St. Mary's Antiochian Orthodox Church
1317 Florida Mango Road, West Palm Beach Florida 33406
Welcome

Welcome, and thank you for visiting St. Mary Orthodox Church online. We hope that our website highlights the wide variety of worship, fellowship, ministery and education opportunities available. Please feel free to read more about our church on this site, or come join with us in prayer. We would love to greet you and share with you our love for Jesus Christ and for you, our neighbor.

Sunday, July 21, 2024

files/Bulletin-July-21-2024.pdf (9140kb)

files/On-the-Ministry-of-the-Diaconate-Part-2.pdf (225kb)

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This Sunday's Gospel reading (Matthew 8: 5-13) is a lesson of faith.  A Centurion, who had a critically ill servant, went to Jesus to ask for His help. Christ  was willing to go to the house of the centurion in order to heal the servant. The centurion, conscious of his unworthiness, asked Christ to heal his servant simply by His command. Christ praised the centurion’s faith in public and made it an example for all to follow. 

As we reflect on the centurion’s faith, how does our own faith compare?  When we turn to God in times of trouble or difficulty, how do we approach Him? Do we demand, plead or bargain?

Do we turn to God with love and humility?  Are we ready to believe without seeing, telling Jesus only to say a word and we will be content?  

We are called to increase our faith beyond the level of  intellectual belief.  Our faith needs to be combined with love, extreme humility, and with absolute obedience to the will of God.  Only then will we rise to the level of the centurion, and Jesus will also marvel at our faith, saying, “Not even in the house of Israel have I found such faith... Go, be it done for you as you believed.” 

NOTES:

  • Attached to this week's email is The Weekly Bulletin and Metropolitan Saba's Teaching. Please take a few minutes to read through both.
  • Join us in prayer:

Friday, July 19th - Vesperal Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Holy Prophet Elias at 6:30 PM.

Saturday, July 20th - Great Vespers at 6:30 PM.

Sunday, July 21st - Matins at 8:50 AM, followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM. Trisagion (Memorial) Prayers will be offered for the repose of Elia Jabbour (40 days) by his father Banna Jabbour and family; and for the repose of Jennifer Joseph Zichi (1 year) by her sister Judy and Leon Chalhub.

There will be no Vespers on Wednesday July 24th.

"In the measure to which a man cuts off and humbles his own will, he proceeds toward success. But insofar as he stubbornly guards his own will, so much does he bring harm to himself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           +Saint Ephriam the Syrian

With love in Christ,

Fr. Peter

Sunday, July 14, 2024

files/Bulletin-July-14-2024.pdf (9913kb)

files/On-the-Ministry-of-the-Diaconate-1-EN-1.pdf (254kb)

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

"When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell..."   James 3: 3-6
If we think about it, the main purpose of the tongue is for speech. However, the tongue is controlled by the heart. In his epistle, the Apostle James notes that people should be willing to lean on God’s help for controlling their words. The example James gives us is that by placing a bit in the horse’s mouth where the tongue is, you can control the entire animal.
We should refrain from words that harm others. We should be quick to avoid gossip—something we all may struggle with. We should avoid criticizing others, avoid trash talking about people, and avoid abusive language in our conversations. The words we say and the way we say them have the power to destroy an already fragile mind and spirit.   Words have great potential for evil, they also possess great power. God spoke the world into existence. Christ spoke words of comfort never heard before. Paul’s preaching converted tens of thousands. Peter’s testimony literally founded the church. And yet, the best we can do is tell a dirty joke from time to time. The Apostle James continues in his epistle to warn us that no one can tame the tongue for it is restless and evil, “Sometimes it praises our Lord…and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God” (verses 8-9). When we speak it should not be for destructive purposes, least of all to our brothers and sisters made in God’s image. 
Words matter!
 
NOTES:
  • Attached to this week's email is The Weekly Bulletin and Metropolitan Saba's teaching. Please take a few minutes to read both.
  • As you travel to church, please be mindful that the intersection of Forest Hill and the 95 may be closed for work on the railroad track. Consider using the Southern Blvd. or 10th Avenue exits.
  • Join us in prayer this coming week:
Saturday, July 13th - Great Vespers Service at 6:30 PM
Sunday, July 14th - Matins begin at 8:50 AM; Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM. This Sunday, Coffee Hour following the services is hosted by Nabil & Rosine Aboukhaled.
Wednesday, July 17th - Vespers Service at 6:30 PM. The topic for the spiritual discussion following Vespers is 'Our calling within the life of the Church.'
Friday, July 19th: Celebration of the Feast of the Holy Prophet Elias - Vesperal Divine Liturgy at 6:30 PM.
 
