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2009 Winter Meeting Minutes

Opening Prayer – The meeting was opened at 10:40 a.m. following the offering of prayers led by V. Rev. Edward Hughes and the singing of the Troparian of the Dormition led by Marilyn Robbat . There were 29 members present. Since our President, Nora Walker, was absent, today’s meeting was presided over by Vice President Delores George.

Roll Call

Executive Board Present: Advisor – V. Rev. Edward Hughes, Vice President – Delores George, Treasurer – Carol Swydan, Recording Secretary – Nancy Ghantous , Corresponding Secretary – Joan Hanna., Past President - Priscilla Goss

Absent: President – President, Nora Walker

Coordinators Present: Website – Melissa Nassiff, Public Relations – Pam Samara, Humanitarian – Mary Ellen Mabardy, Membership – Priscilla Goss, Religious – Kh. Louise Ferguson

Parish Delegates:

St. Mary, Cambridge - 3

St. John, Dedham - 4

St. George, Lawrence – 1

St. George, Lowell - 2

St. George, Norwood - 3

St. George, W. Roxbury - 1

St. George, Worcester - 4

St. Mary, Pawtucket - 0

St. Michael, Cotuit - 0

All Saints Mission, S. Weymouth - 0

St. Elias Mission, Fall River - 0

Warren Emmanuel - 0

St. Stephen, W. Brookfield - 0

Secretary’s ReportNancy Ghantous

The Minutes of the Diocesan meeting at St. George Orthodox Church, West Roxbury, MA were distributed for everyone to read. A motion to accept the minutes was made by Marilyn Robbat. The motion was carried after being seconded by Martha Stewart.

Treasurer’s ReportCarol Swydan

Our checking account balance was reported, along with the total in CD’s. Our expenses included $300.00 for the child we sponsor, $500.00 to the N.A.B. scholarship for 2009, and $50.00 in Memory of V.Rev. Niphon Abraham. 2009 Project money is due by May 1, 2009. During the month of March a second collection for the Project will be taken during one Sunday Liturgy. Carolyn has N.E. Region Choir CD’s to sell for $12.00. A motion to accept the report was made by Laurice Kurker. The motion was passed after being seconded by Martha Stewart.

Vice President – Project ReportDelores George

Vice President Delores George reported she had passed out envelopes to each Chapter representative containing beautiful posters of the new 2008-2009 Children with Special Needs Project, which are to be hung on the bulletin boards of each Church. METROPOLITAN PHILIP has challenged the Antiochian Women to reach a goal of $150,000 in 2009 to help the many organizations that support children with Special Needs.

NA.B. Report - Violet Robbat, Vice President/NABProject

METROPOLITAN PHILIP will announce which Special Needs organizations will receive a donation. The funds could go to several organizations such as Special Olympics or ALKAFAT which is a Lebanese organization that helps children with physical therapy, education, and development of useful skills. Each Chapter will have their own fund raiser for the Project. A second collection for the Project will be made one Sunday during the Antiochian Women’s month of March. The METROPOLITAN will send a sermonette to be read by the President of each Chapter during the Liturgy explaining the purpose of the Project. Violet will be going to the Antiochian Village for the N.A.B. meeting in February.

Coordinators and Committee Reports:

WebsiteMelissa Nassiff

Melissa distributed her written report to members. The website has been updated with the Calendar, News and Events, and the Newsletter at the top of the list. She encouraged everyone to look at the new improvements to the website. Members can contact her with new information to put on the site by using her e-mail address:

Public RelationsPam Samara

Pam passed out copies of the newsletter for our Diocese of Worcester and New England. V.P Delores congratulated Pam on her outstanding work with the quarterly Newsletter. She distributed copies of the Winter DIAKONIA and reminded the officers that their biographies will be featured in the summer DIAKONIA. Each officer should submit a copy of their personal biography and a photograph of themselves. She has sent e-mails to each chapter with a colored copy of the newsletter attached. Anyone can send information for their club’s events to her by mail (304 Maple Avenue, Shrewsbury, MA 01545) or e-mail .

ReligiousKh. Louise Ferguson

Louise announced the Lenten Diocesan Retreat will be on Saturday, March 7th at St. George Church in Norwood. The Speaker will be Elizabeth H. Prodromou Asst. Professor in the Department of International Relations at Boston University. She will give a presentation on “Orthodox Christian Unity: What, Why, Why Not Yet?” Divine Liturgy will begin at 9:00 a.m. followed by the presentation. Then a Luncheon will be served at 12:00p.m. Followed by a discussion of the subject and conclusion. Everyone is invited. Please send in reservations by February 28th to Kh. Louise Ferguson with a donation of $15.00.

