St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Thursday, July 28 - Thursday, August 4, 2016

THIS WEEK AT ST. MARY'S

THURSDAY, 7/28 - The Bible Study group will meet again tonight - Thursday, July 28 - at 7:00 pm in the church library. For more information contact Marianna Sayeg (mksayeg@gmail.com) or Fr. Antony (frawhj@gmail.com). The meeting after this will be Thursday, August 11. New members are always welcome.

SUNDAY, 7/31 - Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am.

MONDAY, 8/1 - The Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos is our patronal feast day here at St. Mary’s. For the two weeks before the Feast, beginning Monday, August 1 until August 14, we fast in preparation for the Feast.

NEW ANNOUNCEMENTS

DIVORCE IN THE ORTHODOX CHURCH - On Sunday, July 31 (i.e. THIS Sunday), Sister Vass Larin, a renowned liturgiologist (and famous for her podcasts, “Coffee with Sr. Vassa”) will be visiting Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral (OCA) on Park Dr. in Boston.  During the coffee hour (~12:30 pm), she will present a talk focusing on divorce in the Orthodox Church.  The history and theology surrounding divorce is also inseparably bound to the history and theology of civil and sacramental marriage.  Our friends at Holy Trinity invite us to attend and hear what promises to be a lively and engaging presentation.

POSITION AVAILABLE - Orthodox Christian Network is looking for a Producer and Program Coordinator in Boston, part-time. The OCN seeks a highly organized, detail-oriented individual who has experience with supervision, program development, production, and web-based content management systems.  Be knowledgeable in operation of a DSLR camera.  Have experience in multi-track audio editing using pro-level applications (Apple Logic, Adobe Audition, Pro Tools, other similar). If interested submit a cover letter and resume with the subject line “Producer & Program Coordinator Application” to elenialexiou@myocn.net. We will review applicants on a rolling basis until the position is filled. For more information go to http://myocn.net/producerprogramcoordinator/.

REMINDERS

TRANSFIGURATION LITURGY – Vesperal Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Transfiguration will be held at St. Mary’s on Friday, August 5 at 6:30pm

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

CHURCH SCHOOL TEACHER STILL NEEDED – A new teacher is still needed next fall for the Grade 2-3 class. If we have no volunteers to teach this class we will not be able to have a class for the 2nd and 3rd grade children.  Please contact Barbara Shoop at barbara@dsaarchitects.com to volunteer or to learn more.

DORMITION of the THEOTOKOS – The Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos is our patronal feast day here at St. Mary’s.

   + There will be a Paraclesis service for the Dormition on Wednesday, August 10, at 6:30 pm.

   + On Sunday, August 14, we will celebrate the Feast of the Dormition. Please join us after Divine Liturgy for a Dormition Feast meal, sponsored by the Hospitality Group.  Cost is $8 per person/$16 per family; make checks payable to St. Mary's Church with "Hospitality Group" on the memo line. We look forward to seeing you there!

   + We will need 5 volunteers to help prepare and serve the food - if you can help, please contact Socrates Deligeorges at dr.socrates@gmail.com.

LEBANESE FESTIVAL - Our Lady of the Cedars, 61 Rockwood St., Jamaica Plain, invites you to their Lebanese Festival on Friday-Sunday, August 12-14  Three days of entertainment, live music, Arabic food and drink, Gift shop and activities.  For more info call 617-522-0225.

VESPERS – While monthly Saturday Vespers will not be held at St. Mary’s on the first Saturday of each month during the summer, as announced previously, note that there will be a Great Vespers service on Saturday, August 13.

FEED MY STARVING CHILDREN - On Thursday-Saturday, August 18-20 at St. George Orthodox Cathedral in Worcester volunteers from all over the Diocese will be measuring and scooping 100,000 meals of MannaPack Rice, a scientifically formulated food that is culturally acceptable worldwide, for starving children.  Organizations in nearly 70 countries distribute these meals to children in greatest need.   We need 500 volunteers on that day as well as donations to help meet the $22,000 goal for the cost of the MobilePack Rice.  This Humanitarian project is being conducted in conjunction with Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) a Christian non-profit organization committed to feeding God’s children hungry in body and spirit. 

   •        Volunteers - Registration will be live 6 weeks prior to the event at www.fmsc.org/mobilepack
   •        Donations - Donate online at www.fmsc.org/mobilepack. Also, checks made out to FMSC, Memo line Mobil Pack #1608-054, can be given at the Bengarri or church office.

