St. Vladimir’s partners with Reconciliation Services for #GivingTuesday

23 November 2020 • Yonkers, NY

In a Kansas City neighborhood that has suffered from generations of racism and poverty, Reconciliation Servicesoffers an Orthodox Christian approach to healing. Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (SVOTS) plans to contribute to that healing mission. This Giving Tuesday, December 1, SVOTS is teaming up with Reconciliation Services and its executive director, St. Vladimir’s Alumnus Fr. Justin Mathews (Class of ’07). 

Fr. Justin with community members at Reconciliation Services (Photo taken pre-pandemic)Fr. Justin with community members at Reconciliation Services (Photo taken pre-pandemic)  

Every year, the Seminary selects a nonprofit partner for its Giving Tuesday fundraising campaign and tithes 10% of the funds raised that day to the nonprofit. Seminary leadership was moved by the work being carried out by Fr. Justin and his colleagues at Reconciliation Services, and was excited to partner with the organization for Giving Tuesday 2020.

“The love that he urges others to share goes a long way toward healing hearts broken by poverty and lives traumatized by violence,” said Seminary President Fr. Chad Hatfield.

Fr. Justin at workFr. Justin at work 

Affiliated with St. Mary of Egypt Orthodox Church, Reconciliation Services provides to clients—99% of whom live below the federal poverty line—medical, mental health and dental services, classes, and mentoring programs. Part of their outreach is Thelma’s Kitchen, located in the same neighborhood as the parish and the nonprofit, a gathering place for delicious meals served up to neighbors, program volunteers, staff, and church people who, based on their ability, pay what they can or chip in with kitchen duties. Partnerships have been formed not only with concerned individuals but also the local corporate community.

“We all need to share what we can to reduce the most extreme disparities and alleviate the suffering in our city,” said Fr. Justin.

Fr. Justin, Hieromonk Alexii (Altschul), and members of the Reconciliation Services teamFr. Justin, Hieromonk Alexii (Altschul), and members of the Reconciliation Services team

Father Justin’s ministry is a perfect example of why supporting the education of seminarians is so important: they will be sent out—like Fr. Justin was—to be God’s hands in the world. So when you give to St. Vladimir’s Seminary this Giving Tuesday, you are giving twice: to help train and educate seminarians who will help bring Christ to a suffering world and toward those who are bringing Christ’s healing to others right now at Reconciliation Services.