SOTAYA Soup & Pogaca Deliveries - 04/18/2021
Despite the pandemic, we continue to find creative ways to keep our youth involved while maintaining social distancing and following government protocols.
Our current President, Maddie Vorkapich has been instrumental in leading the way with this philosophy. She’s kept our youth engaged in reaching out to our elderly and shut-ins to let them know that they are not forgotten. She led our organization through a Valentines Day project where Valentines were delivered to shut ins, and today a spring/Pascha project that involved delivery of pogachas and posno bean soup.
The package included fresh fruit and SOTAYA peanut butter eggs, and posno bean soup.
Congrats to our youth on a job well done! Our delivery team consisted of Maddie, Matthew, and Marijana (mmm....)
2021 Sunday of Orthodoxy - 03/21/2021
Sunday Of Orthodoxy
Visit of His Grace, our Bishop and Father, IRINEJ
Steelton, PA, March 21, 2021—
The faithful of St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Steelton, PA greeted Vladika IRINEJ on a bright spring morning for the first Sunday of Lent, the Triumph of Orthodoxy.
The Matins Service began at 9:00am, encouraging all in their preparation for the Holy Liturgy. His Grace led the choir into the singing of the Great Doxology. A fullness of clergy, singers and faithful came together to celebrate this holy day after a week of prayerful services and fasting, eagerly awaiting the Holy Body and Precious Blood of our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Joining Father Christopher Rocknage (parish rector), Protodeacon Milos Zdralic (Episcopal deacon) and Deacon Bojan Gligorevic (parish deacon) was Protopresbyter Stavrophor Ilija Balach (Popadija Andreja’s father), who recently moved to the area in his retirement with Protinica Carole Balach.
His Grace presided at the Liturgy of St. Basil—the liturgy offered on all the Sundays of Great Lent. After the Gospel reading from the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John, Bishop IRINEJ delivered a powerful homily encouraging the faithful to unite themselves to Christ during this holy season of prayer. He explained that each of the Sundays of Lent would provide more instruction on how to increase our relationship with Christ. This relationship, He described, was a personal relationship made possible in the community of all. He offered that this first Sunday, as we celebrated the continual procession of the restoration of icons in the Church, enabled us to be brought visually into the Kingdom of Heaven through the holy icons. For the first time in the history of the St. Nicholas Church, the new icons adorning the walls of the temple were used as examples to illustrate the Sunday of Orthodoxy homily. His Grace instructed the faithful on how some of the beautiful techniques used in the icons (by the hand of Borislav Zivkovic) shift our perspective from the earthly to the heavenly. Many of the faithful were greatly moved by the words of His Grace.
A small choir of 5 singers, conducted by Nina Radanovic, led the faithful in singing the responses. Afterward, His Grace remarked, “Though small in number, they sang like a full choir!”
The first week of Lent provided many opportunities for the faithful to prepare themselves for the Holy Eucharist. Thus, almost all of those present came to receive the Body and Blood of Christ.
The Triumph of Orthodoxy celebration continued with a joyful procession of icons around the Church as the faithful sang the Troparion of the First Sunday:
“We venerate Your most pure Image, O Good One, and ask forgiveness of our transgressions, O Christ our God. Of Your Good Will, You were pleased to ascend the Cross in the flesh, delivering Your creatures from bondage to the enemy. Therefore, with thankfulness, we cry aloud to You: “You have filled all with joy, O our Savior, for You have come to save the world.”
The procession concluded with His Grace leading the faithful in the reciting of the Synodikon of Orthodoxy and the Holy Creed.
The faithful of St. Nicholas were overjoyed with His Grace’s visit. Some even remarked that “it begins to feel like we are coming to the end of this pandemic tunnel.” May God provide for the end of this pandemic, heal those afflicted, and comfort those grieving the loss of family and friends.
We give thanks to God for His Grace and His pastoral and paternal love for us. May God continue to bless His Grace with an ever-deepening awareness of Christ’s Love for Him, that He may continue to do good works in this Diocese of Eastern America, glorifying our Heavenly Father.
