2 THE SHEPHERD • SEPTEMBER 2021 • SAINT SPYRIDON GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH OF SAN DIEGO Where two or three are gathered in My name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20) For over a year and a half, I have been looking forward to “gathering” again. Yet with each step forward there seems to be half a step back. Just as we were returning, the “surge” and the “break through” virus pre- sented another challenge. Despite the reali- ties, I have come to realize that I need to shi my mind- set; through the pandemic I have become focused on “doing church” rather than “being” part of the Church. By doing church, I have been focused on tasks, rather than praying and being present. In being, we are greeting and praying for our neighbors rather than ignor- ing them. We are encouraging others rather than criticizing them. We are o ering to help rather than complaining about what is being done or not done. We are letting one an- other know that they are not alone and that the Church, we the people, are here for one another, praying for each other, and helping one another. e distinction between “doing” and “being” is illustrated in the story of Mary andMartha. (Luke 10: 38-42; 11:27-28) e Gospel lesson is read at all the feast days of the Virgin Mary and continually reminds us of the one need- ful thing - our relationship with Christ. In the story, Jesus is staying with Mary and Martha, the two sisters of Lazarus. Martha is running around preparing the meal, while Mary is lis- tening to Jesus’ teaching. Martha complains that Mary is not helping her and Jesus says to her “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion which shall not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42) e story emphasizes that we shouldn’t be anx- ious and troubled about the many te- dious things in our lives, but instead should prioritize the one needful thing. I am trying to shi my thinking from “doing church” to focus- ing on praying, encouraging and helping. I am trying to stop worrying about who will does this or that. For the needful thing isn’t whether there will be food a er the service, but whether we will make /take the time to enjoy one another in fellowship. I pray God will grant each of us the patience and dis- cernment, through His grace, to focus on the needful thing— to say yes to what He is call- ing us to do. 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 In response to the continuing presence of the Covid-19 pandemic and recent develop- ments and the surge of new variants, we are still in the process of nalizing our WOW plans for this coming year. Originally, we had assumed that we would be back to our usual in person weekly meetings starting the rst Wednesday a er Labor Day. However, since we are not “out of the woods” quite yet, we will be updating interested participants through the Weekly Bulletin. Either way, we had already decided that this year we would try a hybrid approach where women who could not attend in person could still follow us on Zoom. So more about all of that soon. Whether we are in person or on Zoom we will be reading and discussing a wonderful book together called e Holy Angels by Mother Alexandra, formerly Princess Ilea- na of Romania, who in exile became a nun and founded the Orthodox Monastery of the Trans guration in Pennsylvania. is book is of particular interest to us for two main reasons: rstly, it is a comprehensive look at what our Orthodox Church believes about angels, something we profess every day in our Creed “I believe in one God, Father Al- mighty Creator of all things visible and invis- ible.” So, clearly, we are not talking about fat little babies with wings, but rather powerful beings – Archangels, seraphim, cherubim, guardian angels - all parts of God’s creation to guide and help us along on our path to salvation. Secondly, in order to understand what God teaches us about these beings, each chapter of Mother Alexandra’s book walks us carefully through the myriad of references in our Holy Scripture from the Old Testament to the New and through the main services of the Church, through our hymns and icons to help us understand how “angels are a part of our lives: by God’s boundless mercy…our guides, guardians, mentors, protectors, and comforters from birth to the grave.” We look forward once again to “gathering in love around the Word of God” so that we may become “better doers of the word and not hearers only.” (James 1:22) If you would like to learn more about our group, contact (call or text) Susan Miserlis at 619-243-9864 or email susanmiserlis@gmail. com With Love in Christ, + e Women of the Word Bible Study Group ...through the pandemic I have become focused on “doing church” rather than “being” part of the Church. By doing church, I have been focused on tasks, rather than praying and being present. 20% OFF NEW CLIENT PROMOTION Marian Khoury Dougenis Beautycounter Consultant 619.520.3660 www.beautycounter.com/mariankhourydougenis ALL-IN-ONE MASCARA MEET