Welcome to the 2022 Conference page!

When: February, 3-5 2022

**You may arrive on Wednesday evening, February 2nd. The Conference officially begins February 3rd**

Where: Antiochian Village Conference and Retreat Center in Bolivar, PA

 

Join us for our annual Conference of Orthodox Youth Ministry Professionals at the Antiochian Village Conference Center. The objective of the Conference is to offer an enriching and uplifting experience that will connect youth and camp workers, providing them with inspirational and challenging ideas to help them refine and improve their ministry in Orthodox youth formation.

 

Register for the Conference Here!

Schedule here

Antiochian Village COVID-19 Guidelines

Fee is All-Inclusive (conference registration, lodging, meals, airport transportation)

**The above includes Wednesday evening accommodations: check-in begins at 4pm on February 2nd**


Speakers and Topics

Keynote Speaker:

Michelle Moujaes, Executive Director of Faithtree Resources (Creators of the Relationship Project)


Workshop Speakers:

Please check back for updates on new speakers, to learn more about the workshop topics and our presenters.

  • Fr. Kirill Sokolov: Helping our youth discover their talents and giving them back to God
  • Hollie Benton: Guiding Our Camp Staff/Youth Teams to Develop Their Gifts for Ministry
  • Kris Yee: Building Community Through Retreats and Events
  • Alexandra Schmalzbach: Using the Book "101 Saints" in Your Ministry
  • Shereen Marcus: Bridges to Orthodoxy- Curriculum designed to equip youth workers with tools, not handcuffs.
  • Fr. David Morrison: Helping our Youth See Christ in the Other
  • Fr. Stephen Loposky: Getting Our Campers Back to Camp- An Interactive Workshop

Speaker Bios

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 equip churches, church leaders and the people they serve to know and live the Christian faith, for the common good and the glory of God. 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 her husband 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.

 

Fr. David Morrison is a grateful OCA priest in Bozeman, MT (orthodoxbozeman.org), Fr. David grew up in Christian camping as a Protestant. In college he was camp counselor and program manager at Eagle Lake Camp in CO, and has experience with Young Life camps as well. Fr. David helped launch the St Peter Monastary Work Weeks (https://www.stpetersmonastery.com/camps) 6 years ago and is camp director. He has also been an active leader at

the Orthodox Rocky Mountain Camp in CO. He is known to pull out his guitar at a campfire. Fr. David is a professional musician, singing in the St Tikhon Choir (https://sainttikhonchoir.org). He loves his wife, Mat. Patti, and 3 great kids, and is glad to live in the beautiful mountains of Montana.

 

 

 

 

Hollie Benton has served the Orthodox Christian Leadership Initiative as Executive Director since September, 2019. Formerly she worked for a Fortune 500 Company in project management in the IT and commercial solutions divisions. She is a member of St. Elizabeth Orthodox Church in St. Paul, MN, where she directs choir and Ephesus School. Hollie and her husband, Richard Benton, PhD, served the Orthodox Christian Fellowship, 2002-2012, in regional capacities and at UW-Madison, UW-Seattle, and UMN-Minneapolis. Hollie holds a Master’s degree from St. Vladimir’s Seminary and holds a B.A. with majors completed in Philosophy, Music Theory, and Applied Piano. Her family supports international exchange, hosting students from Spain, Serbia, Georgia, and Bosnia. Her two daughters, Nellie and Kalista, are university students currently studying in Spain and the Netherlands.

 

Shereen M. Marcus is a wife of almost 20 years to Ihab Marcus and a mother of 2 boys (Jonah, 16, and Ethan, 13).  She works full time as a Veterans Law Judge for a Federal Appellate Court (the Board of Veterans Appeals) with a J.D. from George Washing University Law School. Concurrently with her legal career, Shereen has been an advocate for reforming Youth Ministry in Orthodox Churches in North America for many years.  Starting off with a few ideas, a knack for "kid-silliness," and some natural writing abilities, Shereen did independent research into various Youth Ministry efforts and methodologies and began writing kids' Christian education material for her local parish. She furthered her work by completing a Master's Program in Orthodox Theology with a Youth Ministry Emphasis from the University of Balamand in Lebanon in conjunction with the Antiochian House of Studies. From there, she took her materials to a bigger platform by launching "Bridges to Orthodoxy" in January 2020. She continues to write Christian education materials and lecture on youth ministry efforts and methodologies. Find her works on her Christian Education website at www.bridgestoorthodoxy.com.
 
Alexandra Schmalzbach is a lifelong Virginian and Orthodox Christian. Alexandra was born in Arlington, Virginia and majored in history and religious studies at the University of Virginia. She now resides in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and their five children.