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

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Christ the Savior Photo & Video Gallery

Fr Steven & Presvytera Deborah
Fr Steven & Presvytera Deborah
Fr Steven & Presvytera Deborah
Updated October 25, 2023


Welcome to our Photo and Video Page!

With the growing number of photos of events being provided by more and more parishioners, as well as occasional videos of interest to the parish, it seemed wise to host all these media on one Gallery. This is a modest start right now, but we have high hopes for the future!
This main Photo & Video Gallery covers feasts and events dating back a year or two. For more glimpses of parish life at Christ the Savior-Holy Spirit visit our Archives!

We hope you enjoy this growing feature of our parish website!


* NOTE:  Events are added in reverse chronological order, most recent at top...

New Parish Family Photo

2023 Parish Photo
2023 Parish Photo
2023 Parish Photo
2017 Parish Photo
2017 Parish Photo
2017 Parish Photo



On Sunday, October 22, following the Divine Liturgy, Subdeacon Ron Skulas took our new parish photo, our first one since 2017! A large group was indeed present, and the results are posted here, and on our Welcome Page, Parish News page, and Stewardship Page.


Following the photo, a perhaps understandable outburst of cheering and clapping broke out since it took some patience to set things up "just right," but here is a reminder that neither cheering nor clapping is appropriate for any services or events in the nave of the church.


A side by side comparison with our 2017 photo shows the growth of our parish family in the intervening six years. Our 2017 Parish Photo is posted also to call to mind those members who have since moved away due to career or other reasons, to honor some of our elderly or infirm members who could not be with us for the new photo, and in remembrance of those members who have entered into eternal life since then. May their memory be eternal!

In Memoriam - Fr. Daniel Rentel

First priest of our parish reposes in the Lord, February 7, 2023 - 02/07/23

Dear Parish Faithful,


We received this sad news from our diocesan chancery yesterday afternoon:


His Eminence, Archbishop Daniel received word that Fr. Daniel Rentel fell asleep in the Lord at 4:00 pm Eastern time today... May the Lord God receive the soul of His servant, the newly-departed Archpriest Daniel, into the mansions of the righteous. Memory Eternal!

In Christ,

Philip Sokolov, Secretary to the Archbishop


Fr. Dan Rental was the first priest of our parish when it was a young and growing mission. He served faithfully for many years.


In Christ,
Fr. Steven

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Monastery Pilgrimage 2022



A large group from our parish made a weekend pilgrimage to Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Ellwood City PA the weekend of November 11-13. The photo above shows them gathered in the monastery chapel with our dear friend and former parishioner, Mother Paula.


Our parish plans an annual pilgrimage each year, usually to either Transfiguration, or Holy Dormition in Rives Jct MI, both about 4 hours away. There are also two men's monasteries about 3-4 hours distance: St Gregory Palamas, near Mansfield OH, and Holy Cross, in Wayne WV, where our male parishioners also visit.


You can learn more about the region's monasteries, and Orthodox monasticism in general, on our special page.

Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers 2022

March 14, 2022


The Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers was celebrated March 13 at St. James Antiochian Orthodox Church in Loveland. There was quite a large group of worshippers, and about twenty-five of our parishioners were present. Seven priests were serving, including two deacons, one of whom was Dn. Johnothon. As anticipated, there was a wonderful lenten meal that followed the service and which gave everyone an opportunity for fellowship.



2021 - The Year in Photos

Highlights of a Momentous Year - 12/31/21

After a year of lockdowns and limited attendance due to the Covid-19 pandemic, signup protocols for our services, and little opportunity for fellowship, 2021 saw our parish life reopen, with renewed attendance at services and the Great Feasts, several new members, baptisms, weddings, the return of our Summer Bible Study and Fall Adult Class, and the relaunch of Church School.

Here is a brief overview of some of the highlights of this year of rejuvenation. Scroll down our Photo Gallery page for more in depth galleries of some of the events presented here.

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New Audio and Video Setup Improves Livestream Experience

Technical upgrades cap year of gradual improvement - 02/14/21

After the Covid lockdown began  in Spring 2020, we did all we could with our existing technologies (iPhones streaming via Facebook, and laptop via Zoom) to enable parishioners and friends to view our services online. Over the Summer and Fall of 2020 we continued to improve our livestream quality, eventually installing a pro-grade microphone system in early 2021 to match our HD video.


