2 THE SHEPHERD • JULY 2020 • SAINT SPYRIDON GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH OF SAN DIEGO As I write this letter, I am both weary and excited. It is hard to believe that nearly three months have passed and we are still in this COVID-19 pandemic but are nally able to return, at least partially to our Sanctuary. Looking back we can see the past, but it is very di cult to see what the future has in store. We are in uncharted territory where the world in front of us looks nothing like our past. As we move into this uncharted territory, we are struggling, not only with all of the changes and restrictions, but also with trying to preserve the things we don’t want to ever change. As we return to the Sanctuary, we are nat- urally resistant to change. We have worked very hard over the last months to put proce- dures in place to both preserve our past and to comply with local, state and federal guide- lines. Still, we realize the fact that attendance will be limited, that we will need to make reservations and to wear masks during litur- gy is not ideal. Please be patient as be try to navigate this complicated new territory and remember these things are temporary. In my daily readings, I came across this pas- sage “Imagine if a day lasted a week, a bad day would feel like an eternity!” Sounds a lot like what we are experiencing, right? My friends and colleagues are now referring to each day as “Blursday” with each day running into the next. I have reminded myself that God cre- ated days and seasons to give us starting and ending points. So each day, I awake, go into my home o ce, turn the block on my per- petual calendar, and remind myself that I am truly blessed. Praying at noon each day with so many of you has been wonderful. If any- one wants to join us call 605-313-6214 [Pass Code 845590] Monday through Saturday at Noon. In closing, we want to acknowledge and say “thank you” to Vicky Ragousis for her long time service to our community. Vicky is re- tiring at the end of June. Vicky has served in the church o ce for over 30 years and has been invaluable. We wish her the best in re- tirement and hope she knows how much we appreciate her. 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 Although our group is not meeting right now, we still stay connected, praying for each other and sharing thoughts, articles, and quotes with one another to support our daily lives. So just how are we managing and what are we to make of these di cult times? One of the things that many nd challenging about the Covid-19 stay-at-home situation is learning how to replace exterior activity with inner quiet. One article that speaks specif- ically to this challenge is an interview with Jean-Claude Larchet, a contemporary Or- thodox French theologian and writer. About our Covid-19 con nement he o ers the view that it can be an “opportunity to experience the hesychia dear to Orthodox spirituality, a state of solitude and especially of exterior and interior calm; to rest from the incessant move- ment, noise, and stress linked to our usual liv- ing conditions; and to re-inhabit our interior dwelling – the place of the heart.” On top of this there are so many other so- cial issues that currently press upon us and threaten to divide us. is reminds us of a passage that we read and discussed during one of our meetings this year in the rst Epistle of Peter where he says “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith.” (1 Peter 5:8-9) In spite of these challenges, many of our sis- ters are trying to follow the words of St. Ser- aphim of Sarov who encourages our striving always for peace where he says: “You cannot be too gentle, too kind. Shun even to appear harsh in your treatment of each other. Never condemn each other…Instead of condemning others, strive to reach inner peace. Keep silent, refrain from judgment. is will raise you above the deadly arrows of slander, insult, and outrage and will shield your glowing hearts against all evil.” So our work always focuses back on the greatest commandment given to us by the Lord which is to “love the Lord God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength . . . and your neighbor as yourself ” (Mark 12:30-31). is is presented in Holy Scripture as non-nego- tiable and without excuses or exceptions. We have to learn how to love one another, to act always out of caring for one another; to not only hear one another but also to truly lis- ten to and try to understand what the other person is saying; to respect one another; not continues 3 On-line classes instead of going to school. Keeping six feet away from others. Wearing a mask. Not going to Church to participate in the liturgy and receive communion. No GOYA activities. ese are just a few of the things impacting us due to the Corona Vi- rus. Life is a lot more challenging than it was just 3 or 4 months ago and the uncertainty of when it all might end weighs on our minds. e internet is full of ideas for how you can navigate these limitations and social media is keeping you in touch with friends even if you can’t hang out with them (yay social media). e GOYA board has been working to keep some kind of connection among the teens at St. Spyridon with the help of tools like zoom and they have come up with a great idea for July. On July 25th from 5pm to 6:30pm GOYAns and their families are invited to come to the Church and join together for a paraklesis service raising our voices in praise to Jesus and the eotokos. is will be done with social distancing, masks and every pre- caution so our St. Spyridon teens can safely see one another a er a very long absence. We hope you join us and help continue the fel- lowship we have in GOYA through these un- certain times. Looking ahead to the return of more normal activities, we will hold elections on the 25th of July to make sure GOYA has leadership going into the 2020-21 year. If you want to run for the board you need to be in attendance on July 25th. In addition, we will recognize the current board for their leader- ship over the past year. It was nice to see some of our Seniors at church on June 21st when St. Spyridon start- ed holding liturgy for the faithful. We look forward to seeing all of you on July 25th. On a personal note, we would like to thank all of you that took the time to drive by our home and wish Stephanie a very happy belat- ed birthday on June 20th. It was a wonderful surprise for our family and really li ed our spirits. ank you Kiki Vassos for organizing this beautiful morning. Praying that you are and, will continue to be, healthy and safe. Bill and Stephanie Navrides, St. Spyridon GOYA Directors GOYAStSpyridon@gmail.com St. Spyridon GOYA San Diego st.spyridon_goya G . O . Y . A . NEWS