Thanksgiving - 11/23/2022
We are grateful to the faithful of our community for their generosity in supporting our annual food drive for Thanksgiving. Turkeys, a carload of dry and canned goods, and over $800 in gift cards were delivered to our community partners, including the Society of Women Volunteers, which ministers to the family members of inmates in our local area. Glory to God for all things!
Annual East African Fellowship - 11/13/2022
On Sunday, November 13th following Divine Liturgy our parish family of Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church (Harrisburg) enjoyed its Annual Ethiopian and Eritrean Fellowship. We were blessed to share in the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of two of the many cultures that constitute our ethnically diverse parish family. A special thanks to those who prepared and served the meal, as well as those that prepared the special coffee and tea that was enjoyed by all - thank you!
"Thank you" in Amharic (Ethiopian)
አመሰግናለሁ - Ameseg-inalehugn!
"Thank you" in Tigrinya (Eritrean)
የቐንየለይ! - Yeken-yeley!
NOTE: this event is held annually, the Sunday before the beginning of the Nativity Fast.
"Where did the Bible come from?" - 10/25/2022
On Tuesday, October 25th His Eminence, Archbishop Mark gave a compelling presentation on the formation of the New Testament Canon of Scripture. He shared the fascinating history of how different Church Fathers (and others) debated which books should be read in church, at home, as well as those considered spurious. Most importantly he shared how the Orthodox Churches approach to Scripture reflects its inclusiveness and openness to the direction of the Holy Spirit, while preserving the essential message of the Good News (the Gospel) of the Incarnation, Passion, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ!
To view the presentation, please visit this link
Strategic Planning - 10/21/2022
From Friday, Oct 21 - Sunday, Oct 23 Christ the Saviour community welcomed Bill Marianes, of Stewardship Calling and Orthodox Ministry Services, who led forty members of our parish family in our Strategic Planning opening retreat. On Friday we delved deeply into learning about the "exponential" and rapidly changing world that we are ministering within, and the sobering data about Church engagement over the past decades. We reviewed the results of our Effective Parish Assessment (EPA), as well as the results of our parish SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis. Small groups analyzed the SWOT results, and reported back to the entire retreat, identifying key areas of focus. On Saturday we established our parish core values, our "Why" and Mission Statements, and our key areas of strategic focus. At Liturgy on Sunday, our whole community was blessed to hear Bill give a beautiful homily, encouraging us to reflect the love of Christ, and to seek to serve the "Lazarus at our door". Listen here. Later Sunday afternoon we broke into teams who were tasked with developing a process to address the key areas of strategic focus, and to on-ramp additional members of our community for their input and engagement. Glory to God for all things!
Love for God, the Holy Orthodox Faith, our parish family, and our neighbors.
To experience and share Christ's love so that everyone we encounter finds healing, purpose, and eternal life.
Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church welcomes all to experience and share Christ's love and the apostolic faith through worship, education, fellowship, stewardship, and service.
Key Areas of Strategic Focus
- Education/Liturgical Engagement
- Stewardship (Time, Talents, and Treasure)
- Community Outreach and Evangelism
Dormition - 08/15/2022
On Sunday, Aug 14 and Monday Aug 15 the community of Christ the Saviour celebrated the Great Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos.
(Kontakion — Tone 2) Neither the tomb, nor death could hold the Theotokos, / who is constant in prayer and our firm hope in her intercessions. / For being the Mother of Life, / she was translated to life by the One who dwelt in her virginal womb.
Student and Teacher Blessing - 08/14/2022
On Sunday, August 14 the community of Christ the Saviour offered prayers for our students and teachers as they prepare to return to school in the coming weeks.
We also offered a blessing over backpacks that our faithful filled with school supplies for children in our school district. This initiative is spear-headed by FOCUS North America, "a national movement of Orthodox Christians, united in faith and joined by a desire to provide action-oriented and sustainable solutions to poverty in communities across America"
Learn more at https://focusnorthamerica.org/
Youth Group Pilgrimage - 08/13/2022
On Saturday, August 13th our parish youth group made a pilgrimage to St. Tikhon Monastery for their patronal feast day. Following Divine Liturgy we joined the brothers, seminarians, and other guests for lunch. Following lunch we toured the monastery and seminary grounds along with another youth group from St. Philip Orthodox Church in Souderton. We also visited the cemetery, and offered a memorial at the grave of our beloved Fr. Daniel Ressetar - may his memory be eternal! Glory to God for all things!
Troparion — St. Tikhon of Zadonsk
From your youth you loved Christ, O blessed one. / You have been an example for all by word, life, love, faith, purity, and humility. / Therefore, you now abide in the heavenly mansions, / where you stand before the throne of the All-holy Trinity. / Holy Hierarch Tikhon, pray for the salvation of our souls.
