St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

November 2001

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Fr. Antony PortraitGlory to Jesus Christ!

Father Georges Florovsky wrote:

Tradition is the constant abiding of the Spirit
and not only the memory of words.
Tradition is a charismatic, not a historic principle...
The grace-giving experience of the Church...
in its catholic fullness...has not been exhausted
either in Scripture, or in oral tradition, or in definitions.

The Church lives at once in the past, present and the future because She lives in God, who stands outside, over, and above time. The visit of our Father in Christ, Metropolitan PHILIP, demonstrated that the grace which moved the Apostles and their successors is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

There is only one changeless thing in the universe, and that is God. Everything else changes. The Incarnation of our Lord brought changeless Divinity and changeable humanity together so that now, in our midst, the changeless Truth of God resides among us, illumining our fragile lives. So, the Church moves, lives, and breathes throughout all time -- and beyond -- bringing the changeless message of God's infinite love. That is why we joyfully exclaim to one another: "Christ is in our midst!"

The bedrock of our faith is not in fashion, culture, or language -- all of which can and do vary with time and circumstance. Our bedrock of faith is in the One Who "changes not." The miracle is that in spite of the vicissitudes of life, the presence of an Orthodox Bishop in the Eucharistic assembly in the year 2001 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, still manifests the same unchanging Truth it did in 100AD in Antioch, Syria. For this, among so many other things, we should be infinitely grateful.

Thanks to the Parish Council, the Women's Club, the Fellowship of St. John the Divine, Teen SOYO, the Order of St. Ignatius members, the choir, chanters, acolytes, and each and every one of you, the visit of His Eminence and our celebration of God's blessings upon our community was made possible.

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Antony