Update for the week Thursday, December 29, 2016 - Thursday, January 5, 2017
THIS WEEK AT ST. MARY'S
SUNDAY, 1/1 - Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; No Church School classes.
WEDNESDAY, 1/4 - From Christmas Day through Wednesday, January 4, there is a general dispensation from all fasting
FRIDAY, 1/6, Theophany – No services at St. Mary
THIS WEEK ELSEWHERE
THURSDAY, 1/5, Theophany Eve - Joint Diocesan Celebration of Theophany at St. John of Damascus, Dedham. Orthros 5:00 pm; Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with the Blessing of the Waters 6:00pm
UNITE BOSTON - UniteBoston nurtures Christian unity, and seeks to pursue reconciliation among all Christians in Boston through shared experiences. The experiences we have together lead to relationships, mutual understanding, and agape love among brothers and sisters in Christ, therefore breaking down the walls that currently divide the Christian community. The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is an international initiative where Christians worldwide are reminded of Jesus’ prayer for his disciples that “they may be one so that the world may believe” (John 17:21).
Locally, UniteBoston is coordinating seven consecutive evening collaborative gatherings of prayer and worship, from January 18 through 25, 2017. On Thursday, January 19 at 7:00pm, Orthodox Churches, including the Coptic Orthodox Church of Boston will hold vespers here at St. Mary’s Orthodox Church followed by a reception in the church hall. For a full schedule of services go to http://www.uniteboston.com/wpcu/
CAMP REGISTRATION - Registration for Summer Camp at Antiochian Village has begun for children ages 9-17. St. Mary’s children attend the third session. The camper fee is $750 for the two-week session; camper fees paid in full by March 1 receive a $50 discount. Register on line at https://avcamp.org/summer-camp.
PLEDGE CARDS - 2017 pledge cards were mailed this week. Please return yours to the church office immediately, or fill out an ePledge on our website, http://www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org
FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE – Our Canned Food Drive ends this week. 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.
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.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org). New members are always welcome.
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 in 2017. If you would like to become a member, please see Fr. Antony or Barbara Shoop for a new member packet. Member packets are also available on the wall to the right of the Bengarri.
CALENDARS AND ENVELOPES - New Church Calendars and 2017 Offering Envelopes are available for pick-up in the Hall. 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.
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: email@example.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, firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com
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, firstname.lastname@example.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 Linda Arnold, our Coffee Hour volunteer coordinator at MMarmee52@aol.com or 978-270-0346, or Barbara Shoop in the Parish Office at email@example.com 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 D. Fiore 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: Diana Yousef, President firstname.lastname@example.org, Michael Decerbo, Treasurer email@example.com, Socrates Deligeorges, Head Chef firstname.lastname@example.org, or Melissa Nassiff, eNewsletter editor email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up or to learn more!
"As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me," says our Lord.
Reverent carefulness is necessary here because this sea – that is, the heart, with its thoughts and desires, which one must cleanse by means of mindfulness – is great and vast, "and there are numberless reptiles there" (Ps. 103:25), that is, numerous vain, unjust and impure thoughts generated by evil spirits.
- St Seraphim of Sarov, Spiritual Instructions
Watchfulness is a spiritual method which, if diligently practiced over a long period, completely frees us with God’s help from impassioned thoughts, impassioned words and evil actions. It leads…to a sure knowledge of inapprehensible mysteries. It enables us to fulfill every divine commandment in the Old and New Testaments and bestows upon us every blessing of the age to come. It is, in a true sense purity of heart, a state blessed by Christ when he says: ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.’
- St. Hesychios
If, as St. Paul says, Christ dwells in our hearts through faith (Ephesians 3:17), and all the treasures of wisdom and spiritual knowledge are hidden in Him (Colossians 2:3) then all the treasures of wisdom and spiritual knowledge are hidden in our hearts. They are revealed to the heart in proportion to our purification by means of the commandments.
- St. Maximus the Confessor, II, Fourth Century on Love, sec. 70