Our Young Adults Step Up: The Telos Parish Outreach Program By Ann Bezzerides

The Telos Parish Outreach Program

Since 2017, the Telos Project has been endeavoring to serve and nourish young adults in the Orthodox Church, empowered by its ties with HCHC’s Office of Vocation of Ministry and the Lilly Foundation. In the beginning of the COVID-19 epidemic, a sub-initiative of the Telos project was born, called the Telos Parish Outreach Program (Telos POP). It’s a project aimed at flexibly empowering Orthodox young people, during these times and onward.

Initially, the Telos POP team worked to mobilize a team of young adults to connect directly with churches and offer them assistance to tackle whatever problems they were facing in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. We certainly encountered need, but found it was very difficult to get in touch with priests, and likewise difficult to locate which parishes were in need of help.

From here, we decided to pivot, shifting our focus to empowering young adults to work from within their own parishes. To this end, we’re launching a small grant program that would give money and support to young adults who want to execute an idea in their individual parish. These ideas can really be anything—things like designing a better website for the parish, creative fundraising or fellowship ideas, VBS alternatives, programs to support youth or young adults, etc. We would provide some money and fellowship among those carrying out the ideas across the country, and general support and coaching from our team.

Our hopes for this project are multi-faceted—first and foremost, we want to lift the voices of young adults, encouraging their roles as leaders and important contributors to their parish communities. In gathering together on these ideas, we hope to help young adults realize the powerful network that we have of young people across the country, and foster a sense of solidarity and community among us in serving and bettering our parishes.

If you are a young adult who has a fresh idea to implement in your parish, please sign up for our grant program here-- https://www.telospop.org/start. We have grants up to $400 dollars to give, and a community of young adults ready to support you in any way we can!

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