Seven domes stretch into the sky at the newly constructed St. Andrew Orthodox Church in Riverside, welcoming parishioners and visitors alike.
“This church has been a long time dream of this parish and with God’s grace and mercy it’s come to pass,” Father Josiah Trenham said.
The 14th century Byzantine design celebrates Trenham’s love for St. Catherine’s Church in Thessalonica, Greece.
The impressive carved oak doors guard the entrance to the holy temple with Jesus and his mother Mary iconically depicted.
Bathed in soft candlelight, the chandelier-lit entryway acts as an area for personal reflection and worship, whereas the main area is reserved for corporate worship, said Trenham.
Mosaics and iconic paintings of Jesus, Saint Andrew and Mother Mary remind worshipers of the rich history of Orthodox faith.
Father Trenham said that the building itself symbolizes truths of Christianity. Precious stones glimmer throughout the structure to remind worshipers of the theological message that the Church is built upon The Rock: Jesus. The Church is wrapped in a band of stone, signifying the foundation of truth.
“The stone bears witness to our faithful and to all who visit that the life of faithfulness to Jesus Christ and his commandments, the life of sincere obedience, is the way to build our personal lives upon a rock foundation,” Trenham said.
“When the floods of judgment come we will not find ourselves washed away into the fires of judgment but will find ourselves standing firm and steadfast.” Trenham said that the church temple’s grandeur attempts to mirror the extravagant love of God.
“The extravagance of love is what has birthed this church and all classic Christian churches into existence,” Trenham said.
Just as Mary of Bethany broke her bottle of mirth at Jesus’ feet to worship him, so too has Trenham cast his dream of a magnificent temple at the Lord’s feet as an act of extravagant love.
“Post-modern man is in love with himself and with his pleasures. This is why we no longer live in communities in which the most precious and expensive buildings are church temples, but today, the most expensive are hospitals and medical facilities,” he said.
Trenham is determined that St. Andrews will be a landmark of faith, a house built for the glory of God.
He said, “[The Church] stands as a perpetual witness to the primacy of the worship of the Holy Trinity and the quest, no just for a few more years of biological life, but the quest for eternal life in God’s kingdom.”