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Pick Up Your Cross and Follow Me Annual Day Camp
St Iakovos Retreat Center, Sept 23, 2023, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM

For those with disabilities and their families, this Day Camp held at the retreat center will provide a camp experience! Pick Up Your Cross and Team Belong are coming together to create year-long events for those with disabilities and their families.

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    CONNECT Orthodox Young Adult Conference, Fri Sept 29-Sun Oct 1, 2023 Mpls

    The Connect Conference is for Orthodox young adults in their 20s and 30s. Through learning, fellowship, and worship, the goal of the conference is to better connect us to our faith, the Church, and each other. Format includes keynote addresses, breakout sessions, worship times, and fellowship.

    • Conference Theme: Christ’s offer of Refuge. “Come to Me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
    • Presenters: Mother Macrena, Dan Christopulos, Fr Joshua Makoul, Fr Seraphim Majmudar.
    • Registration opens July 17, 2023
    • Location: Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel
    • Sign up for our mailing list, or connect with us on Facebook and Instagram
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    Fanari Fall Camp, October 6-8, 2023

    Fanari Fall Camp brings all of the fun of Fanari Summer Camp to fall. This year, Fanari Fall Camp offers one session for our Athenian and Olympian camper grades: Athenians (5th-6th Grade) & Olympians (7th-8th Grade). Our most enjoyable activities include: Worship, Orthodox Life, softball, Fall Fest, and much more!

    • Registration opens September4 at noon.
    • $300/camper. Only 100 spots available!
    • St Iakovos Retreat Center
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    Women’s Pilgrimage, January 23-27, 2024

    It’s time to begin planning for the annual women’s pilgrimage to the St. Paisius Women’s Monastery scheduled for January 23-27, 2024. Space is available for ten women on a first come, first served basis. We fly to Phoenix, then travel by van for 3 1/2 hours to Safford, Arizona. Tickets must be purchased by mid-October. Prices are not yet available at this time (approximately $500-$650). Transportation, room, and board are included in the price. Please visit the St Paisius Visitor’s guide for rules and dress codes. The deadline to register is October 20, 2023. Contact Sandra Anderson with questions, 612.940.8933

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    2024 Western Region Family Basketball Tournament, February 2-4, 2024

    Save the date! Sts Constantine & Helen, Wauwatosa WI, will be hosting  the 2024 Western Region Family Basketball Tournament on Feb 2-4, 2024.

    News & Events at St. Mary’s

    Check the monthly Messenger, weekly Church Bulletin, and Church calendar for all upcoming events. Below are some special major events that we have planned.

    Intro to Orthodox Christianity Catechism Class – Tuesdays, Sept 12 – Nov 28, 2023, 7:00-9:00 PM

    The Minnesota Eastern Orthodox Christian Clergy Association (MEOCCA) hosts two 12-week catechism classes throughout the year beginning in September and January. The Fall 2023 schedule, information, and registration is online HERE.

    • When: Tuesdays, September 12 – November 28, 2023, from 7:00 – 9:00 PM.
    • Where: Onsite at St George GOC or online via Zoom (Links will be emailed before the course begins).
    • Who: Anyone interested in learning more about Orthodox Christianity.
    • What: Classes will address topics such as God: Holy Trinity; Mankind: Creation, the Fall, Messiah; Christ: Incarnation, Works, Teachings; The Church: Mission, Structure, History; Sacraments (Mysteries); Living the Christian Life; Missions; and more.
    • Cost: FREE!

    COME & SEE – Evening Vespers & Presentation, Saturday, Sept 23, 2023

    Bring a friend! Come experience the ancient Christian Church and learn about the faith. A short evening Vesper service followed by a presentation and refreshments.

    National Church Music Sunday, October 1, 2023

    Honoring Church Musicians Across the Archdiocese of America. This year’s spotlight is on St Kassiani the Nun, Poet and Hymnographer.

    NATIONAL CHURCH MUSIC SUNDAY. This commemoration was inaugurated by His Eminence, Archbishop Iakovos of North and South America in 1982, and has been re-affirmed by His Eminence, Archbishop Elpidophoros of America.

    NATIONAL CHURCH MUSIC SUNDAY is a day we set aside particularly to honor the contributions of local choir members, psaltai, and music educators who serve their churches through the hymnology of our Orthodox Church. In addition, it is a day when we recognize the work of the diocesan Choir Federations as well as the National Forum of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians, who through their music ministry, strive to enhance the development of church choirs, church musicians, and liturgical music at diocesan and archdiocesan levels.

