1 THE SHEPHERD • FEBRUARY 2021 • SAINT SPYRIDON GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH OF SAN DIEGO The Shepherd I S S U E 2 9 7 • F E B R UA R Y 2 0 2 1 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 My Brothers and Sisters in Christ, It has been an unusual, unique and historic year thus far to say the least. It has been lled with some uncertainty and much caution. It has been a year of opening and closing as we all try to safely navigate through this global pan- demic that has tried, and continues to test us all. We have all had to make some drastic changes in our lives and likewise within our faith community. As you know well we have gone from total closure of our Sanctuary, to limited capacity, to total closure, to reopen- ing all in an attempt to curtail the virus. As the medical and scienti c communities have learned more and more about the virus we have reacted accordingly, and now we have moved outside into our parking lot for out- door Sunday services. We have done so be- cause we feel that even though our condition seems to be heading in the right direction, it is going to be a while until we are permit- ted to be inside our Sanctuary for in-person services. us, until the time is right we have provid- ed a safe(r) and appropriate space to wor- ship, thank and praise our Great God. Our parking lot has a orded us the opportunity to be all together as a faith community, as the “body of Christ” here on Park Blvd. We foresee ourselves being outside until at least the celebration of Pascha (Sunday, May 2nd) but, yes, things can change; but for now we will be outside Sunday in and Sunday out for next few months. For the foreseeable future and unless our current condition changes we will be observing and celebrating Great and Holy Lent and Great and Holy Week outside in our parking lot. Yes, it is di erent than what we are used to but far better than how we spent our last Holy and Great Lenten and Paschal seasons: alone watching the services via our parish LiveStream. Not so this year! A huge tent has been erected, an appropriate altar area has been set up, folding chairs for you the faithful have been placed according- ly, the sound system has been calibrated, our parish LiveStream is still operational, plenty of parking is available, and the Eucharist (the Body and Blood of Christ) is being o ered. One could say “we have it all.” It took a while to navigate through all the complexities but here we are – thank God! Now all we need is you. I totally understand if some of you the faithful are not ready to join us outside but to those who are out and about (hopefully, being cautious) do not be too anxious about coming to join us for the celebrating of Sunday’s divine services. We, the leadership of our blessed community, have taken and continue to take every pre- caution; and, we ask that you too continue to do the same in your consideration to join us. Yes, to be sure my Brothers and Sisters in Christ, things are not as they “used to be.” However, as we have moved along, we have made the appropriate adjustments to “gath- er” as a Eucharistic community we have been called to be here in San Diego. We have made every provision to safely and freely gather in His Name as His People – the people of God. Yes, imperfect people and yet on the road to perfection only by His grace as He reminds us “My grace is sufficient for you…” (II Cor. 12:9). We will continue to use our reason and in- tellect and more importantly being guided by His grace, we will continue to provide a safe and appropriate way in which to wor- ship and praise our Great God. All we need is for you to continue to positively respond, support and encourage each other as we con- tinue to safely navigate through this current pandemic. continues 3 Your greetings help make the pub- lishing of this newsletter possible. Send your congratulatory and per- sonal greetings and announcements for any occasion such as Name Days, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Engage- ments, etc., but also messages for sad circumstances and wishing well. For more information, please email info@theshepherdnews.com . Thank you for your support! Personal Greetings! IN THIS ISSUE FR. ANDREW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 1 PRESIDENT OF THE PARISH COUNCIL, WOMEN OF THE WORD, STEWARDSHIP COMMITTEE .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 2 DIVINE SERVICES, SACRAMENTS, NEWS FROM THE LOFT, DEATHS, MEMORIALS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 3 PHILOPTOCHOS NEWS, GREEK LANGUAGE SCHOOL . . . . . . . p. 4 G.O.Y.A., SUNDAY SCHOOL . . . . . . . . . p. 5 PARISH CALENDAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 6 PAPANICOLAOU SCHOLARSHIP, SENIORS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 7 CONTACT INFORMATION. . . . . . . . . . . p. 8