2 THE SHEPHERD • JUNE 2021 • SAINT SPYRIDON GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH OF SAN DIEGO Christ is Risen! We have now emerged from Holy Week spir- itually renewed. I think we can all agree that last year was a trying time. Many are re ect- ing on the year that has passed, on the deci- sions made by our leaders and our Church in response to COVID. Like other topics in our polarized world, the COVID response has been a divisive subject. I have received many emails and comments over the last year on our response, positive and negative, but re- cently received one which struck at my heart. It questioned “whether those who were ‘turned away’ or ‘turned o ’ in the last year will return?” At the time I received the question, I was ironically read- ing a series of articles entitled “Choosing Love in a Time of Evil.” One of the articles includ- ed materials written by Dr. Edith Eger. She was just 16 years old when she was taken to Auschwitz with her family. She lost her mother and father to the gas chambers the very day they arrived, but she survived. Her re ection on her choice to forgive reality by forgiving herself is especially instructive. She says “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human free- doms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. No matter how frustrating or boring or constraining or painful or oppressive our experience, we can always choose how we re- spond.” e realization changed her life. As we know, Saint Paul had a life changing experience on the road to Damascus, when he saw a bright light and heard the voice of Jesus asking him why he was persecuting the Christians and calling him to serve the faith. Saint Paul was blinded by the light and for several days was without his sight until he was visited by a Christian who touched his eyes and prayed over him. When Saint Paul regained his sight he took up the cross. Like Dr. Edith Eger, we can choose to how we respond to the COVID Year. Like Saint Paul, we can see the light and receive our calling. I hope that if you feel you were “turned away” or were “turned o ” you will nd it in your heart to forgive and hear the call ask- ing you to return. Our call to serve may not be as dramatic as Saint Paul’s on the road to Damascus, but if we keep our eyes and ears open, we will all have a calling. When He calls, where will you be? I pray that we will be together to make something of the calling given to each of us. Truly He has Risen! In your service, 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 our last meeting before Holy Week, our group decided that we would meet on the third Wednesday of the month from May to August via Zoom, and then hopefully we will be able to resume our weekly in person meetings in September. e topics that we have selected to discuss so far over these next few months are: Our Journey from Pascha to Pentecost and Celebrating the Summer Saints. In his book, Meditations for Pascha: Re ec- tions on the Pentecostarion, Fr. Papavassil- iou quotes this passage from 2Cor 5:17: “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.” is idea of newness a er our long journey through Lent and the cel- ebration of Pascha and now continuing our journey to the Ascension and Holy Pentecost forces us to consider what is being asked of us. Fr. Papavassiliou reminds us that every feast is not just a one day or temporary cele- bration, but a beacon of light to illumine us and show us the pathway to a new and dif- ferent life in Christ. e saints and Church Fathers say that we should come out of every feast being changed, where something new has entered our lives, new habits of prayer, a new attitude towards an old situation, some change - even subtle - in our hearts and minds. Having just emerged from the path of repentance into “the unwaning light,” we are forced to ask ourselves whether we can sustain what we have just gained during our journey to Pascha and Pentecost. In the book, e Guardian Angel, that includes daily prayers to our guardian angel, the challenge is presented clearly to us: “ ink about your life and where it is going. ink about God and His love and mercy. Remem- ber that Christ lived on earth, died and rose again for you. Come, nd out how good the Lord is: come to the Source of life, Jesus Christ, and give Him your heart.” And the bene ts of this new life are this: “Blessed is the person who walks before the face of the Lord under the guidance of his guardian angel. His life is like a crystal-clear stream, owing in a green meadow.” May such a life of abundant peace and living water become a reality for all of us. Wishing everyone a most blessed Holy As- cension and Holy Pentecost! With All Peace & Love in our Risen Lord, + e Women of the Word Bible Study Group Marian Khoury Dougenis Beautycounter Consultant 619.520.3660 www.beautycounter.com/mariankhourydougenis MEET HAND SAVIOR Radiance Boosting Serum + Hand Sanitizer I hope that if you feel you were “turned away” or were “turned off” you will find it in your heart to forgive and hear the call asking you to return.