St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Thursday, September 1 - Thursday, September 8, 2016

THIS WEEK AT ST. MARY'S

SATURDAY, 9/3 – There will be no Vespers at St. Mary’s on Saturday, September 3.

   + Fr. Antony and Kh. Carol are out of town until Monday, September 5. In case of emergency, please call Fr. Timothy Ferguson at 617-323-0323, or the church office.

SUNDAY, 9/4 - Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am.

WEDNESDAY, 9/7 – We will have a Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos on Wednesday, September 7, at 6:30pm.

NEW ANNOUNCEMENTS

PARISH COUNCIL – The next meeting of the Parish Council will be Wednesday, September 21, at 7:30 pm.

THEOPHANY SCHOOL BENEFIT EVENING – Theophany School has helped shape the education of hundreds of children from the Boston area over nearly two decades. This year it will hold its 16th annual Benefit Evening with cocktails, dinner, and a silent auction, on Saturday, October 15 (note corrected date), at St. Demetrios Orthodox Church, Weston at 5:00pm. Tickets are $100. To learn more visit http://theophanyschool.org/news/events/16th-annual-benefit-evening   

REMINDERS

VESPERS AND YOUNG ADULT POTLUCK – On Saturday, September 10, there will be a Great Vespers service at 5:00 pm, followed by a Young Adult Potluck dinner.

WELCOME BACK BREAKFAST - Please join us Sunday, September 11 after Liturgy in the Hall downstairs to once again welcome students back to the area after summer and to showcase all the different volunteer groups within St. Mary's. Julie Wasilko will contact each group's leader soon to coordinate the breakfast sign-up. Please wear your collegiate colors to Church on that Sunday, if you have any, to help the college community feel welcome!

   + Also, Church School Registration for new students, and for children who have reached the age of 3, will be held on Sunday, September 11. The first day of Church School classes will be Sunday, September 18.

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.

ELEVATION OF THE CROSS – There will be a Divine Liturgy on Tuesday, September 13, at 6:30 to celebrate the Feast of the Elevation of the Cross.

BIBLE STUDY - The next meeting of the Bible Study group will be Thursday, September 15 (not September 8, as normally scheduled), 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, September 29. New members are always welcome.

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.

BECOMING TRULY HUMAN WORKSHOP – A Becoming Truly Human Workshop will be held here at St. Mary’s on Saturday, September 17 from 9:00am-3:00pm, Breakfast and Lunch included. The Becoming Truly Human program of the Antiochian Archdiocese is an outreach program. The program includes the first American Orthodox feature film and offers a refreshing and honest approach to evangelism. This workshop is being held to train parishes on how to implement the program. Registration is $45 per person for all jurisdictions.  For details and registration visit www.becomingtrulyhuman.com

YOUNG ADULT HIKE – The Young Adult Ministry will sponsor a hike at Walden Pond after Liturgy on Sunday, September 25.

ORTHODOX SPIRITUALITY WORKSHOP - On Saturday, October 1 St. Mary's will be hosting a workshop on Orthodox Spirituality entitled "Going Within (And What to Do Once You Get There)." Under the guidance of Fr. Antony we will be utilizing the skills of the psychiatrists, therapists, licensed clinical social workers and hospice chaplains who are members of our parish and who will facilitate small group discussions.

   The mindfulness-based therapies our facilitators practice dovetail beautifully with Orthodox spirituality and it is our hope that those who attend the workshop will deepen both their understanding of and life of prayer.  The two therapeutic modalities we will examine in the light of Orthodox Life are the Internal Family Systems Model and Mindful Self Compassion Therapy.

   Attendance will be limited to no more than 26 parishioners, so if you are interested, please let Fr. Antony know as soon as possible. In case the 26 spots are not filled, we will open the remaining places for interested others. The workshop will begin in the morning of October 1 and end in the late afternoon. More details will be forthcoming.

   + There will be a Great Vespers service on Saturday, October 1, at 5:00 pm

PART TIME POSITIONS AVAILABLE:

   A family is seeking a reliable person to drive their daughter (5 years old) on week-day mornings from their home in Cambridge to the Park School (down the street from Hellenic College). Candidates should have their own car and a clean driving record. They should also genuinely like children, be responsible and conscientious, and have excellent communication skills. For details on dates and time, compensation, and job qualifications & requirements, contact Diana Yousef (dymartinek@gmail.com).

   A Cambridge family is also seeking a part-time (or full-time) nanny for their 2 daughters (5.5yr, 8mo). Candidates should have a car and clean driving record. We are looking for someone very loving, energetic, dynamic, creative and an educator at heart. Must have good references, strong prior experience, and excellent communication skills. Ideally, we would like a fluent Spanish-speaker. Major responsibilities include: planning and engaging our children in educational, fun activities and play-dates; school pick-up; driving to/from activities; some meal-prep and light housework; some errands. For details on dates and time, compensation, and job qualifications & requirements, contact Diana Yousef (dymartinek@gmail.com).

