St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Thursday, June 20 - Wednesday, June 26, 2019

THIS WEEK AT ST. MARY’S

SUNDAY 6/23– Orthros 8:45am, Divine Liturgy 10:00am

THIS WEEK ELSEWHERE

SATURDAY 6/22 – The Diocese of Worcester & New England Parish Life Conference will be held this Saturday at St. George, West Roxbury, hosted by St. Stephen Church, Springfield and Emmanuel Church, Warren. Registration is still open online, by mail, and at the event, throughout the day. To register online go to www.antiochianevents.com/worcester.html  (Bible Bowl starts at 3:30 – come cheer on our teams!)

NEW ANNOUNCEMENTS

COFFEE HOUR VOLUNTEERS NEEDED – Volunteering always falls off this time of year, but the need for fellowship and hospitality stays strong. Please sign up to sponsor a coffee hour, individually or with friends.  It can be as simple as coffee, juice, and cookies, and plenty of help is available.  Signup sheets are on the bulletin board downstairs outside the Hall, or tell Barbara in the office at 617-547-1234 or secretary@stmaryorthodoxchurch.orgWhen no one volunteers, there is no coffee hour. Isn't it your turn by now? 

VIGIL FOR THE DORMITION - On Wednesday 8/14, the Vigil for the Dormition of the Theotokos (our Patronal Feast), we will have Vespers at 4:15pm, Orthros with Lamentations at 5:30pm, and Festal Divine Liturgy at 7:00pm.

FAMILY CAMP – You’re invited to Diocese Family Camp Friday 10/4 through Sunday 10/6 at St. Methodios Faith & Heritage Center in Contoocook, NH,. Families from our Diocese come together for a weekend of camp activities, prayer, relaxation, fellowship, and learning.  More information and pictures can be found at www.soyofallcamp.org Registration information will be posted soon.
 
REMINDERS

CROSSROAD - CrossRoad Summer Institute, a 10-day academic summer institute for Orthodox high school juniors and seniors to help them grow closer to Christ, will be held Tuesday-Friday, July 2-12, at Hellenic College Holy Cross.  Apply today at www.crossroadinstitute.org

SACRED MUSIC INSTITUTE – This year’s Sacred Music Institute will be held Wednesday-Sunday, July 10-14, at Antiochian Village. The theme this year is “Sacraments and Song.” Contact Charlie Marge with any questions: charlie.marge@verizon.net.  Online registration is available through the Village website.

PARISH COUNCIL – The next meeting of the Parish Council will be on Wednesday, July 17 at 7:30.

ANTIOCHIAN ARCHDIOCESE CONVENTION – This year’s Convention will be in Grand Rapids, MI, July 21-28, 2019. See https://ac2019gr.org 
 
DORMITION FAST – The fast preceding the Feast of the Dormition of the Blessed Theotokos, our patronal feast day, begins on Thursday, August 1 and continues through Wednesday, August 14, the eve of the Feast.

TANGLEWOOD OUTING – Join your music-loving friends from St. Mary’s and carpool out to Tanglewood after Liturgy on Sunday, August 4. We’ll picnic on the lawn and listen to music by Rachmaninoff and Sibelius, featuring pianist Yefim Bronfman with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. For more information see https://www.bso.org/Performance/Detail/100161. The concert starts at 2:30; lawn tickets are $22.00 - pay at the door; children are free. Bring lawn chairs if you want them, and picnic food for yourself and to share.  For more information and to let us know you're coming, contact Melissa Nassiff at mnassiff@gmail.com.

TRANSFIGURATION – Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Transfiguration will be celebrated on Monday, August 5, at 6:30.

NEW SKETE PILGRIMAGE – The annual New Skete Pilgrimage is set for Saturday, August 10 this year (the Saturday after Transfiguration).  In years past, a number of St. Mary people have gone out for the weekend (this year, 8/9-11, 2019) to help the Communities with this event—to be extra sets of “helping hands” for the day.  They are hoping a number of us will do so again this year. In the past, this has been a wonderful community building activity for all of us.  Moreover, if you have never been to the monastery, this may be a good way to be introduced to their life and work.  In addition to the services, there are tours of the church and talks by various members of the communities about their lives.  The main talk will be given by Gayle Woloshak, Ph. D. who is a Professor of Radiation Oncology, Radiology, and Cell and Molecular Biology at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University.  (In addition, she is Past President of the Orthodox Theological Society of America and Treasurer of the International Orthodox Theological Association and wears MANY other “hats” in the Orthodox world.  (Her ecclesial resume is quite long…)  Her talk is entitled, “Good Earth: Caring for God’s Creation."  There are also the dogs, great hiking trails, nearby tubing, and more (e.g. usually a picnic at Hedges Lake on that Sunday), etc.  More information about the Pilgrimage can be found here: https://newskete.org/events.
   Once again, Teva Regule (teva@mit.edu) will be coordinating the Boston helpers and as much housing as she can. (In particular, any women wanting to "camp out" at the nuns’, let her know.  The Emmaus house is now a guest house - anyone wishing to stay there should contact Br. Gregory directly at brgregory@newskete.org)  Housing is first come, first served.
 
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

A holy man was asked why the most virtuous persons are given the greatest sorrow. “Suffering, for those who accept it with forbearance,” said the holy man, “is like salt which preserves the soul and allows one to reach heaven purified and cleansed.” It is the greatest grace of all to be judged worthy to suffer for Jesus Christ. It is already the perfect crown and a payment not inferior to the reward yet to come.
   - St. John Chrysostom

The free will of all intelligent beings has been tested and till now is being tested until it is confirmed in goodness. Because without trials, goodness is never firm. Every Christian is subjected to some kind of test: one with poverty, another with sickness, a third with various bad thoughts, the fourth with some type of misfortune or humiliation, while another, with perplexities. This tests the strength of one’s faith, and hope, and love for God, that is, shows the person’s inclinations, his attachments, whether he aims for sorrows or is still affixed to earthly things. So that through these trials a person-Christian himself could see in what position he is in, what his disposition is, and involuntarily humble himself. Because without humility, as all the holy fathers of Godly wisdom confirm in one voice, all our works are unsettled. Even the free will of Angels was tested. If the Heavenly dwellers could not escape the test, then more so must the free will be tested of those living on earth.
   - St. Ambrose of Optina