2023 Parish Photos (Updated 1/8/2024)

Nativity - 12/25/2023

The faithful of Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church (www.CTSHBG.org) gathered for the Nativity Eve Vigil on Sun, Dec 24, and the Divine Liturgy on Christmas Day (Mon, Dec 25). Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

(Troparion) Thy Nativity, O Christ our God, has shone to the world the Light of wisdom! For by it, those who worshipped the stars, were taught by a Star to adore Thee, the Sun of Righteousness, and to know Thee, the Orient from on High. O Lord, glory to Thee!

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Angel Tree Project - 12/20/2023

A special thanks to our beloved parish family who once again participated in the “Angel Tree” project this year. Eighty (80) wrapped presents will be distributed to children in our community whose parents are incarcerated or are in some financial hardship. We are thankful to be partnering with the Society of Volunteer Women to bring a small measure of joy to these children! Merry Christmas! Christ is born! Glorify Him!

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Christmas Concert - 12/17/2023

In the afternoon on Sunday, December 17 the community of the Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church welcomed neighbors, family and friends for our annual Christmas Concert featuring our parish choir and youth choir. A special thanks to the Altar Guild for hosting a light reception following the program.

You can view a recording of the concert at this link - https://youtu.be/GAX0wRtLbEc?si=FnfMnWh9zMgEJOFn

We are thankful for all of our talented singers for sharing their gift of music with us! Christ is born! Glorify Him!

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Baptism - 12/16/2023

On Saturday, Dec 16 and Sunday, December 17 the community of Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church welcomed Evgeny (Owen) and Ludmilla (Jessica) Williams into Christ's Holy Church through the Sacraments of Baptism and Chrismation. May God grant them "many years" as a faithful member of the Body of Christ!

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Annual Eritrean and Ethiopian Fellowship - 11/12/2023

On Sunday, November 12 the community of Christ the Saviour was honored to have Fr. Joseph Fester serving, and offering the churching prayers for the newly Baptized Jacob Michael Zuro. Following the Divine Liturgy 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 at the Annual Eritrean and Ethiopian Fellowship. 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.

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Peter (Henry) Laskowski Chrismation - 10/29/2023

On Sunday, October 29th the community of Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church was blessed to have His Eminence Archbishop Mark lead us in the celebration of the Divine Liturgy and to have him receive Peter (Henry) Laskowski into Christ's Holy Church through the Sacrament of Chrismation. May God grant the newly Illumined Peter "many years" as a faithful member of the Body of Christ! 

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60th Anniversary - 10/28/2023

On Saturday, October 28th the community of Christ the Saviour celebrated its 60th Anniversary and the blessing of our iconography project, which began in the early 90's. Diocesan and guest clergy from various Orthodox jurisdictions joined His Eminence Archbishop Mark for the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy. Following the Liturgy, over 200 parishioners and guests attended a celebratory banquet, at which Ab. Mark presented a Diocesan Gramota to John and Jean Dotsey for their loving service to our community over many decades. We give thanksgiving to God for His faithfulness, and for the numerous men and women who have labored to build up our community for the past 60 years.

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Chrismation - 10/01/2023

On Sunday, October 1st the community of Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church received Gregory Spear into Christ's Holy Church through the Sacrament of Chrismation. May God grant him "many years" as a faithful member of the Body of Christ! We also celebrated the 8th Day Crown Removal for the newly married servants of God, Zachary and Catherine Platt - "many years!"

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Chrismations - 09/10/2023

On Sunday, Sept 10 the community of Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church celebrated the reception of Vincent, Natalie, Annika and Alistair Kennedy, Zachary Platt, and Nectaria (Mariana) Cruz into the Orthodox Church. May God grant them many blessed years! Following the Divine Liturgy we celebrated our annual parish family picnic (organized by our Men's Club). Glory to God for His rich gifts!

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Youth Group - 08/27/2023

On Sunday, Aug 27 our youth group gathered for their monthly meeting (last Sunday of the month). We enjoyed a crepe bar, board (and video) games, as well as a presentation about St. Tikhon Summer Camp. All teens (12-18) are welcome to join the youth group - Glory to God for all things!

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St. Phanourius of Rhodes - 08/27/2023

On Sunday, Aug 27 the community of Christ the Saviour honored the memory of St. Phanourius of Rhodes (link), and his intercession for members of our community, by offering a special bread/cake in his honor. We also blessed a newly painted icon of the Mother of God of the Inexhaustible Cup which was commissioned as a consolation for our parishioners and friends who are struggling with various addictions, especially as we mark the upcoming National Recovery Month in September.

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Dormition - 08/15/2023

On Tuesday 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.

