Christ the Savior-Holy Spirit Orthodox Church
Archpriest Steven C. Kostoff
4285 Ashland Ave, Cincinnati OH 45212 - (513) 351-0907

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Parish News and Feature Articles

 

THE PRE-LENT SEASON BEGINS

With the Sunday of Zacchaeus on February 14, we enter into the Pre-Lent period, which the Church provides for us to "ramp up" and prepare ourselves for this holy and beloved season of increased ascetical efforts and renewal in our Life in Christ.

As a starting point, read Fr. Steven's meditation, Ascending with Zacchaeus, and then we invite you to explore our extensive Pre-Lent and Great Lent Resource Sections.

The coming weeks provide a series of steps towards the threshold of Lent, with special scriptural lessons combined with a gradual increase in the fasting requirements. Please contact Fr. Steven if you have questions about fasting, confession, and the journey of Great Lent to Pascha.

Follow the links below as we begin our journey:

Calling of Zacchaeus
Calling of Zacchaeus

Feb. 14 - Zacchaeus Sunday 

  • Desiring to see the Lord,
  • Active Repentance

Feb. 21 - The Publican and the Pharisee

  • Humility based on Reality
  • Readings from the Lenten Triodion begin
  • Fast-Free Week follows

Feb. 28 - The Prodigal Son

  • Returning to the House of our loving Father
  • "Coming to ourselves..."

Mar.  7 - Meatfare/Last Judgment

  • Becoming God's children by serving Christ through our neighbor
  • Last day that meat is allowed

Mar. 14 - Cheesefare/Forgivness Sunday

  • We enter the Fast forgiving one another, and seeking God's forgiveness
  • Forgiveness Vespers after Liturgy to exchange forgivness with one another
  • Last day that dairy is allowed
  • The Expulsion from Paradise is commemorated; Lent is like an "exile" experience

Mar. 15 - GREAT LENT BEGINS

  • Services every evening the First Week
  • The Great Canon of Repentance by St Andrew of Crete
  • Watch for our full Great Lent schedule to be posted soon

Come and join us for the Journey . . .


 

CHURCH CLEANING MINISTRY OPEN TO ALL

NEW FOR 2021! - Secure online signup on our Parish Corner Page . . .

"Bless those who love the beauty of Thy house…” (The Divine Liturgy, Prayer before the Amvon)

Helping to clean the church is one of the great simple joys open to all the faithful, children included, and is an area at this time that requires more parish support. This is an ideal ministry for singles, couples, groups, and families to undertake and is a task that is easily joined with prayer, especially The Jesus Prayer. 

 

Cleaning to include:

  • Vacuum all areas of the church proper including the nave, back, and center aisle and between pews if possible. 
  • Vacuum the choir area and choir room.
  • Vacuum the vestibule, including under the pew and shelf. Wipe off the pew and shelf as needed.
  • Vacuum and tidy the nursery/cry room and the hallway and down the steps to the threshold of the Fellowship Hall.
  • Dry or Wet Swiffer the amvon (i.e., the steps in front of the iconostasis)
  • Wipe off the base of the Crucifixion Icon and the candle table at the back of the church as needed.
  • Vacuums are in the Choir Room and bags are in the cabinet. Other cleaning supplies are in the Fellowship Hall on the serving table.

Recommended days/times to clean include:

  • Sundays after Divine Liturgy
  • Saturdays before 5:30PM
  • Tuesdays/Thursdays 9AM-3PM
  • Tuesdays/Thursdays 6PM-8PM

Please check with Fr. Steven for access to the church.

"I was happy when they said to me, 'Let us go to the house of the Lord!' " (Psalm 122:1)


 

SANCTITY OF LIFE SUNDAY 2021

Each year, the Orthodox Church reaffirms its commitment to, in the words of Metropolitan Tikhon, "the proclamation of the Sanctity of Life – as an opportunity to reiterate unequivocally our commitment to the defense of the defenseless, and the protection of the most vulnerable, and thus our opposition to abortion. As Christians it cannot be any other way."

 

We have collected numerous links to outstanding materials from a variety of sources, including several of Fr Steven's classic meditations, and much more, on our special page for the Sanctity of Life.


 

2021 STEWARDSHIP APPEAL & ONLINE PLEDGE FORM

Our Annual Stewardship Appeal begins the week of October 18, and, as with recent years, we once again are providing a simple and quick Online Pledge Form which takes less than a minute to complete. You will receive a pop-up confirmation of the successful submission of your pledge, as well as a confirmation email, with a link should you wish to edit your pledge.

With the unpredictable duration of Covid-19, and so that our finance team may have plenty of time to develop our 2021 Budget, we ask that parishioners submit their pledges by Sunday, November 15.