Vehicle Blessing - 07/17/2022
On Sunday July 17, the community of Christ the Saviour celebrated our annual vehicle blessing in honor of the feast of the great Prophet Elijah (July 20th).
Fr. Aaron Rutz Ordination - 06/26/2022
The weekend of Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26, the feast of All Saints of North America, our community welcomed His Eminence, Archbishop Mark for an Archpastoral visit. At the Hierarchical Liturgy, Dn. Aaron Rutz was ordained to the Holy Priesthood. Axios (He is worthy)! We were blessed to welcome Fr. Michael Demko from Annunciation Orthodox Church in Berwick, PA and Fr. Brian Crivella from St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church in Warren, OH. May God grant Fr. Aaron and M. Tatiana “Many Years” as they begin their ministry to Christ’s Holy Church.
Baptism & Chrismation - 06/18/2022
On Saturday, June 18 Isaiah Kerstetter was received into the Orthodox Church through the Sacrament of Baptism. We were blessed to be joined by Fr. Borjan Vitanov and faithful from Holy Resurrection of Christ Serbian Orthodox Church (Lebanon), as well as faithful from Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church (Lancaster) to celebrate this joyous Sacrament.
On Sunday, June 19 Isaiah received the gift of the Holy Spirit, through the Sacrament of Chrismation, as well as the Holy Eucharist! Glory to God for his rich blessings! We pray that the Lord would grant the newly Baptized and Chrismated servant of God Isaiah (as well as his sponsor George) many years.
Pentecost - 06/12/2022
On Sunday, June 12th the faithful of Christ the Saviour celebrated the great and holy feast of Pentecost. Following the Divine Liturgy and Kneeling Vespers of Pentecost we enjoyed our Annual International Day. We were treated to the cuisine and aesthetic that comprise to our culturally diverse community - united in the Trinity, citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven! A special thanks to coordinator Angie DiFlorio and all our parishioners who offered food this year!
Churching and Graduates - 06/05/2022
On Sunday, June 5th the community of Christ the Saviour celebrated the churching and first Communion of Malcolm Uehlein (who was Baptized on Saturday). May God grant him many blessed years!
We also recognized our Class of 2022 Graduates. May the Lord continue to guide and bless them, as some continue in their studies, and others begin to apply their education in the workforce! Glory to God for all things!
Bethesda Mission Women’s Shelter - 05/14/2022
Faithful from the partner parishes of the Orthodox Christian Charities of Greater Harrisburg (OCCGH) prepared lunch and helped around the facilities at the Bethesda Mission Women’s Shelter today. Glory to God for this opportunity to live out our faith.
We provide and serve lunch the second Saturday of every month - you are welcome to join us. Christ is risen!
St Thomas Sunday - 05/01/2022
Christ is Risen! Христос Воскресе! Χριστός Ανέστη! المسيح قام!
On Sunday, May 1 the community at Christ the Saviour celebrated our patronal feast - St. Thomas Sunday (Antipascha). We were especially blessed by having our beloved hierarch, Archbishop Mark, to celebrate with us, and to set-aside through the laying-on of hands, Sbdn. Aaron Rutz to the Holy Diaconate. Axios! He is Worthy! "Many years" to Dn. Aaron and M. Tatiana as they continue to serve our parish, and Christ's Holy Church.
At the conclusion of the Liturgy we offered special prayers for Rick and Sandy Wood, as they celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary! Many years!
We also want to offer a special thanks to our Men's Club who prepared a delicious meal to celebrate our Parish Feast.
(Aposticha Hymn) Oh, most glorious wonder! Doubt bore certain faith. Thomas said: “Unless I see, I shall not believe!” By touching His side, he blessed the incarnate Son of God, Who had suffered in the flesh, and he proclaimed the resurrected God, crying out with joy: “My Lord and my God, glory to Thee!”
Rebuilding Together Harrisburg - 04/30/2022
On Saturday, April 30 over 25 members of our community partnered Hummelstown UCC to work on two homes as part of the Rebuilding Together Harrisburg service day - http://rtgh.org/ . This was a wonderful way for us to offer "love in action" to neighbors in need. In a few short hours, much was accomplished by God's grace. Christ is risen! Indeed He is risen!
Holy Pascha - 04/24/2022
Christ is Risen! Христос Воскресе!
Χριστός Ανέστη! المسيحقام!
Late Saturday evening (April 23), and “while it was still dark” into Sunday (April 24), our community gathered for the “Feast of feasts, and Holy Day of holy days” - Great and Holy Pascha!
