Nativity Season 2016 - 12/25/2016
Christ is Born! Glorify Him!
Russian: Христос рождаєся ! Славити його!
Greek: Χριστός γεννιέται! δοξάσατε!
Serbian: Христос се роди! Ваистину се роди!
The community Christ the Saviour was blessed with a full schedule of services and activities throughout the Nativity fast and Feast -
- Community Outreach: Thanksgiving Turkey's and gift cards were distributed to our neighbors in need; and in December we collected Christmas presents for local children.
- On Sunday, Dec 11th the Church School held its annual Nativity Program (photos sent in an earlier gallery)
- On the Eve of the Feast we celebrated the Royal Hours; then the Divine Liturgy and Vespers of the Pre-Feast in the morning, and the Nativity Vigil (Great Compline & Matins) in the evening. The Festal Divine Liturgy was celebrated on Christmas morning.
- On Tuesday, Dec 27th our choir visited several shut-ins to bring the joy of Christ's birth through the singing of Liturgical hymns and carols.
- On Friday, December 30th our parish family and their guests were treated to an Open House, sponsored every year by our Men's Club.
(Kontakion) Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One! Angels, with shepherds, glorify Him! The wise men journey with the star! Since for our sake the Eternal God is born as a little child
Please visit us at www.CTSHBG.org; be sure to join us for a service when you are in the area!
Dec 18, 2016 - 12/18/2016
On Sunday, December 18th the community of Christ the Saviour welcomed Dennis Bupp into the One, Holy, Catholic, & Apostolic Church through the mystery of Chrismation. We pray that the newly illumined Dennis will nurture and increase the gift of the Holy Spirit unto his salvation! Many years!
O Club Chapter President, John Dotsey, presented two of our college students - Wade Hisiro and Alex Pankiw, with FOCA National and District Scholarships. We are proud of their accomplishments and ask that the Lord continue to bless their studies.
We were also blessed to have our "adopted" seminary family, Moses & Christy Locke, and their sons Elias & Seraphim visit our community from St. Tikhon Seminary. The parishioners and organizations presented Christmas gifts for the entire family through a program coordinated by the national FOCA. The Locke's are also the recipient of a full tuition scholarship supported by our parish.
Glory to God for His rich gifts!
2016 Nativity Program - 12/11/2016
On Sunday, December 11th at the conclusion of Divine Liturgy we offered prayers, asking safe travels and God's blessing upon Catherine Bucharew, who is preparing to serve on a mission team to the Znamyanka Orphanage (south east of Kiev). At fellowship our Sunday School held its annual Nativity Program. We are thankful to our dedicated teachers, parents, and students who make such a wonderful effort each year - edifying and entertaining all of us! May God grant them many blessed years! At the conclusion of the program the children were treated to a visit from "St. Nicholas"!
Advent Lecture Series - 11/22/2016
During the Nativity Fast (aka Advent) the adult education ministry at Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church (Harrisburg, PA) is hosting a four part lecture series entitled - "God is With Us: Prophesy Fulfilled". At the first session held on Tues, Nov 22nd James Kushlan gave us a framework on how we as Orthodox Christians approach the Old Testament Scriptures, and specifically the prophecies concerning Jesus Christ - Who is the ultimate purpose and fulfilment of those writings. John Barns gave a presentation on the history, variety, and theological significance of the icon of the Theotokos of the Sign. It was an educational and inspirational evening!
We hope you will join us for the three remaining lectures:
- Tuesday, Nov 29th at 7pm
- Tuesday, Dec 6th at 7pm
- Tuesday, Dec 13th at 7pm
Annual Eritrean/Ethiopian Fellowship - 11/13/2016
On Sunday, November 13th our parish family enjoyed its 3rd Annual Eritrean/Ethiopian Fellowship, hosted by members from both communities. 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. We were again treated to a special powerpoint presentation, which included music and video clips! 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.
Sister Vassa - 10/19/2016
On Wednesday, October 19th Sr. Vassa (Larin) returned to Harrisburg as part of her tour of the Diocese of Eastern PA. In the afternoon she participated in our weekly downtown Bible Study, as we discussed the Scripture readings for the service of Theophany. She also visited Agia Sophia Coffeehouse and Bookstore... enjoying our delicious homemade soups!
