In 2013, when we had been celebrating services in an ecumenical religious building on the campus of the University of Kansas for about a year and a half, we noticed an intriguing 3-acre property for sale in the geographical center of town, less than a mile from the heart of campus. We began chanting the Service of Supplication to St. Xenia of Petersburg, who secretly helped build the church in the Smolensk cemetery in St. Petersburg, and negotiating with the sellers of the property. The sellers eventually agreed to donate half of the land to the church; the church will be acquiring a large portion of the other half through a donation once a new plat of the property is completed by the city.
We are currently holding services in a converted house on the church’s property. Once the temple is built, we will use this space as the fellowship hall. As a part of this capital campaign, we will be adding a bathroom to this building. The property also has an old limestone structure, which we have converted into a “desert chapel” and have dedicated to the Holy Prophet Elijah, who heard the “still small voice” of God in the wilderness. We hold daily services here in fair weather.
We have an area designated for a consecrated Orthodox cemetery and will be developing it along with the building of the temple. This will be a natural cemetery fully respectful of the “Christian ending to our lives” for which we pray.