(Ode 1 - Canon of Holy Pascha)
It is the day of Resurrection, let us be illumined O ye people, Pascha, the Pascha of the Lord, from death unto Life and from earth unto Heaven has Christ our God led us singing the song of Victory! Let us purify our senses, and we shall behold Christ, radiant with the light ineffable of the Resurrection, and shall hear Him say in accents clear, rejoice as we sing the song of victory. For meet it is that the Heavens should rejoice, and that the earth should be glad, and the whole world, visible and invisible, should keep the feast, for Christ, the everlasting joy is Risen!
Great and Holy Saturday - 04/23/2022
Great and Holy Saturday Vesperal Liturgy with 15 Old Testament Readings
"Arise O God and judge the earth, for to Thee belong all the nations!"
Holy Friday - 04/22/2022
Burial Vespers and Lamentations of Holy Saturday
(sung of Holy Friday evening)
"Joseph, together with Nicodemus, took Thee down from the Tree, Who clothe Thyself with light as with a garment. He gazed on Thy body – dead, naked, and unburied, and, in grief and tender compassion, he lamented: “Woe is me, my sweetest Jesus! A short while ago, the sun beheld Thee hanging on the Cross, and it hid itself in darkness. The earth quaked in fear at the sight. The veil of the Temple was torn in two. Lo, now I see Thee willingly submit to death for our sake. How shall I bury Thee, O my God? How can I wrap Thee in a shroud? How can I touch Thy most pure body with my hands? What songs can I sing for Thy Exodus, O compassionate One? I magnify Thy Passion. I glorify Thy burial, and Thy holy Resurrection, crying, ‘O Lord, glory to Thee!’”
Twelve Passion Gospels - 04/21/2022
Twelve Passion Gospels - "Glory to Thy longsuffering O Lord!"
(Troparion) When the glorious disciples were enlightened at the washing of their feet before supper, then the impious Judas was darkened ailing with avarice, and to the lawless judges he betrayed Thee, the Righteous Judge. Behold, O lover of money, this man because of avarice hanged himself. Flee from the greed soul which dared such things against the Master! O Lord who art good towards all men, glory to Thee!
Great and Holy Thursday - 04/21/2022
Vesperal Liturgy of Great and Holy Thursday - Institution of the Eucharist.
“Of Thy Mystical Supper, O Son of God, accept me today as a communicant. For I will not speak of Thy Mysteries to Thine enemies, neither like Judas will I give Thee a kiss. But like the thief will I confess Thee: remember me O Lord, in Thy Kingdom.”
Sacrament of Holy Unction - 04/20/2022
On Holy Wednesday (April 20) the community of Christ the Saviour celebrated the Sacrament of Holy Unction - interceding the Lord’s mercy, and the healing of soul and body.
(Excerpt from the Third Prayer of Holy Unction) Yes, Lord, send forth from heaven your healing power; touch the body, quench the fever, calm the suffering and chase away every lurking infirmity. Be the physician of your servants; raise them up from their bed of pain and their couch of distress; give them to your Church safe and sound, well-pleasing to you and doing your will.
Archpastoral Visit - 04/19/2022
From Tuesday April 19 - Wednesday April 20, His Eminence Archbishop Mark made an Archpastoral visit to the community of Christ the Saviour. He led us in the Bridegroom Matins on Tuesday evening, and the Liturgy of the PreSanctified Gifts on Wednesday morning. Eis polla eti Despota!
(Troparion) Behold! the Bridegroom comes at midnight, and blessed is the servant whom He shall find watching; and again, unworthy is the servant whom He shall find heedless. Beware, therefore, O my soul, do not be weighed down with sleep, lest you be given up to death, and lest you be shut out of the Kingdom. But rouse yourself, crying: "Holy! Holy! Holy! art Thou, O our God. Through the Theotokos, have mercy on us!"
Palm Sunday - 04/17/2022
Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord! God is the Lord and has revealed Himself to us!
On Saturday, April 16 and Sunday, April 17 the faithful of Christ the Saviour (Harrisburg) celebrated the Great Feast of the Entrance of the Lord into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday). May God strengthen us all as we continue on our journey with Christ through His voluntary Passion, Death, and Third Day Resurrection!
(Troparion) By raising Lazarus from the dead before Thy passion, Thou didst confirm the universal resurrection, O Christ God! Like the children with the branches of victory, we cry out to Thee, O Vanquisher of Death: Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord!
Pan Orthodox Vespers - 03/27/2022
On Sunday, March 27 the community of Christ the Saviour hosted our local Orthodox parishes for the Third Sunday of Great and Holy Lent. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick, Chief Content Officer at Ancient Faith Ministries, delivered a beautiful homily on the Cross, sharing an Old English poem that expressed the might of the One who was crucified upon it for our salvation! Following the Vespers our Altar Guild hosted a wonderful reception! Glory to God for all things!