Now our services reach dozens of members, seekers and friends each week, and our livestream ministry is a major part of our online witness and outreach. You can learn more here, and subscribe to our YouTube channel. We hope to greet you in person soon!

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Views during Covidtide

Our resilient parish perseveres despite restrictions. - 10/17/20

Despite just over seven months now of serious restrictions on gatherings due to the highly contagious Covid-19 virus, Christ the Savior-Holy Spirit continues to persevere and adapt, with Fr Steven, the parish council, Deacons Paul and Johnothon, and our choir under the direction of Joseph Kormos, helping us increase our worship numbers safely even during a recent resurgence in active cases in Hamilton County and Ohio. These photos give a few glimpses into parish life at the moment. For more in-depth coverage of our response to the coronavirus you can explore our special page here.

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The Great Feast of Theophany

Great Blessing of Waters - 01/12/20

On January 12, the Sunday following Theophany, we celebrated the Great Blessing of Waters outside the church, reminding us of how Christ, when baptized in the River Jordan by St John the Forerunner, sanctified all the waters and all creation through His Incarnation.

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Recent Youth Group Outings

January 29, 2020


Recent Youth Group events include a Bowling outing, plus our regular fellowship and Bible Study gatherings.

Watch our Parish News page for updates. - New to the parish? Visit our Youth Ministry page for how to join us!

Baptism of Maria Herbst

Born of Water and the Spirit! - 12/22/19

Congratulations to Andrew and Suzanne Herbst on the baptism of their daughter, Maria. God grant you Many Years!

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Bishop Paul visits Christ the Savior-Holy Spirit

Archpastoral visit a highlight of Nativity Season - 12/15/19

From Fr Steven:

"See that you all follow the bishop - even as Jesus Christ followed the Father - and the presbyters as you would follow the apostles, and reverence the deacons as the institution of God. Let no one do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Only a Eucharist that is [administered] either by the bishop or by one that the bishop entrusts should be deemed a proper Eucharist."  

~ St. Ignatius of Antioch - Epistle to the Smyrnaeans, ch. viii.


"A Worthwhile Weekend - By any account, I believe that our parish just experienced a wonderful weekend together with His Grace, Bishop Paul. From the Great Vespers on Saturday evening to the majestic hierarchical Liturgy on Sunday, the parish was well-represented and everyone enjoyed listening to and speaking with His Grace. Bishop Paul is always accessible and "down to earth" as the saying goes. He also spent some "quality time" with the Youth Group yesterday. With a geographically far-flung diocese, his visits are rather rare occasions and take on a certain intensity because of that. There were many parishioners who signed up for setting up and cleaning up afterwards in the Church Hall and that is very much appreciated. And, of course, though the fish was catered, all the other delicious food was prepared by members of the parish, and that is also greatly appreciated."

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Bishop Paul awards Gramota to Terry Morgan for Prison Ministry

Axios to Terry Morgan for his many years in Prison Ministry! - 12/15/19

Dear Parish Faithful,
"I was in prison and you came to me." (Matt. 25:37)
For those who were not present on Sunday when Bp. Paul was here, one of the high points - or should we simply say "highlights" - of the morning was the awarding of a gramota to one of our longtime parishioners, Terry Morgan. A gramota is an ecclesial award in the form of a stylized written certificate given to an Orthodox Christian for not only lengthy, but for highly significant service to the Church, in one or many particular ministries. The bishop, usually on the recommendation of the parish priest, grants a gramota in person while making a pastoral visit to this person's parish, as on Sunday. On the gramota itself is inscribed a short summary of that person's contribution through his/her ministry. Here is the text that was prepared for Terry's gramota which I read aloud at the conclusion of Sunday's hierarchical Liturgy:
We Hereby Recognize
For Many Years Of Faithful Service In The Kairos Prison Ministry
On Behalf Of Christ The Savior/Holy Spirit Church;
For Inspiring Many Other Parishioners To Follow Him In That Ministry;
And For Bringing Hope And Love To Many Facing A Hopeless Future.
All In The Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Bestowed Sunday, 15 December 2019
Cincinnati, Ohio
Bishop of Chicago and the Midwest

