On January 1 and 3, 2021, we kept the custom of St. Basil's Bread (The Vasilopeta). This year the coins were received by Anthony Keder, Sophia Kokkinos, Will Wilkinson, John Davidson, Juliana Milite, and Oscar Hageman. May the Lord grant them many blessed years!
The schedule of divine services for the celebration of the Theophany of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ is as follows.
On Tuesday evening, January 5, the festal Matins of Holy Theophany was served together with the Great Blessing of Water. On this feast, the faithful gathered to commemorate Christ's baptism in the Jordan River and the revelation of the Holy Trinity. We rejoice in this holy feast which brings about our renewal, regeneration, and santification. We send up glory, honor, and worship to our true God Who has revealed Himself to us!
In 2021, we will be reviving our parish reading group in order to increase our understanding of the Faith, foster fellowship, and broaden our outreach efforts. The reading group is open to all parishioners, their family and friends, and anyone who might be interested in participating. I encourage you to share this announcement with anyone that you think might be interested. Our first book will be “Live Not by Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents” by Rod Dreher.
Father Christian reposed in the Lord on Friday, January 8, 2021 at the age of 77. He was a founding member of Christ the Savior, beloved parishioner and friend, and faithful Orthodox Christian.
On Wednesday, January 13, 2021, we will resume our weekly Bible Study as we begin the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans. The study will be held on Zoom at 7:00pm and is open to all parishioners and friends.
On Tuesday, January 12, 2021, the funeral and burial of Monk Christian (Lesinsky) took place at Christ the Savior Orthodox Church and Evergreen Cemetery in Berlin, MD. Sincere appreciation is expressed to everyone who assisted with the divine services and/or donated to help with the burial costs. May Father Christian's memory be eternal! May his soul dwell among the Righteous!
On Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 2:00pm on Zoom, Christ the Savior had its Annual Parish Meeting. The agenda, reports, budget and draft minutes for the meeting are available below. We thank all who attended, presented reports, and assisted with the minutes!
On Sunday, January 31, following the morning services, the children of the parish enjoyed the freshly falling snow and challenged Fr. John to a snowball fight. Though it didn't go well for him, Fr. John is okay and trying not to harbor any grudges.
It is with heartfelt sadness, yet firm hope in the resurrection on the last day, that we share with you the news that our beloved father in Christ and founder of our Christ the Savior parish, Protopresbyter Daniel Hubiak, has departed this life for the age to come. Fr. Daniel reposed at his home last night, Friday, February 5 around 8:10pm, with Mat. Dunia by his side, having spent his last days in the warm embrace of his family who assembled around him. We ask the Lord’s consolation for Mat. Dunia, their daughters, Larice Nescott and Mat. Annice Oleynik, and their entire family.
The divine services for the funeral and burial of Protopresbyter Daniel Hubiak are as follows:
On February 10 and 11, 2021, the funeral services for Protopresbyter Daniel Hubiak were held at Christ the Savior Church, Berlin, MD. Father Daniel had departed this life on February, 5, 2021, at the age of 94, in his retirement in Ocean Pines, MD.
In March and April 2021, our reading group will be reading "On The Incarnation" by St. Athanasius the Great. By any standard, this is a classic of Christian theology. Composed by St. Athanasius in the fourth century, it expounds with simplicity the theological vision defended at the councils of Nicaea and Constantinople: that the Son of God himself became "fully human, so that we might become god." Its influence on all Christian theology thereafter, East and West, ensures its place as one of the few "must read" books of Christian theology for all time.
On Sunday, March 7, with the blessing of our diocesan hierarch, Metropolitan Tikhon, the 2021 Parish Council members were installed into office. During the first meeting of the 2021 Council, Don Rowe was elected Junior Warden, Rachael Howard was elected Treasurer, and Margaret LoGerfo was elected Secretary. May the Lord bless them all!
On Sunday, March 7, we celebrated the birthdays of the clergy wives, who were all born in the month of March. We heartily congratulate Mat. Emily Parsells, Mat. Dunia Hubiak, Mat. Annice Oleynik, and Nissa Nancy Hall. May the Lord continue to bless them all, granting them health, strength, salvation, furtherance in every good thing and many blessed years!
On Friday, March 12, 2021, capacity limits on churches were lifted by Governor Hogan's executive order (21-03-09-01). Effective on this date, Christ the Savior is now open at 100% capacity. There is no longer a need to register to attend worship services. Risk mitigation policies remain in effect until further notice, and we have a reserved area for worship for those who might be considered high risk. Should you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out to the church.
On Sunday, March 14, following the Divine Liturgy, we had the beautiful and grace-filled Rite of Forgiveness before entering into the Holy Forty Days of the Great Fast. During this solemn ritual we ask and receive forgiveness from each other and the Lord, who says, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive yours.” (Matthew 6:14)
On March 21, 2021, we celebrated the Sunday of Orthodoxy with a procession of icons during the Divine Liturgy and the reading of the ancient Synodicon, the affirmation of the Orthodox Faith that our salvation is proclaimed in both words and images. We congratulate all who celebrate on this day!