    Family Camp – Camp Courage, Maple Lake MN. October 6-8, 2023

    On behalf of the Family Camp Task Force, we encourage all of you to come and see what Family Camp is all about! You do not have to have a family to join Family Camp – all of us are members of our Orthodox Family. To learn more about family camp & our guest speaker, click HERE.

    Mission Fundraiser. October 8, 2023 following Liturgy

    Come for this fundraiser after Liturgy to meet the Jones family: Michael, Meghan, and their children Catherine (10), Anastasia (9), Cecelia (7), and Elliot (4). Michael and Meghan are sharing their apostolic ministry in Fiji, Tonga, and Samoa. They are working to complete the Church of St. George and to walk with the small group of Orthodox Tongans to “share our life in Christ and thereby participate in building the true church – the body of Christ – as well as the new temple.” Please come and help with this fundraiser.

    Summer Camp 2024, Saturday, June 29 to Friday, July 5, Camp Wapo

    Summer Camp is hosted by St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church in Minneapolis, MN, and welcomes Pan-Orthodox participation in attendance, staffing, and in the planning of our programs.

    • Who: Campers entering 3rd – 12th grade level in the Fall of 2024
    • Where: Camp Wapo
    • When: Saturday, June 29 to Friday, July 5, 2024


    Recent Events

    Church School (K-12) Fall Festival, Sunday, October 30, 11:30 am -1:00 pm

    Calling all K-12th graders! Join us for a Fall Festival with games, crafts, and a lot of fun in the Terrace Room during the General Assembly!

    Philoptochos Sunday, Oct 30, 2022

    On Sunday, Oct 30, Philoptochos will celebrate Patron Saints Cosmas and Damion with an artoclasia, a special collection for the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and by hosting the social hour.

    Blessing of the Animals, Saturday, Oct 29, 2022, 10:00 AM in South Parking Lot

    Gather up the pets, grab the kids, and come to the church on Saturday, October 29, for the Blessing of the Animals at 10:00 a.m. in the south parking lot. We’ll begin with a beautiful service of blessing, followed by treats and  socializing.

    Guest Speaker for Heartland Girls' Ranch, Tuesday, October 25, 7:00 PM

    Everyone is invited to the  Philoptochos meeting to hear our guest speaker from Heartland Girls’ Ranch, a residential group home in Benson, MN. The ranch provides housing, supportive services, mental health support, equine (horse) and other therapeutic programming and a dedicated school for girls.

    Orthodox Game League Night, Saturday, October 22, 7:00 PM, Lecture Room

    Do you enjoy playing cards and/or board games? Join the gang on Saturday, October 22, 7:00 pm, in the Lecture Room for fun and fellowship with fellow Orthodox Christians from throughout the Metro area. Please bring a snack to share. Beverages will be furnished. Contact Nikki Beauchamp with any questions.

    Sr GOYA Service Project, Wed Oct 12, 2022, 6:15-8:00 pm

    Senior GOYA Service Project; meet at the Wehr House. Fun, food, and fellowship. Be sure to bring warm clothing for outdoor activities!

    Family Camp, Fri Oct 7 – Sun Oct 9, 2022

    Family Camp took place on October 7-9 at beautiful Camp Courage in Maple Lake, MN. Fr. Andrew Jaye and David Benson shared unique perspectives on prayer! Family Camp is a great way to introduce young campers to the idea of camping and a great chance to reacquaint campers to summer camp friends.

    Women’s Book Club Discussion, Thursday October 6, 2022, 7:00-8:30pm, In-Person at Church or Remote Call-in

    The Women’s Book Club discussion of Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis was held Thursday, October 6, 7:00-8:30pm. This was a hybrid event, with in-person discussion at church in the Fireside Room, and a call-in option for remote participation. All women are welcome. To have your name added to the list, contact Katherine Boosalis ( The book is available for purchase in the church bookstore.

    Philoptochos to Cook & Serve a FOCUS Dinner, Sunday Oct 2, 2022

    Philoptochos cooked & served dinner for FOCUS Minnesota guests-in-need on Sunday, Oct 2. FOCUS reports that 200 to 250 meals are being served each Sunday evening, punctuating the need in the community at large. We served chicken, pork, potatoes or rice, carrots, a tossed salad, rolls, and cookies. Carol Smith, Chair.

    Mission Take Heart to Visit St. Mary’s – Sunday Oct 2, 2022

    Missions and Outreach brunch with two presenters from Mission Take Heart. Learn how to help persecuted Christians get their businesses established once again by using training and micro loans. Serving the persecuted involves the entire body of Christ.

