“And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the Lord’s offering to the work of the tabernacle…”
In 1999 Saints Constantine and Helen Church felt the time was right to plan for a long-awaited new and glorious Orthodox Temple to be built on the existing property. Several initial drawings and revisions were done, but each leaving something to be desired: they just “weren’t right”. It was determined that we were going about the whole process wrong, prioritizing cost over vision, practicality ahead of theology, works (what man can do) above faith (what God can do). Frustrated, we did what should have been done at the beginning of the process: looked to the Scriptures with respect to how and what to build. In the book of Exodus (chapters 34-35) we discovered that:
Thus began a new chapter in our building plan. We scrapped our committee approach to architecture, and looked toward that which God has handed down to us in Holy Tradition. With a precedent set by the newly built St. Seraphim Church in Santa Rosa, we determined that a 12th century Byzantine architectural design would reflect who we were as Orthodox Christians in Colorado Springs—neither simply Greek, nor Russian, but truly Catholic (universal) in essence. Secondly, we determined that if we were to build at all, it had to be the “best” we could offer to God—this is not to say it would be the “best” the world could offer, but the best that we, as a people of God in this place, at this time, were sacrificially capable of offering. We would be driven not by our pocket books, giving God the “leftover”, but we must be driven by our vision of God and His Heavenly Kingdom as reflected in all aspects of our Holy Orthodox faith. It had to be costly, because God is costly; beautiful because God is beautiful, harmonious because God is harmonious, eternal because God is eternal, etc. We would build not just for ourselves, but for the generations to come after us who would be baptized, married, buried in this holy space. Finally, we trusted that God Himself would move the people toward such a project. We would not rely on our fundraising skills and “song and dance”, we pledged not to beg or cajole, but trusted in God to move the people’s hearts to give—and this He did! God raised up not only our own people to the challenge, but gave true sacrificial vision to our builder (Fred Fletemeyer, Inc.), the architectural firm (RTA inc.), People’s Bank (who took a leap of faith when no other institution would, due to the size of our project relative to parish membership) and even the city planning department of Colorado Springs (which granted numerous variances to the project).
We planted a Cross in the earth where the Holy Altar would stand on August 5th, 2001. On June 15th, 2002 our first official services were held in the Theophany temple.
Truly a number of miracles!
The iconostasis of our new temple was done by a master carver in Bulgaria, entirely from walnut. Encho Avromov is our resident iconographer, working in traditional egg-tempora to match the style of icons to the 12th century architecture. The “frescoes” on the walls of the temple are by another local iconographer and artist, Michael Greer, after the pattern and style of Dionysiou Monastery on Mt. Athos.