam.  Application deadline is June 1, 2016.

RIDES TO CHURCH FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS - Do you live near a college or university? Are you able to offer a ride to and from St. Mary Church for a student? Are you a college student in need of a ride? Contact St. Mary’s Young Adult Ministry at 617-564-3344 or rides@stmaryorthodoxchurch.org to sign up or to learn more!

ST. MARY T-SHIRTS - The Teens have a few T-shirts remaining from their sale last spring, and will be selling them during coffee hour until they are gone.  Get your St. Mary T-shirt while they last!

CHURCH SCHOOL TEACHERS NEEDED – New teachers will be needed next fall for Kindergarten/Grade 1 (2 teachers) and the Teen Discussion Group, grades 9-12 (1 or 2 teachers). Please contact Barbara Shoop at barbara@dsaarchitects.com to volunteer or to learn more.

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 secretary@stmaryorthodoxchurch.org. 

SCRIPTURE READINGS FOR THIS SUNDAY, Veneration of the Cross

   Epistle: 

Brethren, since we have a high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the son of God, let us hold fast our confession.  For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

   - Hebrews 4:14-5:6

   Gospel:

The Lord said:  "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. … For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." 

   - Mark 8:34-9:1

REFLECTION

“I am father, I am brother, I am bridegroom, I am dwelling place, I am food, I am raiment, I am root, I am foundation, all that you want, I am.”  “Be in need of nothing, I will be even a servant, for I came to minister, not to be ministered unto; I am friend, and member, and head, and brother, and sister, and mother; I am all; only cling closely to me. I was poor for you, and a wanderer for you, on the Cross for you, in the tomb for you, above I intercede for you to the Father; on earth I have come for your sake as an ambassador from my Father. You are all things to me, brother, and joint heir, and friend, and member.” What more could you want?

   - St. John Chrysostom, Homily 76 on the Gospel of Matthew

Self-sacrifice, stillness, silence and solitude are four of the elements present as Christ suffered crucifixion and they are mirrored in the spiritual life of those who follow him.  They are for us. They are the narrow path of those who desire with all their heart, soul, mind and strength to take up their cross and follow him. All this in order for one thing to happen: that Christ may be born in us and that we may be entirely his.

   - Fr. Antony Hughes – Homily from September 8, 2013, “Facing the Bronze Serpent”

"Far be it for me to glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Gal. 6:14). Truly this symbol is thought despicable; but it is so in the world's reckoning, and among men; in Heaven and among the faithful it is the highest glory. … And what is the boast of the Cross? That Christ for my sake took on Him the form of a slave, and bore His sufferings for me the slave, the enemy, the unfeeling one; yea, He so loved me as to give Himself up to a curse for me. What can be comparable to this?

   - St. John Chrysostom

The one who knows God will follow the Lord's footsteps, bearing the cross of the Savior. It is said, "The world is crucified to him and he to the world." The Lord says, "He who loses his life will save it." … Bearing the cross means to separate our souls from the delights and pleasures of this life. If you do this, you will find your life again - resting in the hope of what is to come. Dying to ourselves means being content with the necessities of life. When we want more than these necessities it is easy to sin.

   - St. Clement of Alexandria