Join us for a conversation between Fr. Gary Kyriacou and Orthodox Volunteer Corps director Michael Sider-Rose!
For over two years, a team of Orthodox leaders from across the country has been developing a new ministry for our Church, Orthodox Volunteer Corps (OVC). OVC is a full-time, 10-month program to develop young adult Orthodox leaders through hands-on, domestic service placements, intensive leadership training, communal living, and faith formation. OVC became the newest official agency of the Assembly of Bishops in October, has two full-time staff, and will launch our inaugural cohort of participants this fall in Pittsburgh.
Armed with Faith is a weekly program focused on ways to serve our Youth and bring them to a better understanding of Christ and His Church. Watch more of this program and other myOCN Community Events recorded programs anytime.
#25 Michael Sider-Rose—Orthodox Volunteer Corps
#24: Steve Christophorou
A graduate of Yale University, Fordham University School of Law, and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Steve is passionate about sharing the Gospel in a clear and accessible way and helping people see Christ at work in their lives.
#23 Fr. Chris Kerhulas
Fr. Chris Kerhulas grew up on the west side of Chicago. He graduated from Hellenic College in 1971, and then attended Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology for his MDiv degree from 1971 through 1974. He married his wife Maria Stathopoulos, whom he met in Denver Colorado, in May 1975. They have two children, Georgia and Peter, and two granddaughters, Ava and Marissa. Fr. Chris served as Assistant Pastor at Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Oak Lawn, IL from 1975-78, and then Pastor of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Waukegqn, Ill, from 1978-1981. He was then brought to the Metropolis Archdiocese in 1981 to serve as Youth Director for the mid-west. At the same time, he also took over the inner city church of Saint Basil on Ashland and Polk Street, West loop area, where he remained until 2010, even after ending his service as Youth Director in 1989. =During the entire period of 1981 through 2010, he served on numerous national youth commissions and various national Clergy activist organizations. This included a two year term as national President of the national Clergy association representing over 600 Clergymen. Among his proudest achievements is his involvement for four years at the Ionian Village summer camp program on the western coast of Greece beginning in 1983. Greek American young people still participate in this incredible life changing program to this day. Fr. Chris retired from the active ministry in July 2010, but still helps and fills in for Clergy wherever needed.
#22 Carolyn Kouracos
Carolyn Kouracos was born in Paraguay and raised in Pullman, Washington where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Washington State University. She currently works as Office Administrator at St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church in Irvine, California where she’s been an active member with her husband, Steve and their family, for more than thirty years. Carolyn participated in the 1988 Project H.O.P.E. Mission Trip to Kenya (the predecessor to OCMC) and has worked as a youth ministry advisor for St. Paul’s for several years. Carolyn is passionate about mission work and youth ministry and enjoys teaching youth and young adults about poverty in developing countries as well as within the local community through Hunger Strike.
#21 Robert Krantz
Robert Krantz is a Greek-American (Krantz was shortened from Karountzos) who graduated from USC’s film school and has acted in some of the most successful movies (Back to the Future, Woman in Red), TV movies (Billionaire Boys Club, Onassis) and sit-coms (Who’s the Boss?, Silver Spoons). He has also sold his original screenplays to Sony, Fox and Columbia Pictures.
Additionally, Krantz produced, wrote and starred in the award winning Do You Wanna Dance?, Christmas with the Karountzoses and Faith, Hope & Love for which he received nominations for Best Screenplay, Best Picture, Best Actor and won for Best Director, from the International Christian Film Festival.
He has also written several best-selling books, Falling in Love with Sophia, Guide to the Divine Liturgy and Guide to Holy Week.
Krantz is also owner of Ellinas Multimedia (www.EllinasMultimedia.com) the largest production and distribution company of Greek media in the United States. He also began The Facebook Group – The Faith, Hope and Love Community which has over 30,000 members. Most recently, Krantz has finished filming his latest movie: A Marriage Made in Heaven. With this film, Krantz becomes the first filmmaker to ever write, produce, act, direct, edit and dance in a movie.
Krantz lives in Southern California with his wife Tricia. They have triplet sons, Chris, George and Nick.
#20 Andrea Kalina
Andrea Kalina was born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas and currently works as a high school math teacher at an all-girls catholic school. Andrea has a passion for connecting with students and meeting them where they are no matter what their previous math experiences may be. She has also found joy in mentoring teachers who are new to the profession. Andrea is a lifelong member of Annunciation Kansas City, where her family has been for nearly 100 years. She has also loved finding community in parishes across America including St. Nicholas in Northridge, CA, St. Anthony’s in Pasadena, and Holy Trinity Cathedral in New York, NY.
Andrea caught the summer camp bug early on in her life and has served youth across our Archdiocese ever since. She first served on staff at her local camp, EOYC, in Kansas followed by Camp St. Paul in the D.A.D, then later at St. Nick’s Ranch in the Metropolis of San Francisco as both a staff member and girls director. She is thrilled to return to Ionian Village this summer as the staff and program coordinator after participating as a camper in 2009 and serving as a staff member in 2015.
