Phase One: How can we get to know the young adults in our communities (ages 23–29)?
March 2017–April 2018
As we begin the Telos Project, we are exploring the best ways to get to know the young adults in our parishes and communities. We will help parishes think through their own experiences and understanding of young adulthood, using this knowledge to build empathy across generations.
In March 2017, a letter and information card were sent to every Assembly of Canonical Bishops parish in the United States inviting them to apply to be pilot parishes for the duration of our five-year grant. Beginning August 2017, Telos staff will help 14 selected parishes begin to build relationships with the young adults in their communities. Three people from each pilot parish team will be funded by Telos to attend our first learning conference (May 3–5, 2018), an exciting three days of learning, collaboration, and planning.
Phase Two: What ministries are we being called to?
May 2018–March 2020
In this phase we will focus on how deep empathy for and relationships with young adults can lead us to design ministries tailor-made for our communities. Telos staff will glean best practices from the pilot parishes as they implement ministries for and with young adults.
During this phase, pilot parish teams will continue to collaborate and learn at an annual three-day learning conference in Boston. We will host webinars on fundraising, volunteer engagement, and other relevant topics, continuing to support parishes through the piloting process.
Phase Three: What are we learning?
April 2020 and on
Through the end of our five-year grant in 2022, Telos will continue equipping pilot parishes to nurture the religious and spiritual lives of young adults, beginning to consider ways pilot ministries can continue beyond the life of the grant.
Telos leaders will gather in April 2022 to reflect on what was learned, exploring what needs to happen next to continue challenging young adults and Orthodox parishes alike. Key Orthodox leaders will be invited to participate in this consultation to reflect on the project.
Phase Four: What’s next?
Throughout this five-year grant, we will be reflecting on ways the project can and should continue after the life of the grant. During this phase in the project, we will help our Telos pilot parishes secure ways in which their own ministries can continue.
At every stage of the project, we will serve as a resource for pilot parishes, supporting them through the process of ministry design and facilitating parish teams’ vision and planning. Throughout the project, we will also share what pilot parishes are learning through their work with the Orthodox community at large, helping frame a larger conversation about the future of Orthodox young adult ministry.