1 THE SHEPHERD • DECEMBER 2020 • SAINT SPYRIDON GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH OF SAN DIEGO The Shepherd I S S U E 2 9 5 • D E C E MB E R 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 . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 2 NEWS FROM THE LOFT, DIVINE SERVICES, SACRAMENTS, MEMORIALS, DEATHS . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 3 GREEK LANGUAGE SCHOOL, SUNDAY SCHOOL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 4 PHILOPTOCHOS NEWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 5 PARISH CALENDAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 6 LIBRARY & BOOKSTORE . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 7 CONTACT INFORMATION. . . . . . . . . . . p. 8 My Brothers and Sisters in Christ, From the opening chap- ter of Matthew’s Gospel, which we read at Christ- mas time, we hear about the genealogy of Jesus Christ (1:1-25). is genealogy marks a new beginning in hu- man history. Genealogy was important to the Israelites for it allowed her to know from where she came. However, Christ breaks into human history and radically changes things forever. e Nativity of Christ marks a new beginning. A beginning, which takes into account that all people may now “come to the knowledge of God through Jesus Christ” (I Tim. 2:2-7). All of creation now has the opportunity to knowingly li up her voice toward the Creator of all. No longer is the Kingdom of God limited, for with the Ad- vent of Jesus Christ, the gates of separation have been broken. is new beginning came about not through natural means, where a man and a woman co-create with God, but through the working of the Holy Spirit: For that which is conceived in her (the virgin’s womb) is of the Holy Spir- it. God chose the pious Virgin Mary to ful ll His saving plan. He chose to take on esh not through natural means, but through Divine. rough the free will consent of the Virgin Mary and the power of the Holy Spirit, all of humanity has the potential to enter into the Kingdom of God through Jesus Christ. It’s through the eyes of faith that permits us to understand the birth of Christ. To under- stand that yes indeed God did send an angel from heaven to announce the birth of Christ would come about through the working of the Holy Spirit. Faith imparts upon us the capability to accept that God came to earth and took on esh. It’s this same faith that al- lows our limited minds the ability to com- prehend that God did and does care about us. rough the Nativity of Christ, humanity experiences a radical change, a change that only God could bring about; a change that only faith allows us to understand. It is this same faith that will carry us beyond the current pandemic that we nd our- selves trying to properly navigate through for everyone’s safety. Yes, some things have changed and some may even say “drastical- ly.” However, our desire to worship, thank and praise God has not and will not change. e “way” we do it as a community of faith- ful believers may have changed a bit but hopefully our desire to do so has not. us, I once again encourage you to “remain faith- ful in everything” (Hebrews 11:1-12:2) as we put into practice and continue to navigate through this awful pandemic. One way we “remain faithful” is to contin- ue to gather together “from afar” when need be as the Ekklesia/ the Church/ the Body of Christ (I Cor. 12:27) on earth to worship, praise and thank Almighty God for His sav- ing work. is saving work begins with the Nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Yes, this year is and will continue to be dif- ferent with regard to communal worship and praise during the season of the Nativity. As you are well aware for everyone’s safe- ty, and health and well-being we have been required to worship and praise “from afar” at times. ank God we have the technolo- gy and the ability to do so using our parish LiveStream. us, the only thing that sepa- rates us is geography and physical distance for “nothing can separate us from God” (Rom. 8:31-39). I know it may be “di cult” to pray, worship and praise “from afar” watching our LiveStream but I think back to the not too distant past where priests were not readily continues 3 C h b o r n ! G l i m ! Χ ρ ι ν ά τ α ι ! Δ ε ! C h r i s t i s b o r n o r i f y H σ τ ό ς γ ε ν α ι ! Δ ο ξ ά σ α τ α τ α τ α ε !