Terry has spent more than ten years dedicated to this prison ministry. He was there on a weekly basis all through this ten-year period and also participated in the periodic weekend Kairos retreats. Working with prisoners must be extremely challenging, to say the least.  Bringing them the message of the Gospel of divine forgiveness is combined with the knowledge that there are victims of these crimes, many of whom are forgotten over time. Terry eventually inspired other of our parishioners to also take up this ministry in due time. That group included Wayne Krueger, Peter Carter, Andrew Herbst, and our former parishioner, Dan Georgescu. There is no doubt that this prison ministry brought depth and a sense of deep commitment to the parish. 
Axios! to Terry for this ministry and our sense of gratitude for this labor of love, as well as to our other parishioners who joined him in this service. Anyone who would like to pursue such a ministry in the future is encouraged to speak with Terry about the expectations involved.
In Christ,
Fr. Steven

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Youth Group & Church School launch 2019-2020 Year

Snapshots of the start of the new Church Year for our youth. - 09/22/19

From our new digital Church School Registration, to the formal blessing of the students at the beginning of classes, to our beautiful Youth Group T-shirts (designed by our 'artist-in-residence' and mom of four, Anya Gerasimchuk), and views from our Church School classes themselves, this slide show pulls together several aspects of our thriving ministries and Christian education for our children and teens.


New members and late registrations are always welcome! Contact Fr Steven.



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The Great Feasts of August - Transfiguration & Dormition

Vesperal Liturgies celebrate two beloved Feasts - 08/06/19

As is our parish custom, to enable families the more easily to attend the divine services for feasts and saints who fall during the week, we held Vesperal Divine Liturgies for the Great Feasts of the Transfiguration of the Lord (Aug 6) and the Dormition of the Theotokos (August 15). The Vesperal Liturgy provides a full and expansive liturgical setting, as it combines the theologically rich Stikhera hymns (for "Lord I call") from Vespers, the beautiful and ancient hymn 'O Gladsome Light', and the appointed Old Testamental readings, with the Festal Troparia/Kontakia, and Epistle & Gospel readings, before proceeding into the celebration of the Eucharist for the Feast. 

With the added traditions of the Blessing of Fruit Baskets at Transfiguration, and the Blessing of Flowers and Herbs at Dormition, these August Feasts remind us through their vivid celebration of the beauty and bounty of God's creation, of how Christ has come to renew all of nature.

The Dormition Feast is also known as the "Summer Pascha," as we celebrate the passage of the Theotokos through death to her glorification and theosis. For the Feast, we bring the Tomb to the center of the church, placing the eiptaphios of the Mother of God in it, and adorning it with flowers.

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Fr Steven & Presvytera Deborah's 30th Anniversary at Christ the Savior-Holy Spirit

Tributes and Tears of Joy bear witness to an ongoing ministry and a living legacy of Christian love in action. - 06/30/19

From Father Steven:

On this coming Sunday, June 30, I will have completed thirty years of pastoral ministry here at Christ the Savior/Holy Spirit. Since I am now sixty-six years old, that is actually a significant portion of my entire life spent here in Cincinnati. God willing, I hope to continue as the parish priest for at least a "few more years." But only God knows, for the future always remains an unknown terrain to us. I always like to quote that colorful character,Tevya the dairyman: "The more man plans, the harder God laughs." I understand that on Sunday a recognition of those thirty years is planned to take place in the church hall following the Liturgy. By way of anticipation, I would like to express my deep appreciation for that kind consideration on the part of the parish. Presvytera Deborah has been a co-minister with me over the years, so she would like to express the same deep appreciation to the parish. It would be false humility to deny that the priest is a "key" figure in any parish; but priest and parish work together, so I would like to thank everyone for the support - and love - I have received over the years. I believe that our mutual respect and care for each other has made our parish a stable and spiritually healthy Orthodox Christian community. It is always difficult to find that one precise word that can convey all that one wishes to express. But if I was to seek such a word, I would say that it has been a source of "joy" to have served here for the last thirty years.

Once again, Presvytera Deborah and I offer our sincere thanks for the upcoming recognition.


And, following the celebration, Father Steven sent this message to the parish:

Beginning My Thirty-first year Today - Yesterday was a wonderful day for Presvytera Deborah and me and my entire family. We began with a very lively - even dynamic - Liturgy in which we celebrated the Saints of North America, together with the original twelve Apostles of Christ. The celebration to follow in the church hall was an extension of the unity in Christ experienced in the Liturgy. We very much enjoyed the prepared program and the thoughtful words directed to us, followed by the meal and fellowship. The heartfelt words that Presvytera Deborah shared, expressed the feelings of both of us. We have received many wonderful cards and other expressions of love that we are further thankful for. God has been good to us!  So now we continue our common journey together ...


