St. Jacob of Alaska Mission Accessible

Bend, Oregon

St. Jacob of Alaska Mission

Founded 2009

Diocese: Diocese of the West

Deanery: Missionary District

Address

155 NE Greenwood Ave.
(at Sophia Coffee Shop & Bookstore)
Bend, Oregon 97701

Website: orthodoxbend.com

Parish Contacts

Priest-in-Charge
Cell: 602-418-2982

Lay Leadership

Mr. Michael Kendall
Parish Vice President
Cell: 832-326-8263
Mr. Randy Wallace
Lay Contact
Home: 541-728-5442

Directions

General Location
The Mission is located in Bend, Oregon, 3 hours southeast of Portland and 2.5 hours east of Eugene.

From Portland 
Take I-84 east to exit 16.  Follow 238th Drive south to connection with US 26.  Take US 26 east 103 miles to Madras, OR.  Continue south on US 97 40 miles to Bend. Take exit 137.  At light turn right onto Revere Avenue.  At next light turn right onto 3rd Street, then again right at Greenwood Ave.  The Church is 1 &1/2 blocks on the left, co-located with Agia Sophia Coffee Shop & Bookstore.

From Eugene:
Take US 126 east 98 miles to connection with US 20.  Continue east on US 20 (which merges with US 97 S) 21 miles to Bend. Take exit 137.  At light turn right onto Revere Avenue.  At next light turn right onto 3rd Street, then again right at Greenwood Ave.  The Church is 1 &1/2 blocks on the left, co-located with Agia Sophia Coffee Shop & Bookstore.

From the South:
Take US 97 North to Bend.  Take exit 137.  At light turn right onto Revere Avenue.  At next light turn right onto 3rd Street, then again right at Greenwood Ave.  The Church is 1 &1/2 blocks on the left, co-located with Agia Sophia Coffee Shop & Bookstore.

Schedule of Services

6:00 PM Vespers.
Saturday evening

8:30 AM Matins; 10:00 AM Divine Liturgy.
Sunday morning

Confessions are heard following Vespers, one hour before Liturgy, or at other times by appointment.

Please visit the parish website or call 541-668-7682 for a schedule of services for weekday Feasts, Lenten services, Holy Week, etc., as well as for classes and activities.

Parish Background

Bend is a historic town, located on the Deschutes River; one of the places where the Oregon ranching and the lumber industry was born. In the last 20 years especially, Central Oregon has become one of the country’s most desirable places to live. In the shadow of Mt. Bachelor and the Three Sisters mountains, Bend has a unique blend of outdoor activities for all four seasons and a wholesome environment for raising families.  Many churches have been planted and closed, due to the revolving door of new versions of Christian Protestant expression.  In contrast, Orthodox Christianity has been virtually unknown in Central Oregon, a place that is the third fasted growing county in America, so the need has been great.
More than a dozen years ago Archpriest Stephen Soot, with a handful of Orthodox Christians, began the work of establishing the only Orthodox Church within a 3 hour drive, in one of the most unchurched states in the country.  The missionary endeavor bore fruit and St. Jacob of Alaska parish was officially established in 2009. As with many mission efforts, there have been ups and downs.  On two occasions during its history, there have been priests in residence, but no long term continuity. Thanks be to the tireless efforts of Fr. Stephen Soot during this 12 year period, and the support of supply priests like Fr. Athanasius (of blessed memory) and his wife Mka. Molly, as well as Fr. James McKee and Mka. Kathy, the hope of a permanent church in Central Oregon was kept alive.  But with the ups and downs of no permanent clergy, the mission membership had dwindled down to a handful.

In September 2016, Fr. Damian Kuolt and his wife Mka. Joanna rented a home in Bend in order stay and serve as priest and pastor. This has made it possible to bring sustained presence, providing weekly Divine Services, catechesis, inquirer classes, Bible study and outreach to those who are seeking the Truth.  In an effort to shake off the stigma of Holy Orthodoxy as the ‘best kept secret in America’, Fr Damian and the parish have taken the bold step of opening Agia Sophia Coffee Shop & Bookstore - a very public presence near downtown.  And the set up is ideal: everyone who drops in for books, coffee or tea, light snacks, gifts, etc., sees our beautiful new iconostasis shining through the glass doors.  You can learn more about our ministry at www.agiasophiabend.com, or on Facebook @agiasophiabend.

By 2020, the community grew to 30+ members, a number having moved here now that there is a permanent parish.  With nearly a dozen baptisms in the last 4 years, as well as a half dozen current catechumens and inquirers, Orthodoxy is now being discovered and lived in Central Oregon.