HumanitarianMary Ellen Mabardy

After asking members to give her ideas for this year’s Humanitarian Project, Mary Ellen suggested we choose between two worthy projects: the Women’s Lunch Place, or the Homeless Shelter for Women Veterans. Mary Ellen presented information about the Women’s Lunch Place which has provided many of Boston’s poor and homeless women with a safe refuge from the streets for 25 years. Louise Kurker suggested the Homeless Shelter for Women Veterans which supports housing for women who are homeless after serving their duties for our country. Marilyn Robbat made a motion that the Woman’s Lunch Place be our Humanitarian Project for this year. The motion was passed after being seconded by Kh. Louise Ferguson. Mary Ellen will send flyers with a list of articles for donation to each Chapter. Donations are to be given to her at the Parish Life Conference meeting in June 2009.

Membership Priscilla Goss

Priscilla gave hand-outs with health tips about “Heart Attack Warning Signs” and “Stroke Warning Signs”, along with a story about “Nurse’s Heart Attack”. It described the differences between women’s and men’s symptoms when they are having a heart attack. Priscilla announced the Spring Fling will be a trip to the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton, MA on Saturday, April 4, 2009. If members would like to go by bus to the Museum of Russian Icon’s they should fill out their information on the flyers she passed out and return them to her. It is open for family and friends.

Corresponding Secretary – Joan Hanna

Joan Hanna was present, but did not have any new correspondence to report today.

President’s RemarksPres. Nora Walker

Since Nora Walker was absent today, Vice President Delores George read Nora’s written Worcester and New England Mid-Winter 2009 report.

Spiritual Advisor’s Remarks Fr. Edward Hughes

Father Hughes told us the story of St. Brigette, who’s feast day is February 1st. St. Brigette’s mother, who was a slave to local chieftains, was converted to Christianity by St. Patrick. St. Brigette, who was born free and raised Christian, waited until she was old enough to become a nun. As a young girl she realized the most important thing was to give to the poor. While working in a dairy she would give away the butter and cheese. One day she was afraid to tell her mother she had given away everything so she prayed and God replaced what she had given away. She was sent to school by her mother who saw that she could get a good price as a bride, but since she was determined to become a nun her father sent her to a convent. At the convent they took to hiding things from Brigette for fear she would give everything away. If something was missing she would say Jesus took it. Her life was filled with preaching, teaching, feeding and healing people with her touch. She made straw crosses and gave them to people to be healed. After her death her relics became a shrine of pilgrimage.

Old Business –

Delores read the dates for the meetings:

  • Feb 6-8 - NAB Antiochian Village
  • March 7 - Retreat - St. George , Norwood
  • May 2 - St. Mary, Cambridge
  • Jun 25-28 Parish Life Conference

New Business

Marilyn Robbat referred to a letter written by METROPOLITAN PHILIP to the Archdiocese telling of the humanitarian disaster that is taking place in Gaza. He asked that our parishes collect money and forward it directly to International Orthodox Christian Charities who will give much needed aid to the suffering people. Gladys Laham had suggested that we give our 10% Tithe for the year ending 2008 to the IOCC and ear-mark it “Middle East Relief.” Joyce Hanna made the motion that the 10% Tithe for the year ending 2008 be given to the IOCC and ear-mark it as “Middle East Relief.” Louise Ferguson seconded the motion. The motion was passed after a vote of: yes 11 and no 4.

Martha Stewart made a motion to send a $500.00 donation in gift cards to the Homeless Shelter for Women Veterans. The motion was carried after Laurice Kurker seconded it.

Priscilla Goss will chair a committee to nominate officers for the 2009-2011 session of Antiochian Women.

Only the Antiochian Women will meet on Saturday, May 2nd at St. Mary’s in Cambridge.

Michael DesChenes passed out brochures with details of the Parish Life Conference which will be hosted by St. George Lawrence from June 25-28, 2009. Marilyn Robbat made a motion for the Antiochian Women to purchase a full page add in the Parish Life Conference pamphlet. The motion was passed after Louise Ferguson seconded it.

A Motion to Adjourn was made at 12:00 by Mary Ellen Mabardy and was passed after being seconded by Martha Stewart

Respectfully Submitted,

Nancy Ghantous, Secretary