2 THE SHEPHERD • JANUARY 2020 • SAINT SPYRIDON GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH OF SAN DIEGO I started this month with the holiday blues in the seemingly never-ending barrage of black Friday ads and all the rest of the hol- iday glitz. I found myself in search of some- thing, as Father Andrew calls it, the “reason for the season.” In my search, I ran across an article “Christ is Born! Glorify Him!” writ- ten by His Grace Bishop John Abdalah of the Antiochian Orthodox Church in which he suggests writing down secular images and giving them a new meaning to focus on the real meaning of this Holy Season. He provid- ed the following examples and encouraged us to add to his list: • Let every twinkling light on every bush and window remind us that Christ is the Light that brings us from darkness into light. • Let every seasonal party remind us of the Joy of Salvation. • Let every Santa on the street collecting money, or posing for photos with chil- dren, remind us of the gi s God has given us and the opportunities God gives us to share with others. • Let every gi we present to one another remind us of the gi of life that Christ is for us. • Let every snowman, made of ice or styro- foam, remind us of how cold the world can be and how we need the warmth of our Savior. • Let every ribbon and bow on every pack- age remind us how Christ has put Satan in bonds and freed us to love him and stay with Him. • Let every Christmas carol and seasonal song, remind us that we are called to praise God from the depths of our beings. I can attest this exercise worked for me. Last week, I attended the Angel’s Christmas Par- ty at our Church. For those who don’t know, the event was for kids with cancer, cancer survivors. e Hall was lled with children who have been through the unthinkable but were all lled with such visible hope. One lit- tle girl got up and spoke. She was blind as a result of a brain tumor. Beaming with joy, she told us of her experience through che- mo and 28 operations to remove the tumor on her brain. She said the hardest thing for her was “having to go to school late a er her treatments!” en, she asked if she could sing a song she had learned in Greek and joyfully started singing Jingle Bell in Greek. ank you to the ladies of Philoptochos for such a wonderful event. Every time I see a Christmas tree adorned with its lights and ornaments I think of new life, the new life that was given to us through Christ. In its shape, I see the trinity and when I see the light, I think of the star that guided the wise men to the manger, and is guiding us. And in this season of blessings, I will think of the little blind girl seeing so much hope and joy in the World, smiling and sing- ing Jingle Bells in Greek, and surviving can- cer. “Truly, Christ is born, glorify him.” Many Blessings, Jim Gilpin Parish Council President Yes, the storage dungeon is fewweeknights and aweeken adjacent to the Kitchen. Reno anddisposalofallcabinetsand walls were prepped and RFP open, and brighter room via u lighting, aswell as heavy duty have a few finishing touches t nextcoupleofweeks. Special thanks for theirhardwo somewell-deserved breaks) fo JimLeventis,CoreyLeventis, a request forall topleasemakea cleanandorganized,whilealso that youmay“forget”behind. Πιστεύουμε ότι θα σας αρέσε στην Κουζίνα. Όλη η ομάδα π διατηρήσουμε και μελλοντικά καθαριότητα αυτού τού χώρο μας! Regards, Vlassiand theTeam FROM THE PARISH COUNCIL PRESIDENT WOMEN WORD OF THE Wishing everyone a most blessed Holy e- ophany! Our group has been on break for the past month. We will not meet the rst week of January, but instead we will resume our meetings on Wednesday, January 8 . For our last meeting on December 4 we in- vited Fr. Andrew for a Question and Answer session to clear up some of our questions re- lated to topics we have encountered in our Scripture readings. Many times, in the epistles, Paul, James and Peter tell us that God has given each of us special gi s, so our rst question to Fr. An- drew was how do we know what our gi s are and how do we use them according to God’s will? For this topic, Fr. A. directed our at- tention to Paul’s Epistle Romans 12 and to Ephesians 1:28 where we are called to use our gi s and not hide them. If we don’t know what they are, to ask the Lord for illumina- tion to reveal them to us so that whatever He has graced us with we can use for building up the Body of Christ. As we are all part of His Body, we all have a function and ability to do our part. Our gi s can be as simple and as important as giving mercy cheerfully, saying “Let me help you,” lending a caring ear, pray- ing for one another, being an example of pa- tience in tribulation, showing our zeal, and being “aglow with the Spirit.” ese scripture passages and examples of God’s gi s really helped to broaden our understanding on all kinds of ways to be better stewards, so that all that God has given us can become His work through us and ultimately for the ben- e t of others. Another question we had was How are we to understand su ering “according to God’s will” and to “the glory of God?” We were reminded that Christ also su ered in this world and so, should we be surprised when we encounter su ering in our own life? But because “He came for us and for our salva- tion,” Christ shows us the true path through su ering as Christians – that is, always giv- ing glory to God, not su ering like a mur- derer or a wrongdoer, but remaining steady in one’s faith, allowing Christ to be present with us in our tribulation so that His victory can become our joy. As St. Paul advises us in 1 essalonians 5:16-18: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” And nally, all comes through daily prayer and through our daily walk and relationship with Christ. Sponsored Announcement continues 3 Daughters of Penelope, Local Chapter Philia 380, and Greek Heritage Society of Southern California Invite you to a screening of the acclaimed documentary The New Greek Americans 1960-2018 January 25, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church, Pappas Hall 3459 Manchester Avenue, Cardiff By The Sea, CA 92007 Suggested donation $15 (Recepti on and Screening) RSVP: Alexa Pallas (760) 910-3056 | ampoct@hotmail.com Donations to bene�it Greek Heritage Societ y of Southern California