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Wonders of the Small Church

The small church has incredible importance and value, although it may not carry the pomp of churches in Europe and elsewhere. I have one particular small church in mind: ours.

On Sunday, September 24, the Holy Trinity community hosted the first TELOS project discussion and workshop.  The TELOS Project helps parishes reimagine young adult ministry in a way that invites young adults to become engaged, energetic, and effective leaders in church communities.

The TELOS Project is the young adult initiative of CrossRoads Institute supported by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. The goal is to help Orthodox YA & parishes discover their gifts, and to use them to build up one another and their church communities. CrossRoads Institute is funded funding by the Lily Endowment, Inc., a private philanthropic foundation which supports the causes of religious, educational, or charitable causes.

The TELOS Project helps parishes reimagine young adult ministry in a way that invites YA to become engaged, energetic, and effective leaders in church communities. Those who will comprise this group from Holy Trinity include Rebecca Berner, David Mezenes, Zachary Novosad, and Michael L.P. LaPorte, who will assume the role of the Holy Trinity Team Leader.


Who is Telos for?

  • Telos helps teams at Orthodox parishes engage young adults to discern, build, and sustain YA ministry that meets YA’s real needs and supports their engagement in all areas of parish life.
  • Telos loosely defines YA to be between the ages of 23–29 but they do not exclude those on the fringes of this age demographic. Most importantly Telos focuses on the post-college age/stage of life, when young adults are first becoming more independent. Telos teams consist primarily of YA in this age range but will  include 1–2 “Godparents” (Reader Anthony Niegel, for one), older members there to shepherd and mentor the team. There is also a needs for clergy presence (Father Marc), along with a parish council liaison (Paul O’Flaherty has agreed).
How does Telos do it?

By offering tailored coaching, sharing best practices and creating an engaged peer community for YA to collaborate and connect. Telos helps each parish develop sustainable YA ministry.

How long is Telos?

Telos is a repeatable one-year cycle; from Pentecost to the following Pascha, which offers teams an intentional process, coaching, and other tools to help YA to design and implement great ministry with and for young adults. And then they invite you to do it again the next year.

What is Coaching?

The art and practice of inspiring, guiding, and equipping teams at parishes to embrace YA ministry. Coaches are trained to help teams troubleshoot challenges and hold teams accountable to moving forward in their goals.

How much does Telos cost?
  • There is no cost to participate in Telos. Telos will invest in the YA at HTOC through coaching, educational resources, and formative experiences such as Design Day. All that the TELOS Project Support Team asks is that HTOC provides a modest budget for our YA to use to fund their own activities & events.
  • Similarly, a Telos Parish Workshop is available at no cost, apart from any refreshments a group of YA to offer participants. Telos sends trained facilitators and all materials for a 3-hr workshop at no cost.
What is Telos Design Day?

TDD is an all-day workshop where teams uncover & articulate a deeper understanding of YA needs and their parish, and then design creative initiatives through which their parish can better engage their YA.
Telos has 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 (how to run a meeting, understanding team roles) to the varying ways TELOS ministers to YA (fellowship, spiritual deepening, outreach, intergenerational ministry). Every team member at Holy Trinity has access to this library of resources and will be prompted weekly to watch these short and engaging videos.



  • (June 7: The Holy Trinity Telos team attended a one-hour Welcome Webinar).
  • Week of August 21: Attend a team Listening Webinar
  • June 1 – August 31: Team members watch and reflect on short Ministry Best Practice Videos at their convenience.
  • October 14: Design Day in Chicago, Illinois
    • Travel to Chicago on October 13 and return to Connecticut on October 15.
    • Three members of the HTOC Telos team will be funded to attend. Travel & lodging are covered by TELOS.
  • September, 2023 – May, 2024: Monthly Coaching Calls.

To fund local support of our four YA at Holy Trinity in the TELOS Project, we are hopeful of raising $1,000 in free-will offerings (10 donors x $100).  Subsequent funding in the years ahead will hopefully come through a line item on our Annual Budget. If you are interested in offering a gift to provide financial support to be used for local events & activities for the HTOC YA for the 2023-2024r (Ascension, 2023 – Pascha, 2024), please forward your support to Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, 414 Valley Street, Willimantic, CT, 06226, or by accessing our church’s PayPal Account at If gifting via personal or bank check, please note TELOS Project in the memo line. I promise to keep all donors updated throughout the year with email blasts to show that you have invested well in the future of our church and the support of Holy Trinity’s Young Adults.  

With Appreciation & Blessings,

Father Marc

Link to Workshop poster: TELOS Workshop

Visit:  to learn more

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