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

UPDATED: August 31, 2012
Dear Parish Faithful,
A few further items not included on Monday’s communication. Scroll down for the corrected email address for the Zidarescus to RSVP for the Akathist to the Mother of God, Nurturer of Children which they will be hosting on Sept 14.
Confession of Sins
Over the summer, we only had a trickle of parishioners who came to confess their sins.  That means that most of the parish “missed” the Sts. Peter & Paul and Dormition Fast, always good times for confession.  As we approach the Church New Year, please bear this in mind.
More September Dates
Thursday, September 6 – Women’s lunch at the church– noon
Saturday, September 15 – Sisterhood Business Meeting at the parish  - 5:00 p.m.

“When two or three are gathered together in my Name”
As yesterday was the last Sunday in August – and thus the last Sunday of the Church’s liturgical year of September 1- August 31 – it seemed as if we were practically back to “full strength” as a parish.   After the summer months of vacationing families, the church was quite filled yesterday, a tangible sign of our parish’s growth through the years and of the parish as a community of faithful believers from the old to the young.  All of this was realized in a very lively Liturgy and a long line of communicants.  In addition, we currently have a couple of “official” catechumens with other “inquirers” who are joining us with regularity.  There are many things to thank God for.
A Few More Upcoming Dates to Remember
On Tuesday, September 4, at 7:00 p.m., we will chant the beautiful and profound Akathist Hymn Glory to God for All Things.  We have been doing this for some years now in conjunction with the beginning of the new Church Year on September 1.
On Friday evening, September 7, we will serve the Great Vespers for the Feast of Nativity of the Theotokos, and the Liturgy for the Feast on Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m.  This is a change from may have been previously announced.
A Prayer Service and Dinner are scheduled for September 9, at 5:00 p.m.  hosted by Dinara Cox and Chynara Archie.  Please contact Dinara if you plan to attend:
On Thursday evening, September 13, we will serve Great Vespers with the procession of the Cross; and the Liturgy for the Feast day of the Exaltation of the Cross on Friday morning, at 9:30 a.m.
Parents and their children are invited to the home of Radu and Dana Zidarescu on Friday, September 14, at 7:00 p.m. for the chanting of the Akathist hymn to the Mother of God, Nurturer of Children.  The evening will also include a discussion about Church School and further socializing.  Please contact the Zidarescus if you plan to attend (email corrected on 8/31/12):
We are currently anticipating the beginning of the Church School year on Sunday, September 16.   This will be a Sunday of organizing the various classes and practicing safety precautions in the Education Center.  Parents, please prepare your children for the beginning of Church School and be present on that day.  Later in the afternoon, we have reserved a pavilion at the same place at Montgomery Park as in the last few years.  This year, however, instead of a parish-sponsored picnic, the plan will be for any interested families to prepare and bring their own meals and spend some time with other parish families.
The actual Church School curriculum will begin to be taught on Sunday, September 23.

All-in-all, a pretty full month!

More announcements...

Away for a Funeral
As announced in church on Sunday, presvytera Deborah and I will be leaving for a funeral in Detroit Wednesday evening.  We should be back early Thursday evening.  Please pray for the handmaid of God, Vera.  She was the wife of the priest I grew up with in my initial home parish in Detroit.  She lived to the ripe old age of ninety-five.
Electing a New Metropolitan
We received official word recently, that the OCA will be electing a new metropolitan following the recent resignation of the former Metropolitan Jonah.  This will be a “special council” – only one day in duration – to be held in Parma, OH, at the church of the Holy Trinity, on November 13.  More details to follow.

Fr. Steven

Back in the Office, Dormition Monastery, Aug. Schedule

Dormition Monastery to Consecrate New Temple
Dormition Monastery to Consecrate New Temple
Dormition Monastery to Consecrate New Temple
August 22, 2012

Dear Parish Faithful,
Back in the Office
After a short vacation, I am back in the church office if anyone needs to contact me.  (Due to limited personnel, the church office is not quite as dysfunctional as “The Office” as seen on television).
Monastery to Consecrate New Church
Over the years, we have developed a close relationship with the Monastery of the Dormition in Rives Junction, MI.  Mother Gabriela has been to our parish twice, I believe, and we have made many annual pilgrimage trips to the monastery over the years.  The monastery is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and the culminating event of that celebration will be the consecration of their new temple on Friday & Saturday, October 5-6.  The new church is stunningly beautiful, built in the traditional and unique Romanian Orthodox style. Presvytera and I will make the trip for this event (I will serve at the Liturgy following the consecration of the church) and I simply wanted to inform everyone else in case you may want to join us.  If so, please let me know and I will provide you further with reservation information.  Guest house accommodations are limited and reserved for fellow monastics, so anyone else going will have to stay in a local hotel (within 7.5 miles of the monastery).
Liturgical Services in the Remainder of August
Our next service will be Great Vespers on Saturday evening at 6:00 p.m.
We will serve a Vesperal Liturgy for the Feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist on Tuesday evening, August 28, at 6:00 p.m.

