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

St Basil the Great, Circumcision of Christ (Jan. 1)
St Basil the Great, Circumcision of Christ (Jan. 1)
St Basil the Great, Circumcision of Christ (Jan. 1)
December 30, 2016


Dear Parish Faithful,

"Let Us Pray to the Lord"

As a pastoral statement, I believe that the best way to "greet" the New Year is to be present in church for the services this weekend. There is the Great Vespers service on Saturday, December 31, at 6:00 p.m. in which we will also add the special prayers for the civil New Year; and the Liturgy on Sunday morning, January 1, at 9:30 a.m. 

Every new beginning should start with our worship of, and thanksgiving to, God.  If it so happens that January 1 is on a Sunday this year, we simply say "so be it," and make a point of being in church.  If that means we may have to cut short any "partying," then we further say "so be it" and plan and act appropriately for Orthodox Christians.  The Church calendar is what it is, and it should take priority over the secular calendar.  The church was "packed" on December 25.  May it be "packed" again on January 1, 2017. I look forward to seeing everyone!

Slowly Getting to Our Goal

We have now received 70% of our potential pledges for 2017.  That is a good figure - and the pledges are generous - but that leaves a good number of outstanding pledges (around 30).  So, I again appeal to those of you who are yet to make your pledge for the upcoming year.  (How is that for a New Year's resolution?).  I am sure you will excuse me for issuing so many reminders.  Our goal is to make everyone aware of the well-being of our parish - and each and every member's role in the life of the parish - as we enter another year of our existence together as a family of Christian believers.

St. Basil's Day

We commemorate the Church Father, St. Basil the Great, on January 1.  Continuing what is now a fairly long-standing tradition, we will have the Vasilopita (St. Basil's cake) prepared for the church hall and the Church School students following the Liturgy.  We have yet to see who will discover the St. Basil's coin in his/her piece of cake on Sunday.  This is very popular among our children, so I hope that they are very much present on Sunday for this tradition.


-- Fr. Steven




From Fr Steven — "As a pastoral statement, I believe that the best way to "greet" the New Year is to be present in church for the services this weekend. There is the Great Vespers service on Saturday, December 31, at 6:00 p.m. in which we will also add the special prayers for the civil New Year; and the Liturgy on Sunday morning, January 1, at 9:30 a.m. Every new beginning should start with our worship of, and thanksgiving to, God."  continue reading...

We hope to see you in church!



Sign up Online for House Blessings...

Join us Thursday, January 5 at 7:00pm for Great Vespers, and on Friday, January 6, 9:30am for Divine Liturgy followed by the Blessing of Waters, as we celebrate the Baptism of Christ in the Jordan, and the revelation of the worship of the Holy Trinity.

"For the voice of the Father bare witness, calling Thee His beloved Son, and the Spirit in the form of a dove, confirmed the gruthfulness of the word..."  (from the Troparion for the Feast)

Be sure to visit our special Theophany Resource Page to learn more...



Join us on Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 6:00pm for the Vesperal Liturgy for the Meeting of the Lord.

This Great Feast commemorates the presentation of the Lord in the Temple forty days after his birth, and thus concludes the Nativity cycle. Following the service, there will be prayer for the blessing of candles.  Please bring any candle from home that you would like to have blessed.

Explore our Festal Resource Page to learn more about the Feast, which is recounted in Luke 2:22-40.



As in recent years, we again have posted here on the website a quick and easy form for us to make our Stewardship Pledge for 2017.

Stewardship Packets were handed out after the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, October 16. Please submit your pledge either using the online form, or by completing the Pledge Form included with your Stewardship Packet and placing it in the collection basket by Sunday, November 20.

Thank you for your responsible and generous support!

So far there has been a modest response - about five parish men - to the invitation to a Pre-Lenten Men's breakfast at First Watch in Norwood on Saturday, February 25.  We will therefore go ahead and schedule the breakfast. 

If you would like to join the group, please contact me ahead of time. It is always good to know who and how many will be there for planning purposes.  — Fr. Steven



We recently concluded another successful Food Pantry distribution, as well as a Soles4Souls Shoe Collection, AND we have three Sundays remaining (thru Feb 26) to collect food supplies in our support of the Broken Bus Ministry of Cincinnati.

Learn more about these special opportunities and how you can help.






"January 22 was Sanctity of Life Sunday in the OCA.  This is a day on which we openly affirm our belief that all life is sacred, especially the lives of preborn children in the wombs of their respective mothers. The Church affirms that life has greater priority than a 'choice'."

