Our friend Fawaz Khanachet was called home by our Lord on Thursday, March 4, 2021. Those who knew Fawaz know that one of his many passions was to see through the completion of our Building Project, and he toiled in the Lord’s Vineyard for decades to bring us to where we are today.
In honor of Fawaz’s dedication to the Lord and his parish, in lieu of flowers, his family is requesting that memorial donations be directed toward the Building Project. It is time for the rest of us to carry on with Fawaz’s passion and make sure we honor his memory by completing what he started. Click on the blue button (above) to make your donation.
May his memory be eternal! Αιωνἰα του η μνἠμη! Fal yakun thekrohu moabadan!
The Building the Body of Christ project’s mission is threefold:
Spiritual: To worship the Holy Trinity in liturgy and sacrament preserving the Apostolic faith so that we become more Christ-like and attain salvation.
Communal: To be a community of mutual love, family fellowship, and active ministry.
Physical: To build an Orthodox church with Byzantine architectural design allowing for growth in our community. This church will serve as a witness of Orthodox Faith in the Tri-Valley area.
Our parish has continued to strive to fulfill Resurrection’s mission “to bring people closer to God by witnessing, proclaiming, and growing our Orthodox Christian Faith and the Gospel of Jesus Christ through liturgy, ministries, community, and family” for over 45 years. We have a thriving and growing community, with many opportunities for prayer, ministry, and fellowship.
Over four years ago, our community “cast our nets,” beginning our capital campaign to purchase a property and build a new sanctuary to further witness our faith. As Jesus says, “all things are possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23). With already $3.04 million pledged by only 43 families, we are excited to now begin “Building the Body of Christ” in Pleasanton!
UPDATE: May 1, 2021 – Another Big Win!
My brothers and sisters at Resurrection,
It is with guarded optimism that I share the very positive result of our first formal milestone on our journey to acquiring the Dublin Canyon property in Pleasanton – the outcome of the Planning Commission meeting on April 14.
Our consultants, Guy Houston and Tim Sbranti, along with one of our architects, Michael Goldsworthy of AC Martin, and Father Niko, presented our project to the City of Pleasanton Planning Commission. For those that did not have the opportunity to attend live, a recording of the meeting can be accessed here: April 14 City of Pleasanton Public Meeting – YouTube along with the materials provided to the Planning Commission and “The Independent” local news article with reaction to the meeting.
All five of the six Commissioners present (Chair Justin Brown, Nancy Allen, Herb Ritter, Matt Gaidos, and Jeff Niebert) were very complementary of our project and repeatedly made references to looking forward to having us join the Pleasanton community. Their positivity was bolstered by our attention to the rural setting and keeping our footprint, colors, and landscaping within their desired guidelines.
Their enthusiasm was in no small part bolstered by the live testimonials given by Nora Chopelas, Angela Triantos, Jim Vlamis, Barbara Comstock, and George Papageorge, along with the 30+ emails and letters of support submitted by some of our Pleasanton resident-parishioners and well-known Pleasanton business owners. To all, THANK YOU!!
The issues raised by the commissioners for follow-up were cosmetic in nature and will be worked over the next few weeks in anticipation of scheduling our second and final meeting with the Planning Commission in June. Optimistically looking to that meeting, we expect to have the Commission vote to allow the project, and we will then move to present before the entire City Council. We anticipate this will not be before July or August, following which we can expect to close escrow within 30 days of final City Council approval.
As you can see my friends, we just cleared the first hurdle – a few more remain. If we approach our work with humility and steadfast resolve, the Holy Spirit will be with us. No matter the outcome – HIS will be done in the end.
Building Project Steering Committee Chair
March 2021 Update – Moving Another Step Closer to Pleasanton
The “Building the Body of Christ” Building Project proposal will be under review by the Pleasanton Planning Commission on April 14, 2021 – Thanks be to God! This is a really important milestone for our long-awaited project.
Here are two things you can do to help us on our journey to property ownership in Pleasanton:
1. Personal Outreach to City Council Members and Planning Commissioners – Please let Father Niko know if you have a personal relationship with any of the individuals below, as this may aid us in our outreach and organizing efforts.
Pleasanton Planning Commissioners – Nancy Allen, Justin Brown, Greg O’Connor, Brandon Pace, and Herb Ritter
Pleasanton City Council – Mayor Karla Brown, Vice-Mayor Julie Testa, Councilmembers Kathy Narum, Jack Balch, and Valerie Arkin
2. Attend the Virtual City of Pleasanton Planning Committee Meeting on
December 2020 Update – One Giant Step Closer to Becoming Property Owners!
The news is good: Great progress has been made toward ownership of the Dublin Canyon property, considering that the Pandemic shut down the City of Pleasanton’s Building Department and affected the normal process of projects through the City. Our project team of architects, engineers, and numerous consultants accomplished a huge amount of work preparing our final package for the City of Pleasanton, and on November 18, submitted the complete package for review and approval.
