St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the two weeks Thursday, May 19 - Thursday, June 2, 2016

Editor’s Note: Because of an upcoming hospitalization, the St. Mary eNewsletter will not be issued next week.

THIS WEEK AT ST. MARY'S

SUNDAY, 5/22 - Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am.

   + Fr. Antony will be out of town; please welcome Fr. Nick Manikis, who will be serving in his place.

WEDNESDAY, 5/25 – The next meeting of the Parish Council will be Wednesday, May 25 at 7:30 pm at the church.

THURSDAY, 5/26 - The Bible Study group will meet next Thursday, May 26, at 7:00 pm. The podcast lessons to be discussed will be Parts 1 and 2 of The Resurrection of Christ: http://orthodoxbiblestudy.info/christ-is-risen/ and http://orthodoxbiblestudy.info/christ-is-risen-part-2/    For more information contact Marianna Sayeg (mksayeg@gmail.com) or Fr. Antony (frawhj@gmail.com). New members are always welcome.

SUNDAY, 5/29 - Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am

WEDNESDAY, 6/1 – Deadline for scholarship applications:

   + Antiochian Women’s 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 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.

THIS WEEK ELSEWHERE

THEOPHANY SCHOOL BENEFIT POSTPONED – The Theophany School 16th annual Benefit Evening, originally scheduled for Sunday, May 22, has been postponed until the fall. Watch for further details.

REMINDERS

LOBSTER DINNER – The Adult Fellowship at St. George, West Roxbury, invites you to a Lobster Dinner on Friday, June 3, 5:00-7:00 pm. Cost for adults is $25.95 (2 lobsters); children under 12, $15.95.  For reservations call by June 2, Michel/Evelyn Easa-617-266-0065 or Pat Ayoub-781-326-6755.

NO VESPERS - Saturday Vespers will not be held at St. Mary’s in June, July and August.

CHURCH SCHOOL GRADUATION – St. Mary Church School graduation ceremonies will be held on Sunday, June 5.

ASCENSION LITURGY - Evening Liturgy for the Feast of the Ascension of our Lord will be celebrated on Wednesday, June 8 6:30 pm

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.

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

ST MARY’S POTLUCK PICNIC – The Hospitality Group invites you to a potluck picnic on Sunday, June 12 at Dana Park (10-20 McTernan St, Cambridge) – the same park as previous picnics. Bring a blanket, some eats or drinks to share, balls, frisbees, even bathing suits if you want splash in the sprinklers! Dana Park is a 5-10min walk south of the Church (walk down Magazine St), with an enclosed playground, hoops, water spouts, and beautiful green. This is a great opportunity to relax and spend time with our church family. Open to all ages!!! For people who need assistance getting to the park, we will coordinate rides.  If you would like to help us out, please email Diana Yousef (yousefd@post.harvard.edu).

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, Sunday of the Paralytic

   Epistle: 

…At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did. But it happened in those days that she became sick and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. And since Lydda was near Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them. Then Peter arose and went with them. When he had come, they brought him to the upper room…. Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive. And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed on the Lord.

   - Acts 9:32-42

   Gospel: 

… there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”

   The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”

   Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath. The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.” …

  - John 5:1-15

REFLECTION

At the Sheep's Pool, a man lay in illness; and on seeing Thee, O Lord, he cried: "I have no man, that, when the water is troubled, he might put me in it. But when I go, another precedes me and receives the healing, and I lie in illness." And immediately, taking compassion him, the Savior said to him: "For you I became man, for you I am clothed in flesh, and do you say, 'I have no man?' Take up your bed and walk." All things are possible for Thee, all things are obedient to Thee, all things are subject to Thee. Remember us all and have mercy on us, O Holy One, since Thou art the Friend of man.

   - Glory of the Entreaty (Liti) from The Pentecostarion

Observe … the faith of the paralytic. When he had heard, "Take up thy bed and walk," he did not mock, nor say, "What can this mean? An Angel comes down and troubles the water, and heals only one, and do You, a man, by a bare command and word hope to be able to do greater things than Angels?"... But he neither said nor imagined anything like this, but at once he heard and arose, and becoming whole, was not disobedient to Him that gave the command.

   - St. John Chrysostom, Homily 37 on the Gospel of St. John.

Moral outrage is often a form of confession because we hate most in others what we fear most in ourselves. … Moral grief can be healing, moral outrage can destroy one’s soul.

   - Archbishop Lazar Puhalo, Neurobiology Of Sin

As a bright ray of sun penetrates the darkness, enhancing the smallest details found within, so does the Holy Spirit, having descended upon people, disclose to them all the weakness and wretchedness of their soul. Enlightened by the Heavenly light, Christians can no longer boast about their good works, because they realize their soul needs healing and complete renewal. This realization makes them more humble, and they begin to repent and decide to live more carefully. They stop relying on themselves and ask God for guidance and help.

   - St. Innocent of Irkutsk, Indication of the Way Into the Kingdom of Heaven

It is in this way that we are accounted worthy of mercy, that is, through the fifth commandment: "Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy." (Mt. 5:7) The merciful person is he who gives to others what he has himself received from God, whether it be money, or food, or strength, a helpful word, a prayer, or anything else that he has through which he can express his compassion for those in need. At the same time he considers himself a debtor, since he has received more than he is asked to give.

   - St. Peter of Damascus, The Seven Commandments, Philokalia, Vol. 3.