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Leave-Taking of Transfiguration - 08/13/2023

On Sunday, August 13, the leave-taking of Transfiguration, the community of Christ the Saviour offered prayers for our newest catechumen Adriel, for “the Klipa sisters” as they leave the area and begin a new journey, as well as for our students and teachers as they prepare to return to school in the coming weeks. May God grant them all many blessed years!

We also offered a blessing over backpacks that our faithful filled with school supplies for children in our local school district. This initiative is spear-headed by FOCUS North America. Learn more at https://focusnorthamerica.org/

Finally, after fellowship the St. Jerome Book Club gathered to discuss “On the Ascetic Life” by Isaac of Nineveh.

Glory to God for all things!

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Transfiguration - 08/06/2023

On Sunday, Aug 6 the community of Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church celebrated the great feast of Transfiguration. At fellowship we were treated to a special presentation by Cassandra Zart on her recent Cross Road (https://crossroadinstitute.org/) experience. Glory to God for all things!

On the mountain wast Thou transfigured, O Christ God, and Thy disciples beheld Thy glory as far as they could see it; so that when they would behold Thee crucified, they would understand that Thy suffering was voluntary, and would proclaim to the world that Thou art truly the Radiance of the Father. (Kontakion of the Feast of Transfiguration)

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Vehicle Blessing - 07/16/2023

On Sunday July 16, the community of Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church enrolled three new catechumens and celebrated our annual vehicle blessing in honor of the feast of the great Prophet Elijah (July 20th).

"O Lord our God, Who dost ride upon the Cherubim; Who walks on the wings of the wind; Who didst send Thy servant the Prophet Elijah a chariot of fire, and Who with Thine All-Holy Spirit has inspired and guided the human mind to invent various and expedient means of transportation and travel: We give Thee thanks, O Master, for Thou has provided us, Thy servants, with these vehicles to serve our different needs." (Excerpt from the Prayer of Blessing of Vehicles)

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Youth Group - 06/25/2023

On Sunday, June 25 our youth group had their monthly gathering. We honored our graduating seniors, played volleyball, and enjoyed a blessed afternoon of fellowship with one another. Glory to God for all things!

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Stategic Plan - 06/25/2023

On Sunday June 25 2023, our community rolled-out its Strategic Planning Process. Our goal teams are looking forward to helping you find a way to engage with this process:

  1. Education and Liturgical Engagement
  2. Stewardship of Time Talents and Treasures
  3. Community Outreach and Evangelism

Learn more here

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Service Project - 06/17/2023

This past year we articulated that our parish's reason for existence (our Why statement) was - "To experience and share Christ's love so that everyone we encounter finds healing, purpose, and eternal life." What a blessing to live into this aspirational statement through serving a family in our local community. Glory to God for all things!

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2023 Graduates - 06/11/2023

On Sunday, June 11 the community of Christ the Saviour recognized our Class of 2023 Graduates. May the Lord continue to guide and bless them! Glory to God for all things!

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Pentecost - 06/04/2023

On Sunday, June 4th the faithful of Christ the Saviour celebrated the great and holy feast of Pentecost. It was a special blessing to welcome Zachary Platt into the Catechumenate of the Orthodox Church. May the Lord bless him during his time of study! Following the Divine Liturgy and Kneeling Vespers we enjoyed our Annual Parish International Day, where we were treated to the cuisine and aesthetics that comprise our culturally diverse community - united in the All Holy Trinity! A special thanks to coordinator Angie DiFlorio and all our parishioners who offered food this year!

Troparion of the Feast: Blessed art Thou, O Christ our God; Who hast revealed the fishermen as most wise by sending down upon them the Holy Spirit. Through them Thou didst draw the world into Thy net - O Lover of man, glory to Thee!

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Choir Workshop - 05/28/2023

The community of Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church was blessed to welcome back Dr. Nicholas Reeves for a choir workshop for our adults and youth from Friday, May 26 through Sunday, May 28. During the Sunday Divine Liturgy we began an intentional process by which our youth choir will be singing select hymns with the full choir - and identifying those youth who have a vocation to join the full choir. May it be blessed!

 At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy Elizabeth Kellachow received the St. George Scouting Award for her successful completion of study and reflection on the Orthodox faith. May God grant her many blessed years!

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Teacher Appreciation - 05/21/2023

On Sunday, May 21 the community of Christ the Saviour honored our Church School Teachers at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy. We offered a special thanks to Lorrie Pawlush for her many years of dedicated service as our Director, and our prayers for Sophia Kellachow as she fully assumes this important ministry. Our teachers and students marked the end of the academic year with a special celebration filled with food, fellowship, and fun! Glory to God for all things!

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Coronation Presentation - 05/04/2023

On Thursday, May 4 the community of Christ the Saviour enjoyed a special presentation by Rdr. Christopher Rakowski on the rite of coronation - which was first composed, pre-schism, by St. Dunstan of Canterbury (909-988 AD).