Proceed to the 2021 Online Pledge Form . . .


New for the 2020-2021 Church School Year

 

CHURCH SCHOOL TO BEGIN OCTOBER 3!

We are finalizing our plans to begin "in class" Church School next weekend, October 3, at 5:00 p.m. We have received enough commitment from various families to schedule this. Complete details will be sent out on Monday, September 28. But for those who have committed, please keep our start-up date in mind. For those who would still like to join, please contact Terrie Sauer. There is plenty of room for additional students!

 

ORTHODOX JOURNEYS CHURCH SCHOOL

Christ the Savior-Holy Spirit is pleased to announce our adoption of the new Orthodox Journeys Church School Curriculum and Study Guide Program.

This highly developed and professionally implemented educational resource provides outstanding lessons taken from the Scriptures and other sources of Holy Tradition for each Sunday of the year and all the Great Feasts (and many lesser feasts and saints' days), complete with guides and handouts for teachers and parents to share with their students and children, as well as study guides tailored to student age categories from grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12.

Already posted are lessons, handouts, and study guides for the first few Sundays and Feasts of the Church Year (up through September 14). Additional lessons and materials will be posted in penty of time each week for teachers and parents to review and prepare their lessons.

Best of all, the distribution of these materials by PDF downloads enables us to adapt it to the gradual reopening of our Church School (following the Covid lockdown), as well as meet the needs of parents who are homeschooling. You can learn more about Orthodox Journeys and see some sample lesson plans and study guides on their website.

Because these materials are copyrighted by Orthodox Journeys, we are providing them on a special password-protected page for our parishioners.

Please contact Fr Steven to learn more about our parish life and Christian Education, and our Church School opportunities for our families. We hope you can "come and see" us very soon!


DAILY SCRIPTURE READINGS, SAINTS & PROLOGUE ON OUR WEBSITE!

 

Now you can read the Daily Scripture readings, view the lives and icons of the daily saints and feasts (and learn their hymns), and explore the theological and narrative riches of The Prologue of Ochrid, the massive daily compendium compiled and authored by St Nikolai Velimirovich (who served in America in the mid 20th century).

This new page updates automatically each day, and replaces the external links which we used to post, and which pointed (inconveniently) to three different web pages. The new links are a permanent feature on both our Home page and our Worship Schedule page, and make it easier than ever before to keep up with the Daily Readings and harmonize our lives with the Life of the Church, learning and growing in our love for Jesus Christ and His Most Pure Mother and the Saints.

We think you'll love this new feature, and we invite you to try it out!

 


 

PHOTO GALLERY UPDATES

A new gallery for the Covidtide era has been added (October 2020), with previous updates including Theophany 2020, a Baptism, and visit of Bishop Paul in December 2019, plus Youth Group activities from Autumn 2019. Plus, be sure to look back through all our extensive galleries for 2019 including the Great Feasts, our Summer Workshops, the 30th Anniversary Celebration of Fr Steven's ministry at Christ the Savior-Holy Spirit, and more. Plus, get to know our many new members, and re-visit 2018 with its many events and feasts in the life of the parish, all on our Photo Gallery Page.


 

CELEBRATING 30+ YEARS

On June 30, 2020, the parish celebrated Fr Steven & Presvytera Deborah's 30 years of ministry here at Christ the Savior-Holy Spirit. View some wonderful images from the special program and meal, and read some of Father Steven's reflections on this significant anniversary.

AXIOS! and Thank you, Father Steven and Presvytera, and may God grant you Many Years!!!

View photos on our Photo Gallery...

 

 


PARISHIONER DELIVERS TALK AT ORTHODOX CONFERENCE

Christ the Savior parishioner Natasha Frasch delivered a talk at the recent conference, Speaking the Truth in Love, held at St Tikhon's Orthodox Seminary in South Canaan PA over the November 7-9 weekend.

The lineup of speakers included Archbishop Michael of New York & New Jersey, well known and prolific writer and speaker Kh. Frederica Mathewes-Green, Archimandrite Sergius (Abbot of St Tikhon's Monastery), and many other scholars and clergy, monastics and laity, and was organized by Drs. David Ford and Mary Ford, who presented a retreat at our parish back in the 1990s.

You can learn more about the conference here, and listen to and download the presentations at Ancient Faith Radio.


 

The Divine Liturgy of the Orthodox Church
Meaning, Preparation & Practice

by Archpriest Steven C. Kostoff

Third Edition, with a new Epilogue by the author...

Seekers, catechumens and Orthodox faithful alike will be blessed by this trustworthy and inspiring guide to the Divine Liturgy and the Life in Christ, composed by our beloved pastor, a faithful presbyter of the Orthodox Church in America.

