2 THE SHEPHERD • FEBRUARY 2022 • SAINT SPYRIDON GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH OF SAN DIEGO One of the challenges we all face is our re- sistance to change. We like predictability and control. As a favorite poet, W. H. Auden, put it: “We would rather be ruined than changed, We would rather die in our dread, an climb the cross of the moment, And let our illusions die.” Each new year (moment) presents us with an opportunity for change and to rid ourselves of our illusions and see the Light. In the last several years, I have looked for one word each year to help me on the change path. I read about the practice in “One Word at Will Change Your Life.” e book outlines a process that requires you to take some silent time to look inward and then to look up to “hear” your inspired word. is Year I heard my word a er the death of Golden Girl Betty White. Over her 99 year life she had always been so positive, so joyous about life. In many interviews, Betty said her secret to a long-lasting life was that she fo- cused on enjoying every moment. Her moth- er had taught her to “always nd the positive.” Someone who knew her said that whenever someone would gossip or bring negativity into a conversation, Betty would just ignore the comments and turn the subject positive. What I kept hearing was “joy, joy, joy.” e last step in One Word process is to live our word by looking outward. We have to put our words into action by sharing them with others. It is said that “joy finds a reason for hope even on the darkest of days.” So in this year, I pray that I can nd the joy in the moments; that I can be more grateful for the moments I am given, and that I can share the joy in the moments with others. Our upcoming Paschal journey is an oppor- tunity for us to nd true change. I pray that each of us will nd the Word and that we will continue our walk together. I will leave you with something else Betty White’s mother told her “ e older you get, the better you get. Unless you’re a banana.” 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 WOMEN WORD OF THE We resumed our WOW Zoom meetings in January, and we will continue to meet this way through the next few months up until Holy Week. In the book we are studying, e Holy Angels by Mother Alexandra, we now read and hear familiar scripture passages with new understandings about the pres- ence, role, and mission of angels in the New Testament. In her chapter on the “Angels in the Ministry and Teaching of Our Lord,” Mother Alexan- dra presents us with the familiar passage in Matthew 18 where Christ’s disciples ask Him “Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” and He responds, “become as little children… whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their an- gels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.” (18:3-4,10) Mother Alexandra uses this passage as one example where Christ implicitly shares the idea and belief that everyone has a “guard- ian angel” – a belief that we had already en- countered in the appearances of angels in the Old Testament as well. In the footnote for this passage in our Orthodox Study Bible, it says that St. John Chrysostom teaches that not just saints but all people have guardian angels. “However, the angels of humble people have a greater boldness, a greater honor be- fore the face of God, because of the humility of the person they guard.” And so, our author con rms, “To be humble-hearted, or hum- ble-minded, is the best passport to Paradise.” Concerning this same passage from Mat- thew 18, one thing that Mother Alexandra wants to make perfectly clear is that what Christ is talking about is the requirement of humility and simplicity for anyone striving for a place in His kingdom, and that this is not at all about the idea that all children are angelic in nature or that children or anyone become angels when they die. ere is, in fact, no scripture passage or writings of the Church Fathers that teaches us such a con- cept. What our Orthodoxy teaches us is that angels are spirits and part of God’s invisible creation, and humans are part of God’s visi- ble creation. As Mother Alexandra helps us to understand better: “Man may become the equal of an angel, by virtue of the Resurrec- tion, and through Christ ascend even above them, but man never becomes an angel.” She goes on to explain that such a belief might become entangled with ideas of reincarna- tion or rebirth in another form. 20% OFF NEW CLIENT PROMOTION Marian Khoury Dougenis Beautycounter Consultant 619.520.3660 www.beautycounter.com/mariankhourydougenis NewYear, New Routine FROM THE PARISH COUNCIL PRESIDENT STEWARDSHIP COMMITTEE Our parish Stewardshipministry has begun in earnest as we enter the second month of 2022. We, the Stewardship Committee, rst, would once again like to say “thank you” for your continuing nancial support of our steward- ship ministry. Because of your faithful and dedicated nancial giving 2021 was a success- ful year for the community and we, the Stew- ardship Committee, are most grateful. And, as a reminder, though our parish com- munity continues to navigate cautiously and safely along with our greater community because of the pandemic, I remind you that the “church”, as we know it, has enjoyed and prospered through every major achievement and endured and navigated through every lowmoment that our society has endured: the church doors remain open to all as we strive to live the great commission of becoming more “Christ like” by living the Gospel and thus, “loving thy neighbor”. us, regarding our own parish history and our almost one continues 4 3