Theotokos “Unexpected Joy” Orthodox Church
A parish of the Diocese of the Midwest (OCA)
in Ash Grove, Missouri
The Kursk Root Icon of the Theotokos Visits - 11/10/10
See the photos in the gallery!
Glory to God, we were able to venerate this ancient and holy manifestation of God's grace, especially dear to the Russian people.  The photos were taken by Yohannen Abraham.
Ancient Christianity African American Conference
The Conference was, as always, a great success, with people gathering from around the country to share their lives in Christ and receive spiritual nourishment.  This year we were especially blessed to have His Beatitude Met. JONAH with us for the entirely of the Conference.  There was a hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Saturday, at which Met. JONAH awarded Fr. Moses the gold cross.
A short news report is posted on www.oca.org. FOR MORE INFORMATION, check out mosestheblack.org, website of the Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black
Conference Photos, by Yohannan Abraham

Photos from Hierarchical Liturgy, Anniston, AL - 05/15/2010

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We have a new Reader!
James Mullin was tonsured a Reader by His Beautitude, Met. JONAH, on Saturday, May 15, 2010, in Anniston, AL at the Conference.  AXIOS, James!


Billy's Baptism

We welcome Billy to his Church home! - 06/26/2011

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Baptisms of Sarah Riccardi and Ephrem (Evan) Tauck

A beautiful Lazarus Saturday - 04/16/2011

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Nativity 2011

Nativity 2011 - 01/07/2011

This year, as a gift to our church, Brigid Carlson created Unexpected Joy in gingerbread and icing, complete with interior furnishings and Pantocrator.  We were all amazed!

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New photos added!
Thanks to Yohannan Abraham for photos of Solomon Rogers' baptism, Holy Week and Pascha, and Bright Saturday/St. Thomas Sunday, which have been added to the photo gallery.
Holy Week and Pascha 2012

Holy Week and Pascha 2012 - 04/15/2012

Palm Sunday, Unction, Holy Friday Vespers and Matins of Holy Saturday, Pascha

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Solomon Rogers baptism, April 8, 2012

Solomon's Baptism - 04/08/2012

photos by Yohannan Abraham

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Fr. Gerasim visits, December 6/19, 2011

Fr. Gerasim visits Unexpected Joy - 12/19/2010

We were blessed to have with us Fr. Gerasim (Eliel), an old friend and former abbot of St. Herman of Alaska monastery.  

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The Kursk Root Icon of the Theotokos

Visit from the Kursk Root Icon of the Theotokos - 11/10/2010

We were blessed to be with the icon, graciously brought to  Ash Grove by Fr. Christopher Stade, rector of St. John Chrysostom Russian Orthodox Church, House Springs, MO.

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Visit from a Boy Scout Troup, July 25, 2010

Boy Scout Troup from Macon, Georgia visits Ash Grove

These young men and their three Scout leaders visited our church and the Museum as part of a summer trip to important sites in  mid-America.  They were very moved by our icon of St. Moses and grateful to have met the Saint.

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Archbishop JOB Visits, November 2009

Photos from Divine Liturgy with Archbishop JOB - 11/22/2009

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Repose of Anna Humiston
Our sister in Christ Anna reposed peacefully on the evening of  Monday, Jan. 3.  Fr. Moses administered last rites and said the Akathist for the departure of the soul from the body.

Here is a photo from her funeral, on January 8, 2011.  Here also is one from the funeral of Seraphim Humiston, her husband, who reposed March 3, 2010.
Anna
Anna
Anna
Seraphim
Seraphim
Seraphim
Archbishop JOB's visit
area faithful
Fr. Moses, Archbishop JOB, Fr. Andrew
Congratulating Miroslav on his 80th birthday
Hospitality Dinner 2009

Hospitality Dinner in the Parish Hall - 11/14/2009

On Saturday evening, the young people in our parish prepared a dinner for friends and neighbors of Theotokos "Unexpected Joy," folks who have supported our mission here.  We wanted to say "thank you!" by offering a special festive meal.

The evening was a great success; our guests enjoyed chicken parmesan or beef stroganoff, salad, and dessert. The only problem we had was not having room in the hall to invite everyone who wanted to come!

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Pascha 2009
Decorating the Epitaphios
Hristos Voskrese!
Christos Anesti!
Christ is Risen!
Daniel Prihoanca's Visit - Dec. 15, 2007
Archbishop JOB's visit, August 2007
Parish president Richard White and Fr. Moses greet Vladyka
Services for Holy Week 2014
Holy Week, Pascha, and Bright Week

These services are also on the Monthly Calendar.

