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

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.

February 7, 2020



On February 2 we celebrated (together with the Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord in the Temple) the Sunday of Zacchaeus, which is the first announcement of the approach of Great Lent, which begins on March 2 this year. Zacchaeus teaches us of the desire needed to see the Lord (even if that means being considered foolish or crazy in the eyes of the world), and of the liberating power and true meaning of repentance.

Read Fr. Steven's Meditation, 'Zacchaeus - The Gospel in Miniature'

With Saturday Vespers, February 8, and Sunday, February 9, we begin using the service book called The Lenten Triodion, which will guide our steps through the Pre-Lenten period, through the Great Fast itself, and all the way to the end of Holy Week.

With the introduction of the Lenten Triodion, February 9 is also the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee, and like each pf the Pre-Lent Sundays, it presents powerful lessons to help "warm us up" for the Lenten struggle of increased prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, so that we too, like Zacchaeus, may "see the Lord," and that like the Prodigal Son, we may return to the house of the Father.

Explore our Pre-Lent Section, which features extensive resources for this holy season, which Orthodox Christians the world over look forward to every year with eagerness and love. When the beautiful Lenten tones are heard on the Sunday of Forgiveness for the first time, it causes many of us to be deeply moved in our souls as we enter once again into the "bright sadness" of Lent, our annual pilgrimage to Pascha.

We make this journey together as a parish family, and we invite you to join us!

Youth Group Bowling Outing
Youth Group Bowling Outing
Youth Group Bowling Outing
Updated February 20, 2020



Upcoming meetings: Feb. 23 (Fellowship & Meal)...

Coming Soon... 

  • March 8th Coffee Hour Meeting: Discover your Talents! - Continuing our theme on How Youth can take ownership in Ministry by Discovering their talents.
  • March 8th, 5pm: Sunday of Orthodoxy at St. George Serbian Church - It would be awesome if we can get as many youth group families as possible to attend. This pan-orthodox event may remind teens of fond memories at summer camp - worship & fellowship. Let's do our best to support local connections in our teen communities.
  • March 22nd: Fellowship & Discussion gathering. The host will send along more information later this month.

Future Fellowship Meetings / Coffee Hour Meetings for 2020:

  • April: No Meeting and Fellowship due to Pascha-Bright Week
  • May 3rd: 15min Coffee Hour Meeting
  • May 31st: End of Year BBQ

Summer Missions & Evangelism Camp for teens/families - Registration for this event is due May 1st. Teens will learn how to be a catalyst for change in their local communities. Volunteers will be working at the Neighborhood Resilience Project, formerly known as FOCUS. The cost is around the same as Antiochian Village and takes place around the same time as camp.

In Christ,
Jennifer Haynes 
YG Ministry

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


We are very pleased to announce a new feature of our parish 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!


Greetings for the Great Feast of Theophany, commemorating the Lord's Baptism in the Jordan!

Of course, in the Orthodox Christian tradition, the period immediately after Theophany is when we have our homes (and businesses!) blessed with the newly sanctified water by our priest. This is a great joy and blessing for our families, as it vividly reminds us of the Church's understanding of the Home as a 'little church', with the priest performing a brief service, and then sprinkling holy water throughout every room in the house, while singing the Troparion for Theophany, with us following in procession.

As in recent years, we have a convenient online signup portal for you to schedule to have Fr. Steven come and bless your home.

Signup now for your House Blessing! Joyous Feast!

Updated January 28, 2019



Most recent updates include the Great Feast of Theophany 2020, a Bsptism, and visit of Bishop Paul in December 2019, plus Youth Group activities earlier in the Autumn. 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.


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.



On June 30, 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...




Midwest Diocese to sponsor Pilgrimage to Alaska August 19-25, 2020

CHICAGO, IL [MW Diocese Communications] — The faithful of the Diocese of Chicago and the Midwest are invited to participate in a unique pilgrimage to Alaska August 19-25, 2020.

“This very special trip is being offered as part of the 50th Anniversary Celebrations of the Granting of Autocephaly and the Glorification of Saint Herman of Alaska,” explains Priest Herman Kincaid, Rector of Saint Peter and Saint Paul Church, Burr Ridge, IL. “Under the guidance of His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin of San Francisco and the West, Chair of the 50th Anniversary Committee for the Orthodox Church in America, each diocese was given the opportunity to select one week in 2020 to plan its pilgrimage to Alaska. This is a unique opportunity for faithful of our diocese to visit the holy sites of Alaska, including Saint Herman’s home on Spruce Island.”

The six day/five night trip is being offered by Culturally Creative Travel for the low price of $2,525.00.

Full info and links available on the OCA Midwest Diocese website.



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.



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!



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

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

Updated February 7, 2020




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 (

"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.




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

Icon of the Theotokos, 'Joy of All Who Sorrow'
Icon of the Theotokos, 'Joy of All Who Sorrow'
January 17, 2020




"From ancient times, all who have believed in the One God have believed that He takes special care in the formation of each human being. As God Himself expressed to Jeremiah: 'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you' (Jeremiah 1:5).

"In the moment of conception in the mother’s womb, a human being comes into existence. Yet even before being conceived and formed, this human being is known by God. God exists outside of time, and already knows and loves each one of us personally, knowing what we will do and who we will become both in this life and in eternity. As Solomon proclaims, “God did not make death, and he does not delight in the death of the living. For he created all things that they might exist” (Wisdom of Solomon 1.13-14). God wants us to be alive, and certainly, this is why we must speak against abortion and its legalization in our country: it is in opposition to God’s loving plan to bring a human being into the world to live..."

Read His Beatitude's full message as we observe the Sanctity of Life in the Orthodox Church on Sunday, January 19, 2020.


December 22, 2019



Our parish just experienced a wonderful weekend December 14-15 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 on Sunday following the Liturgy. A delightful meal concluded Sunday's activities. Though the fish was catered, all the other delicious food was prepared by members of the parish, and there were many parishioners who signed up for setting up and cleaning up afterwards in the Church Hall, all of which is very much appreciated.

One of the high points of Sunday morning was the awarding of a gramota (an ecclesial award) to one of our longtime parishioners, Terry Morgan, for his more than ten years of faithful service in Prison Mnistry.

See our Photo Gallery page for full reporting on both aspects of this blessed weekend in the life of the parish, together with numerous photos.



Once again, we look forward to renewing our commitment to supporting our parish and spreading the Orthodox Gospel of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ. Learn how your giving supports the parish ministries of Christ the Savior-Holy Spirit on our special 2020 Stewardship page.

As in recent years, we provide an easy and secure Online Pledge Form, which takes less than a minute to complete.

Thank you for your prayerful support of Christ the Savior-Holy Spirit Orthodox Church, the Ancient Faith in contemporary Cincinnati!


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!



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



Our parish has for some time helped support local Norwood organizations such as Lydia's House and Woven Oak Initiatives, with some of our members being actively involved with these ministries. 

We are pleased to be able to share the current report from Lydia's House, which features a deeply inspiring video which shows the amazing transformation of a deserted and derelict building into a wonderful new home — the Virginia Coffey Place — for mothers and their children. We made some contributions to the Virginia Coffey Place, and our own Mickey Callender volunteered for the building project (if I am forgetting anyone else, my apologies). Of course, our parishioner Laura Menze is Residence Service Director.

Although it is short notice, we also wish to draw your attention in particular to the Homemade Homegrown Christmas Sale this Saturday, November 23, from 10 am – 3 pm in Vineyard Central Church right across from Moriah Pie.


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.



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.