St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Wednesday, May 4 - Thursday, May 12, 2016

THIS WEEK AT ST. MARY'S

SATURDAY, 5/7 – Our monthly service of Great Vespers will be this Saturday at 5:00 pm, followed by the popular Young Adult Fellowship night.

SUNDAY, 5/8 - Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School next-to-last lesson

MONDAY, 5/9 – The next meeting of the Women’s Club will be Monday at 7:30 pm, at the church.

THURSDAY, 5/12 - The Bible Study group will meet next Thursday, May 12, at 7:00 pm. The podcast lessons to be discussed will be Parts 1 and 2 of The Crucifixion of Christ: http://orthodoxbiblestudy.info/the-crucifixion-of-christ-part-1/ and http://orthodoxbiblestudy.info/the-crucifixion-of-christ-part-2/  For more information contact Marianna Sayeg (mksayeg@gmail.com) or Fr. Antony (frawhj@gmail.com). New members are always welcome.

NEW ANNOUNCEMENTS

HABITAT FOR BOB – We need you to help longtime St. Mary's parishioner Bob Kowalik with yard work on Saturday, May 14 (rain date is May 21) from 9:00 am-12 noon, or 1:00 pm-4:00 pm. Tasks include bush removal, pruning, raking, mulching, planting, and more. Please come properly dressed for physical work & getting dirty – bring your own gloves, plus any tools that might be helpful. Breakfast will be provided starting at 8:30 for the morning crew, and lunch will be provided starting at 12:30 for the afternoon crew.  Bob lives in Chelsea, MA; the address will be provided to those who sign up. To sign up contact Julie Wasilko (julie31415pi@gmail.com) by Wednesday, May 11.

   Latest update: We need 8 more people for the morning crew, and 3 more for the afternoon. Please come and join the fun!

ICON WORKSHOP – Our Lady of the Cedars Melkite Catholic Church, 140 Mitchell St., Manchester, NH, invites you to an icon workshop on Friday through Sunday, May 13-15. This is a full weekend event for those serious about learning iconography in the Byzantine style. Natural ability is a plus, but not a must. Iconographer Chris Gosey will provide participants with everything they need to leave with their own completed icon! This event begins Friday evening, continues all day on Saturday, and ends on Sunday evening. The cost is $175 for the weekend of teaching and all supplies. Please contact Christopher Gosey at 603-892-7700 to register for the workshop. The deadline for registration is May 9. Checks should be made out to Christopher Gosey.

NO FASTING - There is no fasting on Wednesday or Friday, not only during Bright Week but for the entire forty days from Pascha until the Feast of the Ascension (June 9). (This is the decision of the Holy Synod of the Church of Antioch.) This cessation of fasting, however, is purely voluntary. You may fast if you wish.

CHURCH OFFICE CLOSED – The office will be closed Tuesday, May 17, through Friday, May 20. Consequently, please note that the deadline for the May 22 bulletin will be Sunday, May 15.

REMINDERS

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.stjohnd.org/ngberam (note corrected address). Application deadline is June 1, 2016.

PARISH COUNCIL – The next meeting of the Parish Council will be Wednesday, May 25 at 7:30 pm at the church.

CHURCH SCHOOL GRADUATION – Graduation ceremonies will be held on Sunday, June 5. The only Church School classes remaining will be May 8 and 15.

PARISH LIFE CONFERENCE - Pre-Conference activities will be held on Saturday June 11 at St. George Church (8 Lowell St. Lawrence, MA).  This day will include judging of the Creative Arts Festival, and Oratorical Competition, as well as various meetings and Luncheon.

   The Parish Life Conference, which will include Liturgy, Awards Lunch, Bible Bowl competition, Keynote Speaker and break-out workshops, as well as a lively dinner and dance to end the day, will be held a Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church on 71 Chandler Rd. in Andover on Saturday, June 25.

   For more information and to register go to www.stgeorgelawrence.org/conference

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!

CHURCH SCHOOL TEACHERS NEEDED – New teachers will be needed next fall for Kindergarten/Grade 1, Grade 2-3, and the Teen Discussion Group for grades 9-12. Two teachers are needed for each of these classes. 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.

   + In addition to the sign-up sheet, our contact Barbara in the church office and the Instacart option, we also have LINDA ARNOLD serving as our volunteer Coffee Hour Coordinator. Her contact information is MMarmee52@aol.com and 978-270-0346.  Please feel free to let her know of your interest and be open to hosting a coffee hour especially if you have not done so in the past.  She will be happy to guide you through the process!

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.

SCRIPTURE READINGS FOR THIS SUNDAY, Thomas Sunday

   Epistle: 

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and touched with our hands, … we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. …. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth; but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

   - 1 John 1:1-7

   Gospel:

… Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him: "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them: "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in His side, I will not believe." Eight days later, His disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them, and said: "Peace be with you." Then He said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing." Thomas answered Him, "My Lord and my God!" …

   - John 20:19-31

REFLECTION

He accepted and bore upon the cross a death inflicted by others, and those others His special enemies, a death which to them was supremely terrible and by no means to be faced; and He did this in order that, by destroying even this death, He might Himself be believed to be the Life, and the power of death be recognized as finally annulled.

   - St. Athanasius, On the Incarnation

But I know that even after his resurrection he was in the flesh; and I believe that he is still so. And when he came to those who were with Peter, he said unto them, Take, handle me, and see that I am not an incorporeal demon. And straightway they felt and believed, being convinced both by his flesh and spirit. For this cause they despised death, and were bound to be above it. But after his resurrection he did eat and drink with them, as he was flesh; although as to his Spirit he was united to the Father.

   - St. Ignatius of Antioch

Indeed, it would seem that he who disbelieves this bodily rising of the Lord is ignorant of the power of the Word and Wisdom of God. If He took a body to Himself at all, and made it His own in pursuance of His purpose, as we have shown that He did, what was the Lord to do with it, and what was ultimately to become of that body upon which the Word had descended? Mortal and offered to death on behalf of all as it was, it could not but die; indeed, it was for that very purpose that the Savior had prepared it for Himself. But on the other hand it could not remain dead, because it had become the very temple of Life. It therefore died, as mortal, but lived again because of the Life within it; and its resurrection is made known through its works.

   - St. Athanasius, On the Incarnation

You cannot be a man of faith unless you know how to doubt. You cannot believe in God unless you are capable of questioning the authority of prejudice, even though that prejudice may seem to be religious. Faith is not blind conformity to a prejudice – a "pre-judgment. " It is a decision, a judgment that is fully and deliberately taken in the light of a truth that cannot be proven. It is not merely the acceptance of a decision that has been made by someone else.

   - Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation