“What’s your vision for Orthodoxy in Colorado Springs?”
“I would like to open an Orthodox coffee house and bookstore.”
Our guests’ from Kansas eyes grew big, “That’s exactly what we’ve dreamed of doing!”
Thus began “Agia Sophia”…
For years the vision of Ss. Constantine and Helen was to ever more fully develop an Orthodox Christian witness and presence in Colorado Springs. We long felt that if there were five cities in this country optimal for Orthodox witness, our city was certainly one of them. Colorado Springs is long known for its high percentage of various ministries and Protestant churches, yet for all of “Christendom” present in town, many of us at Ss. Constantine and Helen were painfully acquainted with friends, co-workers, and neighbors who were all but “post-churched” in their Protestant experience. Our acquaintances had not given up faith in God, but nonetheless had grown cynical, disillusioned, even despondent when it came to “church”—many members of Ss. Constantine and Helen having “been there” prior to discovering Orthodoxy. What could we do to enable persons to discover, and come to trust, the riches, depths, and fullness of the Orthodox Church life?
Complimenting the building of Holy Theophany temple, we desired Orthodox Christianity to be available to the person “on the street”. We envisioned a warm, inviting, comfortable, non-threatening yet definitively “Orthodox”, space. We wanted people to spend time therein; reading, conversing, discovering, and perusing the books. Months were spent finding the perfect location, remodeling the interior, ordering books and equipment, hiring qualified staff. If we were to do it at all, it had to be the best we had to offer unto the glory of God and the service of our neighbor.
By the grace of God Agia Sophia opened its doors in May of ’06. To date, the vast majority of books that sell are those of, or about, Orthodox Christianity. We anxiously await the intrinsic reward of seeing Agia Sophia bear fruit as a means of introducing people to the Orthodox Church, in the meantime we humbly accept the fact that it is for us to obediently sow the seeds, and for God to bring the harvest.
May it be blessed!