1 THE SHEPHERD • JUNE 2021 • 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, Χριστός Ανέστη! e Resurrection has taken place and we cele- brate for the blessing to be close to God because He chose for us and He allows us the opportunity to ascend high- er and higher; from “glory to glory” as Saint Paul writes in one of his Epistles. e next Major Feast Day that the Church (you and I) are preparing to celebrate is the Ascension of the Lord. e Ascension of the Lord took place forty days a er Christ’s resurrection. A er His earthly presence and saving work He goes to rejoin the Father, His Father, our Father – to His rightful place to be “One with the Father” and the Holy Spirit; the place from which He had and has from the beginning and for all eternity. It is the place where we too purpose and ascend and attend to as well. at is our task and our life journey upwards toward God. us, for us that ascension begins today, and takes place every day with every breath we are given as a blessed opportunity to ascend, or to regress or stand still. is is our chal- lenge in this life – to actively ascend toward the Father and not to regress or stand still in our spiritual lives. It is to navigate through this life seeking the Father’s help to reach the next step and the one a er that and so forth until we reach the summit; hence our ascen- sion to be in the presence of God. We are called as Orthodox Christians to stay focused on this ascension because Christ Himself, once again, gave us that perfect ex- ample – as He ascends we too ascend if we stay focused on God and His blessings, His love, His forgiveness, His mercy and grace and express and exercise those blessings in our lives. My Brothers and Sisters in Christ the feast day of the Ascension of our Lord is upon us. is ascension requires us to overcome the challenges that face us, and we have faced a few this past year, and to return to ascend over and over again. We, like all those who have come before us will celebrate Christ’s Ascension “to His Father, our Father” on ursday, June 10th . e Orthros / Prepa- ration service will begin at 9:00 am with the Divine Liturgy to follow. May we too desire to daily ascend to the Father, our Father, amen. +A continues 4 IN THIS ISSUE FR. ANDREW, GREEK FESTIVAL . . . . . p. 1 PRESIDENT OF THE PARISH COUNCIL, WOMEN OF THE WORD . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 2 DIVINE SERVICES, NEWS FROM THE LOFT, 40-DAY BLESSINGS, BAPTISMS, MEMORIALS, STEWARDSHIP COMMITTEE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 3 GREEK LANGUAGE SCHOOL . . . . . . . p. 4 GOYA NEWS, AHEPA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 5 PARISH CALENDAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 6 LIBRARY & BOOKSTORE, HOLY WEEK 2021 PHOTOS . . . . . . . . . p. 7 CONTACT INFORMATION. . . . . . . . . . . p. 8 The Shepherd The official newsletter publication for the parish of Saint Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church of San Diego I S S U E 3 0 1 • J U N E 2 0 2 1 UPDATE Greek Festi v aL Christos Anesti! I pray this message finds you healthy and blessed. Many of you have probably wondered if we would be able to put on a Greek Festival this year. To this end, a small group of dedicated volunteers have been meeting over the past two months to determine if this was something that we could achieve. Our initial hope was that we would be able to put together some type of festival even if it had to be a scaled-back version of our popular annual event. Due to the many challenges related to health and public safety, however, it was obvious fairly quickly that we would not be able to do anything resembling our normal festival, so we leaned towards a drive-through concept.