Watch the recording at https://www.ctshbg.org/rdrchristopherrakowskimay2023


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St. Tikhon Seminary Mission Choir - 04/30/2023

On April 30, the 3rd Sunday of Holy Pascha, the St. Tikhon Seminary Mission Choir visited the community of Christ the Saviour and sang the responses at the Divine Liturgy. Fr. John Parker (Seminary Dean) offered an inspiring homily, and the choir lifted our hearts as they sang not only beautifully, but prayerfully! Our faithful especially enjoyed learning more about the seminarians at the fellowship hour. Glory to God for all things! Christ is risen!

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Rebuilding Together Harrisburg - 04/29/2023

On Saturday, April 29 over 30 members of the Christ the Saviour community partnered together with Hummelstown UCC 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!

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St Thomas Sunday - 04/23/2023

Christ is Risen! Христос Воскресе!

Χριστός Ανέστη! المسيح قام!

On Sunday, April 23rd the community at Christ the Saviour celebrated our patronal feast - St. Thomas Sunday (Antipascha). 

(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!”

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Bright Monday - 04/17/2023

The community of Christ the Saviour welcomed clergy and faithful from our local Orthodox parishes to celebrate Liturgy on Bright Monday. Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!

Paschal Kontakion: "Thou didst descend into the tomb, O Immortal, Thou didst destroy the power of death. In victory didst Thou arise, O Christ God, proclaiming, “Rejoice!” to the Myrrhbearing Women, granting peace to Thine Apostles, and bestowing Resurrection on the fallen."

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Great and Holy Pascha - 04/16/2023

Christ is Risen! Христос Воскресе!

Χριστός Ανέστη! المسيحقام!

Late Saturday evening (April 15), and “while it was still dark” into Sunday (April 16), 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!

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Holy Saturday - 04/15/2023

Great and Holy Saturday Vesperal Liturgy with 15 Old Testament Readings; Glory to God, for allowing us to be witnesses of the reception of Patrick (Will) and Maria (Dana) Kenny into the Orthodox Church through the Mystery of Chrismation!

"Arise O God and judge the earth, for to Thee belong all the nations!"

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Holy Friday - 04/14/2023

Burial Vespers & Lamentations of Holy Saturday at Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church, Harrisburg, PA

(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!’”

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Holy Wednesday - 04/12/2023

On Holy Wednesday (April 12) 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.

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Holy Tuesday - 04/11/2023

From Tuesday April 11 - Wednesday April 12, 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!"

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Palm Sunday - 04/09/2023

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 8 and Sunday, April 9 the faithful of Christ the Saviour (Harrisburg) celebrated the Great Feast of the Entrance of the Lord into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday). At Liturgy we welcomed Jeanne Kormushoff into the Orthodox Church through the Mystery of Chrismation! May God grant her many years!

(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!

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First Confession Class - 04/02/2023

On Sunday, April 2 several children who have been studying throughout the past few months to make their first Holy Confession received a prayer book to commemorate their first confession the evening before (Saturday, April 1). A special thanks to our instructors Fr. Aaron Rutz, M. Myra Kovalak, and Christina Yerke; and to the St. Mary Altar Guild for sponsoring the prayer books. We hope that each of us will be renewed in the great joy that comes from the Mystery of Holy Confession - the great gift Christ has given to His Church which allows us to be healed, forgiven, and reunited with Him. 

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ECM Goal Setting Workshop - 03/29/2023

Since September of 2022 five members of our parish family (Jaclynn Choma, Symeon Jekel, Sophia Kellachow, Lydia Mantle, and Fr. Stephen Vernak) have been participating in the Effective Christian Ministry (ECM) Cohort program offered by Y2AM (https://effectivechristianministry.org/cohort/).

ECM's mission is "To create transformative parish ministries for today’s young people living in today’s culture who are facing today’s challenges." Each week our team has been learning new tools to more effectively engage our youth and young adults, to learn about their needs, and the practices of faith that can help us draw ourselves and them closer to Jesus Christ.

From Wed, March 22 - Fri, March 24 we were joined by our ECM Coach, Emmanuel Maginas, for a goal setting workshop, to begin to develop our one year ministry plan for implementation in our parish, for the benefit of the young people in our care. Glory to God for all things - we can't wait to share more soon!

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Lenten Lecture Series - 03/29/2023

Over the past three weeks our community has been blessed to hear members of our parish family present on the topic of "Prayer" for our 2023 Lenten Adult Education Series.

