2 THE SHEPHERD • DECEMBER 2019 • SAINT SPYRIDON GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH OF SAN DIEGO is month, on December 8th , we will be holding elections for six positions on the Parish Council. I can honestly say that serv- ing on the Parish Council has been one of the more rewarding things I have done in my life and has allowed me to meet so many special people in our community. If you are interest- ed in serving the Parish, please contact the O ce and they will get you an application. I recently read a story about Saint Spyridon. In the story, Saint Spyridon entered an emp- ty church and began a service. When he said, “Peace be unto all,” a great multitude of voices from above responded “And with thy spirit.” With each petition of the litanies, the invisible choir sang, “Lord, have mercy.” e responses were so beautiful that they were heard by the people who lived nearby. Hearing the beautiful voices, the people has- tened towards the church. As they got closer, the singing of the invisible choir “ lled their ears and gladdened their hearts.” But when the people entered the church, they saw only Saint Spyridon and several church servers. We hope that you, like the neighbors, will hear the music and come join us for the Feast Day of Saint Spyridon. e Vesper Service will start at 7:00 p.m., on December 11th . ere will be Divine Liturgy on ursday December 12th at 10:00 a.m. , followed by the Saint Spyridon Feast Day Luncheon. 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 We spent the month of November reading the rst Epistle of Peter. We noticed in par- ticular that although the style and voice of this epistle is very di erent from James, the topics are very closely related. In particular, both apostles make an important connection between su ering or trials and the joy of a life in Christ. At rst this seems like such a paradox – how does one nd joy in su er- ing? According to James and Peter, the key to understanding and experiencing this is in how we believe and live our life in Christ. James, the rst bishop of Jerusalem, and Pe- ter, believed to be the rst bishop of Antioch, would have been very familiar with the trials and persecutions of the early Christians, so their epistles address this at the very out- set. James starts his rst chapter with: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” (James 1:2-4) Pe- ter also refers to this: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope…you are grieved by various trials…yet believing, you rejoice with joy in- expressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith – the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:3,6,8-9) Peter reminds us that Christ also su ered for us leaving us His example of how the joy is found through “a fervent love for one anoth- er…having compassion, serving one another for the Lord’s sake” not for our own self-serv- ing reasons, but “with humility… under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1Peter 5:5-6) So as in the parable of the sower, the joy comes through cultivating the good soil of our faith, through our daily relationship with God and through following the commandments of Christ with patient endurance. In December we will meet only one day, December 4th, on which day we will have a Question & Answer session with Fr. Andrew. We will report on this in our next newsletter article in January. We will take a break for the rest of December and early January when our study will resume on January 8th. If you are interested in our group, you can call or text Susan Miserlis at 619-243-9864 or email email@example.com . + Wishing you all a most Holy Nativity and eophany season lled with the light of our Incarnate Lord’s abundant love and peace! Greetings Friends of the Choir, Happy Holi- days to our church families! Great news coming from the choir lo . e choir wishes to welcome Rick Parks , our new organist. Rick comes with years of expe- rience and he is looking forward to becom- ing part of the St. Spyridon family. Each year, he attends our Greek Festivals and LOVES Greek food. Hint, hint... Our annual Christmas Concert is fast ap- proaching and we hope that everyone will join in with us. Friday, December 13th at 7pm . We are happy to announce that the Greek School will be joining us in song this year. We are asking for donations at the door but there will be no admission fee. e choir is looking forward to our church Feast Day and spending it with His Emi- nence Metropolitan Gerasimos. It is always a wonderful time of year especially when His Eminence join us and pray with us. Εις πολλά έτη Δέσποτα! An angel appeared to shepherds who were watching their ocks in the elds near Beth- lehem. e angel told them the good news of the birth of the Savior and Messiah, Jesus Christ. e shepherds immediately went to nd baby Jesus, which the angels told them they would nd sleeping in the manger. We pray you all have a wonderful celebra- tion of the birth of Jesus and the coming of our Savior at Christmas time and a safe and healthy New Year! Singing His Praises, Katherine Loukatos Meck Choir Master NEWS FROM THE LOFT ACOLYTES Our Fall Acolyte retreat. What a group of blessed young men!