Building Our New Church
We have spent several years working to obtain approval from the City
of Phoenix to build our proposed church and in the process we have
faced many unexpected challenges, but with God’s help we persevere
and are getting close to obtaining approval.
The staff from Franklin Architects Company in Glendale Arizona has
designed for us a beautiful structure that reflects the traditional
styles of Byzantine architecture from Macedonia.
The interior design of the building will be true to the teachings
of our Faith. To better understand and appreciate that aspect, one
must understand the functions it provides to the ones who are using
Our church will consist of three parts: Narthex, Nave, and Sanctuary.
The entrance of the church is the Narthex. This is where the Orthodox
Christian prepares for worship by making offerings and lighting candles
as a symbol of prayer and confessing that Jesus Christ is the Light
of the world.
The Nave is the area where the parishioners participate in the services.
The arched ceiling is symbolic of the truth that God is eternal. It
serves to bring a little of heaven down to earth. The design, as well
as, the traditional adornment of the interior of our church is based
on this concept. Our church will include a dome in which there will
be a large icon of Jesus Christ the Pantocrator (Lord of All). Unlike
the pointed arches which point to God far up in the heavens, the dome
gives the impression that in the Kingdom of God, and in the Church,
Christ "unites all things in himself, things in heaven and things
on earth," (Ephesians 1:10) As our eyes descend from the ceiling
we see on each side Saints of the Church which remind us that when
we worship, we do so in the Community of the Saints.
Separating the Sanctuary (Holy Altar) from the Nave is the Iconostas
(icon Screen) which symbolized the curtain in the Temple in Jerusalem
that separated the people from the Holy of Holies. Between the Iconostas
and the parishioners is an area called the Solea. It is an open area
(sometimes slightly elevated above the floor of the Nave) where baptisms,
weddings and other sacraments are performed. The holiest place in
the church is located behind the iconostas. Through the Royal Entrance
one will see the Holy Altar Table. It represents the Heavenly Banquet
Table in the Kingdom of God. Above the Holy Altar the icon of the
Mother of God will be located in the Apse (half dome). This icon of
the Virgin Mary with her arms outstretched and Christ appearing within
her is called the "Platytera." The Virgin Mary is the example
for the entire assembly of believers who choose to live Christ-centered
The construction of a proper sanctuary for our Liturgical Services
is essential for our spiritual growth. We are committed to using our
time, talents and treasures to reach this ultimate goal which will
truly glorify God. We are given strength by the words of St. Paul
who said, "...stand firm and hold to the traditions which you
were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter" (2 Thessalonians