Young Adult Initiative Announces Fourteen Pilot Parishes
The Telos Project, a five-year initiative at Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (HCHC) exploring the spiritual and religious lives of young adults ages 23-29, is pleased to announce the fourteen pilot parishes that will assist in field research.
Selected from a large and varied pool of applicants, these Orthodox parishes reflect the jurisdictional and geographic diversity of Orthodoxy in America. The parishes will serve as field research sites for the Telos Project over the next four years, designing and piloting new forms of ministry for (and with) young adults.
The Telos Project received multiple applications for every spot available. Narrowing this abundant pool to only fourteen parishes was extremely difficult. (To get a sense of our review process and criteria, visit our website.) Despite regret at not being able to include every parish in this research project, there was true joy in reading the applications: it is clear that reaching young adults is a top priority for many Orthodox parishes and leaders across the country. The young adult voices themselves give a strong sense of hope.
“All of the applicants give us incredible optimism for the future of the Orthodox Church,” said Fr. Christopher Metropulos, HCHC President. “We wish we could have selected every parish that applied. These selected pilot parishes will lead us in discovering many new ways of connecting Orthodox young adults to Christ’s Church. In so doing, they will be sharing their learning with all of us who care deeply about reaching our young people. And through this, they will in turn help Hellenic College Holy Cross prepare a new generation of leaders to shepherd the Church well into the 21st century.”
For the first year of the project, the pilot parishes will focus on building and deepening relationships with the young adults in their communities. In May 2018, teams from each parish will travel to a Telos Project conference in Boston, where they will be led through ministry design activities and begin brainstorming unique ways of reaching young adults.
The goal of this research project is to be ‘open source’ learning for the Church. Throughout the project, research findings about young adulthood and ministry—both pilot parish failures and successes—will be shared with the Orthodox community through an online newsletter, social media, and other multimedia outlets.
The fourteen parishes are:
- Annunciation Orthodox Church (GOA, Kansas City, MO)
- St. Athanasius Orthodox Church (OCA, Nicholasville, KY)
- St. Barbara Orthodox Church (GOA, Orange, CT)
- St. Demetrios Orthodox Church (GOA, Camarillo, CA)
- St. George Greek Orthodox Church (GOA, Chicago, IL)
- Holy Trinity Orthodox Church (GOA, Dallas, TX)
- Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church (GOA, Pittsburgh, PA)
- St. John Orthodox Church (Antiochian, Memphis, TN)
- St. John the Wonderworker Orthodox Church (OCA, Atlanta, GA)
- St. Mary Orthodox Church (OCA, Falls Church, VA)
- St. Mary Orthodox Church (Antiochian, Cambridge, MA)
- St. Nektarios Orthodox Church (GOA, Charlotte, NC)
- Resurrection Orthodox Church (GOA, Castro Valley, CA)
- St. Sophia Orthodox Church (GOA, Syracuse, NY)