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

March 30, 2011
Nursery/Retreat Room Renovation Needs Help!
We are nearing completion of our Nursery/Retreat Room primarily prepared for both nursing mothers and their infants and a place of “retreat” when necessary during the Liturgy.  A new carpet has been ordered and hopefully it will be installed with a couple of weeks.  The nursery has already been painted; a changing table with diapers is available; and two very comfortable nursing/rocking chairs have been there for some time now.  We are now looking for a volunteer who would paint the existing book case that is there.  The primer and paint have already been purchased.  Would anyone be willing to do this painting?  Please let me know!  ~  Fr. Steven

In the Life of the Parish

March 25, 2011
Fr. Matthias left ten small prayer ropes with us to sell on behalf of the San Miguel home for the children currently at the Hogar in Guatemala City.  The prayer ropes are $10.00 each.
The parish will sponsor a fund-raising post-Liturgy luncheon on behalf of Project Mexico, on Sunday, April 10.  We will ask for a $5.00 donation per person and $15.00 per family.  More details to follow.

Bishop-Elect Matthias Visits Christ the Savior

March 21, 2011
A Wonderful Day with Bishop-Elect Matthias
From Fr. Steven:

Dear Parish Faithful,
From my perspective, we celebrated a wonderful Liturgy yesterday with Fr. Matthias, the Bishop-elect of our Midwest Diocese, serving as the head celebrant.  Fr. Matthias proved to be quite accessible and warmly responsive to our collective greeting.  He, in turn, seemed to be very impressed with the parish on his first visit here.  He told me as much in our parting conversation as he was leaving to return to Chicago.  He regrets the fact that since the Midwest Diocese is so far-flung geographically, his actual visits to any parish will, out of necessity, be infrequent.  I will continue to pray that our newly-established and warm relationship with Fr. Matthias will continue to grow and deepen through the years once he becomes our diocesan hierarch.   Continue reading...

IOCC Stands Ready to offer Aid to Japan after massive Earthquake, Tsunami...

March 16, 2011
Updates on Japanese Orthodox Church, Orthodox Response and Aid to Japan - All bulletins on the disaster in Japan and relief efforts will be posted on this special page...

GREAT LENT Resources for 2011

Updated February 28, 2011
We have expanded our Great Lent section to make it easier to navigate and find just what you are looking for. We now feature four distinct pages:
  • The Pre-Lenten Period, covering Zacchaeus Sunday through Cheesefare Sunday,
  • Our Great Lent page, with links to key resources, and numerous articles free for download,
  • Great Lent ~ Resources for the Journey — refreshed and relaunched for 2011 — an expansive site with articles, books, videos, recordings, cookbooks, and links to additional online resources,
  • Our new Holy Week page, which is designed to help immerse us in our Lord's voluntary and saving Passion.
God willing, these resources will continue to be enhanced and expanded, that we may mutually encourage and build one another up in our most holy faith, that we may be 'partakers of the divine nature' (2 Peter 1:3,4).

~ ~ ~

From Father Steven:

Dear Parish Faithful,

Our website hosts an impressive amount of high-quality material that will assist in preparing us for Great Lent.  These are excellent resources with articles by Archbishop Kallistos Ware and Frs. Hopko and Schmemann and others.  Please avail yourselves of this material as we draw nearer to the Lenten season.
I would like to highlight one particular article:  “The Meaning of the Great Fast:  The True Nature of Fasting,” by Archbishop Kallistos Ware.  This article is a “classic.”  I would recommend printing it out and reading it carefully.  Archbishop Ware’s discussion of the “five misconceptions of fasting” is particularly insightful, and perhaps you will find some surprising points made there.

Fr. Steven

Meditations Archive, Phase 1

Posted Feb 21, 2011
Meditation Archive Phase 1 Debuts ~ Fr. Steven's meditations from 2004 through late 2007 have been posted in a new archive format. These are the actual web pages from our previous website, just without the accompanying images. We hope to have the second phase of the archive completed soon, which will cover 2001-2003. May it be blessed!

PARISH MEETING Summary and Report

Feb 10, 2011
Dear Parish Faithful,

Yesterday, following the Liturgy, we held our Annual Parish Meeting as scheduled.  Participation was on the “light side,” but it turned out to be a good and productive meeting.  A packet with various reports was prepared and handed out, and there should be plenty of copies left for those who were not at the meeting to be picked up and read when you next come to church.  There is also an extensive treasurer’s report, including the approved 2011 budget, and that will also be available.  For those who are interested, I have attached my “Report to the Parish” to this letter.

Besides a detailed and well-prepared treasurer’s report from Mickey Callender, the creation of a Stewardship Committee  for 2011 was announced at the meeting.  A further explanation of the purpose and goals of the committee will be reported soon.  As proposed and discussed at the meeting yesterday, one thing this new committee will do is carefully answer any long-standing questions about Christian Stewardship/Pledging; the diocesan and national Church assessment; etc. We will do our best to create an effective forum that will allow for detailed and precise answers to any such questions.

As usual, we elected (by acclamation) our new parish council for 2011, whose names appear immediately below.
Fr. Steven

Parish Council 2011

President - Frances Fowler-Collins
V. President - Nolan Leara
Secretary - Melissa Payne
Treasurer - Steve Joachim

Financial Administrator - Brian Farison
Communications - Ellyn Gilette
Inreach & Outreach - Jeannie Markvan
Young Adult Group - Johnothon Sauer
Alternate - Mickey Callender
Alternate - George Stan

Great Saints of the Church

Jan 30, 2011
New Section, 'Great Saints of the Church', debutsIn this new section on the Great Saints, we hope to  share exceptional articles that truly stand out, and provide useful insights and encouragement for us in our own struggles.