The same evening she delivered a wonderful talk to a full church entitled "Scripture in Orthodox Liturgy and Everyday Life" following the Small Compline service. In her talk Sr. Vassa helped connect us to the service of Great Vespers. She helped us understand the Liturgical and spiritual significance of Psalms 103, 1, 140 (Septuagint numbering) as well as the prayer of St. Simeon (Luke 2:29-32), and gave practical ways on how we can apply them to our daily lives.
We pray that God would continue to bless and strengthen Sr. Vassa in her ministry! Please be sure to check out her website and subscribe to her audio podcasts, and daily reflections at http://www.coffeewithsistervassa.com/.
Sister Vassa - 10/16/2016
On Sunday, October 16th our community welcomed Sister Vassa (Larin). She was beginning her week-long speaking tour of the OCA Diocese of Eastern PA. She spoke at the Liturgy and spent time with some of her adoring "zillions" * at coffee hour.
* watch/listen to her podcasts and you'll understand :)
Learn more about her teaching ministry at:
2016 Slavic+ Food Fest - 10/01/2016
From Saturday, October 1st - Sunday October 2nd the community of Christ the Saviour (Harrisburg) held its annual Slavic+ Food Fest. We welcomed hundreds of our parishioners, neighbors and friends to enjoy a "taste" of several of the many cultures that constitutes our ethnically diverse community. Guests were treated to homemade pierogies, halupki, and halushki, as well as Macedonian hamburgers, kielbasa sandwiches, and a variety of pastries and baked goods. The "+" represents our Eritrean (East African) community that provided a spicy chicken stew called tsebhi derho, and a vegetable dish called alicha, which was served along with injera (thin spongy bread), and himbasha (desert bread). In conjunction with the Food Fest, we also held our annual basket raffle, which featured over 50 baskets, and a vendor faire with lots of great products.
Many visitors made their first trip into our beautiful Orthodox Church, which was open for tours throughout the two day event. We pray that while our guests filled their bellies for the day, they might have found that "one thing needful" that will nourish their souls for eternity. Glory to God for all things!
NOTE: Our Food Fest is held annually, the first weekend in October.
Iconography - 09/16/2016
From September 16th - October 5th our parish was blessed to welcome back Fr. Theodore Jurewicz and his son John for another phase of iconography to beautify our Temple. On this trip they completed the following:
- Babel and Pentecost (walls perpendicular to Altar)
- Window Ornamentation & Toweling (throughout the nave)
- St. Moses the Ethiopian & St. Anthony the Great
- St. Maria of Paris & St. Elizabeth the New-Martyr
- St. Monica & St. Augustine of Hippo
- St. Panteleimon & St. Matrona of Moscow
We look forward to welcoming them back, as God wills, at least two or three more years, until the project is complete.
Student & Teacher Special Blessing - 08/21/2016
On Sunday, August 21 at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, our teachers and students gathered for a special blessing as they prepared to return to classes. May our Lord who inspires the heart and the intellect - guide them in their instruction and their studies; and preserve them as faithful followers of His commandments!
We also celebrated the churching and first holy Communion of Alexander Vasilca, who was Baptized & Chrismated the day before. May God grant him many blessed years!
Dormition - 08/15/2016
The community of Christ the Saviour (Harrisburg) celebrated the feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God. We were blessed (for the first time) to celebrate the burial rite and sing lamentations at the tomb of the Theotokos, "who is constant in prayer, and our firm hope in her intercessions".
Troparion — Tone 1 In giving birth you preserved your virginity. In falling asleep you did not forsake the world, O Theotokos. You were translated to life, O Mother of Life, and by your prayers, you deliver our souls from death.
Feast of St. Herman - 08/09/2016
On Tuesday, Aug 9th Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church (Harrisburg, PA) hosted a pan-Orthodox Liturgy for the feast of St. Herman of Alaska. We were especially blessed by a visit from Fr. Michael Oleksa from St. Michael Cathedral in Sitka, Alaska - who preached an inspiring homily about St. Herman's legacy amongst the native peoples of Kodiak as their defender, and advocate.
We also welcomed clergy and faithful from:
- Holy Apostles, Mechanicsburg (OCA)
- Holy Resurrection, Lebanon (SER)
- Holy Trinity, Camp Hill (GOA)
- St. Nicholas, Steelton (SER)
Holy Saint Herman, pray to God for us!