View our special Sanctity of Life page, with Fr Steven's discussion of and links to Metropolitan Tikhon's message, plus suggested books for further reading.


Sign up for House Blessings...


Follow the link to our House Blessings Calendar below, and then sign up for Father Steven to come and bless your home. Numerous openings every week through the end of February.


Mon • Wed • Thu • Fri

  • 9:30am-11:00am (till Noon on Thursdays)
  • 1:30pm-3:00pm
  • Tuesdays - off


Select Evenings Available:

  • January:  10, 17, 18, 24, 25, 26, 31
  • February: 2, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22


Proceed to the Sign Up Form...





Open enrollment for 2017 has been announced! Openings available for both residential and commuter students.

The Parish Farming School of Eucharistic Discipleship, is located in Norwood, Ohio, and explores — from within the framework of the Christian tradition — some of the biological, ecological, economic, cultural, and theological realities that shape our understanding of what it means to bear the image of the triune God in post-industrial America.  


This residential internship offers an integrated learning experience, as we study, work, make meals, pray, feast, fast, laugh, and learn together.


Application deadline for 2017 internships is March 20, 2017, with classes beginning May 2 and continuing through November 21, 2017.

Learn more and apply at the PFS website...

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This year St James Antiochian Orthodox Church is hosting Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers in the Cincinnati area. Last year our parish had a strong turnout, with Fr Steven giving the homily, and several choir members joining the pan-Orthodox choir. Kurt Sander will be directing the choir again this year.



"Counting myself and our parish children who were present, we had eighteen parishioners in attendance yesterday at the Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers at St. James Antiochian Orthodox Church. I believe that that was the most from a visiting parish. We had a fine Vespers service, followed by some real Jordanian hospitality with a most delicious Middle Eastern lenten meal enjoyed by one and all.

"Early in the day, we had our own parish Icon procession with our Church School students carrying icons following the Liturgy."


Work has begun on our church hall! Here are the improvements being made to the multi-purpose (main) room and stage:

  • expose the original ceiling
  • patch, prime, & paint the original ceiling
  • patch, prime, & paint the walls
  • install new suspended light fixtures from the ceiling
  • install new blown in fiberglass insulation (includes the stage)
  • install new HVAC system and associated electric and physical improvements

Detailed documents and updates related to this important project can be found on our Parish Corner (password protected).



On the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee (Feb 5, this year) the Orthodox Church begins using the Lenten Triodion, the great service book which will guide us through Lent, all the way to the end of Holy Week and the Lord's Passion.

Each of the Pre-Lenten Sundays have their own unique lessons and themes to prepare us for the Great Fast, which leads us to Pascha, the Lord's Resurrection.

In our Great Lent section, we have special pages on the unique and deeply spiritual weekday services, including the Great Canon, the Presanctified Liturgy, and the Akathist Hymn, as well as special pages for each Sunday of Lent.

We invite you to explore our extensive Great Lent Resource Section, and join us for the Lenten services on our Journey to Pascha.

Pre-Pascha Parish Cleanup, Lazarus Saturday after Liturgy!


The pre Pascha parish clean up is Saturday April 8th starting at Noon. Volunteers of all ages are welcome to assist in polishing, vacuuming, dusting and general cleaning of the Church, Hall, and surrounding grounds.


All cleaning supplies are provided and light refreshments will be available after the Divine Liturgy or bring a bag lunch.

Many volunteers are needed to do the following work to properly present the Parish building for the upcoming Holy Week. This is perfect opportunity for everyone to donate their time to the Church. With approximately 30 volunteers donating part of their Saturday afternoon all the cleaning should be completed well before Vespers.

• Assist in the cleaning of the Altar area floors, walls and candles. This is a large job and great opportunity for a group of the Altar boys.

• Volunteers are needed to dust the Church walls, entry and sills with extended poles. Please vacuum all the floors after the pews are cleaned. The entry should also be swept and mopped.

• Cleaning of the pews with Murphy’s Oil Soap. This a great job for young children of our Parish. Parents please be prepared to assist your children with the buckets and to ensure each pew is cleaned front and back.

• We are in need of 4 people willing to polish the large candle stands. This job is detailed and a bit time consuming, so with a volunteer for each stand will provide the time necessary to properly clean and polish each stand.

• All four bathrooms will need a deep cleaning, and wll be overstocked in preparation for the large crowds throughout Holly Week and Pascha night.

