2 THE SHEPHERD • MARCH 2020 • SAINT SPYRIDON GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH OF SAN DIEGO Last month, with the death of Kobe Bryant, we were reminded of the fragility of life. In his book, “ irty Steps to Heaven” [Archi- mandrite] Vassilios Papavassiliou says that “If we live as though we are going to die to- morrow, we will be ready. We will carry out God’s commandments every day.” In prepar- ing, he suggests that one of the things we should do is “be reconciled with all those who have wronged us, and ask forgiveness of those against whom we have sinned.” e message of forgiveness is always with us. Each Sunday before o ering commu- nion, Father asks “My brothers and sisters . . . Forgive me!” In the past month, we have listened to the message of forgiveness in the parables of the Publican & the Pharisee and the Prodigal Son. In the coming month, we will witness the true depth of God’s forgive- ness. We are reminded that to be forgiven, we must forgive. What a great opportunity this time presents for us to repent; to have a change of heart and mind. On March 1st, Sunday of Forgive- ness, we will have the opportunity to truly forgive one another and begin our Lenten journey with mutual forgiveness. We have an opportunity to respond to Father’s challenge to build the Body for Christ. We can com- mit to travel the road of Lent, not as isolated individuals, but jointly as members of the Body of Christ. In our day-to-day lives, it is easy to forget that we are part of a community that needs us as much as we need it. On March 15, 2020 , we will be holding our Spring General Assem- bly Meeting following the Divine Liturgy. I hope you will come join us as we continue to plan for our future. If you have not heard the call, whatever your gi s, our community needs you. We are also planning for the 51st Greek Festival, June 12th-14th . e Festival Com- mittee is looking for help. We have several booths in need of a chair; we need help with baking, we need help with set up, and we need volunteers to work at the festival. If you can help set up electrical, we really need you! If you can help or volunteer, please contact Ben at ben@delarivafam.com, or Stella Weil at 4weils@sbcglobal.net. Together, through our collective e orts we can make this year’s festival another success. “My brothers and sisters in Christ . . . Please forgive me.” 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 At the back of the Orthodox Study Bible there is a very helpful article by Bishop Kallistos entitled “HOW TO READ THE BIBLE.” Here he tells us that Scripture is not just his- tory or doctrine but always “a direct, intimate dialogue between the Saviour and myself – Christ addressing me, and my heart respond- ing.” As we move into Lent this advice seems particularly important as the daily scripture readings take us on a journey through Gen- esis, Isaiah, and the Proverbs. In Gen. 3:9 we read about Adam in the Garden of Eden, and God asks, “Adam where are you?” (Gen 3:9) We are advised that we must see this also as a question to ourselves. at is, where am I in my relationship to God? And when God speaks to Cain, He says, “Where is Abel your brother?” (Gen 4:9) Bishop Kallistos re- minds us that “this is addressed to the Cain in each of us. e way to God lies through love for other people, and there is no other way.” (OSB p.1764) is question of where am I in my faith and in my relationship with God and with others is much on our minds as we have been read- ing the epistles of John who focuses on what it means to truly live a Christian life. Many of our discussions lately have been around examining ourselves more clearly, trying to discern what we are doing, how we are be- having and feeling. John continually chal- lenges our perception of ourselves, does not mince words, and goes straight to the point where he says: “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, tru- ly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” So we are trying to become more aware of our walk in Christ and how always to look to Him as the measure of what we must do and how we must live. Christ Himself makes it clear to us just what this measure is in the Gospel of John: “ A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (Jn 13:34-35) May it be so for all of us. Wishing everyone a most fruitful Lenten journey! With Love in Christ, + e Women of the Word Bible Study Group GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETING Sunday, March 15, 2020 Following the Divine Liturgy AGENDA 1. Opening Prayer 2. Election of Chairperson 3. Minutes from the November 2019 General Assembly Meeting 4. 2019 Final Financial Report & 2020 Proposed Budget 5. Audit Committee Report 6. Election of the Board of Electors for 2020 (3 needed to supervise & count the votes of the PC Elections in December 2020) 7. Report on Clergy-Laity Conference 8. Select Two Delegates for the National Clergy-Laity Conference 9. Preview NewWebsite 10. Father Andrew’s Remarks 11. Adjournment 12. Closing Prayer Next General Assembly Meeting will be Sunday, November 15, 2020 following the Divine Liturgy. Instead, let our fasting and our prayer be for the transformation of our hearts, from hard to so . Let us work toward the virtue of for- giveness and make that deposit, so we may begin to lay up for ourselves treasures in heav- en, because where our treasures are, there will our hearts be also. As for me, please know that I do not hold grudges. I try to live what our patriarch, His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew, has written in one of his former letters: ... e memory of the evil deed is a new appro- priation of evil, a continuous resuscitation of the evil deed, which is no longer due to the per- son who committed it once, but to the person who su ered it but does not wish or is unable to forgive. Καλή Τεσσαρακοστή! May you have a fruit- ful Forty Days! + Fr. Andrew 1 FR. ANDREW