On Saturday, March 27, we had the Baptism of Daniel Nicholas, son of Will and Megan Wilkinson. We congratulate them as well as the sponsors, Reader David and Katya, and their entire families. May the Lord grant them all many blessed years!
On Palm Sunday, April 25, the faithful gathered to celebrate the Lord's Entrance into Jerusalem. A procession around the church was made while the faithful bore in their hands palms in honor of the festive occassion. Following the beautiful divine services, a traditional Bakaliaro fish meal was offered for all present. Glory be to God for all things!
On Great and Holy Wednesday, April 28, the faithful gathered for the Mystery of Holy Unction, the anointing with holy oil for the healing of soul and body. The Church’s practice of Holy Unction dates back to Apostolic times, see James 5:14.
From April 25 - May 1, the faithful gathered at Christ the Savior to celebrated the solemn liturgical services of Great and Holy Week, which commemorates the Lord's voluntary Passion, His Cross, Death and Burial.
On Sunday, May 3, 2021, the faithful gathered for the Midnight service, celebrating the Feast of Feast, Holy Pascha, which commemorates the Resurrection of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ. More than 130 people gathered for the celebration of the liturgical services which were followed by the blessing of foods and a festive meal in the hall and rectory. We greet you all with the joyous exclamation, "Christ is risen! Indeed He is risen!"
On Thomas Sunday, May 9, 2021, an egg hunt was held for the children of the parish. In the Orthodox churches, Easter eggs are blessed by the priest at the end of the Paschal Service, and distributed to the faithful. The egg is seen by followers of Christianity as a symbol of resurrection: while being dormant it contains a new life sealed within it.
On May 21, 2021, His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon blessed Christ the Savior to proceed with the following amendments to our Reopening Plan which were unanimously approved during our Special Parish Meeting on Sunday, May 16, 2021.
On Sunday, May 23, 2021, we were pleased to welcome Kayla Fortin into the catechumenate during the Divine Liturgy. We humbly ask the Lord's continued blessing upon her as she prepares herself for sacramental reception into the Orthodox Church!
On Sunday, June 6, 2021, we had our annual Cross Dive, which opened the swimming season at Christ the Savior. The faithful prayerfully asked the Lord God Almighty to bless the parish pool and the fellowship it provides, throwing in the life-giving Cross of Christ to sanctify the water. The precious Cross is then retrieved by the children of the parish, remembering the words of the Lord, "Anyone who does not take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me." Crosses were retrieved by Anastasia Bakie and Isabella Milite.
On Sunday, June 6, 2021, following the Cross Dive, the parishioners and friends of the parish enjoyed a tasty crab feast and some time together in fellowship. This was the first ever crab feast at Christ the Savior but God-willing it will certainly not be the last. Many thanks to all who made this possible!
The divine services for the funeral and burial of Deacon Stephen Hall are as follows:
On Sunday, June 13, 2021, Robert West and Anya Klimitchev were joined in holy marriage at St. Tikhon's Orthodox Monastery in South Canaan, Pennsylvania. The service on this joyous occasion was officiated by priests, Fr. John Parsells and Fr. George Sharonoff. Surrounded by family and friends, the newly wed couple took their first steps at the monastery "where saints have walked", beginning their own journey as husband and wife on the road to eternal life. May the Lord bless them with health, strength, salvation, a furtherance in every good thing, and many blessed years!
On Tuesday, June 15 a Memorial was offered for the newly-departed Deacon Stephen Hall at Christ the Savior in Berlin, Maryland. On Thursday, June 17, a Funeral Liturgy was celebrated at Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, followed by the burial of Deacon Stephen at Grandview Cemetery.
On Sunday, June 20, 2021, the faithful gathered to celebrate the feast of Pentecost. As is customary, the Vespers with Kneeling Prayers was served immediately following the Divine Liturgy. We congratulation all who celebrate on this high holy day!
On Sunday, July 4, 2021, prayers were offered at the completion of the academic year, thanking the Lord for the blessing of His wisdom and knowledge, and asking Him to preserve the students in that which they have learned which is according to His divine law.
On Sunday, July 4, 2021, after celebrating the Divine Liturgy in which we commemorated the Saints of North America and offered prayer for the well-being of our nation, we had a cookout and pool party in the parish courtyard celebrating Independence Day. We were pleased to welcome Archpriest Samuel Kedala and Protodeacon Gregory Moser for these ecclesiastical and civil celebrations. May the Lord continue to bless His Church and our nation, raising up more Saints to His glory in this blessed American land!
