2 THE SHEPHERD • AUGUST 2020 • SAINT SPYRIDON GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH OF SAN DIEGO is month has proven very di cult, in ad- dition to the uctuating state of the COVID situation, we lost six beloved members of our community, Stephanie Navrides, Christina Tzathas, Peter Parashos, James Vlachopou- los, George Marinos, and Nick Nicholas. ey were all examples of how to live our faith. ere will be a void in my heart every time I look at the pews they lled on Sunday, may their memories be eternal. With the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, we have once again been directed to close the Sanctuary. I hope that opening the Sanc- tuary, even for the brief four weeks, was meaningful for those who were able to at- tend. e Return Committee put a tremen- dous amount of time and e ort into insuring our safe return and I thank them for all their e orts. I also truly appreciate the patient, support, and encouragement so many of you have shown and shared as we navigate these new and challenging times. In challenging times, we are reminded of Christ’s example of nding peace in the midst of fear, doubt, and even his own antici- pated death. We now nd ourselves in a place which is di cult to understand and we are bombarded with so many divergent views. ere are no clear solutions, but mostly, we nd ourself in a situation we don’t control. It is said that true transformation, including our own, happens in these moments of un- certainty. For in these times, we are squarely confronted with the truth that our lives are uniquely in the hands of God. As we continue to stay at home during this pandemic, we can remind ourselves that the church is not a physical object but resides in our hearts. We can realize that we are inter- connected in a larger identity as the Body of Christ. In this collective identity, we can look beyond ourselves and feel the pain and suf- fering of those around us. We can reach out to one another in support and love; just a call to someone to let them know you are think- ing of them means so much in these times. I pray that we will all hear the needs of those around us and answer their calls. Peace be with you, 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 During this COVID-19 time of restrictions and social distancing, we are still reading, sharing, re ecting about our lives, about our guardian angels, about the light of Christ, about the saints and how they met adver- sity. For the recent Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, we heard a recounting of Paul’s life in and for Christ: “Five times…lashes. ree times… beaten; once… stoned. ree times… shipwrecked; …adri at sea, in danger from rivers, from robbers, in the wilderness, at sea, …from false brethren; in toil and hardship” (2Cor. 11:24-27) and yet we hear nothing from St. Paul about “wanting his life back.” Rather he has accepted that “those who have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ,” so life as a Christian is wherever Christ leads us, accepting what our loving Father has ar- ranged for us, if only we will try to bend our will to His, and trust in Him through every di culty. For some of us, “our life” has become an ar- ray of questions, a shi ing of perspective, a new understanding of where we are in our spiritual journey. We used to take going to church and receiving Holy Communion al- most for granted, but now because of the pandemic there are hurdles. en St. Mary of Egypt comes to mind. At rst an invisible force kept her from entering the Church and then a er she was received, she went o into the desert alone for a long time. She didn’t ask for her former life back. Instead she wept tears of repentance, turned her heart fervent- ly to God, and never looked back. In his book, Sojourners, Fr. Matthew the Poor writes: “ e lifetime of the spiritual or Christian man is measured by the extent of the transformation achieved in his experience of God and through God’s trials.” So we see there are ways to embrace the current situa- tion as an occasion for hope, as an opportu- nity to think of new ways to serve the Lord, to revitalize and reimagine our communi- ty, remembering ways women of ancient times served like Phoebe, a deaconess of the Church mentioned by St. Paul in his epistle to Romans. Instead of feeling restrained or restricted, this time is a chance to answer the call to be creative, to open our eyes to what surrounds us, and use the gi s that God has given us to serve others. One of the daily prayers from the book e Guardian Angel counsels: “ ink about your life and what you are do- ing which will lead to your salvation and the good of others.” And as St. Paul reminds us, continues 3 Dear GOYAns, parents, and all members of our Greek Orthodox community, As many already know, Mrs. Navrides passed away on Wednesday, July 1; at the time this was written, it has only been a week since her passing. Mrs. Navrides had been absent for most of our GOYA year due to her battle with Leuke- mia. Many of us held out hope that we’d get to see her smiling face again before the end of the GOYA year. Unfortunately, COVID-19 was not on our side and our GOYA year was cut short, making most of our last interac- tions with Mrs. Navrides all the way back in September. Even though a lot of us did not get to say good-bye, Mrs. Navrides held a special place in all of our hearts. As an active member of GOYA, I personally got to spend a lot of alone time with her and Mr. Bill through my years of GOYA. Mr. Bill, as many know, is quite the chatterbox. So, many of my interactions with Mrs. Navrides weren’t very talkative. Mr. Bill was stealing the show in the verbal department. Mrs. Navrides was a worker. She was always going the extra mile to make sure GOYAns would have a great time and, most importantly, learn more about their faith. A time that sticks with me was on May 5, 2018. It was Cinco de Mayo and we had GOYA night at the Navrides House. GOYA started at 5:00; I got there at 4:00 to help set up. I walked in the front door and Mrs. Navrides already had an entire feast of Mex- ican food spread out on the table, and she was still cooking more. I was shocked at how much she was cooking. Of course, lat- er that night, there were plenty of le overs. It amazed me, though, because she was so dedicated to making sure every GOYAn was happy. Mrs. Navrides le behind a remarkable lega- cy in our GOYA and Church community. She made kindness her priority and has made a very positive impact on our Church’s youth. We may not understand why she was taken from us so early, but that does not take away from all the great memories we have of her. I pray for her and the entire Navrides family. May her memory be eternal! Dimitri Gilpin, GOYA President St. Spyridon GOYA San Diego st.spyridon_goya G . O . Y . A . NEWS