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

July 16, 2015


The Prosopon School of Iconography Workshop, held June 22-27 here at Christ the Savior-Holy Spirit, and conducted by master iconographer, Vladislav Andrejev, was a great success, and provided a fascinating learning experience for not only the participants, but for our many parisioners who visited throughout the week to get a glimpse of the icons in varying stages of completion.


Our four parish participants — Nancy Farison (intermediate student and co-organizer of the event), Anya Gerasimchuk (beginning student), Emily Farison (beginning student) and Erin Lockridge (beginning student) — all experienced a rich immersion in one of the most demanding and ancient traditions of the Orthodox Church, and created, by the grace of God, beautiful icons as a result.


There will be another iconography workshop this September 14-19, news of which is posted here, to be held at Iconic Studio, and conducted by iconographer Dmitri Andreyev.


Our thanks again to Nancy Farison, Jenny Ward, our participants, and especially to master iconographers Vladislav Andrejev, Tatiana Berestova and Dmitrii Berestov.

Anya and Nadya Gerasimchuk with instructor Dmitrii Berestov

Slide Show: Prosopon Iconography Workshop at Christ the Savior - 06/27/15


This week-long, immersive training in not only the techniques, but the theology, spirituality and anthropology of traditional Orthodox Christian iconology and iconography was a revelation for the participants, and a first for our parish. We are deeply humbled to have been able to host Master Iconographer Vladislav Andrejev and his team, and hope to do so again!

(15 images)

Anya and Nadya Gerasimchuk with instructor Dmitrii Berestov
Master Vladislav addresses the class on the first day
Erin Lockridge nears completion of her icon.
The church hall - transformed into a beautifully lit iconography studio!
The week began with a special prayer service...
For some of the participants, this was their first encounter with Orthodoxy.
Master Vladslav converses with a student...
Welcome, Master Vladislav, Dmitri, Tatiana, and Iconography Students!

June 19, 2015


 Christ the Savior ~ Holy Spirit

welcomes the

Prosopon Iconography Workshop!


We warmly welcome Master Iconographer Vladislav Andrejev, and master iconographers & instructors Tatiana Berestova and Dmitri Berestov, and all our guests for the workshop, and invite you to join us for our evening services and events for next week:
• Tuesday, June 23, 7:00p.m. - Great Vespers (Nativity of St. John the Forerunner)
• Wednesday, June 24 - No Vespers; Bible Study at 7:30 p.m. (REV. 4 & 5)


From Fr. Steven:

As announced, we will be hosting the Prosopon School of Iconography Workshop next week in our parish from Monday-Saturday.  The workshop will be conducted by master iconographer, Vladislav Andrejev.

Our four parish participants are Nancy Farison (intermediate student), Anya Gerasimchuk (beginning student), Emily Farison (beginning student) and Erin Lockridge (beginning student). We will begin with a Prayer Service Monday morning at around 9:00 a.m.  The workshop will be conducted in the church hall.

I understand that anyone who is interested may visit during the week and see what is going on. Just don't touch anything!   Obviously, the new icons will be more complete as the week develops.  The beginning students will "write" an icon of either the Archangel Michael or Archangel Gabriel.  The intermediate students will "write" an icon of St. Mary Magdalene. We look forward to seeing the work of our parishioners!  (No pressure intended, of course).

Some Helpful Tips for Workshop Participants:

Workshop sign-in and the opening session is Monday, June 22 at 9:00 a.m.  We hope you can join us also for the opening prayer service as we dedicate this good work to the Lord!

Full directions to the church as well as a Google Map is available on our Directions page.

Parking: The church is at the corner of Ashand Ave. and Monroe Ave. Parking is available on both sides of both streets, as well as on Elsemere Ave, across from the hall entrance on Ashland. (See map below.)

We will be providing light snacks, coffee, tea and bottled water during the workshop. Feel free to bring your favorite snacks, juices, etc.

There are several fine restaurants and "fast food" eateries (offering lenten fare, as we are still in the Apostles Fast!) just a couple of blocks away at Surrey Square Shopping Center, including Chipotle Mexican Grill, Jimmy John's, Wendy's, Taco Bell and others. More restaurants are just a couple of minutes drive in Rookwood Pavilion. (See maps below or explore Google Maps.) There is also a Krogers in Surrey Square if you need any personal items or supplies.

On Friday evening, we invite you to consider enjoying dinner at Moriah Pie, a pizzeria and cafe here in Norwood, which features organic, locally grown and produced ingredients, and is operated by parishioner (and workshop participant!) Erin Lockridge and her husband Robert. Ask Erin for easy directions to Moriah Pie and be prepared for a delightful and tasty meal before your final workshop session on Saturday!