Dormition Festal Schedule, more

August 10, 2012

Dear Parish Faithful,
The Feast is Approaching
Another reminder that for the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos, we will serve the Vesperal Liturgy on Tuesday, August 14, at 6:00 p.m.  This will be the culmination of the two-week fast.  The tomb will be decorated and in the middle of the nave with an icon of the Mother of God in blessed repose for our veneration.  I am anticipating and looking forward to a splendid feast with a “packed” church filled with believers who venerate and love the Theotokos.

Fr Steven

Dormition Festal Resource Page, newly updated for 2012

Transfiguration, St Herman Schedule, Sisterhood Meeting

August 6, 2012
Dear Parish Faithful,
“Thou was transfigured on the mount, O Christ God”
On this Feast of divine splendor – The Transfiguration of Christ - we had a splendid Liturgy this morning.  The church was filled with many worshippers, including many of our parish youth, from small children to teens.  (At the Sunday evening Great Vespers, we had fairly good attendance on the eve).  An enormous amount of fruit was blessed and then shared toward the end of the Liturgy, which is traditional for this Feast.   Initially associated with the summer grape harvest – and these were grapes that would then eventually be offered as the wine for use at the Holy Table; the blessing of fruit now confers a cosmic or all-embracing quality to the Feast, anticipating a transfigured creation at the end of time by God’s uncreated energy.  This “eschatological” dimension of the Feast is also very prominent when we consider the destiny of human nature transfigured by Christ.  As Archbishop Kallistos Ware writes:
“The light of the Transfiguration, foreshadows not only Christ’s own Resurrection on the third day, but equally the Resurrection glory of the righteous at His Second Coming. The glory which shone forth from Jesus on Tabor is a glory in which all mankind is called to share.  On Mount Tabor we see Christ’s human nature – the human substance which he took from us – filled with splendor, ‘made godlike’ or ‘deified.’  What has happened to human nature in Christ can happen also to the humanity of Christ’s followers.  The Transfiguration, then, reveals to us the full potentiality of our human nature:  it shows us the glory which our manhood once possessed and the glory which, by God’s grace, it will recover at the Last Day.”   (The Festal Menaion, p. 62)
According to the Church calendar, “fish, wine & oil” are allowed today.  The Leavetaking of the Feast is on August 13.
“O Blessed Father Herman of Alaska”
We commemorate the official glorification (canonization) of St. Herman of Alaska on August 9.  This event occurred in 1970, when the Orthodox Church in America first received its autocephaly.  Therefore, we will serve Vespers on Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m. followed by the Bible Study; and the Liturgy for St. Herman on Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m.  For articles, videos and more on St Herman, visit our Special Resource Page.
Sisterhood to meet
A reminder that a Sisterhood meeting/get-together is scheduled for tomorrow evening at 7:00 p.m. at the home of Dinara Archie and Chynara Cox.

The Dormition Fast, Transfiguration Schedule, more

August 1, 2012
Dear Parish Faithful,

August 1 and the Beginning of the Dormition Fast
Since we concentrate on the Mother of God for this two-week period leading up to her Dormition or “falling asleep,” I would suggest finding some good reading material about this feast and about the Theotokos in general.  As always, there are many good links on our parish website put there by our website director, Ralph Sidway.   I have a wonderful essay – something of a classic - by Archbishop Kallistos Ware on the Orthodox veneration of the Theotokos.  If anyone is interested, I would be glad to make a copy for you.  This may also be a good time to visit our parish library which will also have some good sources there on the Theotokos.
Planning for the Feast of the Transfiguration
Since the Transfiguration falls on a Monday this year (August 6), we will not be able to serve a Vesperal Liturgy for the feast.  Thus, we will serve Great Vespers with the blessing of loaves and anointing with oil on Sunday evening beginning at 6:00 p.m.  Apparently, it is never easy to return to church on Sunday, but this is a beautiful and meaningful Feast that reveals a great deal about Christ to us and our own humanity created in the image and likeness of God.  To be anointed at the end of the service is a blessing from God that we then take home with us.  If you are available, the Liturgy will be served on Monday morning, August 6, at 9:30 a.m.  At the end of the Liturgy, we have the tradition of blessing our fruit baskets.  Please bring your fruit basket with you for that blessing.   Our children are much more available in the summer than at any other time during the year.  Bringing them, or having them brought to the Feast, is important in nurturing and nourishing them with the liturgical life of the Church.  This Feast is a wonderful opportunity for that experience.

For more on the Transfiguration, visit our Festal Resource Page.
Return of our Parish Missionary
I understand that Emily Farison has returned from her OCMC trip to Kenya “safe and sound.”  We are very glad to hear that and I would like to welcome Emily home on behalf of the parish.  We will look forward to eventually hearing from Emily about her experience.

