St. Mary's Antiochian Orthodox Church
1317 Florida Mango Road, West Palm Beach Florida 33406
Sunday, June 26, 2022

files/Bulletin-June-26-2022.pdf (3014kb)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This coming Sunday, we hear in the Gospel of Matthew (4:18-23) how Jesus Christ called His first disciples and apostles (the word 'apostle' means "sent"). The Lord did not go looking in the places of higher learning. The Lord did not go to the temple or to the synagogues.  The Lord goes to the Sea of Galilee where He encounters simple uneducated fishermen (Peter, his brother Andrew; James and John the sons of Zebedee). These are the men that are chosen and called by Christ to be His followers.  These fishermen were taught and witnessed discipleship by Christ, Who would later send them into the world to preach the Gospel and bring many to God. 

As Orthodox Christians must understand that just as the original disciples were chosen to bring mankind to God, we are called to bring our neighbors to God. Every Christian is an apostle. Every Christian is an Evangelist. Every Christian is a missionary. We have received a wonderful and sacred gift from God, and it is not right to only keep it for ourselves and not share it with others and invite others to join us.  If simple, uneducated fishermen were able to become the leaders of the Church and to draw the world into the net of Christ, then what is our excuse not to do likewise?

Metropolitan Philip (Saliba) of thrice blessed memory said that “Orthodoxy is the best kept secret in America.” Let our faith no longer be a secret to our fellow neighbors. Let us all in our own way share this “good news” with our neighbors, our families, our friends, and let our faith no longer be a “best kept secret.” Many people are thirsting for God and for the happiness and meaning to their lives that only God can offer them. May God help all of us to be better Christians, and may God help all of us in the sacred task to help lead people to Christ, to the Church, to salvation. 

NOTES:

  1. Attached to this email is The Weekly Bulletin for Sunday, June 26th. Please take a few minutes to read through it.
  2. Our Repair and Improvement Campaign continues. Our goal is to raise $100,000 to make the necessary repairs and improvements to our church facilities. Your contribution to our campaign will help Saint Mary's Church from incurring a serious deficit.
  3. Join us in prayer this coming week:

**Sunday, June 26th: Matins begin at 8:50 AM, followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM. We will offer Trisagion (Memorial) Prayers for the repose of the servants of God: Naji Aoun (9 days); Margo Fankhauser (40 days); Thomas Eissey (40 days). Memory Eternal!

**Tuesday, June 28th: Vesperal Divine Liturgy at 6:30 PM, for the Feast of Saints Peter & Paul.

In closing some wisdom from our Holy Fathers:

"Nothing is more frigid than a Christian who is indifferent to the salvation of others. Indeed, I wonder if such a person can be a true Christian. To become a disciple of Christ is to obey his law of love; and obedience to the law brings joy beyond measure and description. Love means to want the best for others, sharing with them the joy of love."        Saint John Chrysostom

Have a blessed weekend. See You in church!

Fr. Peter

Sunday, June 19,2022

files/Bulletin-June-19-2022.pdf (4823kb)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Greetings from Memphis, Tennessee, host of the 2022 Diocese of Miami and the Southeast Parish Life Conference, of which I am participating in on behalf of Saint Mary's. It is good to see so many familiar faces both clergy and attendees - many of whom I have not seen since our last Parish Life Conference in 2019. For nearly two years, in-person gatherings in our diocese have been put on hold, or reduced to virtual meetings. Participation in the conferences and retreats held within our diocese are important if for no other reason than we realize that we are not on an island by ourselves (our diocese now has over 40 parishes and missions). As we continue to emerge from the pandemic, we need to resolve once again to participate fully in the life of our diocese.

This coming Sunday, we celebrate Father's Day. Though Mother's Day will always outweigh Father's Day in our hearts, it is important to be mindful of the role fathers need to play in our society, as well as in our Church. A Father is supposed to be a model of love, peace, and joy; an example of someone who is compassionate to the marginalized, generous to the poor, ready to help those in need, merciful and forgiving to those who have fallen. A father is one who is faithful, an encourager and supporter of others, a caregiver and a protector of his loved ones. A father is one who guides His family – who leads first by his example, and second who walks hand in hand with his family, guiding them on a path that leads into the Kingdom of God.

A most blessed and joyous Father’s Day to all fathers everywhere!

