Our mission is to create new resources to better serve the Orthodox Youth living in North America. Materials were created over a period of 4 years with a test group of 12 parishes all over North America: Virginia/DC, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, and California. These test groups used the materials and provided feedback, allowing us to perfect the materials offered on this site. Over the years, the materials are continually updated and carefully designed to be age-appropriate, culturally relevant, and (above all else) a bridge between the everyday lives of our youth and the ancient and timeless faith of our Orthodox Church. The curriculum is also designed to be fully adaptable to various parish sizes, classroom structures, and resources.
The materials are offered both in Coptic Tradition and Eastern Orthodox Tradition (or, if no choice is offered, then there is no difference and the materials are appropriate for both traditions).
About the Author: Shereen Marcus
My name is Shereen Marcus, I am a wife and mother of 2 boys with a full-time job working in the DC metropolitan area. Concurrently with my legal background, it has always been a passion of mine to advocate for reforming the Youth Ministry efforts in the Orthodox Churches of North America. I started off with a few ideas, some writing abilities, and a knack for kid-silliness. Feeling ill-equipped, I completed a Masters Program in Orthodox Theology with a Youth Ministry Emphasis, and earned my diploma from the University of Balamand in Lebanon in conjunction with the Antiochian House of Studies.
About the Graphic Designer / Contributor: Elaine Atherholt
About the Guest Author / Contributor: Julie Meawad
I started teaching High School Sunday School a year after graduating from college and became the ministry coordinator a few years later. After about 10 years I became the coordinator of the college ministry at the request of my parish priest. Although I enjoy my work as an attorney, I found profound purpose in sharing the Orthodox faith with teenagers and young adults and I greatly enjoyed our discussions about how to truly live a Christian life.
Creating lessons and retreat plans that were culturally relevant became a passion of mine and seeing their impact on the students I taught was deeply fulfilling. Shereen and I have been friends for many years and have also been co-workers. She told me about her pursuit of a Master of Theology and, later, her interest in creating curriculum. I had also been thinking about creating curriculum with the materials that I had been accumulating over the years serving in my parish, which led me to enroll in a Master of Theology program myself. Shereen asked if I would contribute to Bridges to Orthodoxy, which I happily agreed to. What better use of the materials that I have been creating over more than 15 years of teaching Sunday School than to share it with such a wonderful project that will impact the lives of the children, teenagers and young adults in our communities.
About the Editor / Contributor: Madona Lawindy
About the Editor / Contributor: Laura Michael