Once again, welcome to Christ the Savior-Holy Spirit! Please let us know if there is anything you need to make your workshop experience even more blessed! We'll do our best to help!

Restaurants in Norwood
Restaurants in Norwood
Restaurants in Norwood
Plenty of parking on Ashland & Monroe
Plenty of parking on Ashland & Monroe
Plenty of parking on Ashland & Monroe
Restaurants in Rookwood Pavilion
Restaurants in Rookwood Pavilion
Restaurants in Rookwood Pavilion
Register Now for 2015 Iconography Workshop, June 22-27

May 2, 2015



See Below for Registration Flyer and Form

For more info on the instructors go to PROSOPON School of Iconology


Registration Contact Info:

Jenny Ward
tel. (513) 271-1756
Download registration form
Download lodging form

DORMITION FAST, AUGUST 1-14 — The two week fast leading up to the Feast of the Falling Asleep of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, begins August 1. This blessed fortnight includes the Feast of the Transfiguration of Christ (Aug 6), as well as the Glorification of St Herman of Alaska (Aug 9).

Special services posted on our Schedule page and pop-up calendar... Be sure to visit our Dormition Festal Resource Page.

SUMMER BIBLE STUDY EXPLORES REVELATION - (July 17) Our 2015 Summer Bible Study covered chapters 1-11 of the Book of Revelation this year, with strong attendance and interest throughout the several weeks duration. Fr. Steven's class notes and discussion questions are permanently posted for further study, and we have audio recordings of most of the class sessions, as well as links to several talks on the Apocalypse by Fr. Thomas Hopko of beloved memory. Full info here.

Reflection from Fr. Steven on the 18th All-American Council

Updated August 12, 2015


Dear Parish Faithful,
Last week, you received a detailed report outlining the events and decisions made at the recent AAC in Atlanta, GA from our lay delegate, Joe Kormos.  In an effort to complement that report, I have prepared something of a "reflection paper" on the Council meant to place it in a wider historical context, especially as this year we commemorate the 45th anniversary of the Orthodox Church in America's status as an autocephalous Church.  I have entitled my reflection "A Sign of Ecclesial Maturity."  If you open up the attachment and read my reflection you will hopefully discover the meaning of that title.
I am formulating a few plans for the upcoming months that will give us further opportunity to explore the history, meaning and purpose of the OCA's status as an autocephalous Church.
Fr. Steven


A Sign of Ecclesial Maturity



The 18th All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) held in Atlanta, Georgia is now an event of the recent past.   It was a productive and positive Council that passed two very important resolutions that will impact the future of the OCA.  My intention is to place this most recent Council within a wider historical context, but one of modest duration, by referring to internal events within the OCA over the last decade. I am hoping that this will serve to emphasize how important it was to have a Council that can be best described as “productive and positive” after a period of turmoil that left some even doubting the future of the OCA.  Modest as that description may sound about the recent Council, knowing our longer history indicates that this was no mean achievement. This will in turn explain and justify the meaning of the phrase “ecclesial maturity” as an appropriate designation for the OCA as an autocephalous Church moving into the future with the goal of “expanding the mission” . . .


Read Fr. Steven's complete article...


AAC Summary and Keynote Address of Metropolitan Tikhon

July 28, 2015


Scroll down for more coverage of the All-American Council, with links to reports, photo galleries, and much more...


Dear Parish Faithful,

I am forwarding what appears to be a summary of the recent 18th All-American Council in Atlanta, GA, written by our chancellor, Fr. John Jillions. Below Fr. John's glowing summary, you will find the link to Metropolitan Tikhon's keynote address to the Council. It is long, but it is also very impressive. Please find the time at your convenience to read through it carefully. It deserves our attention.

Fr. Steven


Address of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon to the 18th All American Council