"More than anything else one should adorn oneself with silence...I have seen many being saved by silence, but not one by talkativeness...silence is the mystery of the future age, while words are the implement of the world."   +Saint Seraphim of Sarov (from the Little Russian Philokalia)
 
With love in Christ,
Fr. Peter
Sunday, July 7, 2024

 

files/Bulletin-July-7-2024.pdf (11605kb)

files/The-Teacher-Does-Not-Retire.pdf (154kb)

Beloved in Christ,

What does it mean to be a "resilient" Christian? The definition of resilience is being able to adapt to stressful life changes and “bouncing back” from hardship. It is a response to tragedy, crisis, or other life-altering changes that allows us to move on despite the loss. Showing resilience does not mean that a person is unaffected or uncaring about the life change. Resilience is the human heart’s ability to suffer greatly and grow from it. We observe personal resilience every day in people who suffer illnesses, deaths of loved ones, and other losses. When people refuse to give up on themselves and the world, even after misfortune, they are being resilient. For Christians, resilience is historically normative. Throughout the scriptures, we find examples and exhortations to continually press on (Philippians 3:13-15), overcome hardship (Romans 12:21), persevere (James 1:12), and rise up when we fall (Proverbs 24:16). There are numerous saints and holy ones throughout the history of the Church who have been resilient because of their love for God. This Sunday (July 7th) the Church commemorates the Great Martyr Kyriaki who despite the many tortures and imprisonments, was a model of resiliency, never allowing her love for God to waiver.
We can follow the scripture teachings and emulate the lives of the saints. However, to be a resilient Christian begins by trusting in God, that He will continually love, provide, strengthen and grant courage to those who seek to dwell in His presence and do his will.
 
NOTES:
Attached to this email is The Weekly Bulletin and Metropolitan Saba's Weekly Teaching. Please take a few minutes to read through both.
 
Join us in prayer this coming week:
  • Saturday, July 6th: Great Vespers Service at 6:30 PM.
  • Sunday, July 7th: Matins at 8:50 AM, followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.
  • Wednesday, July 10th: Vespers Service at 6:30 PM, followed by a spiritual discussion on 'the understanding of fatherhood.'
"Do not say, "this happened by chance, while this came to be of itself." In all that exists there is nothing disorderly, nothing indefinite, nothing without purpose, nothing by chance ... How many hairs are on your head? God will not forget one of them. Do you see how nothing, even the smallest thing, escapes the gaze of God?"     +Saint Basil the Great
 
With love in Christ,
Fr. Peter

 

Sunday June30, 2024

files/Culture-of-Prayer.pdf (132kb)

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

After a few weeks of computer problems, the weekly email is once again being delivered to your inbox. Thank you for your patience. Unfortunately, The Weekly Bulletin will not be offered due to connectivity issues with our printer. This should be resolved by the beginning of the week and we will get back to normal.
 
With the conclusion of the Paschal Season, the Feasts of Ascension and Pentecost, we now enter the depths of summer. Many choose to absent themselves from worship for vacation and leisurely activities, but the Church continues to serve and invite you to prayer. I encourage you to take some time during these summer months and do a spiritual "check-up."  Reflecting on your relationship with God, ask yourself; Is God first in my life? Do I seek to do God's will, or do I substitute God's will with my own selfish wants and desires? Am I thankful for God's blessings? Do I seek God's image in others and act accordingly? Hopefully the answers to these questions are a resounding yes. If you answer no to one or more of these questions, then maybe a wise use of your time this summer is to strengthen your relationship with God.
 
NOTES:
1. Join us in prayer this coming week:
Saturday, June 29th:
*Divine Liturgy - 9:00 AM, for the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul.
*Great Vespers Service at 6:30 PM
Sunday, June 30th - Sunday of All Saints:
*Matins at 8:50 AM, followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.
Wednesday, July 3rd:
*Vespers Service at 6:30 PM, followed by a spiritual discussion on the 'Three Types of Prayer.'
 
2. Attached to this email is the weekly teaching of Metropolitan Saba on the 'Culture of Prayer.' Please take a few minutes to read through it.
 
"Strive to render your mind deaf and dumb during prayer; then you will be able to pray as you should... Blessed is the mind which during prayer keeps itself without image or fantasy."
+Saint Nilus of Sinai
 
With love in Christ,
Fr. Peter

 

Sunday, June 9, 2024

files/Bulletin-June-9-2024.pdf (7448kb)

Christ is Risen!

