St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Thursday, December 22 - Thursday, December 29, 2016

THIS WEEK AT ST. MARY'S

FRIDAY, 12/23 – Royal Hours for the Nativity 9:00 am

SATURDAY, 12/24, Eve of the Nativity – Great Vespers 10:00 am

   + Festal Orthros 6:30 pm

   + Festal Divine Liturgy of St. Basil 8:00 pm., followed by light refreshments in the Hall 

SUNDAY, 12/25, Christmas Day - No services at St. Mary

   + From Christmas Day through the Eve of Theohany, Wednesday, January 4, there is a general dispensation from all fasting.

NEW ANNOUNCEMENTS

PLEDGE CARDS - 2017 Pledge Cards have been mailed. Please return to the church office immediately, or fill out an ePledge on our website, http://www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org.

YOUNG ADULTS POTLUCK CHRISTMAS PARTY – The Young Adult Ministry of the Diocese of Worcester and New England would like to invite all young adults (ages 19-35) to a Potluck Christmas Party on Sunday, January 7, following Vespers. Vespers will be at St. George Orthodox Cathedral, 30 Anna St. in Worcester, MA at 5:00 pm; the party will be held at 6:30 pm at the Diocese Chancery, 2 Lydia’s Path in Westborough MA.

ANNUAL PARISH MEETING – The Annual Meeting of St. Mary’s parish will be held Sunday, January 22, immediately after Liturgy (snow date: Sunday, February 5). At this meeting the members of the parish will approve the Year 2017 budget. The proposed budget will be available on the previous Sunday, January 15. It is important that all members of St. Mary’s Church attend this meeting.

MEMBER vs. PARISHIONER – Do you know if you are a Member of St. Mary’s parish? While all parishioners are welcome to attend the Annual Meeting, only Members are permitted to vote. Our new Membership brochure is available at the Bengarri - if you are not yet a member, please consider becoming one for 2017. 

REMINDERS

FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE – Our Canned Food Drive will go through December 31, 2016. Please bring in canned goods and place them in the plastic bins in the room outside the kitchen. (Canned goods only, please.) They will be distributed to food pantries in our area.

THEOPHANY – There will be a Joint Diocesan Celebration of Theophany at St. John of Damascus, Dedham, on Thursday, January 5, 2017. Orthros 5:00 pm, Hierarchical Divine Liturgy 6:00 pm with the Blessing of the Waters. No services at St. Mary.

NO VESPERS – There will be no Vespers service at St. Mary on Saturday, January 7.

PARISH COUNCIL - The next Parish Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, January 11 at 7:30.

BIBLE STUDY - The next meeting of the Bible Study group will be Thursday, January 12, at 7:00 pm in the church library. For more information contact Fr. Antony (frawhj@gmail.com). New members are always welcome.

CALENDARS AND ENVELOPES - New Church Calendars and 2017 Offering Envelopes are available for pick-up. Please take only one calendar per family.

WOMEN’S CLUB - The next meeting of the Women’s Club will be Monday, February 6, 2017 at the church. 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.

REFLECTION

How is He contained in a womb, whom nothing can contain?
And how can He who is in the bosom of the Father be held in the arms of His Mother?
This is according to His good pleasure, as He knows and wishes.
For being without flesh, of His own will has He been made flesh;
and He Who Is, for our sakes has become that which He was not.
Without departing from His own nature He has shared in our substance.
Desiring to fill the world on high with citizens, Christ has undergone a twofold birth.

   - A Hymn of the Nativity

This is the reason why the Word of God was made flesh, and the Son of God became Son of Man: so that we might enter into communion with the Word of God, and by receiving adoption might become Sons of God.

   - Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies

Christ, finding the holy body and soul of the Virgin, builds for Himself a living temple, and as He had willed, formed there a man from the Virgin; and, putting Him on, this day came forth; unashamed of the lowliness of our nature. For it was to Him no lowering to put on what He Himself had made.  …For this He assumed my body, that I may become capable of His Word; taking my flesh, He gives me His spirit; and so He bestowing and I receiving, He prepares for me the treasure of Life. He takes my flesh, to sanctify me; He gives me His Spirit that He may save me.

   - St John Chrysostom