Parish Open House - 12/28/08
On Sunday December 28th the parish held its annual Open House, fully sponsored and staffed by our St. Alexis of Wilkes Barre Men's Club. We sang traditional Christmas carols and enjoyed great food and fellowship, basking in the light, grace, and joy of our Lord's Birth! Many years and the Lord's blessings to the members of the Men's Club for their hard work and generosity!
Lichtenstein Family Visit - 12/28/08
On Sunday, December 28th our "adopted" seminary family - the Lichtenstein's visited us for Divine Liturgy. The parish and its various organizations were once again able to help the family through cash and gift donations. This is the second year that Mark, Suzanne, and their children Anna, John, Paul, and Gregory have made the trip to Harrisburg from St. Tikhon's Seminary. We pray that God will continue to bless them as they follow the unique vocation of studying at the seminary, and whatever else the Lord has planned for them.
Christmas Angels and Food Distribution - 12/23/08
On Tuesday, December 23rd, Fr. Stephen and Fr. Daniel distributed the "Christmas Angel" age and gender specific gifts donated by our parishioners, to needy children in our community. They also distributed food items and grocery store certificates that were donated. May God continue to inspire and bless our parish family in their generosity to those in need, knowing that our Lord told us "inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me" (Mt. 25:40)
FOCA Scholarship Awarded - 12/21/08
On Sunday December 21st, parishioner and O-Club member, Laura Hadginske was awarded the FOCA Matushka Anne Prislopsky Scholarship, towards her studies at Loyola College in Baltimore Maryland. Chapter O-Club President John Dotsey and pastor, Fr. Stephen Vernak presented the $1,000.00 award and certificate. May God continue to bless Laura in her studies!
December Maintenance Saturday - 12/20/08
On Saturday, December 20th members of our community gathered to prepare the church and grounds for the upcoming Nativity season. A special thanks to those who came and helped prepare the grounds, and to Effie Spassef and Andrea Zart who, once again, did a beautiful job in decorating the church.
Advent Play - 12/14/08
On Sunday, December 14th, the children and young adults of Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church performed their annual Advent play in front of a 'packed house'. This years play, entitled "The ABC's of Christmas", was coordinated by teacher Janice Zuro, along with Andrea Zart, Angie DiFlorio, and teacher's aide Skye Hisiro. The chidren gave a wonderful performance, which included audience participation in singing "Silent Night", the Nativity Troparion, as well as "Who Loves Nicholas the Saintly". At the conclusion of the play, St. Nicholas made a special appearance and distributed gold coins and presents to all the children. Our thanks to all who helped to make this annual event a success. Note: The Nativity scene/artwork was painted by our very own Anastasia Nikolaeva, especially for the play!
Miracle-Working Icon "She Who is Quick to Hear" - 12/07/08
On Sunday, December 7th, the Miracle-Working Icon "She Who is Quick to Hear" from St. Tikhon Monastery was accompanied by His Grace BishopTIKHON, on a visit to Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church in Harrisburg. His Grace, accompanied by Archdeacon Nicholas, led local Orthodox clergy and over 130 faithful and guests in the singing of the Akathist Hymn entitled "Mother of God: Healer of Cancer". At the conclusion of the service His Grace reminded those present of the importance of prayer in times of suffering and the scriptural mandate to anoint those who are sick with holy oil (cf. James 5:14). At the conclusion of the service all present venerated the icon and received anointing with holy oil. A Lenten meal was provided by the parish "O" Club for everyone in attendance. Through the prayers of your Most Holy Mother, Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and save us!
Parish Council Oath of Office & Installation - 12/07/08
With the blessing of His Grace Bishop TIKHON, the elected members of the 2008-2009 Parish Council took the oath of office and were installed on Sunday, December 7th at the end of the Divine Liturgy. We ask that God will grant them the piety, wisdom, and strength to "work in union with Thy holy purpose, and in living unity with Thy beloved Son, our Lord, and God, and Saviour Jesus Christ, that by the power of Thine All-Holy Spirit, they may be inspired by the love of Thee and the desire to extend Thy Kingdom among others" (excerpt from Prayer at the Installtion of a Parish Council)
Pan-Orthodox Service of Thanksgiving - 11/26/08
On Wednesday, November 26th, our parish hosted clergy and faithful from the area Orthodox Churches in the singing of the Akathist "Glory to God for All Things". His Grace, Bishop TIKHON was our main celebrant and guest homilist. Bishop TIKHON reminded us that as Orthodox Christians, we offer thankgiving to God by our life of repentance, and by worshipping Him alone. Following the service, the Altar Guild provided a Lenten meal at the parish hall.
Kenneth Kidd OCMC Guest Speaker - 11/23/08
On Sunday, November 23rd Kenneth Kidd of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center in St. Augustine, Fla. was our guest speaker at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy. Kenneth shared with us the work of OCMC and how it acts as a resource across Orthodox jurisdictions to bring the Light of Christ to all nations in fulfillement of the Great Commission (Mt. 28:19). He challenged us to take ownership of these words and fulfill our vocation to bring Christ to everyone we meet. Later the same evening nearly 20 of our parishioners joined other local Orthodox communities at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral for a benefit banquet to help support the work of OCMC and IOCC.
Fr. Michael Kovach Celebrates 90th Birthday - 11/23/08
On Sunday, November 23rd we celebrated Archpriest Michael Kovach's 90th birthday. Fr. Michael reached this milestone on Friday, November 21st and received a special message from our newly elected Metropolitan JONAH, which can be read here.
