St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

January 2016

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

Christ is Born! Glorify Him! And Happy New Year!

On Sunday, December 13, a group of young adults came together to brainstorm about developing a young adult ministry at St. Mary's. We have a database of over one hundred names of people who are potential volunteers. The meeting was vibrant and exciting. Many great ideas were shared and four volunteers stepped forward to be leaders in various categories of ministry. Specific projects were chosen out of a larger list and we are up and running. The meeting was a tremendous success. This was Jamil Samara's idea born out of the changes in the Fellowship of St. John the Divine nationally and it has now been shared with at least tens of willing others. This is how it works. What ideas do you have?

I am not afraid of new ideas or of change. Growth means change and new ideas promote both. As our parish grows and our demographic trends towards young adults, both college students and couples with children from a remarkable cross section of our multi-cultural society, we must expect change to occur. Not only expect, but encourage it. Change is not a bad word; it is the inevitable flow of unavoidable events.

We can either flow with inevitable change or resist it. If we flow with it, we will find great benefit and we can help to shape what it looks like for us. If we resist it, we will find ourselves fighting a losing battle. I recommend flowing not resisting. I encourage every one ofyou to bring your voices and your ideas to church and share them with me or someone on the Council. And, if and when you do, remember that ideas without action are of no benefit to anyone, so be ready to help incarnate your idea into action.

The dynamic life of our community comes, in part, because we are willing to incorporate the diversity of our congregation and meet the challenge of doing so in this day and age with courage and creativity. The more we do, the more we make progress towards our goal of 100% participation and of making St. Mary's even more the welcoming and warm parish that is her reputation. What a wonderful community we have!

We are building on a strong foundation laid by generations of people whose hearts were committed to the good of this blessed community. Since resting on laurels is antithetical to the Gospel, please accept my invitation and come build with us.

With deepest affection,

+Fr. Antony