Building New Walls for the Kingdom of God
St. Athanasius Orthodox Church is ready to build its dream—to construct new walls to manifest the Kingdom of God. After years of planning, now is the time to take the first step in creating a beautiful church to meet the needs of our parish family and to expand our work in the community.
Decades ago, we made a commitment to pursue the fullness of the church to lead us into the bosom of the Holy Orthodox faith. In pursuit of our goals, we moved to the old Logos Bookstore in downtown Isla Vista in 1973, which remained the core of our community life for almost 40 years.
However, we had become increasingly aware of the physical limitations, structural deficiencies, and accessibility of that space and our need to extend the capacity to serve our church and the Santa Barbara community. While most parishioners lived in or near Isla Vista in the 1970s, today's parishioners live throughout Goleta and Santa Barbara. Therefore, the location in Isla Vista, near the UCSB campus, made it difficult for church members to attend worship services and other functions because of limited seating and parking. In addition, there was traffic congestion on all streets leading to the church - especially when the university is in session. We were unable to expand our church membership and strong work in the community with these restrictions.
Furthermore, our goal has always been to develop and build relationships within the congregation and our community including local ministries, fellowship groups and outreach. All are essential to our purpose and growth.
In order to grow, we needed to move from the small area of Isla Vista. The new church will be located between Ward Memorial Highway and Patterson Avenue in Goleta/Santa Barbara. This central location will be more accessible for parishioners to attend services and church events and enable us to better fulfill our mission of caring for people and helping them grow in all aspects of life.
Our $6,700,000 capital campaign will allow us to prepare for the future while maintaining our Holy Orthodox faith rooted from the past. We will build for the generations to come after us who will be baptized, married and worship in this holy space.
The church will be the heart of the congregation as the "arms of the parish" branch out to the community to continue our success in helping change and save lives. Our parish clergy have worked together to build strong relationships with other Orthodox and neighboring non-Orthodox Christian leaders in the area of mutual concern and outreach programs serving the poor, the hungry, and all those in need of prayer, support and advocacy.