The eternal light of Christ our Savior guided you, blessed Father Herman, on your evangelical journey to America to proclaim the Gospel of peace. Now you stand before the throne of glory; intercede for your land and its people: Peace for the world and salvation for our souls! (Kontakion - Tone 3)
Vehicle Blessing - 07/24/2016
On Sunday July 24th, the community of Christ the Saviour asked God's blessing upon our "various means of transportation", in honor of the feast of the great Prophet Elijah (July 20th). May the Lord keep the drivers and passenger in safety, as they strive glorify God through the use of their vehicles.
We were blessed to have Fr. Theodore Gregory (and his wife M. Larissa) with us for the Divine Liturgy. Fr. Theodore is a recent graduate of St. Tikhon Seminary, and we are thankful he was able to be with us the Sunday before he began his assignment to Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Rahway, NJ. May God grant Fr. Theodore & M. Larissa many years in their ministry to the parish of Holy Trinity!
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)
Josiah Lentz Baptism and Chrismation - 07/17/2016
On Sunday, July 17th Josiah Thomas Lentz was Baptized and Chrismated into the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. We pray that God will bless this "newly enlisted warrior of Christ our God"; and that He would strengthen his parents Jacob & Kyra, and godparents Sean & Euphemia (Jennifer) Firestine; as well as our entire parish family to be good stewards of Josiah's upbringing in Christ's Holy Church!
Pentecost and International Day - 06/19/2016
On Sunday, June 19th 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 4th 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!
Huntingdon Service Project - 07/14/2016
From Thursday, July 14 - Friday, July 15th members of our parish visited Epiphany Orthodox Church in Huntingdon, PA to offer assistance with various maintenance projects. We learned of their need through a "son of the parish" who is a long time member of our community; as well as two of our parishioners who attend services at Epiphany regularly during the summer while they spend time at their cabins near Raystown Lake. These parishioners also served as our gracious hosts for the service project, for which we are very grateful!
For the small offering of our labor, we were richly gifted with new friendships with our brothers and sisters in Christ from Epiphany parish, and strengthened in our "bond of love" with each other. We began and ended each day with prayer, and spent quality time around the meal table - glory to God for all things!
Adult Education Ministry - 06/12/2016
During the first part of our Paschal celebration, the "re-booted" Three Holy Hierarchs Adult Education Ministry at Christ the Saviour (Harrisburg, PA) held a trilogy of talks surrounding the broad topic of the Liturgy.
- On Wednesday, May 11th our resident iconologist, John R. Barns, presented a talk entitled "At the Icon Corner" in which he explored the history of home worship through the lens of Scriptures, archeology, art, and literature.
- On Sunday, May 15th, Fr. Stephen celebrated the Proskemedia (Service of Preparation) in the center of the temple, taking time to share the theological significance, as well as the practical and eschatological implications of this beautiful service.
- On Wednesday, May 18th, Fr. Victor Gorodenchuk (Dean of St. Stephen Cathedral, Philadelphia) presented a talk entitled "Byzantine Liturgy: Evident History and Hidden Meaning", in which he explored the history and meaning of worship, through the Scripture, the Liturgy as we celebrate it today, archeology, and the writings of the Holy Fathers.
We look forward to the future offerings being prepared by our Adult Education Ministry, which is comprised of over ten of our faithful. The goal of this ministry is to enrich the lives of our adult members, so that they can become more ardent disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ!
St. Thomas Sunday - 05/08/2016
Christ is Risen! Христос Воскресе!
Χριστός Ανέστη! المسيح قام!
On Sunday, May 8th the community at Christ the Saviour celebrated our patronal feast - St. Thomas Sunday (Antipascha); as well as Mother's Day. His Eminence Archbishop Mark presided at the Divine Liturgy, along with our parish clergy (Fr. Stephen & Fr. Daniel) and visiting clergy (Fr. John Maxwell, Fr. Paul Fetsko, & Dn. Mikel Hill). At the conclusion of the Liturgy we sang "memory eternal" for our departed mothers, and "many years" to the devout women of our parish who share in the vocation of motherhood, both physical and spiritual.
The clergy and faithful also made a Paschal procession and offered a blessing to commemorate our parish feast. A special thanks to our O Club, who distributed gifts to all of the women of our parish, and to our Men's Club who prepared a delicious meal to celebrate our Parish Feast and Mother's Day.
(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!”