July 28, 2015

Reverend Fathers, Venerable Monastics, Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Delegates to the 18th All American Council:
Glory to Jesus Christ!
I think we can all agree that we just concluded a watershed Council of our Orthodox Church in America. Each All American Council is an amazing event simply because it happens. There is no other Orthodox church in the world which enjoys such a full conciliar model, with the participation of bishops, clergy and faithful deliberating and acting together as such a basic feature of our life.  For this we give thanks to God and to all the lights of leadership who have come before us.
I am sure that each of you feels as energized as I do. And, like me, you are probably still trying to process all that happened last week, both the official work and the fellowship which we enjoyed. The warm welcome we received from Metropolitan Alexios and our brothers and sisters at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation, the coming together with the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America, the services and inspiring singing and preaching, the presence of the youth, the unity of the church shown through our deliberations on statutes and finances, and all the informal moments of the council are some of the highlights that stick out in my mind. Above all, the diversity of our OCA as shown through the video presentations from the Dioceses were an affirmation that we not only have the gift to expand the mission, but as His Beatitude said on Thursday night at the banquet, we have been expanding the mission all along.
I would like to encourage you to share your experience with the faithful of your communities. This was not just a council of those gathered, it was a council of the Church, and we were but representatives. So please share the videos, reports, photos and your personal experiences so that all of the membership of the OCA can be grafted into what was a remarkable assembly. For ease of sharing, please find below links to a few of the media points. Also, attached to this email is His Beatitude’s address to the council, The Apostolic Work of the Church. Please feel free to copy and disseminate it to those in your communities.
Metropolitan Tikhon ended his report on Monday night with a call to join him in the  “ascetical journey to discern and develop our apostolic calling here in North America, through prayer, repentance and common work for the glory of God.”  One of the small, concrete ways we can join in this "common work" is by becoming part of the Stewards of the OCA. As His Beatitude said, “I hope you will consider adding your name and being willing to identify yourself as someone who believes in the mission of the Orthodox Church in America.”
I encourage you to learn more about the Stewards by clicking here, and to share that information with the members of your community. To become a member today please click here. Your membership will help continue the mission at all levels of the Church.
Finally, I want to thank each and every one of you who sacrificed to be at the council. I know that it is not easy to take a week from your life to dedicate to the All American Council, but the fact that nearly 900 of you did, tells me that we have a strong and bright future for our OCA.
Yours in Christ,

Fr John A Jillions

Click here to view and download a copy of His Beatitude's Address to the 18th All American Council: The Apostolic Work of the Church. PDF version  •  Audio (courtesy of Ancient Faith Radio)

Photo Galleries from the All American Council can be found here.

Daily video reports from the Council and the Diocesan video's shown during the Council can be found here.

Coverage of the OCA All-American Council in Atlanta

Updated August 6, 2015


From Fr. Steven:


Dear Parish Faithful,
We have now completed two days of plenary sessions at the AAC, and I can at least relay a bare summary of the Council's work.  At the opening plenary session on Monday evening, Met. Tikhon delivered a very impressive "key-note address."  It was quite long, but the content kept the council delegates attentive and responsive. I am sure that his talk will be made available soon, and when that happens I will forward it to the parish.
The momentous Supreme Court decision concerning "same sex" marriage remains a very talked-about topic. Met. Tikhon again reminded us of the teaching of the Church, and with more detail he maintained a good sense of balance, avoiding the pitfalls of "mindless" judgment or compromise.  The theme of the Council, however, is "How to Extend the Mission," and that is what the metropolitan centered his talk around, using personal anecdotes and humor to good effect.
The two main resolutions, one concerning a major revision of the OCA statute; and the other of a new model of financing the work of the Church, were both passed by overwhelming majorities. There are about 480 voting delegates at the Council, and about 465 voted to approve the resolutions
In the morning, Akathist Hymns are being sung, and there is daily Vespers at the end of the day.  Thursday morning we will celebrate the Liturgy.  We were able to venerate some of the relics of the Grand Duchess Elizabeth while here at the Council.
The triumvirate of Nadia, Ingrid and Konstantine are doing well under the supervision of their chaperon Anastasia Kostoff.  They have been to the Atlanta aquarium, and the World of Coca-Cola(?) so far.  The zoo is up today.  They have religious education classes in the morning.  Two more days to go ...



A Sign of Ecclesial Maturity, by Fr. Steven C. Kostoff

Report on the AAC by Joseph Kormos, Parish Lay Delegate

Metropolitan Tikhon's Address to the 18th All American Council: PDF version  •  Audio

Special address by Fr. Sergius, Abbot of St Tikhon's Monastery: 'MONASTICISM AND THE CHURCH'

Keeping up with the Council:  Audios and videos available from Ancient Faith Radio and Orthodox 360

Youth share their “Dream for the Church” at closing AAC Plenary Session

Link List, Updated Daily, for all AAC Events, Reports, and Special Services



Metropolitan Tikhon Concerning June 26 Supreme Court Decision 

June 29, 2015


Dear Parish Faithful,
Below is a pastoral letter from His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, on the recent Supreme Court ruling that has legalized "same-sex marriages" in all fifty states.  This pastoral letter will complement what our diocesan hierarch, Bishop Paul, wrote a bit earlier and sent out to you on Saturday. There are many links at the bottom that you could explore for further teaching on human sexuality as taught by the Church.  Please avail yourselves of these sources.
Fr. Steven


Archpastoral Letter of His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon concerning June 26  Supreme Court Decision (PDF)

Statement of His Grace, Bishop Paul (Midwest Diocese Website, includes PDF version)


Archpastoral Letter of His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon Concerning June 26 Supreme Court Decision, June 28, 2015

To the Venerable Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy, Monastics, and Faithful of the Orthodox Church in America:

Dearly Beloved,

The recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on the legality of “same-sex marriages” has received much press coverage and has already caused some consternation about its implication and ramifications. But we Orthodox Christians must rest assured that the teaching of our Holy Church on the Mystery of Marriage remains the same as it has been for millennia.