• The kitchen will a deep cleaning. After the recent completion of the hall remodel all cabinets, counter, floors and appliances will need a deep cleaning. Some of the cleaning may have been completed in preparation of Coffee Hour this past Sunday.

• The Church Hall Stage area will need a very thorough cleaning of the remaining dust from the recent remodel construction. The old tables and chairs should be already removed and donated.

• The Hall floor will need to be thoroughly swept and mopped with hardwood floor cleaner. The stairwell leading to the Education Center should be mopped as well. This is a large job and should have at least two adults with the assistance of some children to move the chairs for the adults.

• If weather permits the outside grounds can cleaned up. Removal of any blown in trash and in and around the bushes and curbs. The two stairwells leading to the Church school should be swept out. All children assisting outside must be supervised at all times.

• Also needed are 2-3 men willing to assist in pulling the large ladders from the boiler room to change lightbulbs in the chandeliers and Altar areas. Please contact Mickey Callender if interested. We may be able to meet in an evening to accomplish this 1 hour task.


Please contact Mickey Callender (  513 403 8172 ) and  Andrew Herbst ( ) with your plans to attend the Parish clean up with your job preference and available times.

Thank you all!

In Christ,

Mickey Callender


Our annual Pre-Pascha Parish Deep Cleaning is scheduled for Lazarus Saturday, April 8, starting at 12 Noon. Following the Divine Liturgy, we'll have some refreshments, then set about dusting, polishing, mopping, cleaning, changing light bulbs, etc. indoors, and taking care of needed work around the grounds outdoors.

Coffee & refreshments provided. All cleaning supplies provided.

All ages welcome! There are plenty of tasks for everyone!

Full info here.  Please contact Mickey Callender (,  513 403 8172 ) or Andrew Herbst ( with your job preferences and available times.



From Fr Steven:
"I thought to compile a list of more-or-less Orthodox "lenten classics" that you may want to draw from as this year's Great Lent approaches...

"Each book here is quite accessible. No dry theology, but a lively approach to God and the spiritual struggles that we all face; as well as deeply-pondered wisdom to guide us in our journey toward not only our annual Pascha celebration, but in our life-long journey to the Kingdom of God..."

Explore the list, with links to order online. Select titles available in our parish library...

Be sure to explore more of Fr Steven's Lenten Meditations...


Join us for Holy Week & Pascha!


Our full schedule of services for Holy Week is posted below and on our Parish Calendar with Smartphone Sync, plus we have Fr Steven's Meditations, and our extensive resource section to aid us in this holy journey. Come to the divine services and experience the 'mystic torrent' which carries us to the Cross and the Empty Tomb... 'Come and see...'


We worship Thy Passion, O Christ!

Show us also Thy Glorious Resurrection!



Great Lent draws to a close Friday, April 7, with the Vespers of Lazarus Saturday. Following the Great Feast of Christ's Entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, we embark with the Lord into Holy Week with the first of the Bridegroom Matins services on Sunday evening, April 9.

View and print our full Holy Week schedule here.

Visit our Holy Week Resource Section, with special features tracing the events of Holy Week, and exploring the beautiful and powerful divine services through which we enter into the heart of the Mystery of our Salvation, the Lord's Passion, His Crucifixion, Death, Burial, and on to the Empty Tomb and the Resurrection. And explore our collection of Fr Steven's Meditations on Holy Week.

We invite you to join us for the pinnacle of the Church Year and the Foundation of our Faith...

Documents from Annual Parish Meeting, Feb 12, 2017

February 13, 2017


Dear Parish Faithful,

A Successful Meeting

Our Annual Meeting yesterday was attended by 49 parishioners - surely a record! It was a good meeting, the results of which will be discussed in the upcoming days. The parish budget for 2017 was presented and approved and we elected the Parish Council for 2017. More of the printed material will shortly appear on the parish website [see below]. 


A significant issue that was presented and discussed was the Capital Campaign that will shortly get underway. Gary George, chairman of this campaign presented the relevant material at the meeting. This will be an essential fund-raising project that will allow us to implement the various phases of the church hall renovation project now underway.  Our collective hope is for a generous response by all who are committed to the successful completion of this project and the significant "upgrade" in our church hall and other facilities.


- Fr Steven


Annual Parish Meeting Agenda

Parish Statistics

Parish Rector's Report

2016 Annual Meeting Minutes (Jan. 31, 2016)

Financials: 2016 Actual - 2017 Proposed Budget

Budget Definitions

Candidates for 2017 Parish Council