A new 1-hour class for all adults, teens, catechumens, and inquirers will begin on Sunday, September 3, 2023 during the coffee hour and will continue every other week. All are welcome!
On Monday, August 28, 2023 the Funeral Service was offered for the newly-departed handmaiden of God, Danyella Mary Parsells, at Christ the Savior in Berlin, Maryland. The Funeral Liturgy was offered the following day and the Burial was held at St. Nectarios Monastery in Roscoe, New York on Tuesday, September 5.
Danyella Mary is the wife of Gregory Parsells and the daughter of Lydia Sandul. Our deepest sympathies are with them both as well as the entire family. May the Lord grant them His comforting and consoling grace!
May the memory of Danyella Mary be eternal! May her soul dwell among the Righteous!
On Sunday, August 27, 2023, 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 Wednesday, August 16, 2023 the faithful and friends from neighboring churches gathered to celebrate the feast of the parish. Fr. John co-served with Archpriest Joseph Oleynik and Priest Christopher Xanthos, from St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Ocean City, who offered a beautiful homily on the Icon Not-Made-By-Hands. We were also pleased to have Protodeacon Paul Sokol, from Ss. Peter & Paul in Manville, NJ, serving with us for the festal services. Following the Divine Liturgy a luncheon was served and a pool party was enjoyed by all. Glory and thanks be to God for His many blessings!
On Tuesday, August 15, 2023, the faithful gathered to celebrate the Dormition of the Virgin Mary, which is the annual festal commemoration the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of the Virgin Mary, the Birthgiver of God. After the Divine Services parishioners traveled to the local Chick-Fil-A to continue to the celebration and fellowship. Glory to God for a beautiful feastday!
On Saturday, August 12, 2023, a Choir Workshop for singers and readers was held at Christ the Savior. The workshop, led by Alexis Oleynik and a team of experienced choir directors/members/readers, was open to everyone who was interested in learning more about liturgical music and chanting no matter their experience, skill level, or age (children included!). The workshop provided an opportunity for the parish to grow together in its knowledge and proficiency in the Orthodox liturgical/musical arts. Sincere appreciation is expressed to everyone who attended as well as Alex Oleynik, our choir director, and our instructors: Mat. Annice Oleynik, Joanne Patrick, Anya Klimitchev, and Rdr. Nicholas Borodulia.
On Sunday, August 6, 2023, 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!
We resume our Bible Study on Wednesday, August 2, 2023 at 7:00pm with a new book: The Epistle of St. James. According to Church Tradition, the letter of James was written not by either of the apostles, but by the “brother of the Lord” who was the first bishop of the Church in Jerusalem (see Acts 15, Gal 1.19). The letter is addressed to the “twelve tribes in the dispersion” which most probably means the Christians not of the Jerusalem Church. All are invited to attend!
On Sunday, July 23, 2023, at the end of the Divine Liturgy, we had the annual Blessing of Chariots (cars, trucks, bikes, etc). The blessing was served by Archpriests Joseph Oleynik and 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!
On Sunday, July 9, 2023, we bid farewell to Matushka Dunia Hubiak, who is relocating to western Pennsylvania. Christ the Savior was founded by Protopresbyter Daniel Hubiak, of blessed repose, with Matushka Dunia by his side. Since that time, she has served and cared for the community which on this day expressed its love and appreciation for all that she has done and for the remarkable person that she has proven to be. We wish her Godspeed, every blessing in Christ and many more blessed years!
On Thursday, July 6, 2023 a group of parishioners attended a Delmarva Shorebirds at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium in Salisbury, MD. There was a special give-away of Maryland Pride (not LGBTQ) Hats to the first 1,000 fans through the gates. Though the Shorebirds lost the game but we all enjoyed the night out together!
On Sunday, July 2, 2023, after celebrating the Divine Liturgy in which we commemorated St. John of San Francisco 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 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, June 18, 2023, 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.
It was also the civil holiday of Father's Day. We ask the Lord's blessing upon all the fathers, god-fathers, spiritual fathers, and everyone else who celebrates on this Father's Day. Many blessed years to all!
On Saturday, June 17, 2023, parishioners met at Brittingham Farms in Millsboro, Delaware for the first annual Lavender and Lambs Festival. They enjoyed browsing various vendors of crafts and tasting local cuisine from food trucks, petting animals, feeding sheep, and picking lavender. They also were able to witness the docents of the Lewis Historical Society dyeing wool with cochineal beetles and indigo plants, cooking over a fire, and hand sewing.