Bright Monday Pan-Orthodox Divine Liturgy - 05/02/2016
Throughout Bright Week, our community will gather to celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection. On Monday we were joined by clergy and faithful from our local Orthodox Churches: Holy Apostles Orthodox Mission (Mechanicsburg); Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral (Camp Hill), and St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church (Steelton) for the Divine Liturgy. Fr. Timothy Hojnicki, pastor of Holy Apostles, was our celebrant and Fr. Christopher Rocknage, pastor of St. Nicholas, gave an inspiring homily about the joy of the Resurrection of our Lord’s Resurrection!
GREAT AND HOLY PASCHA - 05/01/2016
Late Saturday evening, and “while it was still dark” into Sunday, our community gathered for the “Feast of Feast, and Holy Day of Holy Days”.
Christ is Risen! Христос Воскресе!
Χριστός Ανέστη! المسيحقام!
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!
At 12pm on Pascha Day, we gathered for the Agape Vespers, which were celebrated by Fr. David Vernak. During the Vespers we read the Gospel in English, German, French, Spanish, Mandarin, Pigeon (Solomon Islands dialect), Amharic (Ethiopian), Italian, Greek, and Latin. Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!
Holy Saturday - 04/30/2016
Holy Saturday Vesperal Divine Liturgy
On Saturday, April 30th our community gathered to celebrate the Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil, sometimes called the “First Pascha”, as it was originally the first Liturgy of the Great Paschal vigil. Before the service we welcomed Peter (Ronald) Miller into the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church through the Sacrament of Chrismation. At this service the 15 Old Testament readings were chanted by members of our Junior O Club (aka - “Teen Titans”), as well as members of our choir. It is during this service that the dark purple vestments of Lent and Holy Week are replaced with the brilliant white of Pascha!
“Alleluia” Verses of Holy Saturday
Arise, O God, judge the earth, for to Thee belong all the nations!
- God has taken His place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods He holds judgment.
- How long will You judge unjustly and accept the faces of sinners?
- Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute!
- Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the sinner!
- They have neither knowledge nor understanding; they walk about in darkness.
- Let all the foundations of the earth be shaken! I say: “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; nevertheless, you shall die like men, and fall like any prince.”
Holy Friday and Holy Saturday - 04/29/2016
Vespers of Great and Holy Friday (Burial Service)
In the afternoon on Friday, April 29th our community gathered for the Burial Vespers, in which we participate in the death of the Son of God upon the Cross. The Body of our Lord is tenderly removed from the Cross, and wrapped in a burial shroud, assisted by the children of our community. Later the Plaschenitsa (Holy Shroud depicting the Body of our Lord) is processed and placed in the Tomb in the center of the Church and venerated by the faithful!
Holy Friday Burial Vespers Aposticha
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!’
Matins of Great and Holy Saturday (Lamentations)
In the evening on Friday, April 29th our community gathered for the Matins and Lamentations, in which we sing songs of love and tenderness to our Lord in the Tomb. This service also marks the transition from the solemnity of Holy Friday and our Lord’s Crucifixion and Death, to the first announcements of His harrowing of Hades (Old Testament prophecy of Ezekiel and the resurrection of the “dry bones”; and the Epistle and Gospel lessons), following our return from our procession around the church.
We were blessed by the presence of Archpriest David & M. Mariam Vernak. Fr. David gave an inspired homily “rallying” us to answer Christ’s question to Martha, the sister of Lazarus - “do you believe” in the Resurrection?
Holy Week Archpastoral Visit - 04/26/2016
From Tuesday, April 26 – Wednesday, April 27th our community welcomed His Eminence Archbishop Mark, as he led us in the Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts on Tuesday and Wednesday; as well as the Sacrament of Holy Unction on Great and Holy Wednesday, where we were joined by the faithful Holy Apostles Mission - interceding the Lord’s mercy, and healing of soul and body. Fr. Timothy Hojnicki offered a beautiful homily, which prepared each of us to realize the greatest healing that we could hope for is that of the heart, and the salvation of our souls!
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.
Palm Sunday - 04/24/2016
On Sunday, April 24th the community of Christ the Saviour (Harrisburg) celebrated the Feast of the Entrance of our Lord into Jerusalem - Palm Sunday. Before the Liturgy we received four of our catechumens [Jim and Heidi (Maria) Kushlan, Timothy Monko, and Stephanie (Matrona) Stine] into the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church through the Sacrament of Chrismation. We pray that God will preserve them in the Orthodox Faith, and find them worthy of incorruptible crowns! Glory To God for His abundant gifts!