Friday, March 29/April 11

6:00 pm                       Vigil for Lazarus Saturday

Saturday, March 30/April 12               Lazarus Saturday

9:00 am                       Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom

5:00 pm                       Vigil for Palm Sunday

Sunday, March 31/April 13                 Palm Sunday

9:00 am                       Hours

9:30 am                       Divine Liturgy

Monday, April 1/14

6:00 pm                       Bridegroom Matins of Holy Week

Tuesday, April 2/15

6:00 pm                       Bridegroom Matins of Holy Week

Wednesday, April 3/16

6:00 pm                       Service of Holy Unction

Thursday, April 4/17   Holy Thursday

9:00 am                       Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil

6:00 pm                       Service of the 12 Passion Gospels

Friday, April 5/18     Holy Friday

9:00 am                       Royal Hours of Holy Friday

1:00 pm                       Vespers of Holy Saturday  

6:00 pm                       Matins of Holy Saturday (Lamentations)

Saturday, April 6/19     Holy Saturday

9:00 am                       Vesperal Liturgy of Holy Saturday

10:30 pm                     Reading of the Acts of the Apostles

11:30 pm                     Midnight Office

Sunday, April 7/20   The Bright Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ

12:00 am                     Paschal Matins, followed by Divine Liturgy of Pascha

                                    A festive meal will follow the Liturgy.

Monday, April 8/21                 Bright Monday

9:15     Hours

9:30     Divine Liturgy

Holy Week 2016

 

Friday, April 22

6:00 pm                       Vigil for Lazarus Saturday

Saturday, April 23       Lazarus Saturday

9:00 am                       Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom

5:00 pm                       Vigil for Palm Sunday

Sunday, April 24         Palm Sunday

9:00 am                       Hours

9:30 am                       Divine Liturgy

Monday, April 25

6:00 pm                       Bridegroom Matins of Holy Week

Tuesday, April 26

6:00 pm                       Bridegroom Matins of Holy Week

Wednesday, April 27

6:00 pm                       Service of Holy Unction

 Thursday, April 28

9:00 am                       Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil

6:00 pm                       Service of the 12 Passion Gospels

Friday, April 29

9:00 am                       Royal Hours of Holy Friday 

1:00 pm                       Vespers of Holy Saturday  

6:00 pm                       Matins of Holy Saturday  (Lamentations)

Saturday, April 30

9:00 am                       Vesperal Liturgy of Holy Saturday 

10:30 pm                     Reading of the Acts of the Apostles

11:30 pm                     Midnight Office

Sunday, May 1

12:00 am                     Paschal Matins, followed by Divine Liturgy of Pascha

                                    A festive meal will follow the Liturgy.

2:00 pm                       Agape Vespers

 

Axios to newly ordained Readers and Subdeacon!

On January 24, 2016, Matthew Mustain, John Pearlstein, Ephrem Tauck and David Woodmansee were tonsured Readers, and David was ordained subdeacon by His Grace, Bishop PAUL, our diocesan bishop, on his visit to Ash Grove.

Check out the Photo Gallery for lots of pictures!

Abbot Sergius brings the Miraculous Icon of St. Anna
March 26-27, 2016

Abbot Sergius of St. Tikhon's Monastery  conducted an all day retreat on Saturday, March 26 for the parish, beginning with Divine Liturgy and concluding with Vespers at 4:00. He talked about "Acquiring the Mind of Christ," and including time for discussion. A truly edifying and grace-filled weekend, in the company of St. Anna!

Here is a link to the monastery's home page, with pictures of the retreat .St. Tikhons news  All photos by Yohannan Abraham.  A gallery of photos from the event will be posted here shortly.

 

St. Anna
St. Anna
St. Anna
Fr. Sergius
Fr. Sergius
Fr. Sergius
Acquiring the Mind of Christ
Acquiring the Mind of Christ
Acquiring the Mind of Christ
December, 2015 Updates

We've sent out our (I think) first ever fundraising letter for the purpose of collecting money to build an extension of our church social hall. The text of the letter is linked below. Mat. Magdalena (the parish secretary) has extra letters, if you'd like one to send to someone you know.

May God grant us success in this modest effort!

Social Hall letter

 

Congratulations to Ken (Thomas Michael) Bratcher, newly-baptised on Dec. 6, 2015.

September 2015 updates

Mark your Calendars!

Sunday, September 13: In honor of Fr. Moses’ names day (Aug. 10) and in general thanksgiving, we’re having a celebration after Divine Liturgy. Meat will be provided; bring a side dish or dessert to share!

Founders Day at Presentation of the Theotokos Monastery on Sept 18-19. We’ve been asked to help out with the festivities there - please see M. Magdalena for details. Call for Volunteers! If you’re interested in taking turns teaching Sunday School, please see Julie Fenton. Thanks!!

August 2015 updates

 

Memory Eternal! Anna Louise Renner, the mother of Abbess Sergia and a beloved member of our parish, fell asleep in the Lord on July 24, 2015. Funeral services were held at Theotokos "Unexpected Joy" and burial was in Holy Resurrection Cemetery. Fr. Timothy Sawchak, Hieromonk Alexii, Fr. Moses Berry, and Fr. Joel Wilson served.  We've added a  gallery of photos. Much thanks to Yohannan Abraham.