Paperback, 64 pages, full color cover; $9.99 retail.

Full info here, plus special link to order with a 20% discount!

 

 


 

MONDAY MORNING MEDITATIONS

Fr Steven's most recent book is available through the church office/bookstore, and online.

"For almost twenty years now, parishioners at Christ the Savior-Holy Spirit in Cincinnati, and friends in Christ from places near and far, have been receiving from Father Steven his 'Monday Morning Meditations' via email, or have been visiting his Orthodox Christian Meditations Blog. Now at long last a selection of Father Steven's reflections have been published in book form by Kaloros Press!"

Learn more on this special page, and purchase at the church, or order online here.

 


PARISH CALENDAR SYNC — NEVER MISS ANOTHER SERVICE OR EVENT! — This is a wonderful feature of our website, as once you sync our calendar to your iPhone, iPad, Android device, PC or Mac, it will automatically update as we post our parish schedule on our pop-up calendar. Just use the provided sync buttons to enable. Our calendar is featured on our Home page and our Schedule page. Learn more here.


Search Our Site!


PARISH CORNER - A special collection of internal documents for members of Christ the Savior-Holy Spirit. Password protected.

 

HOLY SYNOD  ENCYCLICAL

Dear Parish Faithful,

I just became aware of this new and lengthy Encyclical of Hope issued by the OCA's Holy Synod of Bishops. Please find the time to read through it carefully as it is based on the Christian virtue of hope, as well as acknowledging our all very human fears. Belonging to the  One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church - the immutable Body of Christ - is our greatest hope, for the Church is the very Body of the Crucified and Risen Christ.

https://www.oca.org/news/headline-news/holy-synod-of-bishops-issues-an-encyclical-of-hope

In Christ,

Fr. Steven


 

NEW CORONAVIRUS GUIDELINES PAGE,

+ ONLINE SIGNUP FOR DIVINE LITURGY

Since the COVID-19 virus seems to be with us for the foreseeable future, we have moved our former temporary virus news update page to a permanent Coronavirus Guidelines Page for easier and more visible navigation.

Links to the new location are visible from the Subpage Menu at the top of the Home page, from the Feature Banner on the Home page, and fron the Schedule panels on the Home page and the Worship Schedule page.

Explore this wealth of resources, which is much more than a mere archive of our parish communications on the Coronavirus, as it features extensive resources on keeping the Divine Services at home, writings and prayers on the Coronavirus, prayer lists, and some beautiful new icons to encourage us all as we continue this long struggle.

The first major update since moving the Coronavirus Guidelines Page is the launch of our Online Signup for Divine Liturgy Services. This special, password-protected page is designed to simplify the process for parishioners to sign up to attend the Divine Liturgy, while limiting attendance to the currently mandated 30 person limit. At present, we will only require signups for the Divine Liturgy. Vespers and evening services will be "open," unless we begin to consistently top the 30 person limit, at which time we may require signups for Vespers as well.

Thank you for your understanding as we continue to respond to the Coronavirus requirements.

Keep Calm, and 'Lord have Mercy!'


 

SPECIAL UPDATE ON THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF OCA AUTOCEPHALY

 

Dear Parish Faithful,


In the turmoil of the last few months, we may have lost our focus on the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Orthodox Church in America's Autocephaly talking place in this year of 2020. There was to be church-wide celebration, but I believe that the Holy Synod has postponed it until 2021, based on the uncertainty of the extent of the coronavirus carrying into the Fall. The Midwest Diocese is scheduled to have a series of individual deanery-wide celebrations throughout the year. Our own Indianapolis Deanery was scheduled to gather together in our parish over the weekend of October 9-10. Archbishop Paul has still not decided if that event will occur as scheduled, or whether it will be postponed. He just informed me that he needs to make a decision soon. I will keep everyone informed, especially our parish committee in charge of organizing that event.

Be that as it may, His Eminence has directed certain members of our Midwest Diocese - both clergy and lay members - to write a reflective article about the fifty years of being an autocephalous Church here in North America. At our parish-hosted event mentioned above, I am to deliver one of the two papers on this theme. If we do not have the scheduled event in our parish, I will eventually share my reflection with the parish.

Also, our own parishioner, Joe Kormos, was also asked to write a reflection. These different reflections are posted over the course of the year on our Midwest Diocese website. Currently, it is Joe's reflection that is posted there. For your convenience, here is a link to Joe's paper for you to read: 

The OCA & Autocephaly: The 14th All American Church Sobor / 1st All American Council *

As church life continues to slowly normalize, we will try and turn our attention toward this commemoration/celebration.