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Summer Workshops 2019

A Summer Semester of Education & Fellowship - 06/23/19


Our Summer Workshops returned for 2019 with a rich selection of courses well attended by parishioners and our Norwood neighbors. This year's workshop series included classes on Chess (taught by Steven Korach), Cross Stitch (Shirley Leara), Folk Dancing (Presvytera Deborah), Painting with Watercolors (Anya Gerasimchuk), Photography (Ralph Sidway), and Table Tennis (Fr Steven, and Paul Kostoff). A festive closing session following the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, June 23, with exhibitions of the various art and crafts produced, demonstrations of Chess and (in the Education Center) Table Tennis, and a rousing round of several Ethnic Folk Dances, to the delight of all.

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Youth Group Activities

Youth Group combines fellowship and service in Summer meetings. - 06/09/19


Our Parish Youth Group continues its active year with outings and meetings into June and beyond. Late May saw a special gathering for the end of the school year, and on June 9 our teens served meals for hundreds of homeless of the Tri-State area at the Henry Hosea House in Newport KY.


Upcoming plans include a commemorative T-shirt specially designed by Anya Gerasimchuk, and an expended relaunch for 2019-2020. Many of our teens are making their annual retreat to the Antiochian Village Orthodox Christian Camp in Pennsylvania in July as well.


Learn more about our Youth Group and contact us for more info here.

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Pascha - Christ is Risen!

'Come Ye take the Light, which is never overtaken by night...' - 04/28/19


Glimpses of Pascha: the Night brighter than the Day, with images from the Nocturn Service before the Tomb, the Candlelit Procession and Entrance to the Church, and Pascha Matins & Liturgy, followed by the Agape Vespers, with the Gospel read in many languages.

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Great Lent, Palm Sunday, and Holy Week

Glimpses of this season of 'Joyful Sorrow' - 04/21/19


For many Orthodox Christians, the prayerful and compunctionate season of Great Lent, and the journey with Christ through Holy Week to Golgotha and the Cross, and on to the Empty Tomb and the incandescent joy of the Paschal Night as Bright as Day, is their favorite period in the Church Liturgical Year. We hope these photos give you a glimpse of our parish life as we pass through the course of the Fast and on to the the Lord's Passion and Resurrection.





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Chrismation of Shannon Grubb

On Sunday, April 7, we received our brother Shannon Grubb into full communion of the Orthodox Church through the Sacraments of Chrismation and Holy Communion. His sponsor is Dn. Paul Gansle. God grant you many years, Shannon!

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Sunday of Ortrhodoxy

Church School Procession with Icons and Service Project - 03/17/19

On the First Sunday of Great Lent, we commemorate the Triumph of Orthodoxy and the Restoration of the Holy Icons following the century-long heresy of iconoclasm. To help honor this landmark celebration in the Life of the Church, our Church School students process with icons into the church following the Liturgy, and Father Steven reads the classic text proclaiming the Veneration of the Icons.


Following the dismissal and veneration of the Cross, the students complete their annual Lenten Service Project, which this year saw the preparation of lunch bags to benefit the Broken Bus Ministry.

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Nativity and Theophany 2018-2019

Photos from the 'Winter Pascha' - 01/06/19

As always, the Orthodox Church's great feasts of the revealing of the Triune God — the Nativity according to the Flesh of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ, and the Baptism of Christ in the Jordan by John the Forerunner, at which 'the worship of the Trinity was made manifest' (from the Troparion of the Feast of Theophany) — were celebrated joyously at Christ the Savior-Holy Spirit.


This selecton of photos from Nativity and Theophany offer a few glimpses into these powerful feasts, especially Theophany, at which we celebrated the Great Blessing of Waters outside for the first time.


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Receptions of New Members

'The Seal of the Goft of the Holy Spirit...' - 01/13/19

We recently welcomed into the fullness of the Orthodox Church Kevin Rains, and Joshua and Maurie Hanauer, through the Sacraments of Confession, Chrismation and Communion. Congratulations also to their Sponsors, Philip Entweiler for Kevin, and Jacob Boehne and Erin Lockridge for Joshua and Maurie, respectively. God grant you Many Years!