On Sunday, June 4, 2023, 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 May 27, 2023 Kateri and Stephen Parrish were united in Holy Matrimony at St. Andrew's Orthodox Church in Lewes, Delaware. Fr. John Parsells presided at the ceremony, which was followed by a reception at the Hopkins Heartland. May the Lord bless Kateri and Stephen with health, strength, salvation, furtherance in every good thing, and many blessed years!
For the past seventeen years, Christ the Savior has been collecting remnants of the candles that have been offered during worship services and storing them with the hope that at some point, we might be able to locally recycle these candle stubs to be used again by the faithful as they offer their prayers to God. One of our parishioners, Justin Barkewich, has offered his time and talents, learning the art of candle making, and providing this important ministry to the parish. It is Justin's hope that this labor of love will help renew the prayers, wishes, and memories of those who originally lit these candles over the years past.
Each summer parishioners and friends of Christ the Savior take advantage of being so close to the beach by gathering together on Assateague Island and Ocean City following the Sunday events at the church. This year the following Sundays have been designated as Parish Beach Days: June 18, July 9, July 30, August 20, and September 10. Everyone is invited to come and enjoy the fellowship and good times!
On Sunday, May 21, 2023, after the Divine Liturgy, 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 Ana Anderson and Alexander Parsells.
On Sunday, May 14, 2023, Fr. John gave a special presentation to the combined church school classes on the Proskomedia, which is the first part of the Divine Liturgy, served by the priest before the faithful arrive at church. In the Proskomedia (from the Greek προσκομιδή, “offering”), the priest prepares the Lamb (the bread) and the wine to be consecrated for Holy Communion, commemorates the Theotokos and the ranks of Saints, and remembers the living and the departed. The class covered the liturgical items used such as the chalice, the diskos, the spear and spoon, as well as the prayers and rites of the service.
On Sunday, May 7, 2023 parishioners and friends gathered after Divine Liturgy at Showell Park in Berlin for a day of recreation. Those who attended, enjoyed continued fellowship as well as kickball, tennis, soccer, and other fun activities. Glory to God for a beautiful day!
On Sunday, May 7, 2023, Fr. John gave a special presentation to the combined church school classes on Orthodox liturgical vestments, covering their history, usage, and meaning. Many thanks to those who volunteered to assist with the presentation, including Dominic Morsey, Max Morsey, and Iona Klimitchev.
On Saturday, May 6, 2023, the ladies of the Finer Things Club met at the Howard County Fairgrounds for the 50th annual Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. They enjoyed fellowship, food, and the various animals, crafts, and demonstrations that the festival had to offer. The Finer Things Club meets at the church on the first Saturday of every month for cake, tea, and crafting. All are welcome!
We resume our Bible Study on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 with a new topic: The Resurrection. Themes covered will include Old Testament prophecies, New Testament accounts, Death before and after Christ, Paradise/Hades vs. Heaven/Hell, the Soul After Death, the General Resurrection and more. All are invited to attend!
On Thomas Sunday, April 23, 2023, the children of the parish played basketball with Fr. John, the church school teachers, and some of the parishioners in the church parking lot. The weather was beautiful and everyone had a marvelous time. Glory to God for a great day!
On Thomas Sunday, April 23, 2023, 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 Bright Friday, April 21, parishioners and friends gathered at the DeArmitt's home for a Paschal Party. Great food, games, swimming, lively discussion, and a spirit of togetherness and joy in festive celebration of Pascha was enjoyed by all. We give glory to God Almighty and many thanks to Justin and Alexis for opening their home to everyone and punctuating our Bright Week fellowship with a splendid party!
During the daily services of Great Lent the Church doubles the readings from the Psalter (Book of Psalms). As our parish was not able to offer all of these services, a group of women, organized by Rachael Howard, divided the Psalter into sections so that it could be read together each day. On Bright Thursday, the Women's Psalter Group met at Beth Dunbar's house for dinner, fellowship, and to discuss their experience of reading the Psalter together. Many thanks to all who participated in the group and glory to God for all things!
On Sunday, April 16, 2023, 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 150 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!"
From April 9-15, 2023, the faithful gathered at Christ the Savior to celebrate the solemn liturgical services of Great and Holy Week, which commemorate the Lord's voluntary Passion, Cross, Death and Burial.
On Great and Holy Wednesday, April 12, 2023, 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.
On Palm Sunday, April 9, 2023 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 occasion. Following the beautiful divine services, a traditional fish meal was offered for all present. Glory be to God for all things!