The Dormition, \'Pascha in the Summer\', more

July 27, 2012
Dear Parish Faithful,
Pascha in the Summer
The two-week Dormition Fast (August 1-14) is fast approaching.  We prepare ourselves spiritually for the paradoxically joyous celebration of the Falling Asleep/Death of the Mother of God. The Orthodox principle is always:  first  the fast, and then the feast.  The Dormition of the Theotokos has often been called “Pascha in the summer,” because we rejoice in the “translation” of the Ever-Virgin Mother of Christ into the heavenly realms.  Pascha means “passage” or “passover;” and the death of the Virgin Mary is her passage from this world into the “other” world of eternal life and joy.  From there, she intercedes for the Church and the world, as the common  Mother of all Christian believers.
All believing and practicing Orthodox Christians who venerate the Virgin Mary as the Theotokos must, to some extent, respect and honor this designated lenten period by observing the fast.  I believe that this holds true even if this proves to be “inconvenient” or “uncomfortable” at this time of year.  Challenges that are met with commitment, prove to be sources of character-building in the long run.  Look at your church calendar for the “rules of fasting” and the days of lessening the fast.
We will celebrate the Feast of the Dormition with the Vesperal Liturgy on Tuesday, August 14, at 6:00 p.m.
During the Dormition Fast, we also celebrate the Transfiguration of Christ on August 6.  For the feast we will serve Great Vespers on Sunday evening, August 5, at 6:00 pm. and the Liturgy on Monday morning, August 6, at 9:30 a.m.  Please bring your baskets of fruit to the Liturgy on August 6 for their blessing.
We will also serve Great Vespers on August 8, at 7:00 p.m. (before the Bible Study); and the Liturgy on August 9, at 9:30 a.m. for St. Herman of Alaska.

Special Festal Resource Pages:

Praying for a Parishioner
At noon today, Gary Housemeyer will be undergoing surgery at Bethesda North hospital.  We are praying that all goes well with Gary’s surgery  and subsequent period of  recovery.

Gum on the Pews?
One of our younger children pointed out to me that there are gum wads stuck on the bottom of some of the pews(!)  For all I know, those hardened wads could be as old as some fossils, and come from bygone years.  However, that discovery also allows me to remind everyone that gum chewing is not allowed in the church – or any eating of candy – regardless of age.  I know that everyone knows that, but again, just a reminder …

Scripture Readings at Sunday’s Liturgy
Epistle:  I COR. 1:10-18
Gospel:  MATT. 14:14-22
The homily will concentrate on the Gospel miracle of the feeding of the five thousand.

Photos of Campers at Antiochian Village

July 21, 2012
Dear Parish Faithful,

Life has its lighter and good side, thank God!

Fr. Steven


Dear Fr. Steven,

The following link is to the Antiochian Village web site pictures for those who would interested in seeing what the camp activities are like or are following our parish children activities. We are in Session 3 and the pictures are broken down by day and note the numbers of services they attend throughout the week!

As a side note there is a Clergy Symposium currently being held at the Conference Center. The campers are interacting with Metropolitan Siloan, various Bishops and about a hundred Priests. This past Wednesday campers were also able to attend the ordaining of the camp Head Counselor as a Sub-Deacon before Divine Liturgy.

In Christ,

Campers, Sisterhood Meeting, more

Happy Campers...
Happy Campers...
Happy Campers...
... from 2011!
... from 2011!
... from 2011!
July 13, 2012
Dear Parish Faithful,
Campers of the World:  Unite!
We are sending off ten of our young adults to the Antiochian Village where they will “unite” for this year’s  two-week summer camp session beginning this Sunday, July 15.  Please keep the following campers in your prayers for the next two weeks:
Anna, Nicholas & Stephanie Zidarescu
Carolina Asanbekova
Aziz Cox
Shannon & Allison Payne
Victoria Housemeyer
Analisa Callender
Michaelanne Sauer
They will be “united” with our former parishioners:
Hannah, Lydia & Nicholas Charles
Kamille & August Perry
Sisterhood Meeting Date Moved
The St. Katherine’s Society business meeting will not meet on Saturday, July 21, as originally scheduled.  The next date of the Sisterhood’s social/spiritual meeting  will be Tuesday, August 7, at the home of Dinara Archie and Chynara Cox.

Stewardship of Hospitality
Please contact Presvytera Deborah if you are willing to be added to the Coffee Hour list for 2013, at or 521-0934.  We would gladly welcome any new additions who will take their part in providing the food and preparation on a given Sunday as we fellowship together in the church hall following the Liturgy.  Providing food and beverage is a key component to that fellowship.  This will lighten the load of those already on the list for, I believe, three times a year as it is.

Scripture Reading for Sunday’s Liturgy
Epistle:     ROM. 12:6-14
                 HEB. 13:7-16 (Holy Fathers)
Gospel:   MATT. 9:1-8
                  JN. 17:1-13 (Holy Fathers)
The homily will focus on the Holy Fathers of the First Six Ecumenical Councils.


July 30, 2012
SUMMER BIBLE STUDY - Wednesday evenings at 7:45pm, concluding August 8. This year we'll be exploring the first eleven chapters of the Gospel According to St John, called 'The Book of Signs'. Full info with printable flier here.

July 30, 2012
ST HERMAN OF ALASKA (August 9) - Schedule of services and Special Resource Page. Our collection of articles, videos, audio, and recommended books is one of the most extensive on this beloved saint. Spend August learning about the Patron Saint of Orthodoxy in North America, and join us for Vespers and Liturgy, when St Herman's icon and relics will be in the midst of the Church for the faithful to venerate!