St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

February 2005

Fr. Antony Portrait

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Your response to the Tsunami Relief effort has been truly outstanding! As of this writing, over $2,300.00 has been collected with one more Sunday to go. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. All the monies collected will be sent to the International Orthodox Christian Charities for distribution where it is most needed.

We must remember that true Christian morality embraces all of human life at every stage from conception to the tomb, and, for Orthodox, even beyond that; so, our faith must be demonstrated in deeds that focus on the alleviation of human suffering of all kinds, that cares for the poor, the sick and the dispossessed. We are all called to oppose violence, discrimination, injustice and war and to pursue peace and reconciliation through dialogue, self-sacrifice and humility and to encourage others to follow this example. Although we are in the world, we must not be "of the world." The Gospel challenges every human construct, every political point of view, every ideology calling us to ereach for the highest and the best possible path and solution. Looking to the Cross we always discover ourselves to be wanting.

You have risen to the occasion, be we must rise even higher. The need is great, the suffering is great; and we, who live in this land of plenty, hardly have an inkling of what the majority of the world's people endure every day of their lives. If we give until it hurts, it will be necessary to give incomparably more to even begin to understand.

God be with us all,

Fr. Antony