    Men’s Retreat at the Karos’ Cabin, September 16-18, 2022

    The St. Mary’s Men’s (age 18 and over) Retreat returned at the Karos’ cabin! Fr. Tim Sas joined us for the weekend. Weather dependent activities included fishing, hiking, tennis, basketball, pickle ball, and our annual bonfire. The Guest Speaker was Fr. Cyprian Sas, brother of Fr. Tim Sas.

    Altar Server Workshop, Sunday, August 28, 2022 after Divine Liturgy

    New and current altar boys met with Fr Tim and Fr Paul after Divine Liturgy for an orientation on preparing for and serving in the the altar.

    Twins Baseball Outing, Sunday, August 21, 2022

    Game Starts at 1:10 pm – Bus Leaves St Marys at 12:00 Noon. Grab your glove and come on out to see the Twins play the Rangers on Sunday, August 21, at 1:10 p.m.! St. Mary’s will provide a bus to and from Target Field, departing from St. Mary’s at 12:00 noon. The tickets are $20, which includes a hot dog and a soda, and are on a first come, first served basis.

    FOCUS Minnesota Festive Event, Thursday August 18 2022, 6:30 – 9:00pm

    Don’t miss this year’s FOCUS Minnesota’s annual Festive Event, celebrating 12 years of service to our community, at St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church. This year’s theme is Focus on the Heart – and the very heart of our shared ministry is the prayers and the support we receive from the church communities. Even through the last few difficult years, working together we have been able to steadfastly keep up our work, on behalf of our entire Orthodox community, to minister to the poor. Thank you so much. It would be an honor to see everyone at this event, to update you on the work of FOCUS, to share with the whole Orthodox community of the greater Twin Cities what they have been able to accomplish with God’s abundant mercy and blessings, and the support of the churches. Buffet with wine and beer bar.

    Twin Cities YAL Boat Cruise, Thursday Evening, August 18, 2022

    Young adults (ages 18-35) are invited aboard the Magnolia Blossom on Thursday evening, August 18, to dance the night away as we cruise down the Mississippi River!

    Summer Reading Book Club for Jr GOYAns (Rising 6th–8th gr) Wed, Aug17, 2022, 5:30-7:00pm

    All Junior GOYAns are welcome to join our Summer Reading Book Club led by Presvytera Alexandra Houck. The Junior GOYAns will be reading The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis and meet to discuss the book and examine the Christian messages within the book.

    The Dormition of the Theotokos Feast Day - Sun & Mon Aug 14&15, 2022

    Philoptochos will host both a Lenten meal after Vespers on Sunday evening, August 14, and the coffee hour after morning Liturgy on Monday, August 15. Please stop by our table after church on Sundays to volunteer to help at these events or provide treats for the morning reception and help us celebrate our parish feast day!

    Dormition Retreat - Sunday August 14, 2022

    Our Dormition Retreat for kids entering Kindergarten through 12th grade will take place on Sunday, August 14, from 10:45 AM (following Communion)-12:30 PM. This year the retreat will look a little different. Following Communion on Sunday, we will meet in the Terrace Room and breakout into a couple different groups where we will decorate the Kouvouklion, have a lesson about the Theotokos, and some hang time. A snack and light lunch will be provided.

    Women's Book Club - Thursday, August 4, 2022, 7:00 - 8:30pm. Lecture Room.

    The next book club discussion of The Forgotten Desert Mothers by Laura Swan will be Thursday, August 4, from 7:00-8:30 p.m., in the Lecture Room. The book is still available in the bookstore. If you’re unable to attend in person, we can set up a conference call to join the discussion. Please contact Katherine Boosalis or Dka. Alexandria Kalina to make this request.

    Taste of Greece Festival Volunteer T-Shirt Contest - Deadline July 31, 2022

    Hey kids! — Don’t miss out on the First Annual Volunteer T-Shirt Design Contest! Show off your creativity with your original design, drawing, or phrase of what you feel represents the Taste of Greece! View the flyer for more information.

    • The contest is open to youth in grades K-12.
    • Individual entries: one per person OR sibling entries: one per family.
    • Themes: Greek Heritage | Greece | St. Mary’s Church | Taste of Greece Festival.
    CrossRoad, July 23 - August 2, 2022, Chicago IL

    CrossRoad is a ten-day academic summer institute that prepares high school juniors and seniors to make big life decisions and invites them to connect with the Orthodox Christian theological and spiritual tradition in a deep and meaningful way.

