- Fr. Justin Mathews
- Fr. Turbo Qualls
- Jason Copling, president
- Alberta Adkins, vice-president
- Robyn Haas, treasurer
- Stuart Bury, secretary
What to expect when visiting for the first time:
“Orthodox worship is different! Some of these differences are apparent, if perplexing, from the first moment you walk in a church. …” Read more >
- Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black – Kansas City chapter
The Mission of the Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black is to equip Orthodox Christians for the ministry of Racial Reconciliation and, to share the Orthodox Christian faith with African Americans and people of color. Coordinator: Kevin B. More information here.
- Building Maintenance
- The building maintenance team coordinates any needed repairs, maintenance, and inspections of our building. Coordinator: Joanna B.
- Choir and Chanters
The choir leads the congregation in singing during church services. Coordinators: Jacque F. & Robyn H.
- Church Beautification
Flower arrangements, icon stand centerpieces, and other decorations are needed for feast days and special occasions throughout the year. Coordinator: Lori B.
- Church School and Youth Group
Classes meet during the school year at the end of Divine Liturgy on Sunday. Children three years old through high school seniors are welcome. Coordinator: Mat. Jodi M.
The communications team coordinates the parish email list, directory, calendars, website, and social media presence. Coordinator: Robyn H.
Greeters welcome people into the church on Sunday mornings and assist with elevator rides, service books, and other information as needed. Greeters are present both at the Troost entrance and in the narthex. Coordinator: Ian F.
The hospitality team ministers to the parish community by preparing for and cleaning up after the Sunday agape meal. Coordinators: Alberta A. & Heather C.
- Archangel Gabriel Memorial Society
Motivated by the belief that each person is a living icon of God and affirming that “precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His Saints” (Gen. 1:26, Ps. 116), the mission of the Archangel Gabriel Society is to lovingly care for those the Lord brings to St. Mary of Egypt Orthodox Church, before and during the final moments of their earthly life by preparing for death, burial, and memorials according to Orthodox Christian tradition and to comfort the grieving. Coordinator needed.
- St. Moses House
A men’s discipleship house located just around the corner from the church, St. Moses House exists to deepen relationships within the community. Coordinators: Jonathan and Christina R.
- St. Photini Women’s Group
The women’s group meets on the fourth Sunday of the month after Divine Liturgy for discussion, reflection, and community building. Coordinator: Summer G.
- Reconciliation Services
A separate non-profit organization operates from the first and second floors of the church building and involves a number of church members. It is a pan-Orthodox and community-based attempt to meet the needs of the poor in our area. Reconciliation Services provides a scope of services including therapy, addiction support services, and case management. See the Reconciliation Services website for more information.
In November 1987, a group of interdenominational and multiracial Christians formed a ministry called “Reconciliation Ministries” in the inner-city of Kansas City, Missouri. What began as an outreach to help the physical needs of the neighborhood gradually emerged into an Eastern Orthodox Christian community, known as St. Mary of Egypt Orthodox Church.
Professor Cornel West wrote in his best-selling Race Matters:
“The genius of our black foremothers and forefathers was to create powerful buffers to ward off the nihilistic threat, to equip black folk with cultural armor to beat back the demons of hopelessness, meaninglessness, and lovelessness. These buffers consisted of cultural structures of meaning and feeling that created and sustained communities; this armor constituted ways of life and struggle that embodied values of service and sacrifice, love and care, discipline and excellence… These traditions consist primarily of black religious and civic institutions that sustained familial and communal networks of support.”
Creating such a buffer has been the byproduct of this group seeking to simply put into practice the teachings of Jesus. Despair, violence, chemical dependency, abuse of all kinds had touched the lives of both those they were serving, as well as some of the volunteers.
As these issues surfaced, they began to search for deeper answers. It resulted in discovering for themselves the ancient wisdom of the African desert fathers and mothers. They began to apply their advice on prayer, how to deal with one’s own spiritual blindness, and how to be restored when one’s emotions and desires were disordered. The community little by little was being led to the path of the ancient Orthodox Church. They drew inspiration from the ancient Egyptian monastics, the writings of The Philokalia, and the lives of the holy ones from the Northern Russian forests. In addition, the many saints in urban areas that had combined inner prayer with works of mercy provided models for the kind of Orthodox community they were seeking to become.
St. Moses the Black was a 4th century gang-leader along the Nile that had become one of the desert fathers. St. Mary of Egypt was a 6th century prostitute that left her way of life to spend 47 years in the same desert where St. John the Baptist lived. These radical transformations are but two examples of the deep changes wrought through this ancient path. As the group continued to search through the lives of African saints, they were introduced to hundreds of other examples of inspiration. In 1993, their core community became Orthodox. Each year more and more have been baptized and chrismated.