#19 Project-based Christian Education with Dr. Drew Baker
Dr. Drew Baker is a passionate K-12 educator with a love for the Orthodox Faith and passing it on to younger generations. He serves as the Educational Specialist from Professional Development in Henrico County Schools and teaches graduate education courses in curriculum design, educational technology, and educational psychology at the University of Richmond. At the University level he researches student engagement strategies, project based learning, and instructional design. Drew is a lifelong member of Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Richmond, VA, where he has taught high school religious education for thirteen years and now serves as one of the religious education directors there. He also has spent time in youth ministry working at many Orthodox summer camps and retreats including the Ionian Village in Greece, St. Nicholas Ranch in California, and Camp Saint Paul in New York.
#18 Kari Kampakis
Kari Kampakis is a popular author, speaker, podcaster and columnist based in Birmingham, Alabama. Her two books for teen girls, 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know and Liked: Whose Approval Are You Living For, and her bestselling book for moms, Love Her Well: 10 Ways to Find Joy and Connection with Your Teenage Daughter, have been used widely across the country for small group studies.
Kari’s work has been featured on The TODAY Show, TODAY Parents, Focus on the Family, EWTN, Yahoo! News, Grown & Flown, FaithGateway, Jesus Calling, Your Teen, Mother.ly, For Every Mom, Love What Matters, Ann Voskamp’s blog, The Huffington Post, Thrive Global, and other national outlets. She and her husband, Harry, have four daughters and a dog named Lola.
#17 What our Kids Need from Us with Valerie Pappas Llauro
Valerie Pappas Llauro has over 20 years of experience as a studio executive as well as a consultant on numerous feature films and most recently, a Producer. Her passion for film began as a child, and after graduating from USC with a degree in Theater and Cinema-Television, her career was launched. Starting as an intern at New Line Cinema, Valerie rose up through the ranks to eventually run the National Promotions department in Los Angeles where she secured promotional and integration deals and co-produced TV specials, and promotional videos on films such as the Austin Powers trilogy, The Lord of The Rings, The Wedding Singer, Rush Hour, 1 & 2 etc. She was then tapped by Paramount Pictures, to run the Product Placement Division where she worked on films such as Star Trek, Mission Impossible 3, and War of The Worlds. Valerie went on to become a film consultant as well as teach a film marketing seminar at Art Center of Design. In the past few years, Valerie has lent her expertise to work on films such as Just Getting Started, Unhinged starring Russell Crowe, and most recently Robert Rodriguez’s film, Hypnotic, starring Ben Affleck. Serving as a Producer on the soon-to-be-released film, Gigi & Nate Directed by Nick Hamm and starring Marcia Gay Harden and Jim Belushi, Valerie also produced the behind-the-scenes documentary. Aside from movies, Valerie and her husband are co-founders of the charitable organization, Walking Strong, which transforms the lives of those children and teens with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Founded in 2014, after their son was diagnosed, Walking Strong has raised over $1,000,000 and created impactful relationships with sports figures, corporations, and individuals.
#16 Catching up with the 2021 IV Next Participants
#15 Ionian Village with Alexandra Manolis
Alexandra Manolis‘s passion and belief in Orthodox Christian camping programs is long held and multidimensional. She has experienced Ionian Village in multiple stages of her life, including as a camper, staff member, and parent of campers.
Alexandra is a lifelong member of Cathedral of the Ascension in Oakland, California and has served the Church in multiple roles at the parish, Metropolis and Archdiocesan level. Her background is in public relations, marketing, event planning, fundraising/stewardship and communications in both the private and non-profit sectors.
#14 Mental Wellness with Yianna Papadeas
Yianna Papadeas was born & raised in Denver, Colorado. She then went on to live in Chicago while pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Psychology & Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees from Loyola University Chicago.
She moved to Southern California at the start of 2021 & is now practicing as a Psychiatric Registered Nurse. She has previous experience working in an inpatient residential facility, & now works in an inpatient behavioral health hospital.
Yianna is an active member of the Greek Orthodox community, participating in many different ministries. She has been a former staff member at St. Sophia Camp in California, Fanari Camp in Wisconsin, & Ionian Village. She is also the chair of the San Francisco Metropolis’s newest initiative “YAL In Your Backyard.” She loves to travel, play basketball, play piano, & Cretan dance.
#13 Youth Ministry
#12 Youth Discussion – God’s Will with Lucas Paris
Lucas Paris (18) is currently a freshman in college attending Grand Canyon University: “I try my best to call myself an Orthodox Christian amidst the struggles of daily life. I have been helping out with GOYA locally in Scottsdale, as well as being involved within the Greek dance.”
#11 Youth Discussion – Who is Gen Z?
