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Telos exists because parishes can be powerful places for young adults– providing belonging, stability & meaning.
In The Beginning…
The Telos Project began as a five year research project in 2017, exploring how Orthodox young adults and parishes engage one another, hosted by Hellenic College Holy Cross. In collaboration with our original pilot parishes, we developed a process that helps Orthodox parishes learn, work, and grow together to make sure young adults know they are loved by God and welcomed in the Church.
Here is what we have come to believe about young adult ministry…
Young Adults Involved
Young Adult Initiatives
Older Adults Involved
The Telos Impact
What We Believe
Excellent and effective young adult ministry is designed by young adults themselves
Parishes can be powerful places for young adults—providing belonging, community & meaning
Young adults have so many gifts and skills they want to offer parishes
Priests should not be expected to initiate and sustain young adult ministry by themselves
Parishioners eager to minister to young adults are more effective when they adopt certain frameworks and best practices
Investing in young adults is deeply rewarding—for young adults, for older adults, and for your parish as a whole
Young adults and parishes need one another for abundant life in Christ
The Telos Impact
Initial Grant awarded to the Office of Vocation & Ministry at Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology to pioneer the Telos Project
Telos Pilot collaborates with 12 parishes to develop an educational model in which small teams build relationships with young adults and design new ministry for and with them
Telos Gamma expansion of the Telos Project adds 8 more parishes
Second Grant awarded to CrossRoad Institute to expand and scale the Telos Project to 20 additional parishes a year
Telos expands to add parish workshops, expanded cohort spots, and published learnings further spread the Telos Project throughout the US and Canada
The Telos Impact
The Leadership Team
Ann Mitsakos Bezzerides, PhD
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR - CROSSROAD INSTITUTE
Ann has been active in youth and young adult ministry since 2003. She sees the Telos Project as an extraordinary opportunity to explore the faith development of an age demographic that has become her new passion as she follows the lives of CrossRoad alumni. The most exciting part of this project for her is that the real work will be done by people at the local parish level; she looks forward to many opportunities to learn from them!
DIRECTOR - TELOS PROJECT
Anna began her journey with CrossRoad as a participant in 2005; after a transformative experience at CrossRoad and subsequent alumni retreats, Anna was drawn to pursue ministry professionally. Anna earned her Masters of Divinity from Holy Cross School of Theology in 2013, emphasizing her studies in Religious Education and Youth Ministry. Anna has worked for CrossRoad Institute in many different capacities since 2011 including CrossRoad Summer Institute staff, Assistant Director and Co-Director, Telos Gamma Director, and Telos Operations.
Jenny Haddad Mosher, PhD
DIRECTOR, RESEARCH & EDUCATIONAL DESIGN
Jenny has worked across Orthodox jurisdictions as a retreat leader, a teacher, a teacher trainer, and in curriculum development. She also served as a grant writer for Orthodox social service agencies from 2011–2017. She experiences the Telos Project as an incredible gift—a chance to reflect honestly and act productively, cultivating mutual love and fruitfulness across generations in all of our parishes.
Telos Project Administrator
Originally from Boulder, Colorado, with a Masters and doctoral work in Education. Sarah currently lives in North Carolina with her husband and two teenage daughters, attending All Saints Orthodox Church in Raleigh, NC where they work closely with the youth and young adult ministries there, as well as partner with her Presbystera to create and distribute preschool and early elementary Orthodox educational materials. She is passionate and committed to building ministries that support youth and young adults in their growth in the faith.
Senior Clergy Advisors
Fr. Peter Orfanakos
Father Peter Orfanakos has served as pastor of the St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church in Orange, CT, since September 1996 and extensively in youth and young adult ministries on the local, Metropolis and Archdiocese levels since 1987.
Fr. David Smith
Father David Smith has served in the Orthodox Church for over 30 years, and has been the priest of St. Sophia’s Greek Orthodox Church in Syracuse, NY, for the last decade.