2017 St. Nicholas Day - 12/19/2017
This year, for the Feast of St. Nicholas, His Grace, Bishop IRINEJ once again increased our joy by visiting our community.
The festivities began with the Church School St. Nicholas Project, which included our children offering their time and talents as they mounted icons in order to sell in support of Princess Katherine’s LIFELINE charity. Lifeline is an organization dedicated to easing the suffering of the orphaned children of the recent wars in the lands of former Jugoslavija.
The children also cleaned and helped to prepare the Church for His Grace’s arrival the next day.
On Sunday morning, His Grace led the Holy Liturgy at St. Nicholas. After the Liturgy, the American Serbian Club hosted a free will luncheon in support of the parish. Later that evening, Fr. Christopher and family hosted His Grace and Protodeacon Milos Zdraljic at the parish house for dinner.
The Eve of St. Nicholas offered an intimate opportunity for the parish to get to know our bishop, as His Grace answered questions from those in attendance prior to the Vespers Service. His Grace was magnanimous in both his time and his responses, enabling those in attendance to both ask questions pertaining to the faith, and air any grievances. This provided a refreshing air of openness to begin the festal celebration.
The Feast of St. Nicholas itself was a beautiful, engaging and inspiring event that found its climax in the Holy Liturgy. Leading the celebration was His Grace, our Bishop IRINEJ, accompanied by Fr. Timothy Hojnicki of Holy Apostles in Mechanicsburg, Fr. Dan Ressetar of Christ the Savior, Fr. Borjan Vitanov of Holy Resurrection in Lebanon and Fr. Christopher. Fr. Steven Vernak was in attendance as well, although not serving. During the liturgy, His Grace, Bishop IRINEJ of Eastern America ordained the Reader Bojan Gligorevic to the Holy Diaconate. Thus, for the first time in its 114 year history, our St. Nicholas parish has a deacon to serve at God’s Holy altar.
Throughout the ordination, our Bishop explained the beauty and purpose of each action from the laying on of hands, to the vesting of the newly ordained Fr. Dn. Bojan. The congregation all shouted resoundingly “AXIOS! DOSTOJAN! WORTHY!” confirming the worth of Fr. Bojan and his family.
Fr. Bojan and his family continuously and selflessly have offered themselves to God in support of our parish. He is exemplary as a father and a Christian, just as Djakonissa Sladjana is exemplary as a mother and a Christian. During the next few years, Fr. Bojan will study the Holy Orthodox Faith in practicum and theology, growing in his ministry as a deacon of Christ’s Holy Church.
At the end of the Liturgy, His Grace cut the Slava Kolach for our parish, while the accompanying clergy cut the kolaches of the faithful who were present and celebrating their slavas. After the services, all were invited to a luncheon in Fr. Dn. Bojan’s honor, where the parish offered him his first set of vestments.
May Father Deacon Bojan’s service be long, fruitful and blessed, guided by the Holy Apostle and Protomartyr Stephen, the first Deacon. May his family be blessed, and may they always find joy in Christ’s Holy Church!
2017 Serb Fest - 09/16/2017
Our annual Serb Fest once again provided an opportunity to reach out to our community and offer a taste of our culture, life and love. This year, a portion of the proceeds of our Serb Fest went to the Hurricane Relief efforts of the IOCC after the tragic storms in Texas, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Florida. This was a change from the original decision, after most people chose to change their vote due to the storms’ devastation.
Over 750 people came to our festival this year. God-willing, next year, we can bring over 1000! New this year, was the bounce house in the St. Nick’s Kid Zone, enjoyed by all our children throughout the afternoon.
Thanks to all those who helped out in setting up, cooking, baking, working and cleaning up in order to make our festival such a resounding success. Special thanks to Popadija Andreja and the Serb Fest Committee for all of their hard work in organizing this event!
Be sure to save the date for next year: the third Saturday in September 2018!
2017 SNF Lodge Slava - 06/25/2017
On Sunday, June 25th, the local lodge celebrated its Slava, the Great Martyr Lazar and all the Martyrs of Kosovo after the Liturgy. The Lodge offered a luncheon in celebration of this momentous day, as well as a beautiful opportunity: a butterfly release.
