1 THE SHEPHERD • FEBRUARY 2020 • SAINT SPYRIDON GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH OF SAN DIEGO The Shepherd I S S U E 2 8 5 • F E B R UA R Y 2 0 2 0 The official newsletter publication for the parish of Saint Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church of San Diego FROM THE DESK OF FATHER ANDREW www.theshepherdnews.com The Shepherd Newsletter IN THIS ISSUE FR. ANDREW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 1 PRESIDENT OF THE PARISH COUNCIL, WOMEN OF THE WORD, STEWARDSHIP COMMITTEE . . . . . . . . p. 2 DIVINE SERVICES, DEATHS, MEMORIALS, NEWS FROM THE LOFT . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 3 GREEK LANGUAGE SCHOOL . . . . . . . p. 4 G.O.Y.A. NEWS, PANARCADIANS . . . . p. 5 PHILOPTOCHOS, SENIORS . . . . . . . . . p. 6 STEWARDSHIP PLEDGE . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 8 PARISH CALENDAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 10 2020 CROSS DIVE & LUNCHEON . . . . p. 11 CONTACT INFORMATION. . . . . . . . . . . p. 12 My Brothers and Sisters in Christ, e Presentation of the Lord into the Temple is one of the twelve major feast days of the Ortho- dox Church. It is always celebrated on Feb- ruary 2nd and this year February 2nd falls on a Sunday. It was Old Testament practice dictated by e Law (of Moses) to bring an infant to the Temple 40 days a er his/her birth and dedicate that infant to God. e Law was established in remembrance of the Exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt- freedom from slavery, when the rst-born Hebrews were spared from death. Subsequently, following the Law, the bless- ed eotokos brought Jesus as an infant to the Temple as well. Jesus had no reason to be brought and dedicated similarly He had no need to be Baptized. However, He did so to fulfill the Law . He did so to leave us an ex- ample to follow. As Orthodox Christians we do follow those examples and attach (new) theological understandings to them, i.e. the forty day blessing/dedication and Baptism, etc. In other words, just because we are not Jewish and do not follow the Law, we do not just throw the baby out with the bath water per se. erefore, as Orthodox Christians we still observe the forty day blessing/dedication of our infants. However, as Christians we do not emphasize the Exodus from Egypt, etc. We do however see the high value of dedicat- ing our children to God and His Church (the New Israel, His body on earth (Eph. 1:28; Col. 1:22,23). Again, Jesus Himself was ded- icated/brought into the Temple to become the high priest of all priests and to establish His eternal priesthood. Similarly, most likely each and every one of us who are cradle Or- thodox were brought in faith by our parents/ families and dedicated to the Lord in His Temple. Dedicated for what? We are dedicated to be good stewards of what God has given to each and every one of us: our Time and our Tal- ent and our Treasure; this is not only about giving an honorable portion your nan- cial resources to the Church universal and to our beloved parish Saint Spyridon. is is about being good stewards of one of our most precious commodities, our Time. We were dedicated to spend time with the Lord in both personal prayer and in communal prayer. We were dedicated to thank, praise and worship God, which involves the giving of our time. We were dedicated to use our time wisely and honorably in ways that are becoming of Orthodox Christians. What we do with and how we spend our time speaks very loudly about who and what we are as dedicated Orthodox Christians. As Orthodox Christians we were also dedi- cated to be good stewards of our God given Talents. Using our talents properly and wise- ly means that we are (speci cally) involved in equipping the saints (you, me and all Or- thodox Christians) for the work of ministry to build up the body of Christ … (Eph.4:12). As important though, we were dedicated to use our Time and our Talent ( and our Treasure) to bring the Light of Christ into the (darkened) world. As the Creator of all things He can do anything He wants to do and certainly He can bring light into dark- ness . However, it is through our dedication, faith and obedience that God is able to work through us; and it is through our dedication, faith and obedience to God by which people and all creation are illumined, comforted and healed. In other words we have to prepare continues 6 Congratulati ns To our 2020 Leon Balaban Award recipient Anthony Kyriakidis!