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Who are we?

While the Eastern expression of the Church is typically expressed via conservative and exclusive practices, the Connexion of St. Maria Skobtova (CSMS) sees a more open and holistic approach to faith in the depths of Eastern theology. We believe in the inherent goodness of all people and affirm God's perfect love, which does not discriminate. 

The Connexion of St. Maria Skobtsova (CSMS) is dedicated to fostering a welcoming and progressive Eastern Rite (Byzantine) within the Convergent Catholic Communion. Like the CCC, our we affirm equal access to Holy Orders without regard to gender identity or expression.

We are part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church through the holy lineages of Apostolic Succession via the Independent Catholic movement. The Independent Catholic movement is a collection of very diverse jurisdictions, representing a wide range of traditions from independent Anglican, Byzantine, Latin, and Lutheran (to name a few).  These expressions have resulted in numerous self-governing micro-denominations that are independent from the governing structures found in the historic centers of Christianity, and from one another. These churches have apostolic succession as found in historic sacramental churches. 

In the words of Christ to the Apostle Andrew, we welcome all people without exception to "Come and see."


Our History 

The Connexion of St. Maria Skobtosva Chrysostom (CSMK) was formed under the Apostolic Authority of the Convergent Catholic Communion (CCC) under the Omophorion (Episcopal Protection) of His Beatitude, Metropolitan JOHN GREGORY on July 5, 2021.


As per the Metropolitan's proclamation, this Connexion was created by the intercession of the Holy Spirit to be “a hub for Eastern Rite Christians that desire full participation in our communion yet wish to retain their Eastern traditions and customs.” 

Connexional Eastern Christianity

Unlike in more traditional Diocesan and Eparchial models found in mainline and canonical churches, our Communion does not assign episcopal oversight through geographic means. In June of 2021, our governing Councils approved a transition to a charism-based model. We chose to use ‘Connexion’ because it was an organizing form not historically tied to geography (like those listed above).  As in early Methodism, our Connexions reflect a charism-based model (i.e., when Methodism was still part of the Church of England), with a key differentiation in our use of the historic episcopacy. In this form of governance, the fullness of the church (both lay and ordained) work in concert to achieve the work of Christ. Additionally, the term ‘Connexion’ further stresses the interconnectedness of the various parts of our Communion.


Our Locations 

We offer online as well as in-person worship services at multiple mission plants throughout the United States. It is our fervent prayer that our ministry will continue to grow and serve our communities in peace, health, and happiness.


Eastern Rite Mission Plants (in this Connexion)

Monastic Communities

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, Arizona
Cathedral Parish


Independent Orthodox Church

Bowling Green, Kentucky

Mission Plant


Eastern Rite Monastic Order


Our Leaders 

His Beatitude, the Most Reverend Metropolitan JOHN GREGORY serves our Connexion as Eparch, assisted by Archpriest - The Very Reverend Father BASIL.


His Beatitude, the Most Reverend
Metropolitan JOHN GREGORY
(Kenneth  von Folmar)

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The Very Rev. Fr. BASIL
(James Miller)


Become a Member

All applicants must submit an application and pass a background check prior to being considered for membership.  Each applicant will be interviewed by Archpriest Basil and may be interviewed by Bishop John Gregory .  During this consideration period, our leaders review their findings and make a decision for membership. During deliberations, a decision is made in light of the Ordained Ministry Candidate Standards as adopted by our Bishops Council. The candidate may expect a determination to be made within 60 days of receiving the application.  If membership is approved, additional training may be assigned to the new member. All new members are admitted as provisional members for a period determined by the Bishop, with approval from the Presiding Bishop.  For those located outside of the United States, your application will only be consider if there are independent methods for verifying the information submitted. 

The key to attaining membership in our Communion is found in building meaningful relationships with our members and leaders.  You can begin that process now by joining our Facebook Group.

All applicants are required to complete a criminal background check, including a check of the US Department of Justice Sexual Offender Registry.  

Your application will not be considered until this item is completed.  The cost of the background check is approximately $26.95 (Basic Package) and can be accessed above.

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