Summary: How well do we know the people beside us at liturgy? Every one of them has a story to tell, whether it’s a love story, a war story, a comedy or a tragedy, a tale of an immigrant's struggle or a heartfelt conversion story. The Church is a community of human beings with unique personal narratives and perspectives, and the more we understand and appreciate one another, the better unified our community can be.
Meet Eric! Eric lives near Seattle, WA, and has had a number of careers: newspaper reporter, Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine, homeless shelter financial manager, non-fiction writer, preemie-parent advocate, and fiction writer. The past few years. he has been a stay-at-home dad and written Voice in the Storm. He likes bicycling around Washington state, and landscape photography, too.
Join Elissa for a conversation with Dario Solis. Hailing from Austin, TX, Dario is a new convert to Orthodox Christianity with an amazing story to tell.
The Founder and President of the University of St. Katherine joins Elissa to learn about his life and what led him to start this unique university in Southern California founded on Orthodox Christian principles.
Meet Elise Photini, an Ancient Faith blogger and Elissa's guest on Everyday Orthodox this week! Elise Photini is raising her “littles” (no longer quite so little) on her own in the Pacific Northwest, where she works as a hospice nurse with half her heart, while the other half of her heart floats between writing and speaking on raising resilient, strong children and healing from trauma.
Jennifer Anna Rich lives on a small farm near Portland, OR, with her husband, horses, sheep, chickens, cats, and dog. She tends the garden, makes parchment from her Saint Croix sheep skins, and runs Oblation Papers & Press with her husband, designing handmade paper goods. Jennifer is the author of Prayer Spa: Ancient Treatments for the Modern Soul.
Hope founded Families Together in 2017 after her first experience as a foster mom almost led her to turn in her license. Four years (and four kids) later, Families Together is matching isolated families with helpful, friendly volunteers through the Neighbors program in Colorado, California, Texas, Illinois, and Michigan. The Neighbors team matches up volunteers to help combat our nation's mental health and loneliness crises. Hope lives in Colorado Springs with four generations under one roof and juggles homeschooling a her 8-year-old Maximus while keeping two-year-old Mercy at a reasonable limit with her daily marshmallow intake (with lots of help from grandma and great grandma)
Shereen Marcus is a wife and mother of two boys who works a full-time job as a Veterans Law Judge for the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. She's also an advocate for reforming Youth Ministry in Orthodox churches in North America. Starting with new ideas, writing abilities, and a knack for “kid-silliness,” Shereen did independent research into various youth ministry efforts and methodologies and began writing kids’ Christian education materials for her local parish. She furthered her work by completing a Master’s degree in Orthodox Theology, with a Youth Ministry Emphasis, from the University of Balamand, 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
Meet Esteban Picornell! He's an Orthodox Christian, born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. After first encountering Orthodox Christianity during the years when he lived in the greater Boston area, he returned to San Juan, where he spends his days between church (he likes to chant) at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in San Juan and work, workouts, neighbors, and family
Born and raised in the former Yugoslavia, Fr. Serafim moved to America in 1995 because of the war. At the monasteries in Ocala, FL, he met Elder Ephraim and realized his won monastic calling. After attending Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, NY, he became a hieromonk in 2008 at the New Gracanica Monastery in Illinois, where he still lives. Join Elissa as she visit with Fr. Serafim about his journey.
Fr. George was a reconstructive dentist, but reinvented himself after 28 years, retiring and earning a PhD in Orthodox Theology and History. Ordained as a deacon in 2003, he became an advocate for people living with developmental disabilities, and then, after his retirement, was finally ordained a priest. Fr. George and Presbytera Ria have been married for over fifty years, have two grown, married children and five grand children. They enjoy traveling, cooking, entertaining and the arts
Natalie is a wife and new mother who has worked as a dog bather, a mad scientist, and even put in some time in the morgue. Now she works as a fiber artist specializing in faith-based design as she strives to center her life on Chris
Daniel Girgis is a member of the Coptic Orthodox Church, born and raised in New York City. He is a tonsured reader and chanter who received his Master of Arts in theology from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in 2021. Prior to his time in seminary, Daniel also received his Bachelor of Science in biology from Long Island University, and his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from SUNY University at Buffalo. In addition to his career, Daniel focuses on the integration of the oral transmission of Coptic chant and the analysis of liturgical manuscripts in order to not only preserve Coptic heritage, but to encourage Coptic faithful to reconnect and embody their tradition
Matt is a husband and father of two, and the principal of a Christian school in Austin, TX. He has an MA in Biblical Studies from Trinity School for Ministry (in Ambridge, PA) and is currently completing EdD in Educational Leadership at Concordia University in Texas. Matt was recently elected to the parish council at Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church in Austin and recently sold his home in the suburbs north of Austin to buy a log cabin on a 4.5 acre property next to one of Elder Ephraim's monasteries--Holy Archangels--in Kendalia.
On January 16, we'll be live with Dr. Patricia Bouteneff! She discovered Orthodoxy as a Fulbright Scholar in Greece, and is both a folklore scholar and a strategic communications professional. She is the President of the Executive Board of Axia Women, a 501(c)3 organization by, for and about Orthodox Women
Michael Sider-Rose has been working for years in faith-based, off-campus experiential learning programs for youth, combining classes, internships and urban immersion. Now he's taking on a new project called the Orthodox Volunteer Corps. Listen in as Elissa talks with him about this innovative and important effort