On Lazarus Saturday, April 8, 2023, we welcomed Pax Daniel Garcia into the Orthodox Church through Holy Baptism and Chrismation. We congratulate him, his family, his friends, and all who attended this special event. May the Lord grant the newly-illumined servant of God, Pax Daniel, health, strength, salvation, a furtherance in every good thing and many blessed years!
On Sunday, April 2, 2023, parishioners installed new landscaping at the church's entrance on Carey Road. This project was headed by Taylor Applegarth, who designed the installation and led the implementation. Sincere appreciation is expressed to all who labored and donated to beauty our parish's entrance. May the Lord bless them all for their good work!
On Sunday, March 26, 2023 as we celebrated the leave-taking of Annunciation, parishioners and friends took part in a Cornhole Tournament during the fellowship hour after Divine Liturgy. The 16 teams with 32 total players competed in a March Madness-styled, bracketed tournament which resulted in a good time had by all. We thank the Lord for a beautiful day and all the participants as well as those who put on the event. Glory to God for all things!
On Sunday, March 26, 2023 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!
As we celebrate the Annunciation and in honor of March Madness, we will have a Cornhole Tournament following the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, March 26. Teams of two will compete in the bracket-style tournament with a trophy being bestowed upon the winning team. If you would like to enter the tournament, please sign-up at the usher stand in the back of the church or submit your team(s) on our website.
On Sunday, March 12, 2023 with the blessing of our diocesan hierarch, Metropolitan Tikhon, the 2023 Parish Council members were installed into office. During the first meeting of the 2023 Council, Cheryl Kokkinos was elected Junior Warden and Vera Yevsukov was elected Secretary. May the Lord bless them all!
On March 5, 2023 His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon celebrated the Sunday of Orthodoxy at Christ the Savior, where he blessed the newly fashioned and installed mosaics at the parish entrance. At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, Mirona Bendfeldt was presented a gramota in recognition of her leading a team of parishioners, including Mat. Emily Parsells and Rachael Howard, in the design and fashioning of the mosaics which adorn the side walls of the archway and the front of the parish center.
His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon will be making an archpastoral visit to Christ the Savior on the weekend of March 4-5, 2023 to celebrate the Sunday of Orthodoxy and bless the new mosaic installation at our entrance on Carey Road. The schedule of services will be as normal, with Great Vespers on Saturday at 6:00pm and Divine Liturgy on Sunday at 9:00am. At the conclusion of the Liturgy, there will be a procession with icons from the chapel to the archway for the blessing of the new mosaics and the rites commemorating the Triumph of Orthodoxy.
During the first week of Great Lent the faithful gather for the reading of the Great Canon of Repentance, written by St. Andrew of Crete in the 8th century. In this canon, St. Andrew wonderfully weaves our own personal story of sinfulness and restoration in Christ with the accounts of the sinful and righteous of the Old and New Testaments, giving us greater awareness of not only the history of salvation for the people of God, but also greater insight into how we must participate in the writing of our own personal salvation history.
On Sunday, February 26, 2023, 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 Tuesday, February 21, 2023 after more than a year of preparation, the mosaics fashioned for the archway at the Carey Road entrance to Christ the Savior were installed. The icon of Christ was made by artisans in the workshop of St. Elizabeth's Convent in Belarus, Minsk, and the 10 Christian symbols were formed by our own parish mosaic team, led by Mirona Bendfeldt and including Rachael Howard and Mat. Emily Parsells. The work was part of Project Illumination, which was dedicated to the memory of Protopresbyter Daniel Hubiak, who founded the church in 2000. It is our prayer that these beautiful mosaics now adorning our entryway serve to invite and inspire everyone who sees them to come to Christ the Savior where they can by the grace of God experience His Kingdom here in Berlin, Maryland.
On Sunday, February 19, 2023 we had our first annual Chili Cook-off in lieu of the coffee hour following the Divine Liturgy. The cook-off was sponsored by the church school, whose coordinator, Anne Rowe, was instrumental in this initiative. Meat-fare Sunday was selected for the chili cook-off because this is the last day that Orthodox Christians partake of meat until Holy Pascha (this year, Sunday, April 16). We express our gratitude to Anne Rowe, the nine contestants, the church school teachers, children, and parents, as well as all who helped to plan and participated in this special event. We congratulate the winners, who received prizes for their tasty chili dishes. Glory to God for all things!
