2 THE SHEPHERD • OCTOBER 2021 • SAINT SPYRIDON GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH OF SAN DIEGO In September, we started the new liturgical year; what a great time for us to look back, to re ect, and to look forward. We observed the 20-year anniversary of 9/11 with the in- augural lighting of the St. Nicholas Shrine at Ground Zero. It was followed on Sunday by the return of our families and children to St. Spyridon for Sunday School; what a moving weekend! For me, the story of St. Nicholas Shrine reads like a parable. e building originally was a tavern; converted to a house of God. Over the years, the neighbor- hood around the church changed from row hous- es to towering skyscrap- ers. Eventually, the little church stood alone in the shadow of those surrounding giants. Reverend Alex Karlout- sos, the vicar general of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, described the little church on the lonely parking lot as an oasis that was always open. Among the images of 9/11, are pictures of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church stand- ing in the shadow of the falling World Trade Center Towers. It was ultimately consumed by the destruction and a 20-year journey of rebirth began. ere were years of ght- ing to stay and rebuild at Ground Zero; fol- lowed by years of fund raising and planning. en there was a period of delay with work grinding to a halt at one point. e work was restarted and completed due to a urry of helping hands from inside and outside the Orthodox Community. In the end, all the ef- fort, time, toll, and prayers created an ortho- dox light illuminating lower Manhattan. e light has shown to the World the strength of hope and faith. In the story of St. Nicholas, I saw the story of my own faith. I stumble, I fall, I am impacted by outside forces, but the light of faith draws me back to the path. In the return of our fam- ilies and our children to our Sanctuary on the Sunday a er 9/11, I felt a rebirth in our com- munity. My heart leapt with joy seeing so many friends and families, some of whom I haven’t seen in over 18 months. It was truly a blessing to see so many of you, and being surrounded by so many little ones whose innocence always brings us hope and joy. While we still are living in the shadow of the pandemic, for me, the joy and love felt in fellowship erodes the fear and apprehension brought by these times. To paraphrase what Archbishop Elpidophoros said at the 9/11 service, in our faith “light will always shine on through the darkness, and the darkness will never overcome it! Faith will always tri- umph over doubt. Hope will always vanquish despair. And love will always conquer hate.” May the light of faith and love shine on us all. 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 Because of the continuing situation with the pandemic and the demands of our member’s individual schedules, a er trying out a hy- brid meeting, we decided to keep our meet- ings with Zoom online only for now. As we have mentioned in our past two monthly articles, our primary book that we will study this year is e Holy Angels by Mother Alexandra. As we move through the di erent topics about angels, we will also refer to another book highly recommended by Fr. Andrew entitled e Angels and eir Mission by Jean Danielou. e focus of this book is on the role/mission of angels in God’s plan for our salvation as explained speci - cally by our Church Fathers. Mother Alex- andra refers to Danielou in her book several times, so the two cover the same main ideas and remind us always that when we study Holy Scripture we must always read “over the shoulder of our Church Fathers” relying on their interpretations inspired by the Holy Spirit, given through God’s grace, and collec- tively accepted by the Church as a whole. Some key ideas which we found in the Pref- ace and Introduction of our primary source are: 1) Angels are God’s ministers and mes- sengers; 2) we do not worship or make a cult out of them; instead our primary focus is always on our Triune God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 3) Angels are part of God’s invisible creation who help in the mission for our salvation - they are powerful disembod- ied beings who are continually praising and glorifying God. Book I of e Holy Angels focuses on the role of these special messengers through- out the Old Testament which goes hand in hand with the New Testament as being the rst part of God’s story and plan for our salvation. So from the earliest books of the Pentateuch - Genesis, Exodus, and more, we see how in “many of the Old Testament sto- ries the holy angels are seen supporting man and aiding his understanding of the redeem- ing Law…keeping man on the right path, and guiding his way back to paradise.” e holy angels visit Abraham sitting by his tent door in the valley of Mambre; they save Lot from the city of Sodom; during the long journey through the desert to the Promised Land, angels guide both Moses - “Behold, I send My Angel before your face, to keep you in the way and to bring you into the land I prepared for you,” (Ex. 23:20) and later Joshua visited by the Archangel Michael himself - “ e chief captain of the Lord said to Joshua, ‘Loose the continues 3 “For me, the story of St. Nicholas Shrine reads like a parable... 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