NOTES:

  1. Attached to this email is The Weekly Bulletin. Please take a few minutes to read through it.
  2. Our 'Repair and Improvement Campaign' continues. Currently, thanks to the generosity of many, we have collected nearly $25,000 in donations. This 25% of our goal of $100,000. The air conditioning system in the hall has been replaced and is operational. In the next few weeks, our parking lots will be repaved. During the summer months we are occupied by vacations, rest and relaxation. However, meeting our goal is paramount in order that our church does not fall into deficit. For those who have pledged and donated - thank you! If you have yet to pledge or donate, do so as you are able. 
  3. Join us in prayer this coming Sunday. Matins begin at 8:50 AM, followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM. Afterwards, come to the hall for coffee and fellowship.

In closing, some wisdom from the Holy Fathers of the Church.

“When men know how much weight a horse, or a donkey or a camel can carry and, according to that they are loading them according to their strength; when a potter knows how long to leave the clay in the kiln for it to be neither shattered nor over-baked, how could God not know how much temptation a soul can bear to make it ready and fitted for the Kingdom of Heaven?”      +Saint Nil Sorsky

God bless - See you in church on Sunday!

Fr. Peter

Sunday, June 12, 2022

files/Bulletin-June-12-2022.pdf (9226kb)

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This coming Sunday (June 12th), the Orthodox Church celebrates the Great Feast of Pentecost in which the Church commemorates the descent of  the Holy Spirit upon the disciples and followers of Jesus Christ (Acts 2: 1-11). The Feast of Pentecost is not simply the celebration of an event which took place centuries ago. It is the celebration of what must happen and does happen to us in the Church today. In baptism, we have all died and risen in Christ - we have "put on Christ" (Galatians 3: 27).   With the anointing of the Holy Chrism, we are sealed with the 'Gift of the Holy Spirit.' Chrismation is our personal participation in Pentecost—the coming of the Holy Spirit upon us.  We are the “temples of the Holy Spirit.” God’s Spirit dwells in us.   Pentecost has happened to us!

At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy on Pentecost Sunday, we will kneel, pray and ask that the Holy Spirit will continue to dwell among us, reminding us that we are God's own.

NOTES:

  1. Attached to this email is The Weekly Bulletin. Please take a few minutes to read through it.
  2. As noted in the bulletin, the air-conditioning unit in the hall has been replaced and is functioning.  The expense to install a new unit continues to exist. Please read the letter in the bulletin from our Parish Council Chairman Mark Samra and myself and consider a donation.
  3. Sunday Coffee Hour continues this Sunday, please join us in fellowship.
  4. Join us in prayer this coming Sunday as we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost. Festal Matins begin at 8:50 AM, followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM. Kneeling Prayers of Pentecost will follow.
  5. Please note that Wednesday Evening Vespers will not be celebrated the remainder of June and the month of July.

In closing, +Saint Symeon the New Theologian on the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost:  "...the acting of the Holy Spirit (on Pentecost) by means of a loud noise as of a rushing mighty wind, and with tongues of fire  was something unique. This happened only in the time of the Apostles for the sake of the unbelievers."

Have a blessed feast. See you in church on Sunday!

In Christ,

Fr. Peter

Sunday, June 5, 2022

files/Bulletin-June-5-2022.pdf (4348kb)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Christ has ascended in Glory!

As we celebrate the Feast of the Ascension our Lord, the following words by  'A Monk of the Eastern Church'  (Archimandrite Lev Gillet), helps us put this feast day into perspective.

"The Ascension makes thoughts of heaven more immediate, more actual to us. Do we think of our permanent home often enough? For most Christians, life in heaven is no more than a supplement—of which they have but a very hazy notion—to life on earth. Life in heaven is seen somewhat as a postscript, an appendix, to a book whose text is formed by earthly life. But it is the opposite which is true. Our earthly life is but the preface to the book. Life in heaven will be its main text, and this text is endless. To make use of another image, our earthly life is but a tunnel, narrow, dark—and very short—which opens onto a magnificent, sunlit landscape. We think too much of what our life now is. We do not think enough of what it will be. ‘Men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, nor hath the eye seen, O God…what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.’ At matins for this feast, we sing: ‘We who live in this world, let us feast like the angels…’. That is to say: let us open our minds more to the angels, and try to enter into their feelings, experiencing something of what they experience when the Son returns to the Father; let us go ahead in spirit and be near the Blessed Virgin Mary and the glorified saints, who will be our true co-citizens: ‘For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ’. Our lives would be transformed if, from now on, we threw our hearts over the barrier, beyond this world, into the kingdom where is found not only our own true good but also the good of those whom we love."

NOTES:

**Attached to this email is The Weekly Bulletin. Please take a few minutes to read through it.

**This is the LAST CALL to submit the names of your children and loved ones who are graduating from Elementary, Middle and High School; College and Graduate School. Please submit the names to Fr. Peter by Wednesday, June 8th. We will remember them in prayer on Pentecost Sunday (June 12th).