#10 Youth Discussion – The Gospel of the Good Samaritan
#9 Panos Coufos, Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries
#8 Perry Skaggs, Camp Director at Saint Sophia Camp
#7 Perry Skaggs, Camp Director at Saint Sophia Camp
#6 Fr. Nicholas Andruchow
In 2011 Fr. Nicholas Andruchow and his family moved to Tijuana in order to be the full-time priest of the St. Innocent Orthodox Orphanage and Project Mexico. His path leading to ministering through this pan-orthodox organization began decades previously in a life being guided by the Lord. Fr. Nicholas was raised in the Russian Orthodox Church growing up in Worcester, Massachusetts. After finishing his undergraduate degree in Restaurant Administration at Widener University, he joined the United States Peace Corps and served the impoverished for 2 & ½ years. In the solitude of the jungle of the Caribbean he found Christ as an adult and began his active pursuit of a life solely dedicated to the Lord. Shortly after finishing his tour in 1994 he was asked by Project Mexico to lead their business development program at the Orphanage. He worked for them for three years running their onsite pig farm and training the orphan boys in basic entrepreneurial skills. During that time he married his wife, Merilynn Kouris a Cretan from Salt Lake City, and started their family living two of the three years at the Orphanage. In completion of his time with the orphanage Fr. Nicholas began his studies for the priesthood at St. Vladimir’s seminary in New York. In graduating from seminary Fr. Nicholas was assigned to the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox mission parish of Flagstaff, Arizona. There he served for 9 & ½ years creating a full liturgical and parish community prepared to purchase a facility, which would be the permanent home for the faithful in that part of the country. In this time he was approached by Project Mexico to serve as the spiritual director for the only Orthodox Orphanage in North America. After much prayer and contemplation, Fr. Nicholas and his family, through the blessing of the Greek Orthodox hierarch, left parish life to serve the little ones in this trouble part of the world. This past June Fr. Nicholas was hired to be the Executive Director of Project Mexico and is now charged to lead this missionary organization for the next decade.
#5: Tracey Yokas (Part 2)
#4: Tracey Yokas (Part 1)
Tracey Yokas creates stuff. When she isn’t writing about mental health and wellness, she can be found playing with paint, glitter, and glue. Art fuels her passion for connection. She shares about her family’s journey with mental illness so others will know they are not alone and that hope is real. She is dedicated to supporting women in the journey towards authenticity, and fulfills her mission by creating safe spaces where art, words, and vulnerability meet in a dynamic, supportive community. Tracey earned her master’s degree in counseling psychology from California Lutheran University and lives in Newbury Park, CA, with her family, cats, and fish. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @traceyyokas or on her website at www.traceyyokascreates.com.
#3: Dr. Eve Tibbs
Dr. Eve (Paraskevè) Tibbs is an Affiliate Assistant Professor of Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California where she has taught since 2005. She holds a Ph.D. in Theology with a minor in Church History and an M.A. in Theology with an emphasis in Biblical Studies, both from Fuller Theological Seminary. Dr. Tibbs has served as Chair of the Eastern Orthodox Studies Group of the American Academy of Religion, is currently the Ministry Lead for Christian Education in the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco, and serves as a member the Metropolis Council. Dr. Tibbs attends Saint Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church in Irvine, CA. where she serves as a Chantor and Choir Director, and Chair of the Sunday Church School Board. She and her husband, Steve, have been blessed with three daughters, three sons-in-law, and eight adorable grandchildren.
#2: Dr. Christine G. Zeppos
Dr. Christine G. Zeppos has served 25 years in university administration and is an expert in the areas of Transformational Leadership & Change Management, Diversity/Equity/Inclusion, and Accreditation & Law of Higher Education. Her vast accreditation experience and expertise led her to be appointed as the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) Commissioner in Sacramento representing all CA private universities (e.g., Stanford, USC, Loyola Marymount, etc.). As Dean of Brandman University, Chapman System’s School of Education, she led the development of the now highly regarded doctoral program focusing on transformational leadership and change which produces ethical and trusted leaders who are able to transform their organizations through collaboration, inclusion, creativity, innovation, strategic thinking and positive influence. The graduates of this interdisciplinary program are highly successful P-12, higher education, health care, law enforcement, business and governmental leaders. Dr. Zeppos is currently the President of the private consulting firm, Transformational Leadership, LLC, which offers support to CEO’s, College Presidents, and Superintendents in the areas of Transformational Leadership & Change Management, Diversity/Equity/Inclusion, Instructional Technology, and Accreditation.
#1: Michelle Moujaes, Executive Director of Faithtree
Michelle Moujaes is the founder and Executive Director of Faithtree Resources, a 501 c 3 nonprofit organization based in Los Angeles, California. Faithtree creates resources to help Orthodox Christians learn and live the Faith.
After graduating from Boston University with a degree in Social Work and Community Organizing, including coursework emphasis on theology and organizing communities of faith, she began working for a variety of agencies including: The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Monster.com’s Making it Count Program, Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless and the Easter Seals School for Children with Autism. She has led in a variety of roles within the Orthodox Christian Church including as the New England Regional Youth Director for the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, the Metropolitan Committee Chair in Los Angeles for International Orthodox Christian Charities, a member of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship’s National Board of Directors, Founding Chair of St. Elijah Orthodox Church elementary school programming in
Oklahoma City, among others.
Michelle is happily married to the kindest man in the universe, Waleed, and together they have four children, Dimitri, Alexander, Jonah and Sabine. When she’s not speaking or creating content for Faithtree Resources, you might find her speaking internationally on the topic of autism and interventions for adults and children with Extraordinary Needs, or volunteering at St. Michael Church, the home parish she and her family attend.