Telos Resources.

Welcome to the Resource Page for Parish Telos Teams!

Everything your team needs to settle into Telos and get ready for the year ahead is attached below.

Onboarding

Upon acceptance to Telos, you’ll need these documents for the onboarding process!

G

Timeline

View the Telos Timeline Presentation

Telos Agreement

An overview of your commitment for the year. Make sure you sign and send your agreement to your coach!

Telos YouTube Channel: Ministry Best Practices

Learn from your peers who have been doing this work for a while now. We have short videos filled with awesome content!

Team Roles Infographic

Need a reminder of the different roles on the Telos team? Here’s a great graphic outlining the whole team!

Team Building 101

Summer is for teambuilding! Need ideas? We have you covered!

Welcome Webinar

Telos welcomes new Parishes into our 18 month intensive.

Listening Sprint

Make the most of this important stretch of Telos!
Find everything you need to dig into Telos listening here!

2024 Cohort Listening Sprint, coming soon!

G

Need a reminder of what the Listening Sprint is? Find all details in the Listening Webinar slide deck and recording!

Slide Deck

View Prepared Slide Deck

Recording

Will be recorded last week of August

G

Listen: Observe!

All Community Mapping exercises can be downloaded here; your Key Contact will upload completed documents to the LMS.

Listen: Empathize!

Get to know your young adults with these resources as your guide.

Empathetic Conversation:

 

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Telos for?
  1. Telos helps teams at Orthodox parishes engage young adults
  2. We loosely define young adults to be between the ages of 23–29 but we don’t exclude those on the fringes of that demographic. Most importantly Telos focuses on the post-college age/stage of life, when young adults are first becoming independently established.
  3. Telos teams should consist primarily of young adults in this age range but should also include 1–2 “godparents”, older members there to shephard and mentor the team. There also needs to be a clergy presence and a parish council liaison on the team.
How long is Telos?
  1. Telos is a repeatable one-year cycle; from Pentecost to the following Pentecost, we offer teams an intentional process, coaching, and other tools to help you design and implement great ministry with and for young adults. And then we invite you to do it again the next year.
  2. Why year after year?
    • Young adults become adults! And hopefully move into other ministry areas in parish life. So your parish is never without a ministry team for young adults, we support you in training new young adults year after year.
    • It is our hope that your parish sees whole parish growth through engagement with young adults; this takes time!
What is coaching?
  1. We understand coaching for Telos to mean: the art and practice of inspiring, guiding, and equipping teams at parishes to move from where they are toward a greater depth and breadth of engagement of young adults.
  2. Coaching is not counseling, spiritual direction, consulting, or mentoring
  3. Our coaches are trained to listen, encourage, celebrate, affirm, and challenge teams. They are trained to help teams troubleshoot challenges and hold teams accountable to moving forward in their goals.
What kind of education does Telos offer?
  1. One of our educational offerings is a robust “adaptive design” process for the ministry context, which guides parishes through…
    • listening/mapping exercises
    • an all-day workshop we call “Telos Design Day”, where teams uncover and articulate a deeper understanding of young adult needs and realities, their parish’s realities, and then design creative initiatives through which their parish can better engage their young adults.
      Want to learn more? This article gives further insight into the methodology of adaptive design that we utilize and teach.
  2. We have also compiled a collection of videos recorded by past Telos team members that teach ministry best practices. Themes include everything from team and meeting best practices (i.e how to run a meeting, understanding team roles etc.) to the varying ways we minister with and to young adults (i.e. fellowship, spiritual deepening, outreach, intergenerational ministry, etc.). Every team member will gain access to this library of resources and be prompted weekly to watch these short and engaging videos.
What if there are no active YAs at my parish?
  1. Telos does require a critical mass of YAs in order for it to be successful. If you can’t find that critical mass right now, we recommend you gather a group of older adults who really care about ministry for young adults and start getting to know young adults who are peripherally involved or in some way connected with your parish, or who walk through your parish doors. Get to know them for no other reason than seeking to understand who they are. If it seems it would be well-received, invite them to participate in your parish community.
  2. After a period of time getting to know young adults, reflect on the themes you hear and determine what your parish might need to do to better engage those young adults. If you are able to engage a core group of young adults, apply for Telos next year around Pascha 2024!
  3. Host a Telos Parish Workshop!
What if my parish doesn’t seem ready for Telos?
  1. Host a Telos Parish Workshop!! If you feel like your parish isn’t quite ready to take on the deeper work of becoming a Telos parish, but there is an appetite for something related to the engagement of young adults, we would love for your parish to host a workshop.
    • For the Telos Parish Workshop, we send trained facilitators and all materials for a 3-hr workshop at no cost to you. This workshop is a beautiful reflective and formative experience designed to energize your whole parish around the need for ministry with and for young adults.
Is the demographic strictly ages 23–29?

We loosely define young adults to be between the ages of 23–29 but we don’t exclude those on the fringes of that age demographic. Most importantly Telos focuses on the post-college age/stage of life, when young adults are first becoming independently established.

How does Telos help us connect with the OCFs around us?
  1. Telos does not focus on college students for a couple reasons:
    • OCF is designed to engage those in college and particularly those living away from home at college. It is a vibrant ministry geared towards those in this particular life-stage, a life-stage that is quite different from post-college. The gap of ministry in the Orthodox Church tends to be amongst the post-college young adult demographic and so Telos focuses there.
    • That being said, many parishes are uniquely situated in college towns with a unique opportunity to connect with OCF chapters and minister to students, so conversation around how best to do so in these situations will occur during the tailored coaching calls.
How is Telos different from YA ministries like YAL Conferences, Connect Conference, “Orthodoxy on Tap”, and Metropolis/Diocesean young adult initiatives?

There are many AMAZING conferences and Metropolis/Diocesan level ministries that very effectively engage young adults both socially AND in their faith. We very much support the MANY ministries that do this. What these ministries are not designed to do is weave young adults into the life of the local parish. They are not designed to help parishes meet the needs of young adults or draw them into the life of a parish. This parish-based engagement is what Telos focuses on.

How much does Telos cost?
  1. There is no cost to participate in Telos; if you are accepted as a Telos Parish, the Telos Project will invest in your team through coaching, educational resources, and formative experiences such as Design Day; we are hoping this will be for the long term benefit and growth of your parish. All we ask in return is that your parish provide a modest budget for your young adults to use to fund their own activities.
  2. Similarly, the Telos Parish Workshop is free, apart from any refreshments you choose to offer participants; we send trained facilitators and all materials for a 3-hr workshop at no cost to you.

The Telos Impact

Timeline

2016

Initial Grant awarded to the Office of Vocation & Ministry at Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology to pioneer the Telos Project

2017–2021

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

2018

Telos Gamma expansion of the Telos Project adds 8 more parishes

2022

Second Grant awarded to CrossRoad Institute to expand and scale the Telos Project to 20 additional parishes a year

2023

Telos expands to add parish workshops, expanded cohort spots, and published learnings further spread the Telos Project throughout the US and Canada