Butterflies, as many know, are integral to the areas ecosystem in pollination of local flowers. The faithful had the opportunity to purchase butterflies in memory, or for the health of loved ones, and release them after liturgy. It was a beautiful and memorable occasion. God-willing, this will become an annual tradition!
2017 Sunday School Knoebel's Trip - 06/16/2017
Once again, our Sunday School families, children and parents enjoyed a fun filled day at the end of our school year. This year the trip was to Knoebel's. Both kids and adults enjoyed the rides and the day.
2017 Spring Concert & SOTAYA Slava - 06/02/2017
The evening of June 2nd was our annual Spring concert which was the culmination of all the hard work of our St. Nicholas Tammies, St. Sava Youth Choir, and Kolo Ensemble Vojvodina. It was a program filled with wonderful singing and dancing, as well as tambura music.
The next day, on the feast of Pentecost, our SOTAYA group also celebrated their slava. This year's kumovi, as is tradition, were our two seniors.
2017 Church School Lenten Luncheon - 04/02/2017
On April 2nd, 2017 the St. Nicholas Church School hosted a free will luncheon, in which all proceeds were donated to our Serbian church in Recife, Brazil to help support their mission parish and outreach there. With the hardwork of our youth and the generosity of our parish we were able to raise over $3,000
Hawaii Iveron Icon Visits Harrisburg - 06/17/2017
On Saturday, June 17th the Miraculous, Myrrh-streaming Iveron Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos from Honolulu, Hawaii once again visited Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church (Harrisburg, PA), and was greeted by the faithful clergy and laity from the greater Harrisburg Orthodox Churches. Following Vespers & Litya for the feast of All Saint of N. America, all in attendance came forward to venerate the Holy Icon and receive anointing from the precious Myrrh that flows from Her.
In an age of cold and unbelieving hearts, our Lord has offered us His Mother to help melt away our skepticism and our fear, with the knowledge that we do not face our struggles alone - truly God is with us! Many of the faithful stayed until the very end, when the Icons guardian, Subdeacon Nectary, opened the wooden case and allowed us to see how, indeed, precious and sweet-smelling myrrh was covering the Holy Icon, and that cotton balls placed below the icon were saturated with it.
To learn more, please visit: http://www.orthodoxhawaii.org/
2017 St. Sava Day - 01/29/2017
The children of our parish, along with all faithful, celebrated St. Sava on January 29th with the blessing of the slavski kolach and koljivo in his honor; followed by a program after Divine Liturgy. This year's kumovi were Tomislav Lojpur, Nikola Lukic, and Kyranna Radanovic.
2017 Pan-Orthodox Blessing of the Susquehanna - 01/22/2017
The 9th Annual Pan-Orthodox Great Blessing of the Waters of the Susquehanna River was held on January 22nd. It was a cold, dreary and drizzly day, but that did not stop our Youth Group and many Orthodox faithful from attending the event.
2016 St. Nicholas Day Weekend - 12/17/2016
The celebration of our Holy Patron, St. Nicholas the Wonderworker of Myra and Lycea, was filled with a depth, fullness and joy this year rarely seen here in Oberlin-Steelton due to the first Archpastoral visit of His Grace, Bishop IRINEJ.
The weekend festivities began with our annual St. Nicholas Day Church School Cookie Project. Unfortunately, the weather was challenging. Even still, fifteen of our children braved the cold, sleet and freezing rain to join in the festive baking and the planting of the “psenica” or wheat. That evening, our children joined in singing the Great Vespers service in preparation for the Sunday Liturgy.
His Grace joined us for the Vespers service, safely arriving in His journey from New York. After Vespers, the Anastasija Gligorevic, Sophia Mummert and Nikola Lukic greeted the bishop with traditional flowers, bread and salt. The bread and salt hearken back to a time when hospitality law meant that anyone who partook of something under your roof is under your protection until they leave. We offer this gift to our Bishop when he visits, to remind both us and he that we will care for him during his stay.