Thanks be to God!
The review process now begins with the city planning department, and (God-willing) ends
with a recommendation to the City Council to approve the project.
We will be engaged at various stages of this process over the next 4+ months and it continues to be our hope (reinforced by our prayers) that we will receive city approval and a new parcel number and map for the 4.3 acres; an approved Planned Use Development (PUD) valid for at least 5 years; and an approved Conditional Use Permit (CUP) valid for at least 5 years. With these in hand, all requirements will have been met for closing escrow by the end of March 2021.
In the meantime, our joint Steering and Capital Campaign Committees are meeting to extensively discuss cost estimates, project phasing, and fundraising, along with preparing a presentation for the December General Assembly of the Parish.
As we’ve said in the past, regardless of obstacles, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes” (τὸ εἰ δύνῃ πάντα δυνατὰ τῷ πιστεύοντι) – Mark 9:23. Thank you for your continued support, prayers, and praise be to the glory of God.
August 2020 Update
We received good news from the City of Pleasanton in late June. The City provided positive comments on our second preliminary submission and requested some additional information and considerations for us that will not alter the project, as we previously communicated to the parish.
We are encouraged by this response and we have spent the month of July working on the comments from the City and fine-tuning our formal submission. We have also submitted our project plans and designs to the Metropolis Arts & Architectural Committee for their review and guiding comments. As with our submissions to the Metropolis Real Estate Committee a few months ago, the suggestions from the Arts & Architectural Committee are intended to generate dialogue and thought. We look forward to having these discussions with the Metropolis as our joint objective is to glorify Christ and grow our faith and community in the Tri-Valley. These discussions will take place early this month, and the outcome will help with our formal submission to the city.
Along with the above, our Civil Engineer is now reviewing our site plan and engaging a landscape architect and arborist to complete that portion of the work. The final stage before submission to the city is the development of more detailed plans and 3-D renderings. We hope to have a submission package ready by the end of August but this may carry into early September, given the challenges raised in our Covid-19 environment. Regardless, of these obstacles, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” (τὸ εἰ δύνῃ πάντα δυνατὰ τῷ πιστεύοντι) – Mark 9:23
July 2020 Update
We are encouraged by good progress on our plans to build the future home of our Parish. In the last week of June, we heard back from the city of Pleasanton, after their initial review of our submitted plans. Overall, the comments are positive, and the Property Purchase Committee continues to work with our project manager and architects toward the city’s approval of the property purchase, so we can close escrow.
May 2020 Update – Project Plans Submitted to City of Pleasanton!
Our consultant studies, architectural documents, project narrative, and project application for the Dublin Canyon property have been formally submitted to the City of Pleasanton for their consideration. It’s now up to the City to follow up with questions and we can expect public hearings (or virtual public hearings) as we approach the tail end of the City review and approval process. Thanks be to God! Stay tuned for updates over the next few months.
In a non-Covid world, the entitlements process takes approximately four months to complete from the time of submission, but now the timeline may be longer by a month or two, depending on when the City returns to full staffing. We will continue to keep everyone informed on progress being made over the coming months.
March 2020 Update
As we continue on our journey to build a new home for His Church in the Tri-Valley area, we are no longer “casting out our nets.” Our Lord has blessed us and has shown our parish that we “shall see greater things than these” when we trust in Him.
We are now actively moving forward and “Building the Body of Christ” in Pleasanton. This is our new theme for Phases 1-2 of our building project.
We will be sharing the Multi-purpose Facility building plans at the March 8th Stewardship Luncheon. Big thanks to the 78 individuals who completed the Resurrection Building Project Multi-purpose Facility survey in February. Much of the input received has been taken into consideration for the new building plans.
We received an additional $9k in cash for the campaign in February. And, two additional families pledged over $100k in new pledges. We now have over $2.7 million pledged for Building the Body of Christ, and of that, $1.9 million has already been collected from 55 families.
If you would like a member of the Capital Campaign to discuss the project with you, or if you’d like to make a donation/pledge of any amount, please contact a member of the Capital Campaign committee: Fr. Niko Bekris, Justin Bosl, Matthew Jameson, Nick Vriheas, and Gary Wallner.
Project momentum continued moving forward last month:
Meetings with our assigned Project Manager Engineer from the City of Pleasanton Development Dept. for discussing our preliminary submission and addressing city requirements continued.
Significant work with our Architect and sub-consultants and engineers in preparation of our formal project submission package to the City was completed.
Our Architects (in partnership with our committee) developed the initial project designs, which will form the basis of further discussions with the City and with Parishioners. Several rounds of concepts reviews, modifications, and discussions have resulted in an exciting conceptual design, which we shared with the City of Pleasanton’s Planning Department and were met with a mostly positive and favorable reaction.