On Sunday, July 18, 2021, at the end of the Divine Liturgy, we had the annual Blessing of Chariots (cars, trucks, bikes, etc). The blessing was served by Archpriest Joseph Oleynik, Archpriest Timothy Hojnicki, and Priest John Parsells. It is a custom of Orthodox Christians to have their cars blessed both when newly acquired and on or near the feast of the Prophet Elias (July 20th), as he ascended as if into heaven on a fiery chariot. We thank God for a truly blessed day!
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon will be at Christ the Savior from August 14-16 in order to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of parish, leading us in worship on the great feast of Dormition (August 15) and our patronal feast of the Icon-Not-Made-By-Hands (August 16). We look forward to welcoming our beloved hierarch as well as clergy and faithful from near and far who are coming to join us for the celebration. The schedule of divine services and events are as follows:
On Sunday, August 1, 2021, the feast of the Procession of the Cross, two new hand crosses were blessed at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy. The hand cross is kept on the altar table and used at certain moments during the liturgy, most noticeably at the dismissal when the priest holds it in his right hand as he gives the final blessing and then offers it to the faithful for veneration. Coserving with Fr. John were Priest George Sharonoff and Protodeacon Gregory Moser. Following the blessing of the new crosses, Archpriest Joseph Oleynik wished Fr. John many blessed years on the 15 anniversary of his assignment to Christ the Savior, August 1, 2006.
On Tuesday, August 6th, faithful parishioners and guests gathered to celebrate the Great Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord. Following the Divine Liturgy, we had the customary blessing of grapes and other various fruit. Glory to God for a beautiful feastday!
On August 14-16, 2021, we welcomed His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, together with venerable clergy and beloved friends from near and far to Christ the Savior for the celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the parish. A true spirit of gratitude to God and joy in the Lord was tangibly felt by all as we recollected the manifold blessings granted to the parish over the past two decades. We send up glory to God for all things and ask His continued providential care over our community as we seek to serve Him in the years to come!
On Wednesday, September 1, 2021, we will resume our weekly Bible Study as we begin the Gospel of St. John. The study will be held on Zoom at 7:00pm and is open to all parishioners and friends.
On Sunday, September 5, 2021, we asked the Lord's blessing upon the teachers and students at the beginning of the Academic Year. May the Lord enlighten and guide them into His divine truth!
On Sunday, September 26, 2021 parishioners and friends went to Assateague Island National Park, following the Divine Liturgy and coffee hour at the church. This day at the beach marked the end of the summer season during which many such days were enjoyed as our church family shared in fellowship at this beautiful place. Glory to God for all things!
Parishioners from Christ the Savior joined hundreds of Pro-Lifers at the "Life is WINNING" Rally in Seaford, Delaware, protesting the opening of a new regional abortion center by Planned Parenthood.
On Sunday, October 3, 2021, at the end of the Divine Liturgy there was special blessing for the choir directors, members, and readers. This blessing takes place annually on the Sunday closest to the feast of St. Romanus the Melodist (October 1st). We ask that Lord's divine blessing upon them so that they might worthily fulfill this vital ministry.
On Sunday, October 3, 2021, the church school program began at Christ the Savior. There are three groups, which meet each Sunday: 1) Pre-K and Kindergarten, 2) Grammar School, and 3) Middle and High School. The church school coordinator is Anne Rowe, who is assisted by numerous teachers and staff members. Fr. John also helps with lessons, especially handling contemporary moral/social issues (primarily with the older group) as well as any questions that arise. The church school is open to all children and friends of the parish.
On Sunday, November 7th, the children participated in our annual St. Michael's party, by dressing as saints and angels, and they also enjoyed ther activities. The St. Michael's Party also coincided with the parish Thanskgiving meal with the traditional foods and fixings. Many thanks to all who made this year's St. Michael's party and Thanksgiiving meal such a great success!
On Monday, December 6, 2021, we celebrated the feast of St. Nicholas, Archbishop of Myra, the Wonder-worker (+343). We were priviledged to be able to venerate the relics of St. Nicholas, which were brought by Archpriest Joseph Oleynik, who received them from Metropolitan Theodosius. Following the Divine Liturgy "golden" chocolate coins were distributed to the faithful as a reminder of the saint's great charity and practice of anonymous gift-giving, which we all do well to emulate. We wish you all a joyous feast of St. Nicholas! For more information, please see stnicholascenter.org.
On Sunday, December 19, 2021, we had the baptism of Titus Alan, son of Lowen and Rachael Howard. We extend our congratulations to the entire family as well as the sponsors, Andrew Hageman and Mirona Bendfeldt. May the Lord grant them all health, strength, salvation, a furtherance in every good thing, and many blessed years!
As the faithful gathered to celebrate the Nativity of the Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ according to the flesh, we humbly asked the Lord's continued blessing upon you all for a joyous, peaceful and grace-filled festive season and New Year. Christ is born! Glorify Him!
Christ the Savior Orthodox Church
10315 Carey Road
Berlin, MD 21811