St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week of January 25 - January 31, 2018

THIS WEEK AT ST. MARY

SUNDAY 1/28 – Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School lesson 14

   + 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.

NEW ANNOUNCEMENTS

LENTEN FOOD SALE – The St. Mary Women’s Club is once again having a Lenten Food Sale, featuring Spinach Triangles, Hoomos, and Mjadara. Please use the order form in the Sunday bulletin. Order deadline is Sunday, February 25; pickup will be Sunday, March 4.
   - Baking of spinach triangles will be Saturday, March 3.  Please come and help, starting at 9:00 am; lunch will be provided.

PARISH COUNCIL – The next meeting of the Parish Council will be Wednesday, March 14, at 8:00pm

PRE-SANCTIFIED POTLUCK SUPPERS - Every Wednesday during Lent (February 21 & 28, March 7, 14, 21 and 28), we need a lead to coordinate a potluck supper after pre-Sanctified Liturgy. Being the lead means a) providing a main dish, b) coordinating what others bring if asked, and c) coordinating setup and cleanup. As with coffee hour, if there is no potluck leader, then there is no potluck. Contact Diana Yousef (dymartinek@gmail.com ) for the potluck lead instruction sheet, or to sign up as a potluck lead.
 
REMINDERS

EVENING LITURGY – We will celebrate Evening Liturgy on Thursday, February 1, for the Feast of the Presentation of our Lord, at 6:30pm.

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 http://www.crossroadinstitute.org.

THEOPHANY SCHOOL PARENT TALK -  At 6:00pm on Friday, February 2, Dr. Philip Mamalakis, author of many books on parenting and marriage, will speak at Theophany School about the principles in his new book, Parenting Toward the Kingdom. Theophany School is at 754 Greendale Ave, Needham, MA. See https://www.facebook.com/theophanyschool/photos/pcb.1619255764802533/1619254681469308/?type=3&theater
 
VESPERS and YOUNG ADULTS – On Saturday, February 3 there will be a service of Great Vespers at 5:00pm, followed by a Potluck Dinner and a Swing Dancing program (with lessons!) sponsored by the Young Adult Fellowship. RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/743391759184150 

CHINESE NEW YEAR BREAKFAST - Please join us Sunday February 4 after Liturgy for the 2018 Chinese New Year Missions Breakfast to benefit the Chinese Translation Project via the Orthodox Fellowship of All Saints of China (OFASC). RSVP to Nelson Mitrophan Chin at mitrophan@orthodox.cn by Wednesday, January 31.  We look forward to your support of this worthwhile project and seeing you at this event! Suggested minimum donation $8/adult, $16/family (Checks made payable to “St. Mary Orthodox Church-Hospitality” earmarked “Chinese Missions”). 

BIBLE STUDY– The next meeting of the Bible Study/Adult Education group will be Wednesday, February 7 at 7:00 pm, in the church hall. We meet to learn about the word of God, pray, and share fellowship together. Everyone is welcome to attend. For questions, information about the podcasts we’ll be discussing, or to be added to the email list, contact Ioana Popa at drioanapopa@gmail.com or Steve Walker at smwalk@gmail.com .

PLEDGE CARDS - If you haven’t made your pledge for 2018, please return your pledge card to the church office or fill out the ePledge form on our website ASAP.

BLESSING OF HOMES – Fr. Antony will be blessing homes after Epiphany (January 6) and between Pascha (April 8) and Pentecost (Mary 27).  We bless homes to reveal the home as what God created it to be, a way to heaven; to rid the home of every evil; to show that the family is a small church unit in Christ; to consecrate the home and all activity in it to God; and to fill the home and all who live in it with the fullness of God.  To schedule the blessing of your home, please use the form in the weekly Bulletin or call the church office at 617-547-1234.

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. DateFebruary 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)

SCOUT SUNDAY - Scout Sunday is Sunday, February 11. If your child is a cub scout, boy scout, or girl scout, please contact Charlie Marge:  charlie.marge@verizon.net.

FORGIVENESS VESPERS – Forgiveness Sunday (also known as Cheesefare Sunday) is Sunday, February 18, the last day before Lent begins. Join us for Forgiveness Vespers at 6:00pm.

LENT BEGINS – Great Lent will begin on Monday, February 19 this year.

LENTEN SERVICES – On Tuesday and Thursday in the first week of Lent, February 20 and 22, there will be Little Compline with the Canon of St. Andrew at 7:00 pm. 
   + We will celebrate Pre-Sanctified Liturgy at 6:30 pm every Wednesday of Lent through Wednesday, March 28, followed by a Potluck Supper.
   + And on the first five Fridays of Lent, February 23 and March 2, 9, 16 and 23, there will be an Akathist (Madayeh) Service at 7:00 pm.

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

SCHOLARSHIPS - Students graduating in 2018 from high school who are children of membersof 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 moconnor@koilaw.com 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 moconnor@koilaw.com .

METROPOLITAN JOSEPH VISIT - His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH will be at St. Mary’s from Friday through Sunday, April 27-29 2018 for a Hierarchical visit to celebrate liturgy and to take part in our 90th anniversary celebration. 
 
YOUNG ADULT MINISTRY - The Young Adult Ministry is an active, dynamic group that hosts monthly social, spiritual, and outreach events and programs. We have lots of great plans for 2018, and we hope you'll join us! To learn more or to get involved contact Jamil (617-501-4427) or Adam (315-719-2101), or go to youngadults@stmaryorthodoxchurch.org.

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 secretary@stmaryorthodoxchurch.org.

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 www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/live 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 live@stmaryorthodoxchurch.org
 
REFLECTION

Long before the actual beginning of Lent, the Church announces its approach and invites us to enter into the period of pre-lenten preparation. … This preparation includes five consecutive Sundays preceding Lent, each one of them – through its particular Gospel lesson – dedicated to some fundamental aspect of repentance.

   The very first announcement of Lent is made the Sunday on which the Gospel lesson about Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10) is read. It is the story of a man who was too short to see Jesus but who desired so much to see Him that he climbed up a tree. Jesus responded to his desire and went to his house. Thus the theme of this first announcement is desire. … Zacchaeus desired the "right thing"; he wanted to see and approach Christ. He is the first symbol of repentance, for repentance begins as the rediscovery of the deep nature of all desire: the desire for God and His righteousness, for the true life. …

   The next Sunday is called the "Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee." On the eve of this day, on Saturday at Vespers, the liturgical book of the Lenten season – the Triodion – makes its first appearance and texts from it are added to the usual hymns and prayers of the weekly Resurrection service. They develop the next major theme of repentance: humility.  … As for the Publican, he humbles himself and his humility justifies him before God. …

   But what is humility? The answer to this question may seem a paradoxical one for it is rooted in a strange affirmation: God himself is humble! …  It is almost impossible to put across to the modern man, fed on publicity, self-affirmation, and endless self-praise, that all that which is genuinely perfect, beautiful, and good is at the same time naturally humble; for precisely because of its perfection, it does not need "publicity," external glory, or "showing off" of any kind.

   The Lenten season begins then by a quest, a prayer for humility which is the beginning of true repentance. For repentance, above everything else, is a return to the genuine order of things, the restoration of the right vision.
   - Alexander Schmemann, Great Lent