    The Telos Parish Workshop, Sunday, July 17, 2022, 11:45a.m.-3:00 p.m. Terrace Room.

    Create a Beautiful Future with Young Adults at St. Mary’s!
    St. Mary’s is a part of the Telos Gamma Process to engage and energize young adults in our community. We invite all parishioners to this kick off workshop to give insights and reflect on what is unique and wonderful about St. Mary’s and imagine together how the parish can become a home where young adults thrive and contribute to the community. We will be catering a pastitsio lunch from It’s Greek to Me so please let us know how many to expect by Tuesday, July 12. We are also working to provide childcare during this workshop.

    The Telos Project Vision: The young adults in our parishes often struggle to understand why they should remain Orthodox, or even Christian. They wrestle with questions of identity, vocation, and relationships. They want to connect with the Orthodox Church, but they don’t always know how. To this end, we [the telos community team] are dedicating the next five years to discovering new ways of engaging young adults ages 23–29 in Orthodox parishes. Based out of the Office of Vocation & Ministry at Hellenic College Holy Cross, the Telos Project has invited fourteen pilot parishes to participate in Telos webinars, conferences, and other resources as they embark on designing new ministries for and with the young adults in their communities. These parishes, in turn, will share their learning with us and with the Church more broadly, helping shape Hellenic College Holy Cross curriculum and future leaders of the Church. Read more here.

    Day of Service (formerly Days for Girls), Wednesday, July 13, 2022, 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. Lecture Room

    Volunteers working for any portion of the day… Projects may include making pillowcases for Shriners Hospital and Reach and Restore, boxer shorts for FOCUS, pads for Days for Girls kits, and nightshirts for the Sojourner Battered Women’s Shelter. Many types of tasks will be needed. If you want to sew on your own machine, feel free to bring it. Contact Chair Sofia Johnson with questions. Sponsored by St Mary’s Philoptochos.

    St Mary’s Summer Camp – Saturday, July 2 – Friday, July 8, 2022

    Summer Camp 2022 was held at Camp Wapo .

    Vacation Church School – June 13-17, 2022

    This year we explored Superheroes-Super Saints! Classes were held each day from 8:45 am to 12:00 noon, Monday-Friday. VCS is always for children 4 years old (and potty trained) through those entering 6th grade in the fall. We had helpers/crew in 7th-12th grades as well as adults.

    YAL Spring Retreat – May 20-22

    The Twin Cities Y.A.L. hosted young adults at the 2022 Spring Retreat on May 20-22. Our theme of “Balance” was led by Steve Wehr.

    “Walk with Christ to the Cross” – St. Mary’s Holy Friday Retreat, Friday, April 22, 2022, 10:30 am – 1:20 pm

    An engaging day at Church in which children learned about Holy Week, the Crucifixion, and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    • We had lessons, crafts, lunch, stations in the church, and gym time to help get the wiggles out – even the big kids!
    • Attended the Descent from the Cross Vespers beginning at 1:30 pm.
    • Pre-K (4 yrs old) – 12th Grade.
    Lazarus Saturday Family Service Day, Saturday, April 16

    • Matins – 9:00 a.m. • Divine Liturgy – 10:00 a.m.
    The Service Day projects followed a time of fellowship after Liturgy and included cleaning and preparing the church for Holy Week and plaiting palm crosses. It was a joy-filled day! At midday we joined together for a potluck lunch. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were provided for the kids.

    St John Chrysostom Oratorical & Fine Arts Festival – Sunday, April 10

    Four excellent presentions were delivered to St Mary’s congregation and judges following the Memorial Prayers of the Divine Liturgy. Talents in other categories were on display in the Great Hall. The Saint John Chrysostom Oratorical and Fine Arts Festival is a longstanding tradition that provides a unique opportunity for our youth both to learn about their faith and to display their talents in the areas of Speech, Essay, Poetry, Iconography and Vocal Solo (new category as of 2019). The winners in each category will advance to the Chicago Metropolis event which will be held Bright Saturday, April 30, 2022 from 9am-2pm at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, Milwaukee, WI. The Oratorical Committee members will introduce and judge the Speech and Vocal Solo categories on Bright Saturday. As in previous years, the Essay, Poetry and Iconography categories will be judged earlier that week.

    Fanari Retreat – Saturday, April 2, 2:00-8:00 p.m.