Over the past few years, the Holy Synod of Bishops of our Orthodox Church in America has issued a number of statements outlining, detailing and clarifying the teaching of our Holy Faith on this matter in light of challenges from our American society. These teachings remain in effect, in spite of the Supreme Court’s decision. Links to these statements are provided below.

As we reflect on the Supreme Court’s ruling, we should thank Almighty God that we live in country that allows us the First Amendment rights to worship freely, practice what we believe as Orthodox Christians, and live as examples of Christ our Savior and His love for others.

The ruling does not change the teaching of the Church, but it does remind us of the need to be Christ-like in our dealings with everyone. The state has the responsibility to enact laws that protect the rights of each individual.  The Church, while it does not bless “same-sex marriages” or view them as sacramental, does see the image of Christ in every individual, and his or her worth in the eyes of the Lord Who died upon the Cross for our salvation.

As the Orthodox Church in America, it is our responsibility to care for those who are in need, help those who are victims of prejudice, racism or persecution of any kind, and to provide for those who are sick, destitute, homeless or imprisoned.

The Church’s mission continues, and we have a great responsibility to be “all things to all people,” so that we all may be “one in Christ”, and hear on the last day, “Well done, good and faithful servant, you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things.  Enter into the joy of your Lord” (Matthew 25:21).

With love in the Lord,

Archbishop of Washington
Metropolitan of All America and Canada

Statements of the Orthodox Church in America on the Mystery of Marriage

Encyclical Letter of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America on Marriage

Synodal Affirmation of the Mystery of Marriage
Synodal Affirmations on Marriage, Family, Sexuality, and the Sanctity of Life
OCA Reaffirms SCOBA Statement in Wake of Massachusetts Same-Sex Marriage Ruling
“The Orthodox Faith” - Volume IV - Spirituality Sexuality, Marriage and Family

'The Homosexual Christian'  by Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko



ICONOGRAPHY WORKSHOP INSPIRES AND INSTRUCTS - (July 17) The Prosopon Iconography Workshop, which our parish hosted from June 22-27, was a week-long immersion into one of the most demanding and ancient traditions of the Orthodox Church. Full story and photos here.



COVERAGE OF THE OCA ALL-AMERICAN COUNCIL - (July 30) Brief articles, plus links to full coverage, reports, photos, video, and audio recordings. Includes Metropolitan Tikhon's Keynote Address, 'The Apostolic Work Of The Church', plus a special address from Schema-Archimandrite Sergius, Abbot of St Tikhon's Monastery,  'Monasticism and the Church'.

METROPOLITAN TIKHON'S STATEMENT ON SUPREME COURT RULING - (June 29) Immediately following the Supreme Court ruling on Obergefell v. Hodges, which effectively legalized  "same-sex marriage" in the United States of America, His Beatitude Tikhon, Archbishop of Washington D.C., Metropolitan of All America and Canada, issued a strong statement affirming the timeless teaching of the Orthodox Church, which includes links to several recent church epistles on marriage and human sexuality. Our special page hosts this archpastoral letter, as well as the corresponding statement by our diocesan hierarch, His Grace, Bishop Paul of Chicago and the Midwest.

The Church New Year - Possibility for Renewal

August 26, 2015


Dear Parish Faithful,
The Church New Year will begin on Tuesday, September 1.  New beginnings always hold out the possibility of renewal.  As members of the Church - the Body of Christ - we thus have the opportunity to re-commit ourselves to the life "in Christ" as presented in the Gospels and in the life of the Church.  The goal is the "salvation of our souls." (I PET. 1:9). 


At the beginning of the Church New Year, I try to send out a couple of practical reminders about some of the most basic components of our corporate and personal lives as Orthodox Christians.  Therefore, I have attached an outline I wrote on maintaining the discipline of a Rule of Prayer; and a summary of Preparation for Receiving Holy Communion. 


As familiar as you may be with these essential practices, you may still want to look at these summaries by way of reminder and, if necessary, renewal.  Getting "back to the basics" - or the ABCs of Church life - may be just what is needed to pursue "the one thing needful."
Fr. Steven


Preparation for Receiving Holy Communion


Getting Closer to God - A Rule of Prayer