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Fr. Steven teaches the Church School about the Preparation for the Divine Liturgy

The Service of the Proskomedia fascinates our youth... - 11/04/18

Father Steven visited the Church School after the Divine Liturgy recently, and described in great detail the preparation of the Prosphora, the loaf of bread which we offer to God druring the Divine Liturgy, the central portion of which — the 'Lamb' — is set apart for Holy Communion, and becomes the very Body of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Father Steven described the deeply mystical service of the Proskomedia, which the Priest celebrates well before the Divine Liturgy even begins, and showed the chldren how this beautiful but simple offering of a loaf of bread makes its journey to nourishing the faithful with the very Bread of Heaven.


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New Members Photo

December 22, 2018


From Fr. Steven -


A New Photo - Attached, you will find a photo of some of our new parishioners - Jacob & Eleni Towner. They have been with us for awhile now - and prepared and served our recent post-Liturgy refreshments - but a photo is always helpful in putting names and faces together. And this gives us the opportunity to again welcome them to the parish!


Scroll down for more photos of parish life, and meet more new members from 2018!


St Nicholas Pageant & Charity Dinner

December 9, 2018

As always, our children did not let us down, but rather entertained one and all with an excellent Orthodox rendition of the Twelve Days of Christmas. We would like thank all of our organizers & directors of the program; and all of those responsible for the fine charity dinner to follow. We collected almost $700 for the charity dinner which will be distributed to a local charity (or charities) in the near future. The day was made all the more merrier with a visit from St. Nicholas himself. - Fr Steven


Scroll down for two videos from this delightful event in the life of the parish.







Food Pantry Ministry provides meals and comfort during the holy days

November 28, 2018

On November 17 we opened the food pantry to the neighborhood, and I am happy to report, we had 38 people that we served. Out of these people, 25 received a Thanksgiving packet (see pictures of the packing area) that included potatoes, canned vegetables, dinner rolls, stuffing, a pumping pie,gravy, cranberry sauce, mac & cheese, yams and marshmallows, and a $10 gift card at Kroger so people can purchase they choice of meat for Thanksgiving Day. I calculated the value of this packet to be around $25.50 which was all covered from the Lazarus basket. Thank you so much, we can tell you that everyone was very grateful for this. 

In addition to the Thanksgiving packet distribution, we were able to also provide items to the usual people who stop by when our pantry is open. See some pictures of our serving area.

For next month, we will open on Dec 15 ( earlier than usual, just to make sure we can assist people before the holidays). Given that we had such a large number of people on Saturday, our food pantry is completely depleted. (See our Parish News Update for info on how you can help replenish our supplies.)

I want to thank all the people you see in the pictures who have given a lot of their time and energy to put this together. It takes a lot of energy and time to organize and pull this together, and I am very grateful for everyone’s help.

But first of all, thank you all, and Father Steven,  for your generosity in supporting this ministry. 

Have a blessed Lenten season.

In Christ,
Catalina Stancescu

Please visit our Food Pantry Ministry page for more info on this ministry...

Youth Group outing strengthens friendships, points towards future

Dart Rush & Newport on the Levee a great combination! - 10/21/18


The Christ the Savior-Holy Spirit Youth Group followed its launch of the 2018-2019 year with the first of several fellowship outings. On Sunday, October 21, the group of 16 or so gathered for lunch at Newport on the Levee, followed by an exhilarating game of Dart Rush. We had amazing weather & a beautiful view of the Ohio River.


Visit our Youth Group page to learn more and to join us!

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Welcome New Members!


Welcome New Members!


We look forward to getting acquainted at Coffee Hour and other parish gatherings!


Click to enlarge photos and names...

Myrrh-Streaming Hawaiian Iveron Icon visits Cincinnati

October 2, 2018


Over the weekend of September 28 - October 2, the miraculous Myrrh-Streaming "Hawaiian" Iveron Icon of the Theotokos was in the Cincinnati area.


Fr. Steven and Presvytera Deborah and over a dozen other parishioners and friends from Christ the Savior-Holy Spirit, joined over a hundred believers from across Southern Ohio and Kentucky to venerate this unique, miracle-working icon.


Read the full account and view our special photo gallery, plus explore links for further reading here.


