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The Shepherd's Guild

Christos Anesti!

Welcome to the Guild's site !

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The Shepherd's Guild is a service organization for Orthodox laypersons with the purpose to provide outreach to people through service (Diakonia) as "commanded by the Gospel (Matthew 25, 31-46: James 1, 27) and promulgated by Saint Basil the Great of Caesarea and Saint John the Almsgiver of Alexandria."

The Guild was chartered on September 30, 1999, as a nonprofit organization under the laws of the State of South Carolina with the purpose: to raise funds to build an Eastern Orthodox Church (Chapel) in the Anderson area, to foster fellowship among its members, to promote pan-Orthodox activities, and to engage in humanitarian efforts. On August 17, 2001, the Office of the Secretary of State of South Carolina re-classified The Shepherd's Guild as a religious organization. The Shepherd's Guild is registered as a tax exempt 501(c)(3) charity with the Internal Revenue Service.

The Building Fund of the Paracletos Monastery was established by the Guild to assist in the building of the Chapel of Panagia Soumela at the Monastery. The main fundraiser of the Building Fund was The Anderson Greek Festival. The Fund also assisted with the building of the monastery's dining room. In March 2011, the Monastery ended its connection with the Anderson Greek Festival. The 2020 Greek-Mediterranean Festival will be our 15th annual event.
                            

1 Peter 5:2-3

New King James Version (NKJV)

2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly,[a] not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;

James 2:14-26 New King James Version (NKJV)

Faith Without Works Is Dead
   14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your[a] works, and I will show you my faith by my[b] works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?[c] 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”[d]And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

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Did you know that the question of the Lord to the Paralytic on whether he wants to be healed is a healing by itself?

The Lord took the initiative as usual and broke into the loneliness of this Paralytic. He asked him if he wanted to be healed. Of course, the Paralytic wants to recover, and there was no need to ask him. Jesus could have cured him without asking. However, his question confesses the pain of the Paralytic.

As if Jesus were telling him: I feel your pain; your pain is mine. Come on, shall we end it with this chronic state of disease, so that you rise and start the new life?

Although the Bible mentions an angel who descends to stir water, and whoever goes in first gets healed, we see, on the other hand, that God Himself descended to heal us. He came in order to stir us from within, so that dirt would not accumulate in us and leave the mold inside.

This is exactly what we pray this Sunday: “I am grievously paralyzed in a multitude of sins and wrongful deeds. As You raised up the paralytic of old, also raise up my soul by Your divine guidance, that I may cry out, "Glory to Your Power O Compassionate Christ."

source: Antioch Patriarchate


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Mark 8: 34-38  (NKJV)
Take Up the Cross and Follow Him
34 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” 

photo: An Orthodox Christian boy holds a crucifix during an Epiphany rite at the Jordan River, near the West Bank city of Jericho, January 19, 2007. (Reuters/Yonathan Weitzman)

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