St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week of September 14 - 21, 2017

SATURDAY, 9/16 – A training session on Building Social Justice Ministry Teams in the Church (prison ministry workshop) will be held this Saturday, September 16 from 9:00-4:30, here at St. Mary Orthodox Church. Details can be found at Registration (8:30-9:00 am) is $40.  

   + Rehearsal and meeting for chanters 4:00pm
   + Great Vespers 5:00 pm.
   + Following Vespers the Young Adults will gather for dinner out on the town.

SUNDAY 9/17 This Sunday the Fall Classic 5K road race will restrict access to parking around the church and behind the Post Office.  The race starts at 9:30am.  The end of Inman St. will be closed off to accommodate runners on Massachusetts Ave. until approximately 10:30am.  Traffic will be diverted on Inman but if you advise the police officers that you are attending services at St. Mary’s they will let you down Inman to the church only (you may not be able to get onto Mass. Ave). Please plan accordingly. Log on to to view the race route.
   + Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am, followed by Elevation of the Cross
   + There will be a short Church School lesson after Liturgy
   + Award ribbons will be given to the children who participated in the Diocese of Worcester and New England Creative Arts Competition, following Liturgy.  The projects will be on display in the Church Hall following the presentation.

MONDAY 9/18 – The first Women’s Club meeting of the church year will be Monday at 7:30. We will formulate our yearly calendar, so come with any ideas you may have. 

WEDNESDAY 9/20 – The Parish Council will meet Wednesday, September 20, at 7:30 pm.


SEMINARIAN WELCOME RECEPTION – The Antiochian Women of the Diocese of Worcester and New England will sponsor a reception to welcome local Seminarians on Sunday, September 24 at St. George Church, West Roxbury. Vespers at 4:00pm will be followed by a coffee and pastry reception.
ANTIOCHIAN WOMEN DIOCESE MEETING – The Fall Diocesan Delegates Meetings of Antiochian Women – General Assembly Meeting will be held on Saturday, October 14 at St. John of Damascus Church, Dedham, starting at 10:00am.
PARISH COUNCIL ELECTIONS – If you are interested in serving on the Parish Council please speak to Mary Winstanley O’Connor or Fr. Antony by Sunday October 22.  To be eligible to serve you must be a member of St. Mary’s for two years and in good financial standing.

GREETER MINISTRY -. The Greeter Ministry is always looking for new people to greet on Sundays.  As a Greeter, you will welcome people into the Church and help to direct visitors upstairs to the Liturgy, while keeping an eye on the vestibule, hallways and entrance ways during Church.  Arrive at Church by 9:45am; greeting time ends when Communion starts. If you are interested, contact Buddy Mabardy, or 781-729-6303, or the church office, or 617-547- 1234. Your help with this ministry is greatly appreciated and does not go unnoticed.
YOUNG ADULT MINISTRY MONTH - September is “Young Adult Ministry Month” in our Archdiocese, when Young Adults can become more involved in the life of the parish. (see the Opportunities for Service section below.) To learn more or to get involved, send an email to or call/text Jamil (617-501-4427) or Adam (315-719-2101)

HURRICANE APPEAL -  Metropolitan JOSEPH  has requested that every parish appeal to its parishioners and hold special collections after Liturgy throughout the month of September to help those affected by Hurricanes Harvey in Texas and Louisiana, and Irma in Florida.  If you would like to contribute by check please put on the memo line of the check “Hurricane appeal”.  At the end of the month St. Mary’s contribution will be sent to the archdiocese for distribution to our parishes in need and to IOCC (International Orthodox Christian Charities).  You can also donate through “eGive” by selecting “Hurricane Appeal.”
   - For a copy of the Metropolitan’s revised letter to each parish please see the following link:
   - A page of Prayers for Deliverance from Hurricanes has been added to the Antiochian Archdiocese website:   

eGIVE UPGRADE - eGive recently upgraded their systems.  To access your account going forward, you must now take the following steps:
   > Go to the new eGive page for St. Mary’s:
   > Click on the “Forgot Password?” link and request a new password using the e-mail you signed up with. You will get an e-mail with a temporary password
   > Log in with this temporary password

SONIA’S RUN - Sonia’s Run and Fall Fair in memory of Sonia Daly Belcher, at St. George’s, West Roxbury, will be held on Saturday, September 23. Registration begins at 7:30am, kids run at 8:30am, and the 5K starts at 9:00am (note corrected times). St. Mary’s will run as a team again this year (last year we came in 2nd place).  Just choose team “STMARYCAMBRIDGE” when you register.  For questions about our team, please e-mail Charlie Marge, All proceeds from the run will benefit Theophany School. Vendor tables are available. For more information go to .

ENQUIRERS’ CLASS – The St. Ignatius Catechetical Group - Enquirers’ Class will begin meeting on Sunday September 24 at 9:00am in the Fellowship Hall.  Enrollment will be open until October 15. This group is for non-Orthodox adults who are interested in exploring the Christian Faith as it has been – and continues to be – understood, preached, and lived by members of the Holy Orthodox Church. Bob Kowalik will be teaching the group. If you would like to participate, please talk to Bob during coffee hour; or get in touch by phone 617-889-3436 or r.kowalik@comcast.netNote: For those seeking to be received into the Orthodox Church, participation in the group and Fr. Antony’s blessing are required.

