2023 Sunday of Orthodoxy
On March 5th, 2023, the Sunday of Orthodoxy took place at the St. George Serbian Orthodox Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. The 5 pm Lenten Service included 16 Orthodox Priests and Deacons from various Orthodox churches in Cincinnati and Dayton. Orthodox families and individuals of different nationalities packed the church and church hall for the Vesper Service. During the service, people held Icons in their hands that they brought from home. The atmosphere within the church was unforgettable, as Matushka Velislava Franta led the St. George Choir, and vibrant flowers placed by Elizabeth Thomas embellished the church. Beautiful Murals and Icons painted by Anya Gerasimchuk and volunteers left parishioners and visitors in awe of the church and church hall during the Lenten Service.
Following the Priest’s and Deacon’s Procession with Icons, Fr. Petar Petrovic of the St. George Serbian Orthodox Church introduced all of the Priests and Deacons to the visitors. The powerful Sermon was led by Fr. Steven Kostoff from Christ the Savior Holy Spirit Orthodox Church. Fr. Steven emphasized the importance of fasting, prayer, and forgiveness during the Great Lent. After the Sermon, Fr. Mark Emrol from Holy Trinity St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Cincinnati, greeted people with the Cross during the veneration of the decorated Icon of Sunday of Orthodoxy. Once visitors venerated the Icons, Fr. Petar Petrovic invited everyone to Church Hall for a Lenten dinner.
Succeeding the enlightening Sunday of Orthodoxy Lenten Service, the St. George Church Board led by President Mirko Sebez, the Kolo Srpskih Sestara, Mike Vukich, and many other sisters and volunteers from St. George Church prepared delicious lenten food. All of the sisters and volunteers worked hard to ensure there was enough food for everyone, and also prepared a large variety of dishes. Fr. Petar and President Mirko Sebez reserved a VIP table for all of the Priests and Deacons to make sure everyone felt welcome. It was a wonderful gathering and it was so nice to see the smiley and happy faces of all the Priests, Deacons, and visitors in the church hall. The Sunday of Orthodoxy is a beautiful celebration that always brings together members of the Orthodox Church community across the Greater Cincinnati and Dayton regions. Fr. Nabil Fino proposed that starting from the next Great Lent, there should be Vesper services every Sunday at a different Orthodox church, and not just for the celebration of the Sunday of Orthodoxy. Many Priests and visitors agreed with Fr. Nabil Fino’s proposition and are eager for more Vesper services across churches in the future.
Fr. Petar Petrovic, the Church Board, and the parish from St. George Serbian Orthodox Church would like to express their deepest gratitude to everyone who was able to attend the 2023 Sunday of Orthodoxy. A special thank you to the Priests and Deacons who participated in the Lenten Service: V. Rev. Steven, Deacon Jonathan, Deacon Paul, Rev. Fr. Mark Emroll, Fr. Daniel Marshall, Fr. Paul Akmolin, Fr. George Lardas, Deacon Aleksandar Petrovksy, Rev. Fr. Dumitru Rusu, Fr. Nabil A. Fino, Fr. Thaddeus Franta, Fr. Risto Tocinov, Rev. Gregory Ealy, Deacon David Abshear, and Fr. Anthony Cook.
Kristina Miljkovic, M.S.