St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week of December 14 - December 21, 2017


SUNDAY 12/17 - Enquirers’ Class 9:00 am; Orthros 8:45, Divine Liturgy 10:00
   + Christmas Pageant immediately after Liturgy
   + Deadline for the Young Adults’ clothing and article drive – the Young Adult Ministry is collecting new and slightly used clothing, new toiletries, and canned goods through this Sunday, December 17. If you would like to help, contact Jamil (617-501-4427) or Adam (315-719-2101).


CONGRATULATIONS – The newly elected members of the Parish Council are Mary Winstanley O’Connor, Renay DiFiore, Charlie Marge, Bahig Kaldas and Chris Addis.

BIBLE STUDY - The next meeting of the Bible Study/Adult Education group will be Wednesday, January 10 at 7:00 pm, in the church hall. We learn about 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 .

NO FASTING - From Christmas Day until January 4th, inclusive, there is a general dispensation from all fasting.

CROSSROAD PROGRAM – CrossRoad, a ten-day academic summer institute in Boston and Chicago, prepares high school juniors and seniors to make big life decisions and invites them to connect with the Orthodox Christian theological and spiritual tradition. The deadline for application to this program is Thursday, February 1. For more information go to
PRE-LENTEN RETREAT and YOUTH DAY – The 2018 Pre-Lenten Retreat & Youth Day, sponsored by the Diocese of Worcester & New England Antiochian Women and the Missions Council, will feature Bishop ANTHONY and our very own Fr. Antony Hughes. This is a day for all ages, 3 years old and older. Date:  February 10. Time: 9:00am-2:30pm.   Place:  St. John of Damascus, Dedham.  Cost:  $20/Adult.  Make checks payable to Antiochian Women-DOWNE, and mail registration and check to Kh. Erin Kimmett, 17 Austin St., Norwood, 02062.  (See Bulletin Board for registration form)

SUMMER CAMP REGISTRATION – Registration for Summer Camp at the Antiochian Village opened this week for children ages 9-17. Registration fills up quickly!  Register online, right away, at .  St. Mary’s children attend the third session, July 15-27.  The camper fee is $800 for the two-week camper session.

NATIVITY SERVICES – Royal Hours for the Nativity will be Friday, December 22 at 9:00 am
   + Saturday, December 23 – Great Vespers 5:00 pm
   + Sunday, December 24, Eve of the Nativity – Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am
Festal Orthros 6:30 pm; Festal Divine Liturgy of St. Basil 8:00 pm.
   + Monday, December 25, Christmas Day – No services at St. Mary

FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE – Help support our Canned Food Drive! Sunday, December 31is the last day to 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 SERVICES – There will be a Joint Diocesan Celebration of Theophany at St. George Cathedral, Worcester, on the morning of Saturday, January 6. Orthros 8:30am, Hierarchical Divine Liturgy 10:00 am with the Blessing of Waters. There will not be any services at St. Mary’s that morning. 
   + In the evening, the Young Adult Ministry at St. Mary’s invites you to come for Vespers at 5:00 pm with Bishop JOHN, followed by a concert by the Boston Byzantine Choir at 6:00 entitled The Twelve Days of Christmas, followed by a potluck supper. The concert will consist of Orthodox sacred chant from Christmas to Epiphany (Nativity to Theophany), in English. Everyone is invited.

PARISH COUNCIL – The Parish Council will meet on Wednesday, January 17 at 7:30 pm in the Church hall.

ANNUAL PARISH MEETING - The Annual Meeting of St. Mary’s parish will be held Sunday, January 28, 2018, immediately after Liturgy (snow date: Sunday, February 4). At this meeting the members of the parish will approve the Year 2018 budget. The proposed budget will be available on the previous Sunday, January 21. It is important that all members of St. Mary’s Church attend this meeting.

OFFERING ENVELOPES - For those who use Offering Envelopes, the 2018 envelopes are available for pickup at the Bengarri. Calendars are also available – please, only one calendar per family.

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.
   + 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 .

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

JOIN US ONLINE - St. Mary’s Church services are broadcast live each week through an internet video stream. If you can't attend a service in person or want to share this ministry with a friend or loved one, the live stream can be viewed at during regularly scheduled service times (see the schedule of services or online). If you have questions or comments about this ministry please contact us at
It is impossible for the mind not to be approached by thoughts, but it is in the power of every earnest man either to admit them or to reject them. As their rising up does not entirely depend on ourselves, so the rejection or admission of them lies in our own power. … Contemplate things celestial, for if these things are dropped and carelessness creeps on us, the mind being hardened with the foulness of sin is sure to incline in a carnal direction and fall away.'
   - St. Moses the Black Hermit

He who drives out self-love, the mother of the passions, will with God's help easily rid himself of the rest, such as anger, irritation, rancor and so on. But he who is dominated by self-love is overpowered by the other passions, even against his will. Self-love is the passion of attachment to the body.
   - St. Maximos the Confessor