Source: The Orthodox Church in America
October 25, 2017
National Fund for Sacred Places, a program of Partners for Sacred Places and the National Trust for Historic Preservation announced that Holy Ascension Russian Orthodox Church, Unalaska, AK, has been selected as one of 17 congregations nationwide to participate in a national grant-making program that supports capital building projects at historic houses of worship. Launched in 2016 with grants totaling $14 million from the Indiana-based Lilly Endowment Inc., the Philadelphia-based National Fund will offer planning grants, professional services, and capital grants ranging from $50,000 to $250,000 to a minimum of 50 congregations over four years.
Holy Ascension Church, a National Historic Landmark, was constructed in 1896. Located in the largest city of the Aleutian Islands, the church through the generations has been looked upon by fisherman as a symbol of their safe return to land.
“Holy Ascension is a ‘Spiritual Lighthouse’ to the fishermen who call the Aleutians their port of call,” says His Grace, Bishop David of Sitka and Alaska of the Orthodox Church of America. The oldest cruciform-style Orthodox church in North America, Holy Ascension holds over 200 icons, books and relics, some of which date to the 16th century. “If these items were ever lost, they would be irreplaceable,” says Bishop David. The congregation will use awarded funds to install a fire suppression system in its cathedral.
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