Clergy | Ministries | History

Clergy:

  • Fr. Turbo Qualls

Parish Council:

  • Jason Copling, President
  • Rdr. Nicholas Finzer, Treasurer

We are a parish of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of New Gracanica, under the omophorion of His Grace Bishop Longin.

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 >

Parish Ministries

  • Adult Education / Catechism
    Adult Education / Catechism for catechumens currently takes place after Vespers on Wednesday evenings, 8pm. It takes place in person in the catechism room, and simultaneously on the Internet via Zoom.
  • Baptismal Robes by the St. Elizabeth Sisterhood
    The St. Elizabeth Sisterhood is pleased to offer baptismal robes for adults and children. More details and ordering information here >
  • Mount Tabor School of the Liberal Arts
    Our parochial school is open to all parish youth as well as other community members, Orthodox or not. More information here >.
  • Building Maintenance
    The building maintenance team coordinates any needed repairs, maintenance, and inspections of our building. Coordinator: Levi P.
  • Choir and Chanters
    The choir leads the congregation in singing during church services.  Coordinators: Jacque F.
  • 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 (Catechesis of the Good Shepherd)
    Our Church School program is Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, which currently meets on Wednesdays at 5:45pm. Children aged 3-6 are welcome and should be dropped off at the catechism room prior to Vespers. Coordinator: Felicity F.
  • Communications
    The communications team coordinates the parish email list, directory, calendars, website, and social media presence. Coordinator: Monica H.
  • Greeters
    Greeters welcome people into the church on Sunday mornings and assist with service books and other information as needed.  Coordinator: Ian F.
  • Hospitality
    The hospitality team ministers to the parish community by preparing for and cleaning up after the Sunday agape meal. Coordinator: Tabitha S.  
  • 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: Photini C. and Sister Xenia.

History

The seeds of Saint Mary of Egypt Orthodox Church were planted in 1987 by an eclectic group of Christians in the East Side of Kansas City, gathered around a common vision of serving their neighbors and seeking Christ. From this group, an organization known as Reconciliation Services was formed at the corner of 31st and Troost under the leadership of David and Thelma Altchul (now Hieromonk Alexii and Matushka Michaela of blessed memory).   

As Reconciliation Services carried out their work of feeding and caring for the East Side community, David and Thelma prayed fervently for the people they served, who were living under such traumatic conditions as severe poverty, drug addiction, and prostitution. They had great zeal to live as the early Christians did, and to seek deeper knowledge and experience of life in Christ. By God’s providence, this diligent search ultimately led David, Thelma, and other members of the community into the Orthodox Church in 1993. David was eventually ordained into the holy priesthood as Fr Paisius.

As Fr Paisius and Matushka Michaela continued to serve and intercede for their community, their prayers bore fruit in the form of a humble storefront church dedicated to Saint Mary of Egypt, a beacon of complete repentance and healing in Christ. In 2000, the parish was received into the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of New Gracanica and Midwestern America by his Grace Bishop Longin. 

During these formative years, many seekers found their way home to the holy Orthodox Church through Saint Mary’s intimate communion with the life of its neighbors at 31st and Troost.  Likewise, a small women’s monastic community, the Saint Xenia Sisterhood, grew out of the parish, establishing the liturgical life of the community in prayer and spiritual struggle.  In the following years, Saint Mary’s baptized many new inquirers to the faith, welcomed home many prodigals, and sent forth numerous monastics, priests, and faithful to minister throughout the country and the world. 

In 2012, Matushka Michaela fell asleep in the Lord. In her last days, she admonished the community to pursue longsuffering love with one another and continue to spread the Gospel to family and neighbors.  Following her passing, Fr Paisius received the monastic tonsure as Hieromonk Alexii and departed for Mount Athos to receive formation. He returned to Missouri to establish the Holy Archangel Michael & All Angels Skete in Weatherby, where the Saint Xenia Sisterhood is now located. 

Following Fr Alexii’s departure, Saint Mary’s came under the care of Fr Justin and Matushka Jodi Mathews, who had previously served alongside Fr Alexii for a number of years. Fr Justin and Matushka Jodi guided the community through a season of difficult transition and much growth. Fr Justin continued to pastor the community as full-time rector until passing on leadership to the newly-ordained Fr Turbo Qualls. 

Fr Turbo moved to Kansas City in 2015 to do social work, along with his wife, Popadija Julianna, and their five children. Fr Turbo was ordained to the diaconate in that same year, and to the holy priesthood in 2018. He has served St. Mary’s as the head rector since 2019, and is now a father of eight. 

In 2020, the parish moved from its longtime location at the corner of 31st and Troost to its new home at 38th and Chestnut.  Since then, Saint Mary’s has been home to an emerging women’s monastic community, the Saint Elizabeth Sisterhood, and the George Washington Carver Community Farm. The parish maintains a bustling daily life of prayer, fellowship, and hospitality.  In 2021, St. Mary’s opened its own parochial school, Mount Tabor School for the Liberal Arts, which provides formation to elementary through high school students in the spiritual ethos of the Orthodox faith and the classical liberal arts tradition.  

Through changes in leadership, location, and community members, Saint Mary of Egypt Orthodox Church has always maintained a mission to “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” (Lk 14:23)  It is in the spirit of this calling that we continue to pursue a life of prayer and repentance together, in the saving ark of Christ’s holy Church.  

Holy Mother Mary of Egypt, pray to God for us!