At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy we processed around the church, carrying the palms (and pussy willows) of victory - reminding us that Christ the King has come to defeat death by His death and establish His Kingdom which has no end!
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!
OCF Real Break Service Trip to New Orleans - 03/07/2016
From Monday, March 7th - Saturday, March 12th Fr. Stephen Vernak, the pastor of Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church in Harrisburg, PA, served as the clergy leader for an OCF Real Break service trip to New Orleans. There were 13 students from throughout the country, and three other group leaders (1 from OCF and two from IOCC). The main focus of the trip was to serve two New Orleans families whose homes are being built by Habitat for Humanity West St. Tammany Parish.
Phila Dist OCF Spring Retreat - 03/20/2016
From Friday, March 18th - Saturday, March 19th Christ the Saviour parish hosted the Spring Retreat for the OCF Philadelphia District. The retreat was organized by the Penn State Harrisburg OCF, and was attended by nearly 20 students from throughout the district. Students attended the Friday night Presanctified and enjoyed fellowship and ice-breakers. On Saturday they served Matins in the church, followed by breakfast and the keynote address on the Theology of Holy Week by Fr. Timothy Hojnicki of Holy Apostle Mission (Mechanicsburg). There were also workshops on Prosphora baking and campus ministry; as well as Bible Jeopardy and a Scripture study.
Saturday evening the group attended the Triumph of Orthodoxy Vespers and venerated the myrrh streaming icon of the Mother of God (from Taylor, PA) at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral along with 1,500 clergy and faithful. On Sunday, March 20th several students made a presentation to our parish about OCF and thanked the parish for hosting the event. Glory to God for all things!
Orthodoxy Sunday - 03/20/2016
On Sunday, March 20th the clergy and faithful of Christ the Saviour marked the first Sunday of Lent by celebrating the Triumph of Orthodoxy with an icon procession. At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy we blessed new processional banners, and heard a presentation from college students of the Philadelphia Regional OCF, which held their spring retreat at our parish March 18-19th. Glory to God for all things!
Excerpt from the Synodikon of Orthodoxy (787 AD)
As the prophets beheld, as the Apostles have taught, as the Church has received, as the teachers have dogmatized, as the Universe has agreed, as Grace has shown forth, as Truth has revealed, as falsehood has been dissolved, as Wisdom has presented, as Christ Awarded, thus we declare, thus we assert, thus we preach Christ our true God, and honor as Saints in words, in writings, in thoughts, in sacrifices, in churches, in Holy Icons; on the one hand worshipping and reverencing Christ as God and Lord; and on the other hand honoring as true servants of the same Lord of all and accordingly offering them veneration.
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 - 03/19/2016
The Orthodox Council of Churches of South Central PA (OCCSCP), held its annual Pan-Orthodox Triumph of Orthodoxy Vespers at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Camp Hill, PA on Saturday, March 19th. We were especially blessed by the presence of the myrrh-streaming Kardiotissa (Tender Hart) Icon of the Theotokos from St. George Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Church in Taylor, PA. Fr. Mark Leisure, the care-taker of the icon and pastor of St. George, was our homilist. Over 1,500 clergy and faithful were in attendance.
Diocese of Eastern PA clergy and faithful from Christ the Saviour (Harrisburg), St. Herman of Alaska (Shillington), and Holy Apostles Mission (Mechanicsburg) participated in the services and fellowship which followed.
2016 River Blessing
On Sunday, January 17th the Orthodox parishes of Greater Harrisburg gathered at City Island Park for the 8th Annual Pan-Orthodox Great Blessing of the Susquehanna. His Eminence, Archbishop Mark of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania (Orthodox Church in America) was our celebrant, along with the clergy and faithful from the following communities:
• Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church (OCA) in Harrisburg
• Holy Apostles Orthodox Mission (OCA) in Mechanicsburg
• 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 Agia Sophia Coffeehouse and Bookstore (www.agiasophiaharrisburg.com) for fellowship and a soup/chili cook-off. His Eminence, Archbishop Mark blessed the shop, asking that God would continue to allow it to be a place of peace, and an encouragement to our Orthodox faithful and our patrons. Agia Sophia has donated over $18,000 to local charities in its 4 years ministry/business!