- Fr. Steven

*  Webservant's Note: This important article by Joe Kormos has since been featured also on the main page of the OCA website.

 

 

 

DIOCESE OF THE MIDWEST LAUNCHES SPECIAL SECTION ON OCA AUTOCEPHALY

 

From Bishop Paul's announcement:

 

"Each month starting in January 2020, we will be posting to our Diocesan website a series of reflections on the 50th Anniversary of the Autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in America. I mentioned this in my letter dated October 1, 2019 (https://www.midwestdiocese.org/news_191001_1).

"As you read the thoughts of various people who are or have been in our diocese, please remember that they are not speaking as official spokespersons of the Church. They are sharing their own observations and thoughts on how the original vision of the autocephaly has played out over these first 50 years, and the impact the autocephaly itself has had on them and on their own personal experience in the Church..."

Read Bishop Paul's entire message, on the Diocese of the Midwest website, where you will also find links for new Reflections on Autocephaly added each month.

 

 

HOLY SYNOD PROCLAIMS 2020 AS YEAR OF ANNIVERSARIES FOR THE OCA

 

From the Proclamation:

"In 2020, the Orthodox Church in America will celebrate the anniversary of two foundational events in her history: the reception of the Tomos of Autocephaly from the Venerable Russian Orthodox Church, and the canonization of Our Venerable Father Herman, Elder and Wonderworker of Alaska. We, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America, give glory to God for these wonderful gifts that have allowed the Church to take root in North America, and invites all Orthodox Christians, indeed, every person of goodwill to join our Church in our celebrations..."

From the Announcement on the OCA website:

In its proclamation, the Holy Synod announced a number of official events that would take place over the course this year to mark these anniversaries, as well as the publication of educational and liturgical materials. All members of the Orthodox Church in America should take note of these plans, and seek to participate in them as they are able. Additionally, following the direction of the Holy Synod, all Churches, Missions, Monasteries, Institutions, indeed, all the faithful of the Orthodox Church in America should seek ways to mark these anniversaries in ways that are appropriate and well-pleasing to God.

 

Christ the Savior-Holy Spirit will be hosting a special OCA anniversary event in October 2020, in association with the Indianapolis Deanery. Watch this page for further updates.

Read the news announcement and the complete proclamation, with much more info and links, at OCA.org.


PARISH NEWS - If you would like to receive updates on parish life at Christ the Savior-Holy Spirit, please contact Fr. Steven and request to be added to his email list.


ORTHODOX WORLD NEWS - Headline news from around the Orthodox world, plus daily podcasts on the saints and scriptures, updated via RSS Feed.


Youth Group Bowling Outing
Youth Group Bowling Outing
Youth Group Bowling Outing

 

YOUTH GROUP UPDATE

Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, our in-person meetings have been suspended. We are hopeful for resumption of Church School through an online curriculum in the Autumn of 2020, and likewise for opportunities for our Youth Group to hold virtual meetings and perhaps some small gatherings, if God wills.

Learn about our Youth Group and how to join here...    More photos posted in our Gallery... 


 

ORTHODOX FAMILY LIFE

A Special Resource of the Midwest Diocese of the OCA

Dear Parish Faithful — Our Midwest Diocese has developed a Family Life website that His Grace, Bishop Paul is encouraging that our parish families turn to for helpful resources in raising our families in today's world.  —  Fr. Steven

 


 
 
Special thanks to our new parish food pantry coordinator, Stefanie Zidarescu. Any and all contributions will be welcome.

We can always use replenishment of standard items - see below and on our Food Pantry page:

  • Soup
  • Ravioli 
  • Pasta sauce
  • Box meals
  • Laundry detergent 
  • Paper towels
  • Toilet paper

Thank you!


SPECIAL VIDEO ON OUR ICONOGAPHER, FR. ANDREW TREGUBOV

Dear Parish Faithful,
 
I just discovered this wonderful YouTube video featuring our parish iconographer, Fr. Andrew Tregubov, explaining the traditional method and theory behind icon painting. Quite fascinating. It is relatively short and very nicely produced. Please take the time to watch this. I invited Fr. Andrew to the parish many times, but he always had to decline because of his responsibilities in caring for his parents and in-laws. His wife, Galina, hand stitched our burial shroud that we venerate during Holy Week.
 
With Fr. Andrew as our iconographer, our parish is blessed with some of the best iconography being created today in North America. 
 
Fr. Steven

 

SUBMIT PRAYER REQUESTS ONLINE - Our Ministries Page now has an easy to use Prayer Request Form, so you may place your prayer requests straight from our website. You can also use the form to have your email address added to our Prayer Chain.