St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week of November 2 - 9, 2017


SATURDAY 11/4 Help make Sfeeha!  Please come to the church on Saturday morning, starting at 9:30 am, to help make meat pies with the Women's Club.   Lots of help is needed – young and old, women and men are all welcome – and it's always lots of fun. Lunch is provided.
   + NO Chant class
   + Great Vespers 5:00 pm, followed by Young Adult Fellowship Night. Join the Young Adults for a Coffee House with live music, poetry, and performance. To learn more or to get involved, send an email to or call/text Jamil (617-501-4427)

SUNDAY 11/5  DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME ENDS. Don’t forget to set your clocks back one hour this Sunday (or Saturday night).
   + Enquirers’ Class 9:00 am, Orthros 8:45, Divine Liturgy 10:00; Children’s sermon (children remain upstairs after Communion)
   + Teen SOYO Spaghetti Dinner, following Liturgy. Suggested donation of $5.00 per person will be greatly appreciated (no charge for Teen SOYO members).
   + Angel Tree Ministry – during coffee hour this Sunday please select a child to provide Christmas gifts to on behalf of their parent serving time in prison.  See Linda or Kate Arnold, or email ( if you can help or have questions. 
   + If you ordered Sfeeha you may pick it up during coffee hour

WEDNESDAY 11/8 - Bible Study/Adult Education will meet this Wednesday at 7:00 pm, and every other Wednesday most months from now on. We study the word of God, pray, and have fellowship together. Everyone is welcome to attend. For questions, study materials, or to be added to the email list, contact Ioana Popa at or Steve Walker at .

SATURDAY 11/4 - St. George West Roxbury will hold a Founders Day Banquet on Saturday, November 4.  The evening will begin with Vespers at 5:30 followed by Reception & Banquet at 6:30pm.  Cost:  $40/adults, $20/Child to16.  

FRIDAY-SUNDAY 11/3-5 - St. John of Damascus will be holding their Annual Bazaar, Friday through Sunday, November 3-5:  Fri. 12pm-9pm, Sat. 10am-9pm and Sunday 12pm- 2pm, 300 West St. Dedham. Middle Eastern Cuisine, Country Store, Christmas Corner and More. 


PARISH COUNCIL BALLOTS - The 2018 Parish Council Ballot has been mailed to all pledging members of St. Mary’s.  Please vote for no more than 5 people and return to the church in the self-addressed stamped envelope by November 27, 2017.

PARISH COUNCIL – The next meeting of the Parish Council will be Wednesday, November 29, at 7:30.

CHRISTMAS PAGEANT - If your Child is interested in participating in the Christmas Pageant this year, please see Sarah Byrne-Martelli.  We also need parents to assist at all rehearsals. Rehearsal #1 will be Sunday, December 3 during coffee hour. Rehearsal #2: Sunday, December 10 during coffee hour. The Pageant will be Sunday, December 17, after liturgy.

SCHOLARSHIP - Scholarships ($1,000) are available from the Syrian-Lebanese Women’s club of Greater Boston to young women of Syrian and Lebanese origin, residing in Massachusetts within 50-mile radius of Boston, who plan to pursue a four-year college education.  Scholarships are based on outstanding academic achievement, extra-curricular activities, charitable and civic involvement and good character; and applicants must be in good academic standing in her school and possess those personal attributes, which best serve the community.  Applications are available through the Church Office and must be postmarked by March 31, 2018.  If you have any questions, contact Mary Winstanley O’Connor at 617-523-1010 or email at .

FALL LITURGY RETREAT – We will have a Fall Liturgy Retreat for Church School Students and Families at St. Mary’s on Friday, November 10 from 9:30 - 3:00. (This is the observed day for Veteran's Day, when most students have the day off of school and some adults from work.) The theme of the retreat will be Liturgy as Healing: The Power of Reconciliation in Christ. Registration: $5/student, $10/family (includes breakfast snacks, lunch, and supplies). To register, contact Doreen Bargoot ( Activities will revolve around Personal and Communal Healing (group healing service, rite of forgiveness);  Sacramental Healing (opportunities for confession, making Prosphora (Holy Bread) for the Church;  Spiritual Healing (teens and adults learn about spiritual direction);  and Social Healing (assembling and delivering gift bags for the YWCA, decorating cards for our Parish shut-ins, and more). Come and explore the opportunities that the Church gives us for healing and reconciliation within ourselves and with God and neighbor.

