Alumnus helps provide healing along Kansas City’s ‘dividing line’

Pradeep Hatcher

Troost Avenue is the symbol of generations of racism and poverty in Kansas City, Missouri. It’s also the street you’ll find a place offering an Orthodox Christian approach to healing: Reconciliation Services, a faith-based nonprofit founded by St. Mary of Egypt Orthodox Church.

The work of the nonprofit—which is led by executive director Rev. Justin Mathews, an alumnus of St. Vladimir’s Seminary (M.Div., 07)—was recently featured by Duke Divinity’s Faith & Leadership magazine.

“We are intentional about allowing the history of this place to infuse our solutions to the problems that we see,” Mathews told Faith & Leadership. “We can’t heal trauma without acknowledging the source of the trauma.”

Fr. Justin is also one of two priests who serve at St. Mary of Egypt Church, housed in the same building on Troost Avenue as Reconciliation Services and Thelma’s Kitchen, which Fr. Justin described as Kansas City’s first "donate-what-you-can" café. Reconciliation Services’ outreach includes healthy community initiatives, social services, mental health services, and economic community building.

Read Faith & Leadership’s inspiring story about the work of Reconciliation Services here.

Photos:Reconciliation Services