    5th-12th graders from the Minnesota Greek Orthodox churches came together to attend the Fanari Retreat. The retreat was a day in the life of camp, and included: worship, Orthodox Life, games, song night, and much more! This regional retreat had seven satellite locations (including here at St. Mary’s) throughout the Metropolis, each following their local COVID-19 guidelines. All 5th-12th graders were invited to attend. Following the retreat, the 5th-8th graders went home (8:00 p.m.), and the 9th-12th graders were invited to stay for a lock-in. We woke up in time to attend Orthros at 8:30 am, and the lock-in officially ended at the end of the Divine Liturgy.

    Camping Ministry Sunday, March 20

    Camping Ministry Sunday, the second Sunday of Great and Holy Lent. The primary purpose of this event to emphasize the impact of camping ministries for the Metropolis faithful, which are celebrating their anniversaries this year:
     St. Mary’s Camp (70 years)
     Fanari Camp (50 years).

    • Sharing the encyclical from His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael
    • Having St. Mary’s Camp alumni briefly speak about the importance of Camping Ministry.
    • Hosting a table during the fellowship hour with materials about our upcoming Summer Camp at Camp Wapo July 2-8, 2022. Camp Staff will be on hand to answer any questions.

    Winter Camp, Friday, March 11 – Sunday, March 13, 2022

    Winter Camp at St. Croix with St. Mary’s OCA. The theme was Baptism and Salvation. We discussed the sacrament of Baptism and our Orthodox understanding of Salvation. Also enjoyed fun activities like body sledding down icey hills. For those in grades 6-12.

    Tuesday, December 14 – Senior Citizens’ Christmas Party

    The Christmas season was kicked-off with the Senior Citizens’ Christmas Party on Tuesday, December 14. Social time began with appetizers, punch, and wine. The lunch menu was salad, garithes with manestra (shrimp with manestra in a special tomato sauce), a special Christmas dessert, and coffee. Our own Elena Biessener performed holiday favorites and other delights. The afternoon concluded with Bingo, complete with prizes.

    December 12 – Farewell Luncheon Honoring Fr. George

    The Parish Council, Fellow Clergy, Church Staff, Philoptohos, and parishioners honored Fr. George for his dedicated service to St. Mary’s.  In just over seven years, Fr. George has impacted each of our lives and been a loving and faithful presence. We will miss him and his family and wish them continued joy as he begins his service at Holy Apostles in Westchester, Illinois.

    December 5 – Harvest Pack

    Parishioners packaged breakfast meals for food shelves following the Divine Liturgy. 

    Saturday, November 13 – Appreciation Glendi for Parishioners

    A fun time was had by all! In appreciation of your Time, Talent and Treasure, the St. Mary’s Parish Council and Stewardship Committee invited parishioners to this annual event of dinner, dancing and fellowship.

    Thursday, November 11 – Wine & Cheese Reception to Benefit IOCC

    Two powerful presentations! Please continue to support IOCC’s global humanitarian work. International Orthodox Christian Charities offers emergency relief and development programs to those in need worldwide, without discrimination, and strengthens the capacity of the Orthodox Church to so respond.

    Sunday, November 7 – Stewardship/Ministry Fair at St. Mary’s

    Please continue to learn about the many ministries of St. Mary’s supported by our stewardship commitments. There is something for everyone!

    Sunday, October 31 – Celebrate Fr. John’s 25th Year!

    This was a wonderful celebration of Father John’s 25 years in the Greek Orthodox priesthood on Sunday, October 31. Festivities included a lunch and program honoring Father John as spiritual leader, confidante, and friend to parishioners at St. Mary’s and parishes around the country.

    Saturday, October 30 – Blessing of the Animals

    Pets were blessed in the south parking lot at 10:00 am.

    Thursday, October 21 – FOCUS MN Fundraiser

    A wonderful evening together of reflection on the blessings the past year brought us and look to a future with continued service. For more information and how you can support, go to

    Sunday, October 3 – Luncheon with Bishop Neofitos

    Interested in supporting Bishop Neofitos in his work to build a building for a girls’ school or dig a well? Over $5,000 has been raised so far. Join us in supporting this worthy cause! Click here to make a donation via Venmo or our online giving site. Include a note that your donation is for “Bishop Neofitos.” You may also want to follow Bishop Neofitos’ good works on Facebook.

    Saturday, October 2 – Town Hall with Metropolitan Nathanael
    1:00 – 3:00 pm in the Great Hall. Join us as we welcome His Eminence to Minnesota for a discussion among the faithful. Live stream and in-person participation.