Annual Parish Monastery Pilgrimage

July 13, 2018



From Fr. Steven:

Our short stay at the Holy Transfiguration Monastery is over as we have returned home. It was a wonderful visit for all thirteen of us: Presvytera Deborah and granddaughter Nadia; the Fenners and the Frasches; Kathy Wynkoop with her two daughters; and Cynthia Hollister. Greetings from our former parishioner, Mother Paula. While there, we heard a short presentation by Mother Seraphima of her experience at an International Orthodox Music Symposium in MN. Perhaps I will address this in the future.

Looking to get away? Or for genuine peace and quiet?  "Get ye to a nunnery!" -  as someone once said.

To learn more about Orthodox Christian Monastcism, visit our special Monastic Matters page, and contact Fr Steven...

Special Book-Signing event for new book by Fr. Steven

July 13, 2018


Fr. Steven's special book signing following Liturgy on Sunday, July 8, resulted in us selling through our initial shipment! We will get resupplied soom, and all the proceeds from the book sales will go toward our parish bookstore that we hope to revive in the "near future."

If you were not here for the book signing, but have reserved a copy, we have your books put aside and will eventually get them to you!

'Monday Morning Meditations - Reflections of a Parish Priest', featuring dozens of Father Steven's writings from his Orthodox Christian Meditations Blog, has been published by Kaloros Press, and is available in our parish bookstore.

From the publisher's announcement:

"Fr. Steven offers us a way to practice mindfulness by opening our workaday to the Divine Reality that is so often relegated to Sunday services. It is that Reality that makes Monday mornings meaningful."

Publisher's description and full info, is available on this special page.

Holy Week-Pascha 2018

Glimpses of the Lord's Pascha - 04/08/18

Dear Parish Faithful,


A Long and Eventful Succession of Days - With the celebration of the Bright Monday Liturgy, we completed eleven straight days on which we served seventeen liturgical services (and that is counting the Royal Hours of Friday as one service; and the Saturday night Nocturns, Matins and Liturgy as one long service). Basically, that includes the festal weekend of Lazarus Saturday & Palm Sunday; Holy Week  and Pascha. We thank God that everything went well, with the services unfolding in a prayerful atmosphere as we actualized the death and resurrection of Christ in the "today" of our liturgical services.


No doubt, many of you share with me a certain exhaustion, but I call it a "good tired," as we again celebrated the Resurrection of Christ. Let us struggle and hope to avoid a bad case of the "post-paschal blues"  as life begins to return to its usual patterns.

in Christ,

Fr. Steven

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Lenten Retreat 2018, with Kh. Krista West

A Weekend of Immersive Beauty & Tactile Theology - 03/17/18


Dear Parish Faithful,
"Sanctify those who love the beauty of Thy house..." (Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom)
"Beauty will save the world." (Fyodor Dostoevsky)
It seems quite apparent that our recently-completed lenten parish retreat was quite a "success." Kh. Krista West proved to be a very engaging, energetic, informative and inspiring speaker. (Did I leave anything out?). Her presentation of the why and how of beauty of the Church captivating and filled with endless insights. Even her presentation Sunday morning of her vocation as an "ecclesiastical tailor" was more than a little interesting. Her explanation of the priest's vestments and their significance/symbolism was eye-opening for many, including our church school students who remained in the church for her talk. All-in-all, a wonderful weekend for those who attended the retreat.
- Fr. Steven
* Be sure to visit our Lenten Retreat Recap page for a wealth of info and links on Kh. Krista and her work, and a professionally-produced video of a similar retreat she led in 2016.

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Christ the Savior-Holy Spirit hosts annual Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers

Dn Alexander from St George (ROCOR) censes the faithful.

Large turnout and many guests highlight pan-Orthodox celebration - 02/25/18


Dear Parish Faithful,
Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers - We had a remarkably wonderful evening in the church yesterday with the Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers that we served as the host parish for. There were over sixty parish members present and with our guests, we probably had about a hundred Orthodox faithful from around Cincinnati for the service and fellowship to follow. The service was prayerful and this was enhanced by our choir which included some of our guests for the evening. Most people seemed to stay and a very lively and friendly fellowship followed. All together a wonderful "climax" of the first week of Lent and a good beginning for the second week that we now begin. 
We would like to thank our parish Sisterhood for providing the hospitality in the church hall following the service. The food was plentiful and delicious!
- Fr. Steven

