St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Thursday, June 2 - Thursday, June 9, 2016

THIS WEEK AT ST. MARY'S

SUNDAY, 6/5 - Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am.

   + St. Mary Church School recognition ceremonies will follow the Liturgy

WEDNESDAY, 6/8 - Evening Liturgy for the Feast of the Ascension of our Lord, 6:30 pm

   + Wednesday and Friday fasting resumes

THIS WEEK ELSEWHERE

FRIDAY, 6/3 – 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 today, June 2, Michel/Evelyn Easa-617-266-0065 or Pat Ayoub-781-326-6755.

NEW ANNOUNCEMENTS

OFFICE CLOSED - The Church Office will be closed for vacation Thursday, June 9 – Tuesday, June 21. In case of emergency please contact Fr. Antony directly at 781-507-5938 or frawhj@gmail.com.

PARISH COUNCIL – The next meeting of the Parish Council is scheduled for Wednesday, June 15, at 7:30

BIBLE STUDY - The Bible Study group will meet on Thursday, June 16 (not June 9 as originally scheduled), at 7:00 pm.  For more information contact Marianna Sayeg (mksayeg@gmail.com) or Fr. Antony (frawhj@gmail.com). New members are always welcome.

TANGLEWOOD OUTING – Join your music-loving friends from St. Mary’s as we carpool out to Tanglewood after Liturgy on Sunday, July 24, 2016. We’ll picnic on the lawn and listen to music by Ginastera, Mozart and Beethoven, featuring violinist Veronika Eberle, with the Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Juanjo Mena. For more information see https://www.bso.org/Performance/Detail/77811. The concert starts at 2:30; lawn tickets are $21.00 - pay at the door; children are free. Bring lawn chairs if you want them, and picnic food for yourself and to share.  For more information and to let us know you're coming, especially if you'll need a ride, contact Melissa Nassiff by email (mnassiff@gmail.com) or phone (508 877-7483).

NEW SKETE PILGRIMAGE – The annual New Skete Pilgrimage is set for Saturday, August 6 this year - Transfiguration.  This year is extra special as they will be celebrating their 50th Anniversary! (Metropolitan Tikhon will be there.)  In years past, a number of St. Mary people have gone out for the weekend to help the Communities with this event - to be extra sets of "helping hands" for the day.  They are hoping a number of us will do so again this year. In the past, this has been a wonderful community building activity for all of us.  Moreover, if you have never been to the monastery, this may be a good way to be introduced to their life and work.  In addition to the services, there are tours of the church and talks by various members of the communities about their lives.  There are also the dogs, great hiking trails, nearby tubing, etc.  Once again, Teva Regule (teva@mit.edu) will be coordinating the Boston helpers and as much housing as she can. (In particular, any women wanting to "camp out" at the nuns’, let her know.  The Emmaus house is now a guest house - anyone wishing to stay there should contact Br. Gregory directly at brgregory@newskete.org

REMINDERS

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

PARISH LIFE CONFERENCE – The PLC has a new format this year:

   - 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 Blind Man

   Epistle: 

As we apostles were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by soothsaying. … when her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas … they threw them into prison … But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and every one's fetters were unfastened. When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried with a loud voice, "Do not harm yourself, for we are all here." And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, and brought them out and said, "Men, what must I do to be saved?" And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household." And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their wounds, and he was baptized at once, with all his family. Then he brought them up into his house, and set food before them; and he rejoiced with all his household that he had believed in God.

   - Acts 16:16-34

   Gospel: 

At that time, as Jesus passed by, he saw a man blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be made manifest in him. We must work the works of him who sent me, while it is day; night comes, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." As he said this, he spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle and anointed the man's eyes with the clay … for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and said to him, "Give God the praise; we know that this man is a sinner." He answered, "Whether he is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I know, that though I was blind, now I see." …  We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing."

  - John 9:1-38

REFLECTION

Faith does not consist in coming into an accord with a collection of facts or doctrines; faith is an orientation of the soul toward the will of God. With this concept in mind, we should be alerted that a moralistic ideology about sin is not only inappropriate but even completely negative. Moralism includes the idea that morality is primarily about outward behavior with little attention paid to the condition of the heart, while morality should primarily concern the appropriateness of our relationships with others (and with our own selves). ...True morality begins in the heart and strives for the transformation of the inner person. Moralism is often focused upon the punishment of external manifestations or actions rather than upon the resolution of the passions that cause them, and the transformation of the inner person.

   - Archbishop Lazar Puhalo

Arrogance and fanaticism cause the hardening of positions taken and entrenchment can only lead to a dead end.

   - His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch BARTHOLOMEW I

In the souls of the Pharisees and sectarians, the law and mercy do not stand together, i.e., they are unable to fulfill the regulations of the law and to show mercy, but they argue about which is more important of these two; one, they omit and the other they adhere to. The Pharisees literally observed the letter of the Law, but they completely abandoned mercy and love for men.

  - Prolog of Ochrid 

Zeal is not reckoned among men to be a form of wisdom, but one of the illnesses of the soul, namely narrow-mindedness and deep ignorance. The beginning of divine wisdom is clemency and gentleness, which arise from greatness of soul and the bearing of infirmities of men. For, he [the Apostle Paul] says, "let the strong bear the infirmities of the weak," and "Restore him that has fallen in the spirit of meekness." The Apostle numbers peace and patience among the fruits of the Spirit.

   - St. Isaac of Nineveh