For Orthodox Christians, Pascha Night is the most anticipated time of the church year Prior to, and at the beginning of the service there is darkness. In the dark stillness, the priest appears from the Altar with a lit candle and chants, “Come receive the light from the Light that is never overtaken by night, and glorify Christ Who is risen from the dead.”  One by one, all present light their candles, exit the church, sing Christ's resurrection, and glorify His victory over death as we enter into the beauty of a brightly lit church. 

But if we limit the bright light of Pascha to that service or even to a 40-day season that follows, we will have missed the point.  For in Christ’s resurrection, our Lord brings light to the entire world. As we near the end of the Paschal season, we should all wrestle seriously with the question of whether we are really doing  what we can to open ourselves to the light of Christ.  Are we obeying the Lord’s teachings on how to find healing in our souls?   Are we keeping a close watch on our thoughts and actions, or are we blinded by the enjoyment of sin?  Are we orienting ourselves daily towards God?  

At the end of this glorious season of Pascha, let us all open our eyes and souls to the light of our Lord, Who is never overtaken by night, and glorify Christ who is risen from the dead, shining in the dark places of our lives, illuminating every dimension of who we are, and drawing us ever more fully into the life of the One Who has conquered death and sin.  He alone is our salvation and our hope.  For Christ is Risen!

NOTES:

  1. Attached to this email is The Weekly Bulletin. Please take a few minutes to read through it.
  2. Join us in prayer this weekend:
  • Saturday, June 9th: Great Vespers at 6:30 PM.
  • Sunday, June 10th: Matins at 8:50 AM, followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.

There will be NO Vespers Service on Wednesday, June 12th and Saturday, June 15th.

"Do not say, "this happened by chance, while this came to be of itself." In all that exists there is nothing disorderly, nothing indefinite, nothing without purpose, nothing by chance ... How many hairs are on your head? God will not forget one of them. Do you see how nothing, even the smallest thing, escapes the gaze of God?"      +Saint Basil the Great

In the Risen Lord,

Fr. Peter

Sunday, June 2, 2024

files/Bulletin-June-2-2024.pdf (5595kb)

files/Thoughts-on-the-Fullness-of-Life--Part-2.pdf (126kb)

Christ is Risen!

This week, a story from +Saint Nikolai Velimirovich.

“A priest is walking down a lonely road on a hot day when suddenly out of the bushes jumps a wild looking man with a gun. The man says to the priest, 'I have killed 99 men, and you will be the 100th.' The priest says to him, 'I am ready to die; but please before you shoot me, give me a little water to drink? I am so thirsty.' The murderer is confused for a moment, and then directs the priest at gunpoint to his hut in the bushes where he gives the priest a cup of water to drink. As the priest is drinking the water, the murderer dies of a heart attack. The angels from heaven come to escort the soul of this murderer to heaven, but the demons contest with them. 'This man murdered 99 men and committed many other smaller sins. His soul belongs to us.' But the angels answer the demons, 'But he also did two great deeds for the Gospel of Christ which outweigh all his sins. First he confessed his 99 murders to a priest and second he gave water to the thirsty. No sin, no matter how many times repeated, is greater than the mercy of God.'”   


NOTES

  • Join us in prayer this coming week at Saint Mary's

Saturday, June 1st: Great Vespers at 6:30 PM

Sunday, June 2nd (Sunday of the Samaritan Woman): Matins at 8:50 AM, followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.

Wednesday, June 5th: Vespers at 6:30 PM, followed by a spiritual discussion.

  • Attached to this week's email is The Weekly Bulletin and Metropolitan Saba's Teaching. Please take a few minutes to read through both. 

In the Risen Lord,

Fr. Peter             

Organizations, Ministries and Education

Our parish organizations, which include Amen, the ladies Society, Teen SOYO, young Adult Ministry, Sunday School, and the Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch, we welcome your participation

Additional Sites:
Our Mission
The mission of St. Mary Orthodox Church of West Palm Beach is to live out and proclaim the gospel message of our Lord Jesus Christ through worship, witness, fellowship and service.

Father Peter Shportun, Priest/Pastor

 

Sunday Morning Services:

 

    Confessions 8:30 AM to 9:00 AM

    Matins at 8:45 AM

    Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.


    Wednesday Service:

       Vespers at 6:30PM

 

Feast Day Services are as announced in the Sunday Bulletin and the Church Website.

 

Schedule of Services
Sunday
8:30am - Sunday Morning Service

Confessions 8:30 AM to 9:00 AM

Matins at 8:50 AM

Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.<

  
Wednesday
6:30pm - Wednesday Vesper Service:
  
Feast
  - Feast Day Services

Feast Day Services are as announced in the Sunday Bulletin and the Church Website.