About Us

Our Story

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 have been using the materials for a few years and providing feedback.  Over the years, the materials were tweaked 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.  While made with the Coptic tradition in mind, the units are fully adaptable for Eastern Orthodox parishes as well.  

About the Author:  Shereen Marcus

“Sunday School is boring mom – please don’t make me  go!” Sound familiar? It was this simple sentence heard over and over again from my kids that planted a seed in which I had no idea would grow the way it did.

My name is Shereen Marcus, I am a wife and mother of 2 boys with a full-time job in the DC metropolitan area. 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 recently earned my diploma from the University of Balamand in Lebanon in conjunction with the Antiochian House of Studies.

About the Editor / Contributor:  Madona Lawindy

I grew up my whole life in the Orthodox Church.  It wasn’t until I moved to a town that didn’t have a church that I began to realize just how much God and Orthodoxy had become a huge part of my life.  Without that sweet familiarity, things seemed harder.  I leaned a lot on what I learned and found myself comparing every practical situation in my life against those things, whether I necessarily chose the correct path or not.  Then, once I had kids, the value and importance of leaning on that foundation increased tenfold at LEAST.  I wanted nothing more than to contribute to something that would enable me, and generations to come, to grow our love for the Lord. Using my background as a former elementary school teacher, a stay-at-home mom of two, and a life that revolves around my church community, Bridges to Orthodoxy strives to do just that and I hope you find those same benefits!  

About the Editor / Contributor:  Laura Michael

  Laura often startled her professors during her Masters of Teaching courses by having Eureka moments about Sunday School in the middle of their lectures. It was a relief to learn that the problem with her teaching was HER and not the kids because she knew she could work to improve herself. Fast forward a few years and an ordination later, Shereen reaches out to Laura with  a sample unit. Laura is blown away by the details and sound pedagogy and most importantly the relevance of Shereen’s lesson plans to actual kids living in the West today. When not messaging Madona and Shereen, Laura runs Coptic Dad & Mom and serves at Saint Demiana Coptic Church in Jacksonville with her husband Fr. Philopateer Younan (whom we much later discovered is Shereen’s second cousin—of course).