Listen to the homily at this link: https://ctshbg.org/sermons
Youth Group Service Project - 03/27/2022
On Sunday, March 27 the youth group at Christ the Saviour (Harrisburg) offered their time and talents to help clean the men's overnight shelter at Downtown Daily Bread (DDB). We are thankful to Susan Cann, DDB Dir of Development, for a tour of the facility and for sharing with us the impactful services offered to the Harrisburg homeless community by DDB. Learn more at: https://downtowndailybread.org/
NOTE: DDB is currently in need of book bags and hoodies. If you are doing spring cleaning and have either of these items to donate, please bring them to church, there will be a bin in the vestibule.
Lenten Lecture - Prayer - 03/22/2022
On Tuesday, March 22 our Adult Education Committee at Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church (Harrisburg, PA) hosted the second of four lectures surrounding the theme "Bread for the Journey". Mother Christophora, Abbess of Holy Transfiguration Monastery, focused on Prayer. It was a delightful and spiritually enriching presentation! Please go to our website to watch a recording at: https://www.ctshbg.org/greatlent2022
Tues, March 29: The Eucharist with Fr. Stephen Vernak
Tues, April 5: Confession with Fr. Timothy Hojnicki
Lenten Lecture - Forgiveness - 03/15/2022
On Tuesday, March 15 our Adult Education Committee presented the first of four lectures surrounding the theme "Bread for the Journey". Our first talk focused on Forgiveness, and was offered by Fr. Daniel Kovalak. Please go to our website to watch a recording at: https://www.ctshbg.org/greatlent2022
Tues, March 22: Prayer with Mother Christophora
Tues, March 29: The Eucharist with Fr. Stephen Vernak
Tues, April 5: Confession with Fr. Timothy Hojnicki
Triumph of Orthodoxy - 03/13/2022
On Sunday, March 13 the clergy and faithful of Christ the Saviour marked the first Sunday of Lent by celebrating the Triumph (Sunday) of Orthodoxy with an icon procession.
This is the Faith of the Apostles.
This is the Faith of the Fathers.
This is the Faith of the Orthodox.
This is the Faith which has established the Universe.
Triumph of Orthodoxy Vespers - 03/12/2022
On Saturday, March 12 the clergy and parishes of the Orthodox Council of Churches of South Central PA (OCCSCP) gathered at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral (Camp Hill, PA) to celebrate Vespers for the Triumph of Orthodoxy. Our guest homilist was His Eminence Metropolitan Savas of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh. Following the Pan-Orthodox Vespers we were treated to a Lenten meal by the faithful of Holy Trinity and heard a presentation from Scott Shewell of Safe Harbour of Carlisle. Glory to God for all things!
Subdeacon Aaron - 03/11/2022
On Friday, March 11 the community of Christ the Saviour welcomed His Eminence Archbishop Mark, as we concluded the first week of the Fast. Before the Pre-Sanctified Liturgy His Eminence tonsured and ordained Aaron Rutz, a 2020 graduate of St. Vladimir Seminary, as a reader and subdeacon. Many years to Subdeacon Aaron, his wife Tatiana, and their entire family.
River Blessing - 01/23/2022
On Sunday, January 23rd the Orthodox parishes of Greater Harrisburg gathered at City Island Park for the 13th Annual Pan-Orthodox Great Blessing of the Susquehanna. After missing last year due to the pandemic, it was especially nice to renew this annual tradition, in which we ask the Lord to bless the waters, and to heal us and our community!
Participating were clergy and faithful from the following parishes:
- Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church (OCA) in Harrisburg
- Holy Apostles Orthodox Church (OCA) in Mechanicsburg
- Holy Resurrection of Christ Orthodox Church (SER) in Lebanon
- Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral (GOA) in Camp Hill
- St. Nicholas Orthodox Church (SER) in Oberlin
Following the River Blessing, the clergy and faithful gathered at Holy Trinity Cathedral for a delicious luncheon and wonderful fellowship. Glory to God for all things!
Adopt a Seminarian for Christmas - 01/02/2022
On Sunday, January 2nd the community of Christ the Saviour celebrated the New Year and a delayed celebration of St. Basils Day by blessing several Vasilopita (St. Basil’s bread) at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy.
We also welcomed Rdr. Thomas and Lydia Given, and their children Magdalena and Dominic from St. Tikhon Seminary. Our parish “adopted” them as part of the national FOCA “Adopt a Seminarian for Christmas” program. May God grant them “Many Years” as they complete their third and final year at Seminary.