On Sunday, February 19, 2023 there was a short presentation at the end of the Divine Liturgy by the Mosaic Team, headed by Mirona Bendfeldt and including Rachael Howard and Mat. Emily. During the presentation everyone had a chance to view the 10 mosaics fashioned by the team – all of which are Christian symbols which will adorn the walls of our entrance way on Carey Road. Additionally, the large mosaic of the Icon Not-made-by-hands, prepared by St. Elizabeth’s Convent in Minsk, Belarus, was on display before later being installed in the archway in the near future. This was an opportunity to see these beautiful mosaics in advance of their installation and to hear from the Mosaic Team, who has worked diligently for more than a year, dedicating their time, talent, and other resources to this important work, in memory of our parish’s beloved founder, Protopresbyter Daniel Hubiak, and to the glory of God!
On Meat-fare Sunday, February 19, 2023, the parish welcomed a number of visitors, including Archpriest Timothy Hojnicki, who delivered a very fine sermon on the Last Judgment and concelebrated with Archpriests Joseph Oleynik and John Parsells. Following, the Divine Liturgy there was a presentation about the newly fashioned mosaics which are to be installed at the parish entrance on Carey Road. Afterwards everyone gathered for the first annual Chili cook-off, sponsored by the church school.
On Tuesday, February 7, 2023 there was a gathering of the Women’s Group at The Irish Penny in Salisbury, MD. It was also a celebration of Marian’s birthday and a little February doldrums “pick-me-up”. All ladies in the parish and friends (18+) are welcome to the Women's Group events! Please see Pat McAlpin for more info.
The church school children will be sponsoring a Chili Cook-off on Sunday, February 19 in lieu of the coffee hour. The top three chilies get a prize – anyone can enter a chili and everyone gets a vote! The event coincides with Meat-Fare Sunday, the last day to eat meat before Pascha. Come and cook/compete or just eat – everyone is welcome! To enter a chili dish into the competition, please fill out the form on our website or contact Anne Rowe, our church school coordinator, with any questions.
We resume our Bible Study this Wednesday, February 8, 2023 with a new topic: Christ in the Psalms. The class will be led by Fr. James Parsells from Ss. Peter & Paul in Manville, NJ, who will take us through a number of the Psalms with important messianic prophecies and Christological significance as we journey to Pascha. All are invited to attend!
On Thursday, February 2, 2023 we celebrated the Great Feast of the Meeting of Our Lord in the Temple, which commemorates the Lord’s presentation into His Temple 40 days after His birth in the flesh. This feast concludes the Nativity season. This feast is also called Candlemas as we bless candles on this day.
On Sunday, January 29, 2023, 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!
We will have our Annual Parish Meeting this Sunday, January 29, 2023, following the Divine Liturgy, and everyone is asked to please be present for this special event. Pizza will be provided in lieu of the coffee hour. We are asking that people so inclined bring drinks and snacks to share. Questions regarding food/drinks, please see Barbara Kaloroumakis. There will be no church school but a movie will be shown for the children in the parish hall. The draft minutes of last year’s annual meeting were distributed in early 2022 and are available online for your review in advance:
On Saturday, January 21, 2023, His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon presided at the celebration of the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at St Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral in Washington, DC. The Archdiocesan clergy and faithful gathered in honor of His Beatitude who will mark the tenth anniversary of his primatial enthronement on Friday, January 27.
On Friday, January 20, 2023, parishioners from Christ the Savior joined other Orthodox Christians and countless people who gathered for the March For Life in Washington, DC. The march is a pro-life rally protesting abortion, held in the nation's capital near the anniversary of the infamous decision in the United States Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, which was thankfully overturned in 2022.
On Sunday, January 8, 2023, Archpriest Joseph Oleynik blessed the rectory in the Parish Center. Following the service for the annual blessing of a home, there was an open house in the rectory. Appreciation is expressed to Fr. Joseph as well as all who attended, prayed, prepared food, and shared in fellowship.
On Saturday, January 7, 2023, faithful from Christ the Savior joined St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Ocean City, MD, for the annual blessing of the Atlantic Ocean. The services were led by His Grace, Bishop Apostolos of Medeia of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Many thanks to Fr. Christopher Xanthos and the community of St. George for hosting this wonderful event to the glory of God!
On Sunday, January 1, 2023, we kept the custom of St. Basil's Bread (The Vasilopeta). This year the St. Basil's coins were received by Ana Anderson, Ginny Borodulia, John Isaac Davidson and Ludmila Yevsukov; the other coins were received by Nissa Nancy Hall and Daria Parsells. May the Lord grant them many blessed years!