**Again, we ask that you give attention to our urgent request for donations to repair our air conditioning system in the hall, as well as our parking lot. The letter sent to you via email this week has been re-printed in The Weekly Bulletin.

**Join us in prayer this coming week:

Sunday, June 5th: Matins begin at 8:50 AM, followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.

Wednesday, June 8th: Vespers at 6:30 PM. 'Ask Abouna' will follow.

n closing, some words of our Lord Jesus Christ:

"Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the work I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father." John 14:12

God bless,

Fr. Peter

 

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, May 29, 2022

files/Bulletin-May-29-2022.pdf (3000kb)

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

   Christ is Risen!

   This past week, nineteen students and two teachers were killed in a fourth grade classroom at Robb Elementary School in Uvaldea, Texas, in what is yet another in a line of senseless shootings we struggle to come to terms with. How do we understand what has happened and what is our response?

   As Christians we are to exhibit God’s love, grace, and forgiveness here on earth. Though we can’t understand why this happened and why God allows this to happen, we are faced with the challenge to forgive those who carry out these evil acts by remaining in God’s love. We are called to pray for God’s love to be poured out on those who carry out these evil acts. We are also called to pray for those who have been victims of this shooting as well as their loved ones. Pray for peace and comfort for all who have been affected by this tragedy. 

   When we face situations like these where we see injustice, we are comforted only through the peace of Christ that is poured out to us. Christ Himself had to suffer injustice while he lived on this earth. But his suffering brought us hope because his death has conquered death for us. Through him, we are given a hope and peace that is beyond our understanding.

   Our God is a God of forgiveness, mercy, justice, wisdom, truth and love.

NOTES:

** Attached to this email is The Weekly Bulletin. Please take a few minutes to read through it.

** The church would like to recognize students graduating this year on Sunday, June 12th. If you have a child or a loved one graduating from Elementary, Middle, High School, College or Graduate School, please give Fr. Peter their names and where they are graduating from by Wednesday, June 8th. We will offer their names in prayer on June 12th, and host a Coffee Hour in their honor.

** Please join us in prayer this coming week:

Sunday, May 29th: Matins begins at 8:45 AM, followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.

Wednesday, June 1st: We will celebrate the Feast of Ascension with a Vesperal Divine Liturgy at 6:30 PM.

In conclusion, some words by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ:

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27).

Be safe this Memorial Day Weekend. Let us not forget the men and women who gave their lives for the freedom we enjoy.

In the Risen Lord,

Fr. Peter

Sunday, May 22, 2022

files/Bulletin-May-22-2022.pdf (10129kb)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Christ is Risen!

This week, I came across the following words by +Saint Issac the Syrian that I would like to share with you.

"God is greater! Greater than your illness whatever it may be. Greater than your deepest disappointment. Greater than your greatest worry. Greater than your worst enemy. Greater than your most difficult problem. Greater than life. Greater than death. God is greater! Believe it! Live by it! Affirm it! Claim it by faith and use it as a pillow to rest your weary soul. God is greater! If your God is not greater, then the God you believe in is too small. He is not the God the Church believes in." + St Isaac the Syrian

NOTES:

  1. Attached is The Weekly Bulletin for May 22nd.
  2. 'Family Movie Night' is this coming Saturday, May 21st, at 6:00 PM. Donation is $5.00 per person to cover food costs. The movie is 'Wish Man,' a true story about Frank Shankwitz, an Arizona motorcycle cop with a troubled past, survives a near-fatal accidentwhich leads to the creation of the Make-A-Wish foundation.
  3. This coming Sunday, May 22nd, is the last day of Sunday School until August. Thank you to all the parents who have faithfully brought their children, and the teachers who have volunteered.
  4. Join in prayer this coming week:

Sunday, May 22nd: Matins at 8:50 AM, followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM. A Memorial (Trisagion) Service will be offered by Fr. Elia and Odette Shalhoub in memory of his newly departed sister Hooda Shalhoub. A Coffee Hour in her memory will follow.

Wednesday, May 25th: Vespers Service at 6:30 PM. 'Ask Abouna' will follow the service.

I look forward to seeing you in church this coming Sunday.