Following the presentation Fr. Michael humbly reflected upon his Priesthood and the love the he and Mat. Olga have for the community of Christ the Saviour. We ask that God will continue to bless Fr. Michael, as he continues to serve as a model of Christian virtue, patience and love for us and countless others. Mnogaya Lyeta!
IOCC Health Kits - 10/26/08
Throughout the month of October the faithful of Christ the Saviour have donated items to help in the International Orthodox Christian Charities (I.O.C.C.) effort to bring consolation and material assistance to the victims of natural disaster throughout our country. On Sunday, October 26th our communities young adults, and several other parishioners, assembled and boxed 'Health Kit' items to be shipped to IOCC/Church World Services. May God continue to bless us, so that we in return may be a blessing to those in need!
Two-Part Harmony Workshop - 10/17/08
On Friday October 17 and Saturday October 18, Christ the Saviour parish hosted a music workshop that focused on two-part harmony. Fr. Sergius (Bowyer) of St. Tikhon's Monastery led the workshop, accompanied by two seminarians from St. Tikhon's Seminary. On Friday evening following the Vespers service, Fr. Sergius gave a lecture to over 40 attendees, explaining the importance of Liturgy in the shaping of our spiritual lives. The following morning participants gathered for the Divine Liturgy and a full day of workshops focusing on proper singing techniques and the nuances of two-part harmony. The workshop concluded with the singing of the Resurrectional Vespers service, which consisted of music the group had practiced throughout the day.
Fr. Sergius recently launched a web site dedicated to two-part harmony (www.orthodoxtwopartmusic.org
). The site contains sheet music, audio files, articles, and various links offered to the glory of God and the furtherance of liturgical arts in His Holy Church.
Pilgrimage to Holy Protection Greek Orthodox Monastery - 10/04/08
On October 4th 2008 a group of 12 pilgrims from Christ the Saviour Church travelled to Holy Protection Greek Orthodox Monastery in White Haven, PA. The sisterhood at the monastery extended Christ-like love and kindness to our group, as we enjoyed the day touring the beautiful grounds, extensive gift shop, and beautiful chapels. We pray that God will continue to bless their ascetical labors and we hope to visit again in the near future with an even larger group of pilgrims!
Fr. Michael's 65th Anniversary - 09/21/08
Michael Kovach celebrated his 65th Anniversary to the Holy Priesthood. Over 30 of those years were served here at Christ the Saviour as an associate Priest. May God continue to bless Fr. Michael with many more fruitful years of ministry in His Holy Church.
Parish Family Picnic - 09/07/08On Sunday, September 7th, following the Divine Liturgy, our community gathered for our annual Parish Family Picnic. The food and games were provided by the Men's Club. Because the picnic fell on the eve of the Nativity of the Theotokos, we gathered to sing the Vespers service early in the afternoon, and as a highlight of the event. Glory to God for beautiful weather and another wonderful opportunity to enjoy worship and fellowship as members of the Body of Christ.
Yerke Family Chrismation - 07/13/08
Summertime Painting Party - 07/12/08
Prosphora Workshop - 07/02/08On Wednesday, July 2nd, members of our parish community gathered for a prosphora (bread) baking workshop. The workshop is the culmination of a unit on the Divine Liturgy in our Wednesday evening Christian Education class (meets every Wednesday evening at 6pm). The prosphora will be used at the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, and is an "offering" that is made by us, knowing that ultimately everything we possess belongs to God, and that we offer Him "Thine own of Thine own... on behalf of all, and for all".
Graduates and Church School Teachers Honored - 06/22/08
New York Yankees Outing - 06/09/08On Monday June 9th, a group of Parishioners and friends journeyed to the Bronx via bus to watch the New York Yankees take on the Kansas City Royals. Despite the heat of the day (and the ultimate Yankee loss), the group had a great time. Thank you Willard and Sue Brown for running the show (and providing the entertainment), and thank you Fr. Stephen for your Yankee enthusiasm!
2008 ETHNIC FOOD FEST - 06/08/08
Blessing of Graves - 05/11/08
45th Anniversary - 05/04/08
Agape Vespers - 04/27/08
Blessing of Paschal Baskets - 04/27/08
Holy Pascha - 04/27/08
Holy Saturday Matins (Lamentations with Procession) - 04/25/08
Holy Friday Vespers - 04/25/08
Passion Gospels - 04/24/08
Holy Unction - 04/23/08
Palm Sunday and Ressetar 50th Wedding Anniversary - 04/20/08
Lazarus Saturday and Chrismations - 04/19/08
Holy Cross Hermitage - 04/03/08A group of five men from our parish participated in a Lenten pilgrimage at Holy Cross Hermitage in Wayne, WV from April 3rd - April 5th. Holy Cross is a men's monastery of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, which conducts all of its services in the English language. In addition to participating the rich liturgical life of the monastery, participants spent time with the monks as they went about their daily obediences. They also shared meals with them in the trapeza. The monastery poured out an over-abundance of hospitality and spiritual care for our pilgrims and we hope and pray that this is the first of many visitations by members of our parish to this 'calm harbor' of Orthodox monasticism nestled in the hills of West Virginia.
Jr. "O" Club Bowling - 03/01/08Saturday, March 1st: Youth and parents of Christ the Saviour were joined by Holy Ascension Orthodox Church in Frackville, PA for an afternoon of bowling, pizza, and Vespers. The event was sponsored by our FOCA Central PA District O Club and our Harrisburg O Club, as well as Holy Ascension parish. We thank Fr. Matthew Cantrell and our visitors, to what we hope will be many more events involving our parishes.
Maintenance Saturday - 03/01/08
Three Hierarchs Slava - 01/27/08