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Dn Alexander from St George (ROCOR) censes the faithful.
The pan-Orthodox choir.
Dn Alexander during a litany...
...with the priests around the altar.
Our Dn Johnothon directing the choir.
The priests process to the back of the church with the Holy Icons.
Preparing for the Great Procession... the troparion 'We venerate Thy Most Pure Image'
The faithful follow along with the proclamation of the Synodikon:
'As the Prophets beheld, as the Apostles have taught...'
'Thus we preach Christ our True God...'
'This is the Faith which has established the universe!'
'O Lord and Master of my life...'
Fr Daniel Marshall from St George (ROCOR) delivered an inspiring homily.
A festal spirit continued thrugh the veneration of the cross at the conclusion.
The Synaxis of the Orthodox Clergy of Cincinnati
Blessing the Lenten meal following Vespers...
...plenty of savory dishes to enjoy!
Church School - Sunday of Orthodoxy Icon Procession and Service Project

Organizing the day's event...

Annual Church School Event brings large response - 02/25/18


Our parish Church School celebrated the Sunday of Orthodoxy with their annual icon procession at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, followed by a special Lenten service project, packing lunches for the homeless. At the end of the morning, the students received their annual IOCC Charity boxes to collect donations at home duing Lent. The charity boxes will be brought back to the church on Palm Sunday to be sent to IOCC. Thanks to Terrie Sauer and our entire Church School team for organizing this inspiring event.

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Organizing the day's event...
icons at the ready...
The procession proceeded to the church entrance...
Fr Steven leads the procession to the center of the church,
The Synodikon for Sunday of Orthodoxy is read...
'Whose icon do you have?'
Packing lunches for the homeless...
The Great Canon starts our Lenten Journey

Parish faithful join to begin the Fast together. - 02/19/18

From Fr Steven's recent meditation on the Great Canon of St Andrew of Crete:
"In the First Week of Great Lent, the Great Canon is divided into four parts and chanted on the first four evenings of the week. It is then chanted in its entirety on Thursday of the Fifth Week of Great Lent. 
"In this heartfelt plea of repentance to the merciful Lord, St. Andrew constantly alludes to the Scriptures, even explicitly telling us that he has presented images of both the righteous and unrighteous before our gaze in some of the troparia - examples either to emulate or avoid. But any attentive concentration to the Canon amazes us with the uninterrupted flow of both the Old and New Testament images that inform so many of these inspiring troparia."


This brief slide show conveys the 'joy-making sorrow' and 'bright sadness' of these unique services.


Read Fr Steven's Meditation on the Great Canon here.


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Bishop Paul visits, ordains Dn Johnothon Sauer

Visiting priests add to festal event... - 12/17/17


Dear Parish Faithful,

The Bishop's Visit - I believe that we had a wonderful weekend with Bp. Paul in our midst these last few days. The church was filled for the Liturgy and most remained after for the fine banquet to follow. Those meals do not materialize out of thin air, so we need to be grateful for our primary organizer and the "staff" that made sure that everything went well. I believe that His Grace, in turn, enjoyed his stay with us.


And again, we congratulate Dn. Johnothon on his ordination, together with his wife Terrie, who has been a tireless worker within many of our parish ministries, beginning with the Church School. Dn. Johnothon will serve his first Liturgy this coming Sunday on his own, as Dn. Paul and family will be traveling to visit family for the Feast. I look forward to serving with him on the Eve of the Feast and then, of course, for the Feast itself on Monday morning.


~ Fr. Steven


(70 images)

His Grace held a Q&A after Vespers Saturday evening...
Greeting His Grace Sunday morning...
Entrance prayers with His Grace...
Vesting of His Grace in the Sacristy.
Rdr Johnothon is first ordained a Sub-Deacon...
Little Entrance...
Fr James Sizemore (St Gregory of Nyssa, Columbus) is awarded the Gold Cross by His Grace...
Come Let Us Worship...
Elena Drach receives the blessing to read the Epistle...
His Grace delivers the homily...
The prostrations at the bginning of the Ordination...
'I believe O Lord and I confess...'
Holy Communion...
Dn Johnothon offers the prayers after Communion, assisted by Dn Paul...
Many Years!...
His Grace addresses Dn Johnothon, Terrie & family...
The cake table...
'Master Bless!'...