BENEFIT FORTHEOPHANY SCHOOL – The 17th annual Benefit for Theophany School will be held Saturday, November 11, at 5:00pm at St. John of Damascus Church, Dedham. The evening includes cocktails, dinner and entertainment. The benefit defrays the cost of tuition by approximately $1000 per student, helping to provide families with excellent, affordable Orthodox education. To become a sponsor or to reserve tickets please contact the Director, Marybeth at 781-444-3058 or 
BAKE SALE – The annual Thanksgiving Charity Bake Sale, sponsored by the Women’s Club, will be held on Sunday, November 12 after Liturgy (not November 19 as originally announced). All proceeds to benefit the Convent of Saidnaya, in Syria. Please volunteer to bake!  Call our Chairperson Renay DiFiore @ 617-327-6361 or the church office, if you can bake and/or donate.

WOMEN’S CLUB – The next meeting of the Women’s Club will be on Wednesday, November 15, at 7:30.

NATIVITY FAST – The Nativity Fast, also known as the season of Advent, begins Wednesday, November 15. This is the forty days of fasting and prayer in preparation for the Great Feast of the Nativity of Christ.

ENTRANCE OF THE THEOTOKOS LITURGY – Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple will be celebrated on Monday, November 20 at 6:30pm

AWARDS BANQUET – The Nicholas G. Beram Veterans Association will be holding its 71stanniversary celebration and 51st Scholastic Achievement Awards Banquet on Saturday, November 25, 2017 from Noon to 4:00 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Dedham.  This year our own Father Antony will be honored and receive the distinguished service award.  Lukas Nahass and Jessica Winstanley will also be receiving scholastic achievement awards.  Tickets for the luncheon are $30.00 and tables of eight may be reserved.  You may also honor Father by placing an ad in the program book.  Luncheon reservation and ad book forms are available in the narthex.

COME SEE THE MESSIAH! – Join friends from St. Mary’s for the Handel and Haydn Society’s annual performance of Handel’s Messiah, on Sunday afternoon, December 3, at 3:00 p.m.  Group tickets are just $28. For information or tickets (seats are still available) please contact Melissa Nassiff at 

FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE – Help support our Canned Food Drive! From October through December 31, 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.

SCHOLARSHIP - Students graduating in 2018 from high school who are children of members of St. Mary’s may apply for the Diocese of Worcester and New England Scholarship.  Deadline is March 31, 2018. Contact Mary Winstanley O’Connor at 617-523-1010 or email at
for more information, including what it means to be a member.

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


"Far be it for me to glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Gal. 6:14).
Truly this symbol [the cross] is thought despicable; but it is so in the world's reckoning, and among men; in Heaven and among the faithful it is the highest glory. Poverty too is despicable, but it is our boast; and to be cheaply thought of by the public is a matter of laughter to them, but we are elated by it. So too is the Cross our boast. He does not say, 'I boast not,' nor, 'I will not boast,' but, 'Far be it from me that I should,' as if he abominated it as absurd, and invoked the aid of God in order to ensure his success therein. And what is the boast of the Cross? That Christ for my sake took on Him the form of a slave, and bore His sufferings for me the slave, the enemy, the unfeeling one; yea, He so loved me as to give Himself up to a curse for me. What can be comparable to this?
   - St. John Chrysostom
The final coming of Christ will be the judgment of all men. His very presence will be the judgment. For those who love the Lord, His Presence will be infinite joy, paradise and eternal life. For those who hate the Lord, the same Presence will be infinite torture, hell and eternal death.  According to the saints, the 'fire' that will consume sinners at the coming of the Kingdom is the same 'fire' that will shine with splendor in the saints.  It is the fire of God’s love; the 'fire' of God Himself, who is Love.  …  Thus it is the Church’s spiritual teaching that God does not punish man by some material fire or physical torment. God simply reveals Himself in the risen Lord Jesus in such a glorious way that no man can fail to behold His glory.  It is the presence of God’s splendid glory and love that is the scourge of those who reject His radiant power and light.
   - Thomas Hopko