   Please consider volunteering and/or making a donation to this worthy cause. If you would like to learn more you can contact Fr. Milad Selim at St. George Worcester 508-752-9150 or fr.milad.selim@gmail.com

ORTHODOX YOUNG PROFESSIONALS - The Orthodox Young Professionals Conference is a four day conference hosted by the Young Adult Ministry of the Antiochian Archdiocese. Young Orthodox Christians from across the country and all jurisdictions are invited to join together in fellowship and fun. The conference committee has been working since 2015 to plan an amazing opportunity for spiritual growth, future friendships, lasting memories and more. The gathering will be held in New Orleans at the Drury Inn and Suites, Thursday-Sunday, August 18-21, 2016.

A Young Professional is a young adult who is beyond the college years navigating through the daily struggles of life as an Orthodox Christian in their mid-twenties through thirties. Visit the Website:  http://www.oypc2016.com

WOMEN’S CLUB – Ladies, please consider joining the Women’s Club in the fall. Our first meeting will be Monday, September 12, at 7:30 at the church.  At this meeting we will formulate our yearly calendar so come with any ideas you may have.  We meet only once a month.  We welcome all women of the parish to join us!  The Women’s Club does charitable work both locally, nationally and internationally and supports the Church School.   Call Marilyn (781-729-3033) or the church office (617-547-1234) if you have any questions or want to be a part of this wonderful group of Women.

SONIA’S RUN – The 8th Annual Sonia’s 5K Run/Walk and fall fair will be held at St. George Orthodox Church, West Roxbury, MA, on Saturday, September 17. The 5k road race benefits the Theophany School in honor of our beloved friend Sonia Belcher. The proceeds from Sonia's Run go towards Theophany School's "Building on a Dream" campaign, to fulfill Sonia's Dream of a permanent home for Theophany School.  Be a sponsor, volunteer or vendor. For more information and how you can help visit the website http://www.soniasrun.org.

COFFEE HOUR MADE EASY! - To make sponsoring a Coffee Hour a little bit easier, St. Mary’s is 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!

OPPORTUNITIES FOR SERVICE

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 – 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: buddymabardy@cjmabardy.com or phone him 781-729-6303. Or contact the church office.

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, jeffw@smoe.org

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 teva@mit.edu

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 contact Linda Arnold (mmarmee52@aol.com) or the Church Office (Secretary@stmaryorthodoxchurch.org 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 http://groups.google.com/group/ocpm-concord.

   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.

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!

SCRIPTURE READINGS FOR THIS SUNDAY

   Epistle: 

Brethren, having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; he who teaches, in his teaching; he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who contributes, in liberality; he who gives aid, with zeal; he who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints, practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.

   - Romans 12:6-14

   Gospel: 

At that time, getting into a boat Jesus crossed over and came to his own city. And behold, they brought to him a paralytic, lying on his bed; and when Jesus saw their faith he said to the paralytic, "Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven." And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, "This man is blaspheming." But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, "Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say 'Rise and walk?' But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins" he then said to the paralytic -- "Rise, take up your bed and go home." And he rose and went home. When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.

  - Matthew 9:1-8

REFLECTION

True grace, since its source is God, gladdens us consciously and impels us towards love with great rapture of soul.

   - St. Diadochos of Photiki

Upon men who, as animals, were essentially impermanent, He bestowed a grace which other creatures lacked—namely the impress of His own Image, a share in the reasonable being of the very Word Himself, so that, reflecting Him and themselves becoming reasonable and expressing the Mind of God even as He does, though in limited degree, they might continue forever in the blessed and only true life of the saints in paradise.

   - St. Athanasius, On the Incarnation

There is one kind of faith, the dogmatic, involving an assent of the soul on some particular point...But there is a second kind of faith which is bestowed by Christ as a gift of grace...The faith then which is given of grace from the Spirit is not merely doctrinal, but also works things above man's power.

   - St. Cyril of Jerusalem

Of course, every good deed done for Christ's sake gives us the grace of the Holy Spirit, but prayer gives us this grace most of all, for it is always at hand, as an instrument for acquiring the grace of the Spirit.

   - St. Seraphim of Sarov

Grace is … more than a relation of God to man; far from being an action or an effect produced by God in the soul, it is God Himself, communicating Himself and entering into ineffable union with man.

   - Vladimir Lossky, In the Image and Likeness of God