The first entry in this new section is an outstanding article on Saints Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom, titled: "Roads to Damascus - Crisis, Conversion and Community in the Lives of the Three Hierarchs," from a lecture by Monk Maximos of Simonopetra Monastery of Mount Athos.

Giving Thanks to God for Roberta's Healing

Jan 28, 2011
Update on Roberta:
Dear Parish Faithful,
Here is a piece of truly "good news," and we rejoice on behalf of Scott and Roberta!  In October 2009, her prognosis was quite bleak, so as they are recipients of the great mercy and grace of God, we also thank God on their behalf as we all witness to the healing power of God working in the life of our dear friends, fellow-parishioners, and brother and sister in Christ.
We will continue to keep Roberta in our prayers for the continuing remission of this cancer.
In Christ,
Fr. Steven

Fr. Steven,

Please forward to the Parish.

God's mercy continues to shine on us!  Roberta has had another clean PET Scan!  What did "light up" is a fibrosous from radiation scarring on the scan.  As a precaution, she will continue to have PET Scans every three months to make sure there are no cancer cells in the fibrosous.  She did have some fluid around the heart, non-cancer related, which is more than likely a reaction to the chemo.  She will have an ultra-sound to see what it is.  Nothing to worry about.

Just a little clarification about the fluid:  the Doctor said Roberta has a very small amount of fluid around the heart and it is nothing to worry about.  He said he is just being extra cautious and wants it cleared up.  She is healthy enough to travel and is very confident about her future.  Thank God!

The doctor was very positive and was very pleased with the PET Scan.

In Christ,


Scout Sunday at Christ the Savior

Jan 25, 2011
Scout Sunday, Feb 6:
We will be holding our annual Scout Sunday observance on Feb. 6th. All children who are involved in scouting (girl scouts, cub scouts, boy scouts, American Heritage girls, Venture crew) are invited to wear their uniforms to church and participate in the special blessing following Liturgy. We congratulate all our children involved with the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America programs, and wish them Many Years!

2011 Scout Sunday List

Michaelanne Sauer   Amb/Pres
Braden Sauer           Star
Damian Sauer          Bear
Greg Farison            Star
Leah Markvan          Brownie
Miriam Markvan       Cadette
Nicholas Zidarescu   Webelos 1
Victoria Housemeyer  Cadette
Olivia Housemeyer     Junior
Charlie Housemeyer   Bear
Livia Wendland           Brownie
Alexandra Taylor        Cadette
Alexandra Hollister    Cadette
Nicholas Blendea       Star
Natalie Blendea         Junior
Hannah Miller            Daisy
Cristina Stansecu      Daisy
Andrea Sancescu      Brownie

Photo and Video Gallery Debuts

Updated Jan 22, 2011
New Photo & Video Gallery Debuts! - With more photos, slide shows and even videos being submitted for our website, it seemed meet and right to feature all these special media in a new section. With photos dating back over the past decade, and looking ahead to a thriving 2011, we hope this will become one of the most popular destinations on our parish website. 
Videos of Sophia Myers dancing the Nutcracker posted Jan 17, 2011,
Slide Show of Philip Enzweiler's Chrismation posted Jan 18, 2011.

Slide Show of Nicholas & Elizabeth Georgescu's Wedding posted Jan 22, 2011.

Two Letters of Thanksgiving from Friends of the Parish

Jan 15, 2011
Two Letters of Thanksgiving
Dear Parish Faithful,
We received the following two letters of thanksgiving this week:
Dear Christ the Savior/Holy Spirit Parish,

Thank you for the generous contribution of $3650 to the Hogar Rafael Ayau Orphanage in Guatemala for sponsorship of Francesca.  Gifts like yours help to fund adequate shelter, food, health care, educational, and spiritual opportunities for the many children who call the Hogar their home.  Your contribution is vital to the Hogar's ability to provide a safe haven for these children as they grow into adulthood and set out to live meaningful lives on their own.
On behalf of the nuns and the children, we thank you for joining us with your support.
Georgia Lipane
President of the Friends of the Hogar
Harriet Stratis, Treasurer
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Thank you for the beautiful icons of Christ our Savior and of the Lord's Ascension which you gave me in honor of my tonsuring.
I am thankful to Fr. Steven, Presvytera Deborah and all the parishioners that were able to attend the tonsuring service on St. Herman's feast day.  Their presence was a blessing to me.
Thank you also to all who were not able to attend but remembered me in prayer on that day.
I hung one icon up in my cell and the other in the office where I work.  They will both be helpful reminders for me, that we are continuing to pray for one another and to Christ our true God.
God be with you all and may He grant you a blessed fruitful New Year!
Yours in Christ's love,
Mother Paula
I believe that it is absolutely essential for us as a parish to extend our support - charitable as in the case of little Francesa and prayerful as in the case of Mother Paula - beyond the boundaries of our parish.  Not only does this save us from the temptation of parochialism, but this is our way of extending Christ's love to others, as we are all members of the Body of Christ regardless of where we may live and worship as Orthodox Christians.  In fact, it is such a network of relationships that strengthens our sense of transcending geographical, linguistic or other potential "barriers" that may prove to be divisive for others.  We thank God for the wonderful opportunity to support a homeless child such as Francesca in her new home at the orphanage; and to continue to deepen our strong bond with Mother Paula, one of our former parishioners who left us in pursuit of the monastic vocation. 

Fr. Steven