HIERARCHICAL VISIT – His Grace Bishop John will be with us at St. Mary’s on Sunday, September 24 for a Hierarchical visit, to celebrate liturgy and kick off our 90
th Year celebration. The Parish Council will provide an extended coffee hour for the occasion.

ICON EXHIBIT – You are invited to an exhibit at the Museum of Russian Icons entitled Fantastic Beasts in Iconography. This Exhibit spotlights the many types of natural and unnatural creatures in iconography, exploring their origins, symbolism, stories, and myriad representations. This exhibit is family friendly, with images and activities that are appealing, accessible, and educational for both adults and children. This exhibit runs until Sunday, September 24. Special rates are available for group tours. Just call their Group Tour Manager, Amy Consalvi for information: 978.598.5000 x125. And more details of the exhibits are available on their website

BIBLE STUDY – Bible Study meets in the Fellowship Hall downstairs every other Monday.  During the coming year we will focus on podcasts that introduce the History of the Bible, the Church Fathers, and the first three books of the Hebrew Scriptures. At the next meeting, on Monday, September 25, we will discuss the podcasts found at and  If you do not have time to listen to the podcasts, but still want to come, please join us! Everyone is welcome to attend. If interested, please contact the new co-leaders: Steve Walker at  or Ioana Popa at, or Fr. Antony (   Note: The church parking lot is rented until 8:00pm. We are allowed to park in open parking spaces only; we cannot stack park or block anyone.

NEW DATE - TEEN SOYO ANNUAL RETREAT – Since in past years the annual Teen SOYO Retreat held during Lent has had to deal with too much snow, this year it is moving to the Fall. Now it will coincide with the Diocesan Family Camp at the St. Methodios Faith & Heritage Center in Contoocook, NH, Friday to Sunday, October 13-15. The campers will be staying at the Center and the teens (grades 7-12) will be staying in the cabins and have their own program and events. Everyone will come together for the services and most of the meals.  The cost is $85 per teen. NOTE: Registration forms must be returned by October 1. For information or scholarship information, contact Fr. Joseph Kimmett, Diocese Spirituaul Advisor, at, 781-762-4396  or John Abud, Diocese Youth Director, at, 810-252-5769.

DIOCESE FAMILY CAMP – Our first Diocese Family Camp will be held the weekend of Friday-Sunday, October 13-15, 2017 at the St. Methodios Faith & Heritage Center in Contoocook, NH. Our Family Camp is modeled after the program at Antiochian Village. We will have daily services, Christian Education for children, a Keynote Speaker (TBD) for the parents, and sports and games for the whole family to participate. Experienced AV Staff Members are being recruited to serve as counselors for the weekend.  More registration details and tentative schedule are online at . There is also a facebook event under the Diocese Facebook page at

BAZAAR & FOOD FAIR – St. George West Roxbury is having their annual Bazaar and Food Fair on Friday October 20 through Sunday, October 22 - Friday and Saturday from 10am to 9pm, Sunday from 12pm to 3:pm. Admission is free. Middle Eastern cuisine and pastries, baked foods, country store, kids corner, photo booth

SFEEHA SALE - The Women’s Club is offering for purchase freshly made Sfeeha (ground lamb-meat pizza pies with onion, pine nuts & seasonings).   Everything is cooked with the finest of ingredients and ready to eat now or freeze for the holidays! (This product contains pine nuts; no special orders will be accepted.)  Please use the order form in the Sunday bulletin, or contact the church office for a copy.  Order deadline is Sunday, October 22.  Pick-Up Date is Sunday, October 29.  Note correction: no kibbeh will be available this year.

HELP MAKE SFEEHA – Please come to the church on Saturday morning, October 28, starting at 9:30 am to help make meat pies with the Women's Club.   Lots of help will be needed – young and old, women and men are all welcome – and it's always lots of fun. 

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

There was in fact a monk who was seized by cold and fever every time he began to pray, and he suffered from headaches, too. In this condition, he said to himself, "I am ill, and near to death; so now I will get up before I die and pray." By reasoning in this way, he did violence to himself and prayed. When he finished , the fever abated also. So by reasoning in this way, the brother resisted, and prayed and was able to conquer his thoughts.
   - Amma Theodora 

He took our body, and not only so, but He took it directly from a spotless, stainless virgin, without the agency of human father … He, the Mighty One, the Artificer of all, Himself prepared this body in the virgin as a temple for Himself, and took it for His very own, as the instrument through which He was known and in which He dwelt. Thus, taking a body like our own, because all our bodies were liable to the corruption of death, He surrendered His body to death instead of all, and offered it to the Father. This He did out of sheer love for us, so that in His death all might die, and the law of death thereby be abolished because, having fulfilled in His body that for which it was appointed, it was thereafter voided of its power for men.
   - St. Athanasius, On the Incarnation

Happy is the man in whom there is love for God, for he bears God within himself. The one in whom there is love is with God, above all things. Whoever has love in himself does not fear. He is never mad at anyone, nor does he exalt himself above anyone. He does not calumniate anyone, nor does he listen to the calumniator. He does not compete with anyone, is not jealous, does not rejoice in the fall of another, does not slander the fallen, but sympathizes with him and helps him. He does not disdain his brother who is fallen into need, but helps him and is ready to die for him. Whoever has love fulfills the will of God.
   - St. Ephraim the Syrian