Here's a link to the most recent weekly Bulletin. Note the schedule for Transfiguration and Dormition; both glorious feasts coming in the next couple of weeks.

Bulletin

 

 

Visit from Bishop PAUL
January 22-25, 2016

We were blessed to be able to host His Grace, Bishop Paul of the Diocese of the Midwest on the weekend of January 24.  This was his first visit to our parish. His Grace had a breakfast meeting with the Parish Council on Saturday morning, and then celebrated Vespers with the parish that evening. At Divine Liturgy on Sunday, he tonsured Readers Matthew Mustain, Ephrem Tauck, John Pearlstein, and David Woodmansee. He then made David sub-deacon, and elevated Fr. Moses to archpriest.

It was an entirely joyful and spiritual nourishing weekend. Axios to our new readers and subdeacon, and to Fr. Moses as well!

A collection of photos from the event  can be found on our Photos page. Thank you, Yohannan Abraham for these lovely photographs!

 

Holy Week and Pascha 2016

Holy Week and Pascha at Unexpected Joy, 2016

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Holy Week and Pascha, 2015

A gallery of photos

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A Visit from Bishop NEOFITOS - PHOTOS added to Gallery!

Unexpected Joy Orthodox Church, Ash Grove, MO, cordially invites you to
AN EVENING WITH BISHOP NEOFITOS NEO
of Kenya
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
5:00 pm Akathist at Holy Resurrection Cemetery
6:00 pm Talk about missionary work in Kenya by His Grace, at Unexpected Joy Church, followed by a light reception.

Wednesday, Feb. 21
9:00 am Display of historic items including quilts from the Underground Railroad and chains from the slavery era, and portraits of Slaves to help celebrate our legacy in America during Black History month.
Call 417 880-1378 for more information

Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers
Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers, March 17, 2019

Fr. Alexii Altschul of Holy Archangel Michael and All Angels Skete will be the guest homilist at Vespers. Everyone's invited and encouraged to attend!

Light refreshments will follow the service.

Time:  6:00 pm

Place: Theotokos "Unexpected Joy" Orthodox Christian Church

Summer 2005 - photos by Kerrie Safran
Building the bell tower - Summer 2006
Reception for Abbess Sergia and Nun Victoria

Juneteenth 2017, Luke Mustain Baptism

Luke Mustain Baptism, Juneteenth - 06/17/2017

We had a wonderful day: Luke Mustain was baptized, and then Fr. Moses gave a lecture on local African American history, using artifacts from the Afro American Heritage Museum. In the afternoon,we met at our Holy Resurrection Cemetery, dedicated by the Berry family to "slaves, Indians, and paupers" for the blessing of  the Memorial Stone inscribed with the names of those buried without headstones. The beautiful monument was graciously donated by Andrew Baird, President, Conco Companies.

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Visit from Bishop PAUL, January 2016

Bishop PAUL - 01/24/2016

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Anna Louise Renner

The funeral services for Anna Louise Renner - 07/27/2015

Anna Louise Renner fell asleep in the Lord on July 24, 2015.  These are some photos from her funeral service and interment. 

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The Baptisms of the Mustain family, 12/7/2014

Melissa, Thomas, Amelia and Gabriel - 12/07/2014

A glorious day! Fr. Alexi, Fr. Justin, Fr. Deacon Theophan and Fr. Deacon Theodore served, and many friends and family gathered to celebrate with us.

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Marriage of Sarah Riccardi and J. D. Swartz

Swartz-Riccardi Wedding - 08/09/2014

A few of the lovely photos taken by Yohannan Abraham.

A wonderful day, indeed! 

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Fr. Moses and friends
Fr. Moses on a recent speaking engagement at St. Tikhon's Seminary , with subdeacon Paul Abernathy and Fr. Pedro
Visit from a Boy Scout group, from Macon, GA

Visit from a Boy Scout group

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15 Year Anniversary, June 2, 2013

Anniversary Celebration - 06/02/2013

On the first weekend of June, we celebrated 15 years of "Unexpected Joy" in Ash Grove, with food and fellowship. The day included a tour of the cemetery and our first chapel. Roger Thomas shared stories of his beloved wife Helen, who rests now in the cemetery.

It was a blessed and joyful day!

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Holy Week 2019
Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!
Pascha 2017

We greet you with the joy of the Feast!  What a wonderful, blessed, time we shared.  Here is a link to photographs of Holy Week and Pascha services taken by Yohannan Abraham. 

https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipNSTtpp-oeui1_Mbna5c1OLNjh3aY5NwOp1Kfz-LBDlQCqv2O4H2dOMho9_cUNiUQ?key=YzVFRkhhYXNRT2VBek9qQU5INWtqUTRSNXhXQTFn

Visit from Bishop NEOFITOS

A wonderful visit from Bishop NEOFITOS of Kenya - 01/01/2018

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Holy Week and Pascha 2018

Christ is Risen! - 04/08/2018

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