In the Risen Lord,

Fr. Peter

Sunday May 17, 2022

files/Bulletin-May-15-2022.pdf (9862kb)

Beloved in Christ,

Christ is Risen!
The definition of 'hopelessness' is the feeling or condition of having no hope; despair; desperation. In the Gospel reading for this coming Sunday - John 5: 1-15, we learn of an encounter between Jesus Christ and a man who had been paralyzed for 38 years. For quite some time, he sat by the 'Sheep Pool' hopeless, in despair and desperately  looking to be healed. Christ would grant him healing that he sought with one condition: "Go and sin no more."
Most of us no doubt have felt hopeless at times, enduring times in our life when everything around us seems to be crumbling, and nothing can be done about it. If we’re not careful, the sense of hopelessness can morph into an ongoing outlook on life where we expect the worst to happen. We believe things are already decided against us—and there’s nothing we can do. The Paralytic believed this.  
Christ restored the Paralytic who had all but lost hope. If we trust in Him, Christ can give us a fresh perspective on the darkness that can surround us. He is our true hope. 
Glory to Thee, O Christ our God and sure hope, glory to Thee!
 
NOTES:
**Attached is The Weekly Bulletin.
**Mark Your Calendars for 'Family Movie Night' on Saturday, May 21st. Dinner will begin at 6:00 PM, followed by a movie. Admission is $5.00 for adults, $2.00 for children 5 years and under. This is being hosted by our Teen SOYO and is open to everyone!
**"Ask Abouna" where you can get your questions answered is held each Wednesday following Vespers at 6:30 PM. Bring a friend and your questions.
**Attention Parents and Graduates: On Pentecost Sunday, June 12th, we will honor all of our elementary, middle school, high school and college graduates for 2022. All our graduates will have their names offered in prayer during the Divine Liturgy, with a Coffee Hour in their honor afterwards. Please submit names of those graduating by June 8th to be included in the bulletin and prayer list.
**The Parish Council is working on updating our Church Directory. If you have not done so already, please take a couple of minutes to complete the form and return it to Shannon Pasley or Jane Pasley. Forms can be found on the table in the Church Narthex.
**Join with us in prayer this week at Saint Mary's"
Sunday, May 15th: Matins begin at 8:50 AM, followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.
Wednesday, May 18th: Vespers Service at 6:30 PM.
 
In closing, some wisdom from the Church Fathers.
"The heart naturally seeks happiness—and the Devil gives a false direction to this tendency, and allures it by earthly happiness, that is—by riches, honors, splendor of dress, furniture and various amusements."  St. John of Kronstadt
 
God bless,
Fr. PeterBeloved in Christ,
Christ is Risen!
The definition of 'hopelessness' is the feeling or condition of having no hope; despair; desperation. In the Gospel reading for this coming Sunday - John 5: 1-15, we learn of an encounter between Jesus Christ and a man who had been paralyzed for 38 years. For quite some time, he sat by the 'Sheep Pool' hopeless, in despair and desperately  looking to be healed. Christ would grant him healing that he sought with one condition: "Go and sin no more."
Most of us no doubt have felt hopeless at times, enduring times in our life when everything around us seems to be crumbling, and nothing can be done about it. If we’re not careful, the sense of hopelessness can morph into an ongoing outlook on life where we expect the worst to happen. We believe things are already decided against us—and there’s nothing we can do. The Paralytic believed this.  
Christ restored the Paralytic who had all but lost hope. If we trust in Him, Christ can give us a fresh perspective on the darkness that can surround us. He is our true hope. 
Glory to Thee, O Christ our God and sure hope, glory to Thee!
 
NOTES:
**Attached is The Weekly Bulletin.
**Mark Your Calendars for 'Family Movie Night' on Saturday, May 21st. Dinner will begin at 6:00 PM, followed by a movie. Admission is $5.00 for adults, $2.00 for children 5 years and under. This is being hosted by our Teen SOYO and is open to everyone!
**"Ask Abouna" where you can get your questions answered is held each Wednesday following Vespers at 6:30 PM. Bring a friend and your questions.
**Attention Parents and Graduates: On Pentecost Sunday, June 12th, we will honor all of our elementary, middle school, high school and college graduates for 2022. All our graduates will have their names offered in prayer during the Divine Liturgy, with a Coffee Hour in their honor afterwards. Please submit names of those graduating by June 8th to be included in the bulletin and prayer list.
**The Parish Council is working on updating our Church Directory. If you have not done so already, please take a couple of minutes to complete the form and return it to Shannon Pasley or Jane Pasley. Forms can be found on the table in the Church Narthex.
**Join with us in prayer this week at Saint Mary's"
Sunday, May 15th: Matins begin at 8:50 AM, followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.
Wednesday, May 18th: Vespers Service at 6:30 PM.
 
In closing, some wisdom from the Church Fathers.
"The heart naturally seeks happiness—and the Devil gives a false direction to this tendency, and allures it by earthly happiness, that is—by riches, honors, splendor of dress, furniture and various amusements."  St. John of Kronstadt
 
God bless,
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

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.