After the Vespers, His Grace joined the Parish Council to dine at Father Christopher and Popadija Andreja’s house. This provided a wonderful opportunity for our Council to get to know our new Bishop on a more personal level as they shared a meal together, without many distractions. During this time, the Junior SOTAYA group offered babysitting services to the parish so they could complete their Christmas shopping prior to the Feast of the Nativity.
The next morning, His Grace, IRINEJ, presided at the Holy Liturgy for the first time as our Archpastor and Bishop. Prior to the beginning of the Liturgy, His Grace tonsured three new readers to serve in our parish: Bojan Gligorevic, Stefan Gligorevic, and Nikola Lukic. In the Holy Orders, the Reader is the first order of the Priesthood, as we all were reminded by His Grace. The function of the reader is to serve at the altar and to read and chant the services and Holy Scripture Readings.
At the conclusion of the Liturgy, His Grace honored four of our parishioners with special citations for their years of service to the community. The Episcopal Citations, or Grammata, were given to
1) Reader Nicholas Govelovich, for his dedication to serving at Christ’s Holy Altar, and his constant support and stewardship of our St. Nicholas Parish in the many ways in which he offers his Time, Talents and Treasure.
2) Sam and Peggy Radanovic, for their tireless and faithful service to the community in so many ways, but especially in the operation and maintenance of Serb Park, from which they retired after this summer’s season.
4)Patty (Petra) Hernjak, for her constant advocacy on behalf of our community in media relations, her dedication to the SSS Josif Marinkovich both as past president, current VP and singer, and exemplary stewardship.
Once these dedicated stewards received their awards, His Grace broke his fast with us in a beautiful meal provided by our Serbian American Club members hosting Fellowship this month of December.
During the meal, President John Semic presented His Grace with a check from the St. Nicholas community for just under $9,000 to help with the rebuilding of the St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in New York City. This amount represented half of the profits from our Serb Fest in September 2016.
PAN-ORTHODOX VESPERS AND BENEFIT CONCERT
Sunday Evening, His Grace led the Pan-Orthodox Faithful of South Central PA in the Vespers for the Feast of St. Nicholas. Numerous clergy and parishioners of the various area churches were in attendance. The responses were led by the harmonious sounds of our Pan-Orthodox Adult and Youth Choirs under the direction of Fr. Mark Sahady and Nina Radanovic.
His Grace reminded the faithful of their continuous commitment to the International Orthodox Christian Charities and the Orthodox Christian Missions Center, the purpose of the gathering. Over $130,000 has been given to both organizations throughout the past 16 years, due to this annual gathering.
Bishop IRINEJ spoke of the benefits of the sacrificial love offered by both organizations—the one to provide for physical needs, the other for spiritual. The faithful were reminded that both are necessary for salvation, as we are both physical and spiritual creations of God.
His Grace presented both organizations with His Episcopal Gramaton, marking and recognizing them for the work they do in Christ’s Name throughout the world.
Then, the Pan-Orthodox Youth Choir and Adult Choir presented a beautiful Christmas Concert filled with tidings of great joy—the Son of God becomes the Son of Mary the Virgin! Afterward, attendees walked away saying things such as, “What inspiration!” and “The children sang so beautifully—like the angelic hosts of God.” Those present continued the celebration with a light evening meal.
ST. NICHOLAS DAY
The morning of Nikoljdan brought a return of the winter freeze, as the temperatures dropped over 30 degrees overnight. This could not freeze out the warmth found in the hearts of the faithful coming to celebrate this miraculous and wonderworking saint, however.
His Grace presided at the Holy Liturgy in honor of St. Nicholas, leading four local priests (V. Rev. Fr. Daniel Ressetar, OCA retired, V. Rev. Fr. Timothy Hojnicki, Holy Apostles in Mechanicsburg, OCA, V. Rev. Fr. Steven Vernak, Christ the Saviour in Harrisburg, OCA, and V. Rev. Fr. Borjan Vitanov, Holy Resurrection in Lebanon, Serbian) and Fr. Christopher in the service.
