Living the Beatitudes and Christ in the Everyday: Diakonima Initial Impressions

SCV – 9/6/2020

We just completed our first week of SCV’s 9-week Series titled, “Living the Beatitudes: Everyday Encounters on the Spiritual Journey”. Five groups comprised of about 12-13 participants from North America and around the world, began meeting together with the help of two SCV co-facilitators. From within the context of our small groups, we now have embarked on a more than the two-month journey. By all accounts, each of the groups in their unique way, experienced a deep engagement with their introduction to the Beatitudes as they wrestled with “Christ in the Everyday”; our “every day”, today.

As challenging as Covid-19 has been on the human family these past few months, little did we know that SCV’s efforts would begin during arguably, the most challenging events in recent memory. The precipitating incident marked with the death of Mr. George Floyd incited global responses around the world. These have prodded many of us to ask the Lord anew, “Who is my neighbor?” and what does it mean to “love our neighbor as we love ourselves?”  (Luke 10:25-37).

In other words, just how do Christ’s followers -today- cultivate the Beatitudes more deeply in their hearts, so as to better “walk” by them? In one way or another, these questions undergirded the collective conversation during the first session of the five groups. Through the facilitator’s descriptions, I have been struck by the unique perspective and richness each participant offers their group. Their personal contributions produced something greater than the sum of their individual parts. This took place as each participant carried in their hearts their respective concerns, anxieties, hopes, challenges, and opportunities encountered in the Company of Life, Himself. We met and electronically “sat” with each other in the presence of Christ. Together, we have begun a spiritual journey, engaging the Beatitudes one verse at a time—in the today.  We ask for your prayers!

Respectfully submitted on behalf of Saint Catherine’s Vision by,
Co-founder and Executive Director,
Presvytera Kyriaki Karidoyanes FitzGerald, M.Div., Ph.D.

Adjunct Professor of Theology, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology
Clinical Psychologist & Pastoral Psychotherapist