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Featured Parish: St. Mary Church + Berkley, MI

A new command I give you:  Love one another.   As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.  (John 13: 34-35.)

St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church is located in Berkley, MI.  We are a small community known for welcoming others.  We are a family, and as a family care about each other, and are very supportive of one another.  For the past fifteen years St. Mary's has been blessed with the ministry of Father George Baalbaki and his wonderful wife, Khouriye Iman. During their ministry the church has grown and been energized.

The Ladies Society at St. Mary's plays a central role in the life of the church.  They are a very dedicated group of women. The women organize meals for the parish to partake of together, preparing all of the food. They have the responsibility of caring for the altar; the altar cloths, the priest's vestments, and the altar boys robes. At Christmas and Easter the women decorate the church, and decorate the bier of Jesus on Good Friday.  St. Mary's ladies love each other, ministering to each other in times of sorrow or sickness.

The Sunday School also plays a very important role in the church.  We have a large Sunday School at St. Mary's; there are classes for children ages 5-20. Each Christmas the children perform a Christmas play and sing Christmas songs for the parish. The teachers are very committed to teaching the children about the Orthodox faith.  What a privilege to teach them about the love of God, and the hope and salvation given to us through the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ!

St. Mary's SOYO is very active.  Our youth are friends with each other, and are a very enthusiastic group.  They organize Mother's day and Halloween parties for the families of the parish, each time doing a fantastic job. Our youth also participate in activities with the youth from other parishes; they traveled to Cleveland, OH for a basketball tournament and to Grand Rapids, MI for a football tournament. They have made many friends with the youth from the other Orthodox churches. May God bless them!

Our goal is to lead Spirit filled lives, growing daily in the faith... to glorify Him!  Glory to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!