During His homily, His Grace reminded us that ours is a living faith—an active faith. St. Nicholas gives us the penultimate example of how to live our love for Christ, both in caring for our neighbor, and responding to heresy against Christ and His Church.
Many parishioners came to the Liturgy in celebration of St. Nicholas; and most were prepared and received the Holy Eucharist. There is no better way to celebrate and honor our Slava—the anniversary of the date our families were baptized into Christ—than to receive Christ ourselves in His Holy Body and Precious Blood. With over 70 communicants, two chalices were necessary to commune the faithful—Glory to God!
His Grace blessed the Parish Slavski Kolach, after the liturgy, breaking it with Church Council President, John Semic. He also led the clergy in the blessing of 18 family kolachi, brought to the Church in honor of their patron, Nicholas the Saintly.
Following a light meal, His Grace left our community both uplifted and joyous, feeling the loving presence of our Lord, Jesus Christ in the pastoral love of our new hierarch. We give thanks to God for His Grace, Bishop IRINEJ! May God grant Him many blessed years!
2016 St. Matthew's Culture Fest - 10/02/2016
Our St. Nicholas Tammies, Kolo Ensemble Vojvodina, and St. Sava Youth Choir performed at St. Matthew Orthodox church's Multi-Cultural Fest in Colombia,MD on October 2nd
Serb Fest 2016 - 09/24/2016
Each year Serb Fest is an enjoyable day for everyone, and this year was no exception. The great tasting food, phenomenal pastries, live entertainment and wonderful weather made for a great day. The addition of the dance in the evening capped off the festivities with many people still dancing kolos late into the night!
Serb 3-Day 100th Anniversary - 07/15/2016
The weekend of July 15th, 2016 was a busy and fun filled one for our SOTAYA groups - Kolo Ensemble Vojvodina and the St. Nicholas Tammies were honored to perform for the 100th Anniversary of the SNF Serb 3-Day celebration in Pittsburgh, PA. The weekend started with a bus ride, followed by a boat, a fun-filled day at Kennywood where all groups performed, and concluded with liturgy at Fr. Stevo Rocknage's parish on Sunday and the survivor's picnic that afternoon
Spring Concert - 06/11/2016
The SOTAYA Spring Concert is always a great event and this year's was no exception. With performances by all groups - St. Nicholas Tammies, Kolo Club Vojvodina, and the St. Sava Youth Choirs - it was a memorable evening from first performances by our beginning tamburasi and "last" performances by our graduation seniors. Orchestra Bezimeni provided musical entertainment for people to dance to following the concert.
Church Picnic - 06/05/2016
Although we had to move the picnic inside to the social hall at the last minute due to predict weather. It was a great time. We had a visit from some animals from Zoo America and were able to dance to Orchestra Pobeda for the first time. The day was a great success enjoyed not only by those in attendance but by those volunteering as well.
Lenten Service Project - 05/15/2016
Due to scheduling conflicts our Youth Group's Lenten Service project had to be moved until after Pascha, but it did not diminish the effect. On Sunday, May 15th our youth group helped make cookies, chop onions, make hummus, and various other tasks to help out Agia Sophia, the only faith based coffee house in the Harrisburg area.
Our Lord's Pascha - 05/01/2016
The faithful gathered early on Sunday morning to celebrate Great & Holy Pascha, starting with Nocturn and flowing straight into Matins and then Divine Liturgy. It was a wonderfully uplifting and joyous service!
2016 Sveti Sava Program - 01/31/2016
Our children once again put on a beautiful performance for our Sveti Sava program on January 31, 2016. Full of recitations, songs, dances and a short play by our youngest students. Our four seniors - Bojan Lazarevic, Nikolina Nonkovic, Kristina Caricato, and Riley Vojasinovich were kumovi for the day.
Feast of St. Nicholas 2015 - 12/19/2015
The faithful of St. Nicholas came together to celebrate their paron, St. Nicholas, on December 19th. Father Chris and Father Tim Hojnicki of Holy Apostles concelebrated the Divine Liturgy, after which they blessed 12 kolaches for those celebrating their familial patron saints.
