St. James

342 N. Water St, Liberty, MO 64068

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St. James 30th AnniversaryJoyful Noise: St. James Anglican Church celebrates tradition, future during 30th anniversary

Written by Linda Friedel, Staff writer, Sun Publications
Wednesday, 22 July 2009 00:00

St. James Anglican Church, 8107 S. Holmes Road, Kansas City, Mo., will celebrate the 30th anniversary of its presence in the Kansas City area Saturday, July 25.

Festivities, open to the public, start with a traditional Anglican High Mass including a guest cantor and the unveiling of 10 new stained glass windows, followed by a speaker, food and entertainment.

"It’s a wonderful thing," said Robert Klein, a St. James Anglican Church member for 16 years.

Klein currently serves as senior warden, a liaison between the rector and congregation. He began attending St. James while dating a member of the church, the woman he later married.

"I was looking for the faith as close to the apostles as I could find," he said. "For me, I found the answers that were missing in the Protestant faith."


Historical St. James Anglican Church

The church was founded in 1978 by Jim King, deacon, who converted his garage in Kansas City, Mo., to a chapel. He said weather became an issue while worshiping in the garage and the congregation wanted growth.

"We were looking for something conducive to a larger influx of people," he said.

According to several members and the church’s Web site, St. James Anglican Church moved in the late 1970s and early 1980s to various spaces including a vicar’s home, Prairie Village Community Center, Johnson County YMCA, a renovated church building in 1981 at 4400 Wyoming, Kansas City, Mo., and finally the current site, where the church has been for a decade.

"St. James has always been a parish that serves all of the metropolitan area," Lynn Baxter, a 28-year member, said. "I presently live in Ohio but still am a member and participant in the life of St. James Church. It is a unique environment and a very special church."

Following the Holy Mass Sunday, July 12 at St. James Anglican Church, 8107 Holmes Road, acolytes and clergy, right, exit during the recessional hymn. The church recently had new stained glass windows installed.

Bishop Michael becomes rector

The Rev. Leo J. Michael, bishop ordinary, Diocese of Holy Trinity & Great Plains, has served as rector at St. James Anglican Church since August 2008. He said he came to grow the church.

"Little is known of the church," he said. "We have been very, very faithful."

Michael said when St. James bought the church building on Holmes, the congregation remodeled in its entirety. The ornate wood carvings and high altar in the sanctuary represent traditional Anglican features. He said the stained glass windows depicting stories in the Bible add reverence.

"It adds to the worship ambiance, so that their hearts and souls may be lifted," he said.

Michael said weekly Sunday masses follow traditional Anglican worship and include cantors singing Anglican chants Acappella. The congregation uses the 1928 Common Prayer Book, written in Old English language, and Hymnals for singing.

"The quintessential reason for St. James’ existence in Kansas City is its fidelity in upholding the historic Catholic faith, apostolic order, Orthodox liturgical worship and evangelical witness to the traditional Anglican Church," he said. "In keeping with the Anglican Tradition, this is our motto to practice and uphold the same as the early Christians did."

St. James impacts Kansas City

Michael said the St. James congregation is a diverse community with members from Kenya, Nigeria, Philippines, Vietnam and the greater Kansas City area. The church provides a food bank which they plan to expand.

"It’s truly Catholic, accepted by everyone everywhere," he said.

Holly Michael, the bishop’s wife and editor of St. James’ quarterly publication "Koinonia," serving Anglican churches throughout the country, said the church has begun offering the building to businesses and organizations for meetings.

"We’re opening ourselves up to the community," she said. "We want to be here for everybody."

Eventually, Holly said, St. James wants to host performing arts, music, local Kansas City venues and weddings. She said St. James, like many Anglican churches, has a small congregation but events like monthly potlucks and fellowship hour after every mass provides time for families to get to know each other well.

"It’s a family," she said. "We have a more intimate relationship with our members."

King credits Michael’s impact on St. James today, saying the church has all the impetus for growth.

"He’s doing all the things that no one else has done in the past," King said. "I’m thankful for that."

St. James continues to uphold “the historic Catholic faith, Apostolic order, Orthodox liturgical worship and evangelical witness of the traditional Anglican Church. “In keeping with the Anglican tradition, this is our motto, to practice and uphold the same as the early Christians did, as the Lord taught, as the apostles proclaimed and as the fathers preserved.”

Phone: 816-361-7242
Email: Email Bishop Leo Michael

The Rt. Rev. Leo J. Michael - Rector and Bishop Ordinary