Physical & Emotional Abilities and Challenges Embraced
PEACE Ministry History:
In the spring of 2015, a few members of St. Athanasius the Great met with Rev. Fr. Nicholas Kastanas to discuss establishing a new ministry to help support the families of our community whose children face challenges in their everyday lives. Original Ministry members include Fr. Nick, Althea Ioakimidis, Tanya Stamoulis, Tina Demopoulos, Penny Meletlidis, and Elaine Kakambouras. Since that time, our membership has grown as additional caring parishioners Katerina Delegas, Kaiti Galanopoulos, Corina Kapetanakis, and Anastasia Zotos have committed themselves to supporting the PEACE Ministry. Since our first gathering in January of 2016, families and community members have welcomed the opportunity to participate in adapted worship services followed by social gatherings, and music and art therapy sessions.
Our Mission and Purpose:
The PEACE Ministry is dedicated to offering an environment of full inclusion and acceptance to Orthodox Christians with physical or emotional challenges. The goal is to educate the community and provide an environment where all are able to come and worship regardless of their abilities. Our ultimate goal to help foster an inclusive and welcoming environment for all by providing support and guidance through adapted worship services, community activities, educational workshops, and a family and parent support group.
Accommodations and Supports:
The PEACE Ministry provides accommodations and supports to participants and their families. Worship services lasting fifteen minutes are adapted by Fr. Kastanas and create a comfortable, loving, and serene atmosphere for all. Visual supports and a social story describing worship services complete with photos of St. Athanasius the Great are provided during the services and can also be accessed online. A devoted staff of parents, parishioners, and special educators support all participants under the guidance of Fr. Kastanas.
Regular and clear communication is critical to promoting the goals, ideals, and values of the PEACE Ministry. Informing families both within and outside the St. Athanasius the Great community of our adapted worship services and social activities is paramount to the success of the ministry and its purpose. By spreading the word, sharing the love, and embracing all children and their families, the ministry hopes to encourage as many families as possible to participate comfortably within this inclusive and welcoming environment. Ultimately, the ministry prays that this message and opportunity will be embraced by the entire community. Information regarding worship services and activities is available through several channels:
Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org