OCCSCP Youth Choir at St. Nick's - 11/01/2015
On November 1st, St. Nick's hosted the OCCSCP Youth Choir for Divine Liturgy. The children sang responses for parts of the liturgy on their own and then joined in with the Marinkovich choir for the rest of the liturgy. Afterwards they enjoyed a fellowship meal before returning to their respective parishes.
Serb Fest 2015 - 10/17/2015
St. Nick's held it's fifth annual Serb Fest on October 17th. It was a great day and fun was had by all, both those who visited and those who volunteered. It was filled with live music, folklore and choral performances, church tours, kids games, and of course wonderfully delicious food and pastries!
Church Slava 2015 - 05/17/2015
A warm sun and a cool breeze greeted the faithful that came to celebrate the 112th Slava Celebration here at St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Oberlin-Steelton, PA on Sunday, May 17, 2015. The celebration began with the Holy Liturgy, offering the faithful an opportunity to be united to Christ by receiving His Holy Body & Blood. The festivities continued with the Slava Procession around the Church, blessing each side in cross-wise fashion.
This year, our honored kumovi were Ferris (Jake) & Jody Atty, who carried the Kolach (Slava Bread) and Koljevo (Wheat) during the procession. The Atty’s have been and continue to be valued Stewards of our St. Nicholas community, serving as integral members of many different ministry committees. After the Liturgy, Procession and Slava Service, the faithful gathered together for a Fellowship Banquet in the Church Hall to continue the feast.
We give thanks to God for our Kumovi, for Paula Werner, our Slava Chairperson, and for all of our Stewards! May God continue to bless His Church here in Oberlin-Steelton, through the prayers of our Holy Father Nicholas, the Wonderworker of Myra and Lycea!
Savin Dan 2015 - 01/25/2015
On January 25th the children of St. Nicholas celebrated St. Sava, the first ArchBishop of Serbia, with a slavski kolach during liturgy and St. Sava Program following. All church school children participated, whether as kumovi, with class presentations, folklore dancing, or recitations. This year the high school class took on the task of learning a play about the life of St. Sava with much success. It was a memorable program enjoyed by all.
Hierarchical Divine Liturgy & River Blessing - 01/18/2015
On Sunday, January 18th, 2015 the faithful of St. Nicholas welcomed His Grace, Bishop Mitrophan. The day began with a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with His Grace presiding. After church and a fellowship luncheon His Grace, Bishop Mitrophan, along with many stewards of St. Nicholas joined other Orthodox faithful from the area at City Island Park for the annual Pan-Orthodox Blessing of the Susquehanna. Among the people gathered were 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 Grace, Bishop Mitrophan 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.
Along with clicking below for the slideshow, click this link for a video of the River Blessing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4qBPLDE1mc&feature=youtu.be
2014 Family Picnic - 09/07/2014
St. Nicholas Stewards and their families gathered together for our first Family Picnic on September 7th. Divine Liturgy was celebrated in the pavillion giving all a closer look at how the Liturgy is conducted. Afterwards everyone enjoyed an afternoon of fellowship with food and fun games.
111th Church Slava Celebration - 05/18/2014
On May 18th, 2014 the congregation of St. Nicholas celebrated it Krsna Slava (Patronal Feast Day). The honored Kumovi were the Saran Family - Zeljko and Borka, and their daughters Tijana and Aleksandra.
The day was commemorated with a traditional Festal Procession during the Divine Liturgy around the Church with the cutting of the Slavski Kolach at the end of the procession. After Liturgy, all were welcomed to continue the celebration at the Slava Banquet. It was a wonderful day - Glory to God for the blessing of our Patron Saint, Nicholas the Wonderworker!
Pan-Orthodox Celebration of the Sunday of Orthodoxy - 03/08/2014
The Orthodox faithful of Central Pennsylvania gathered at St. Nicholas for vespers on Saturday, March 8th to celebrate the Triumph of Orthodoxy. This year's key note speaker was Fr. Demetrius Nicoloudakis, who serves St Matthew’s Parish (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese) in Blandon, PA.