+ Tues, March 14: Rdr. Matthew (Chet) Lubecki - Prayer and Stillness

+ Tues, March 21: Fr. Aaron Rutz - Prayer in the Presence of Icons

+ Tues, March 28: Symeon (Cliff) Jekel - Prayer as Dialogue in the Psalter

This coming Tues, April 4 - our final session will feature Fr. Victor Gorodenchuk, Dean of St. Stephen Cathedral (Philadelphia), who will offer our final session on "Human Sickness and Prayers for Healing".

If you would like to listen to the prior talks you can access them at: https://ctshbg.org/lectures

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Lenten Vespers - 03/26/2023

On Sunday, March 26 the community of Christ the Saviour hosted our local Orthodox parishes for the Fourth Sunday of Great and Holy Lent. Fr. Leonid Schmidt, pastor of the Gettysburg Orthodox Mission, delivered a beautiful homily reflecting on the Ladder of Divine Ascent, and gave some practical advice on how to avoid the trap of thinking of the spiritual life as "climbing a ladder of success" but rather as an incremental turning towards Christ. Following the Vespers our Altar Guild hosted a wonderful reception! Glory to God for all things!

Listen to the homily at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syFMahb7Kmo&feature=youtu.be

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Farewell Fr. Aaron and M. Tatiana - 03/26/2023

On Sunday, March 26 (the leavetaking of Annunciation and St. John of the Ladder), the community of Christ the Saviour offered a fond and loving farewell to Fr. Aaron and M. Tatiana Rutz; they are moving to Canton, OH where he will be the rector at Assumption Orthodox Church (link). It has been our great privilege over the past 18 months to welcome them as newly-weds, and witness Fr. Aaron's ordination from reader to the Holy Priesthood. We will miss them in the various ways they have offered their gifts to Christ through our community, their warmth and charm as a couple, and Fr. Aaron's wonderful homilies. We ask that God will continue to bless them as they begin their assignment to the faithful in Canton. Many blessed years! Axios!

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Sunday of Orthodoxy - 03/05/2023

On Sunday, March 5th the community of Christ the Saviour celebrated the first Sunday of Great Lent (the Triumph of Orthodoxy) in thanksgiving to God for His many blessings. At the Liturgy we enrolled five catechumens, celebrated a procession commemorating the restoration of the holy icons, and with the blessing of Archbishop Mark administered the oath of office to our newly elected parish council. Glory to God for all things!

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. 

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Triumph of Orthodoxy - 03/04/2023

On Saturday, March 4 the community of Christ the Saviour was blessed to host the clergy and faithful of the Orthodox Council of Churches of South Central PA (OCCSCP) to celebrate the Vespers for the Triumph of Orthodoxy. Our guest homilist was His Eminence Archbishop Mark of the Diocese of Philadelphia and Eastern PA (OCA), who shared an intimate testimony of the Triumph of Orthodoxy in his life, and encouraged us to engage our faith as a whole person, in loving response to the Living God who became Incarnate and gave Himself for us. At the conclusion of the Vespers Shelley Brooks, the Director of the Bethesda Women and Children Mission spoke about their ministry, and the partnership that has been cultivated between it and our local Orthodox community over the past many years. Finally, we were treated to a Lenten meal prepared by the faithful of our parish. Glory to God for all things!

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River Blessing - 01/22/2023

On Sunday, January 22nd the Orthodox parishes of Greater Harrisburg gathered at City Island Park for the 14th Annual Pan-Orthodox Great Blessing of the Susquehanna, 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!

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Strategic Planning Retreat - 01/21/2023

On Saturday, Jan 21 the Strategic Planning Team (SPT) at Christ the Saviour gathered for their final planning retreat. It was a blessing to welcome back our engaging, energetic, and eminently qualified facilitator Bill Marianes of Stewardship Calling and Orthodox Ministry Services. In the coming months the Implementation Team will begin building their plan and inviting more of our parishioners to engage. The three main areas of focus are:


  1. Education and Liturgical Engagement 
  2. Stewardship (Time, Talent, and Treasure)
  3. Community Outreach and Evangelism 


We are so grateful for the collective wisdom and sacrificial effort of our SPT! Many years!

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Theophany - 01/05/2023

On Thursday, January 5th the community of Christ the Saviour celebrated the Compline and the Great Blessing of Water for Theophany. Glory to God for His glorious Appearance, and His rich gifts!

(Kontakion) Today Thou hast shown forth to the world, O Lord, and the light of Thy countenance has been marked on us. Knowing Thee, we sing Thy praises. Thou hast come and revealed Thyself, O unapproachable Light.

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St Basil's Day - 01/01/2023

On Sunday, January 1st the community of Christ the Saviour rejoiced in the commemoration of the Circumcision of Christ (8th day of Christmas), St. Basil the Great, and our Civil New Year. At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy an abundance Vasilopita (St. Basil's bread) were offered by parishioners in honor of the saint and with petitions for the upcoming New Year. Glory to God for all things!

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