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:

Greeter: Welcome people into the church and help to direct visitors upstairs to the Liturgy, as well as keeping an eye on the vestibule, hallways and entrance ways during Church. To volunteer contact Buddy Mabardy at 781-729-6303 or e-mail: buddy@cjmabardy.com, or call the church office at 617-547-1234

Liturgical Service – Epistle: The Epistle is read each Sunday by a volunteer parishioner. To volunteer please contact Jeff Wasilko, jeffw@smoe.org

Liturgical Service – Procession: Church School children or parishioners carry the candles, icon, and bread baskets in the Great Procession. For information about this ministry contact Teva Regule at teva@mit.edu

Liturgical Service – Communion: Volunteers are needed every Sunday to hold the Communion cloths and the Holy Bread baskets during Communion. To volunteer please contact Jeff Wasilko, jeffw@smoe.org

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 signup sheet on the bulletin board outside the Hall, or contact Barbara Shoop in the Parish Office at secretary@stmaryorthodoxchurch.org or 617-547-1234

Prison Ministry: For information about the Prison Ministry at St. Mary you can subscribe to our mailing list at http://groups.google.com/group/ocpm-concord. If you are interested in helping with this ministry, talk with Fr. Antony or Deacon Jeff. Another way to help is to donate Orthodox books, icon cards, and magazines (for security, please remove any personal mailing address) – Mitrophan Chin collects these to share with the inmates.

Hospitality Group: St. Mary's Donald DiFiore Hospitality Group sponsors various events to welcome visitors and newcomers and to foster a spirit of fellowship and caring among all the people who worship here. To join us or to find out more, contact any of our officers: Julie Wasilko, President julie31415pi@gmail.com, Diana Yousef, Vice President dymartinek@gmail.com, Michael Decerbo, Treasurer michaeldecerbo@gmail.com, Socrates Deligeorges, Head Chef dr.socrates@gmail.com

Choir: The St. Mary Church Choir is open to individuals interested in making a commitment to sing each Sunday at Divine Liturgy. Please feel free to join them and/or introduce yourself to the director, Michelle Mabardy, any Sunday after Liturgy.

Rides To Church For College Students: If you live near a college or university and are able to offer a ride to and from St. Mary Church for a student, or if you are a 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: 

… For it is written in the law of Moses, "You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain." Is it for oxen that God is concerned? Does he not speak entirely for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of a share in the crop. If we have sown spiritual good among you, is it too much if we reap your material benefits? If others share this rightful claim upon you, do not we still more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.

    - 1 Corinthians 9:2-12

   Gospel: 

The Lord said this parable: "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began the reckoning, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents; and as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, 'Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.' And out of pity for him the lord of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. But that same servant, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat he said, 'Pay what you owe.' So his fellow servant fell down and besought him, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you.' He refused and went and put him in prison till he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you besought me; and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?' And in anger his lord delivered him to the jailors, till he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart."

  - Matthew 18:23-35

REFLECTION

Let us not render evil for evil, and we shall not receive our due for our sins. For we find the forgiveness of our trespasses in the forgiving of our brothers; and the mercy of God is hidden in mercifulness to our neighbor. Therefore the Lord said, “Forgive, and you shall be forgiven,” and, “With what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again.” See how the Lord bestowed on us the method of salvation and has given us eternal power to become sons of God!

   - St. Maximus the Confessor

When our hearts are reluctant we often have to compel ourselves to pray for our enemies, to pour out prayer for those who are against us. Would that our hearts were filled with love! How frequently we offer a prayer for our enemies, but do it because we are commanded to, not out of love for them. We ask the gift of life for them even while we are afraid that our prayer may be heard. The judge of our soul considers our hearts rather than our words. Those who do not pray for their enemies out of love are not asking anything for their benefit.

   Jesus, our advocate, has composed a prayer for our case. And our advocate is also our judge. He has inserted a condition in the prayer that reads, "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." Sometimes we say these words without carrying them out. Thus our words bind us more tightly.

   – St. Gregory the Great, "Be Friends of God"

"Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors" (Matt. 6:12). What can be more mild, what more merciful, than this precept! He has made you a judge of the pardon of your own offenses! If you forgive few things, He forgives you few! If you forgive many things, He forgives you many! If you pardon from the heart, and sincerely, God in like manner also pardons you...

   - St. John Chrysostom

Accordingly, dearly-beloved, being mindful of our weakness, because we easily fall into all kinds of faults, let us by no means neglect this special remedy and most effectual healing of our wounds. Let us remit, that we may have remission; let us grant the pardon which we crave; let us not be eager to be revenged when we pray to be forgiven. Let us not pass over the groans of the poor with a deaf ear, but with prompt kindness bestow our mercy on the needy, that we may deserve to find mercy in the judgment.

   - Leo the Great, On Lent I