2 THE SHEPHERD • OCTOBER 2020 • SAINT SPYRIDON GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH OF SAN DIEGO I am sitting at home a er the third Sunday of our Sanctuary being open again. Clicking back and forth through the channels, I hap- pen across Tyler Perry giving his Emmy ac- ceptance speech. During his speech, he tells the story of a quilt his grandmother made for him as a child. Like all quilts, it was made out of a patch work of materials she had on hand and colors that didn’t match. He didn’t like the quilt so he used it to dry his dog and as a pad to lay down when he changed the oil in his car. Ultimately, the quilt was lost to time. Later in life, a er he was rich and famous, Tyler discovered a similar quilt in the win- dow of an antique store. He learned the quilt had been made by a black women, a former slave, and that each patch in the quilt was cut from moments in her life. He re ected solemnly about the quilt his grandmother had made him out of pieces from her life and how he had thrown it away. e story made me think of the quilt I was given by my grandfather before he passed. His mother had made it for him when he le the farm to go o to college. It too, was made up of patches of di erent colors and materials. Tyler Perry’s story made me look at it anew. Right now our world is focused on di erences, like the di erent patches in the quilt. But like all things, there is always an- other perspective. I discovered that the quilt is held together by a single cloth backing, uniting all of the pieces. For us, despite our di erences, we are unit- ed in our Faith. Our Sanctuary has now re- opened, many of you have returned, and I pray more of you will in the coming months. For the rst time in months, we can gather and celebrate baptisms and weddings. Our GOYA kids were able to gather at the beach with one another; what a blessing! While we may be forced to close again, I am reminded that our faith will continue to carry us for- ward. And when this is over, we will have an- other patch for our “life quilt” to remind us that all things pass. Continuing in Hope, 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 Our study group began online videoconfer- encing in September. e week before we be- gan our meetings in earnest, we had a prac- tice session focused primarily on learning how to be back together “from a distance” and getting used to the “ins and outs” of Zoom technology. Some joined via skillfully mounted cellphones, others balanced tablets on their laps, while the rest had their desk- tops and laptops set up on desks with pieces of their “stay-at-home” lives evident in the background, and thankfully no phones or doorbells rang and everyone’s pet (where there was one) behaved. Our next scheduled meeting in September was focused on reviewing the types of ma- terials we would share and how we would structure our discussions. Each member will have the opportunity to share or sug- gest a di erent Orthodox resource with the purpose of having a focused discussion and questions around one topic. So, for example, at our second meeting in September, our topic was: “MORNING PRAYER/HOW DO WE ANCHOR OUR DAY IN THE LORD?” e inspiration for this discussion was this quotation of St. eophan the Recluse found in Daily Lives, Miracles, and Wisdom of the Saints & Fasting Calendar 2020: “Hasten as early as possible, before anything interferes, to li yourself up to the Lord in mind and heart in solitude, to confess your needs and inten- tions to Him, and to beg for His help. Having attuned yourself by prayer and thoughts of God from the rst moments of the day, you will then spend the whole day in reverence and fear of God, with collected thoughts.” is was followed by a discussion about how we start our day, what are our morning prayers, how do we keep in the Lord’s presence through- out the day, and what gets in our way or dis- rupts our best intentions. e topic of discussion for the meeting fol- lowing that was “WHY/HOW PSALM 50 IS CENTRAL TO OUR PRAYER LIFE and WORSHIP.” is psalm was selected because of how o en it is recited in our daily prayers, as well as in the services of the Church at ev- ery Orthros & Divine Liturgy. For this ses- sion our resource was the Orthodox Study Bible with its helpful footnotes. Related to this psalm were the questions about repen- tance – what that really means and looks like, about humility and being humbled, about “hearing joy and gladness that the bones You have broken may rejoice.” (v.8), about what sacri ces are truly pleasing to God, and how continues 3 It was 70 years ago, morning of 28th of Octo- ber, 1940, when Radio Athens was broadcast- ing “Since 5:30 this morning, the Italian forces are attacking our defenses at the Albanian bor- der. Our forces are defending our homeland.” Only a few hours before this broadcast, the Italian Ambassador Emmanuele Grazzi had demanded that the Italian forces were giv- en free passage through the tiny and newly established country of Greece. Greek Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas replied with just a small word: “ Όχι!” “No!” So the Greek military forces immersed themselves into yet another war, without cal- culating their probability of success, just like the revolutionaries of 1821 and Leonidas and his 300 Spartans had done. It was enough for them, that they were ghting with honor and they did not think or care about the inevita- bility of the outcome. ey were brave men and women who did not hesitate to sacri ce themselves to the altar of the Freedom of their Homeland. e reaction all around the world is to bow to the Greek ghting spir- it and recognize the greatness of Hellenism. Radio Moscow is broadcasting: “You fought without weapons against those with a panoply of weapons and you won. Few against many, and you conquered. It couldn’t have been done di erently, because you are Greeks. We gained time so we can prepare our defense. As Rus- sians and as human beings, we are grateful.” Winston Churhill himself weighs in with his famous quote: “Hence, we will not say that Greeks ght like heroes, but that heroes ght like Greeks.” ose familiar with the deeper meaning of history know that the Greek OXI was not a coincidental culmination of events, but rath- er a conscious and voluntary expression of a set of beliefs, which have been rooted in the innards of the Greek people for three millen- ia. It seems that fate chose this small country in the southeastern European continent to be the theatre of some of the most import- ant struggles of our civilization. ere were raised the shiniest trophies of our spirit, our freedom, and the triumph of Democracy, trophies which were then shared generously with all the free people on this earth. Greeks do not ever hesitate to proudly prove that when a nation moves in unison and undivid- ed, it can defeat the strongest enemy against all odds. And this is where lies the histori- cal value of the 28th of October, 1940, our Greek “OXI” day. Nektarios Tradas ΟΧΙ 28 ΟΚΤΩΒΡΙΟΥ 1940