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Keynote Speakers

Archbishop DemetriosHis eminence archbishop demetrios of america

Archbishop Demetrios (Trakatellis) of America was born in Thessaloniki, Greece.  In 1950 he graduated with distinction from the University of Athens School of Theology.  He was ordained a deacon in 1960, and a priest in 1964.

He was elected Bishop of Vresthena in 1967, auxiliary to the Archbishop of Athens, responsible for the theological education of the clergy.  From 1965 to 1971, he studied New Testament and Christian Origins at Harvard University, and was awarded a Ph. D. "with distinction" in 1972.  He earned a second doctorate in Theology from the University of Athens "with distinction" in 1977.  From 1983 to 1993, he was the Distinguished Professor of Biblical Studies and Christian Origins at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts.  He also taught at Harvard Divinity School as Visiting Professor of New Testament during the academic years 1984 to 1985 and from 1988 to 1989.  In August 1991 he was elevated to be the Titular Metropolitan of Vresthena.  In 2003 he was inducted into the Academy of Athens as a member who resides abroad.

On August 19, 1999, he was elected Archbishop of America by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.  He was enthroned on September 18, 1999 in New York City.  In over a decade of leading the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, with more than one and a half million members in the United States, he has touched and inspired the lives of thousands of people with his incessant and loving archpastoral ministry.

As Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, he is the Chairman of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America.  He has been the recipient of many governmental, ecclesiastical, interfaith, and academic honors, in the USA, Greece and Europe.

Keynote Address:
Reflection on Ephesians 3:14-19



Fr. Anthony Coniarisfr. anthony coniaris, M.Div.

Fr. Anthony M. Coniaris served St. Mary's Greek Orthodox Church in Minneapolis, MN for 45 years, retiring in 1993.  He is a graduate of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and Northwestern Theological Seminary.  He has attended post-graduate studies in the field of religion and psychiatry at the University of Minnesota and at St. John's University in Collegeville, MN.  Fr. Coniaris served for several years on the Archdiocese Board of Missions as well as the Presbyter's Council.  He was a member of the Board of the Children's Heart Fund, is listed in the 1976-77 Who's Who in Religion, is the author of many books and has received the Three Hierarchs Medal for outstanding service from Holy Cross.  A scholarship to assist needy students has been established at Holy Cross in his and Presbytera Mary Coniaris' names.

He is currently President of Light and Life Publishing Company and has served on the Standing Committee of Liturgical Translations of the Archdiocese.  He has also served as Professor of Homiletics at Holy Cross.

Keynote Address:
Synergism: Church and Home



Fr. Costafr. Constantine sitaras, M.Div.

Father Constantine currently serves as the Director of the Center for Family Care. He is also the Director of Saint Basil Academy. In addition, he has served the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese as the Director of Ionian Village, for twenty-five years. He has also been the Director of Youth Ministry, Director of Stewardship and the pastor of the Church of Our Saviour in Rye, New York. Father is a graduate of Hellenic College and of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.

Fr. Constantine is married to the former Georgia Agelopas and together they have a son, Basil who practices law at Day Pitney LLP in New York City. Throughout his years working with youth, Fr. Constantine also became passionate about family ministry. He feels strongly that engaging the family is critical in imparting the faith to our young people.

Opening Address:
Who Is Our Family?



Fr. Harry Pappas

Fr. Harry pappas, Ph.d., M.Div.

Fr. Harry Pappas is a graduate of Davidson College, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Harvard Divinity School and Yale University.  Fr. Harry has taught Scripture and Hebrew at Yale University and Holy Cross, along with courses at St. Vladimir's Seminary, where he is currently an adjunct Professor.  He has been the pastor of the Church of the Archangels in Stamford, CT, for the last four years.  His ministry includes missionary work (Project Mexico, Hogar Rafael Orphanage, Albania), Spiritual Advisor to Emmaus House in Harlem, and Member of the Board of Trustees at the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical & Cultural Research.

His publications include various articles in scholarly journals and books, most recently co-author of the article, "Eastern Orthodoxy," in The Child: An Encyclopedic Companion (University of Chicago Press, 2009).  He is married to Kerry Kaloudis and together they have 3 children.

Keynote Address:
Family in Scripture and Implications for Today




Intensive Workshop Session

Jim BurnsJim burns, Ph.d.

Jim Burns is the President of HomeWord and Executive Director of HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University.  Jim speaks to thousands of people around the world each year.  He has over 1.5 million resources in print in over 25 languages.  Jim's radio broadcast is heard on over 800 stations a day and heard around the world via podcast at Some of his recent books include: Faith conversations for Families, Teenology: The Art of Raising Great Teenagers, Closer: 52 Devotions to Draw Couples Together, Confident Parenting, The Purity Code and Creating an Intimate Marriage. Jim and his wife, Cathy, and their three daughters live in Southern California.

Intensive Workshop Session:
Developing a Strategy for Family Ministry



Workshop Presenters

Fr. LouFR. LOUIS CHRISTOPULOS: Protopresbyter, St. Catherine's Greek Orthodox Church, Greenwood Village, CO

Fr. Louis J. Christopulos is from Cheyenne, WY, receiving a B.S. Degree in Parks and Recreation in 1976 from the University of Wyoming.  He and his wife Presbytera Marsha have three children, Nicole, Christopher, Jonathan, and four grandchildren. 

After receiving his M.Div. from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, MA, he was ordained to the Holy Priesthood in 1980.  Fr. Lou served at Three Hierarchs Parish in Brooklyn, NY, St. John the Prodromos in Amarillo, TX, and The Annunciation Cathedral in Houston, TX, prior to his present position as Proistamenos at St. Catherine in Greenwood Village, CO, where he has served since 1997.

Workshop Session-
Making Your Parish a Family

Our St. Catherine Parish is 29 years old and is made up of a mixture of Orthodox Christians from Greek backgrounds and other traditional ethnic backgrounds, as well as a significant number of parishioners who have chosen to become Orthodox Christians with no ethnic connection whatsoever.

There is a sign in our parish hall that says, "Welcome to St. Catherine's.  There are no strangers here, only friends you haven't met." This provides for us a goal of sort of "Philoxenia", which translates to "hospitality".  As we delve into that word deeper, however, it means "love of stranger".  This workshop will focus on our challenges of the present day in reaching out to people of all backgrounds who are interested in the Orthodox Faith and inviting them to be members of our parish family--young and old alike.


Georgette ConstantinouGeorgette Constantinou, Ph.d.: Administrative director, division of Pediatric psychiatry and psychology, child neurology, & developmental-behavioral pediatrics, Akron Children's hospital

Dr. Constantinou received her B.A. from Vassar College in 1970, Summa Cum Laude, her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the Ohio State University, 1972, and 1973.  She completed her child clinical internship at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago, IL in 1973.  An Associate Professor of Psychology at Northeastern Ohio Medical University, she has served as faculty since 1978.

In January 2008, she received the Distinguished Service Award for her 30 years of dedication and service to Akron Children's Hospital.  in November 2012, she was honored by the Akron Urban league and presented with the "Women of Power" Award. 

She is an active speaker and trainer on the local, regional, national, and international levels.  She appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show in October 1997.  In September 2012, Dr. Constantinou was a keynote speaker in a child sexual abuse conference in Kiev, Ukraine.  She also trained professionals there in diagnosis and treatment of childhood disorders.

Dr. Constantinou advocates for the mental health needs of children and their families in the areas of traumatized children and children coping with the demands of chronic medical illnesses and injuries.

Workshop Session-
Negotiating the Challenges of Family Life

Join Dr. Constantinou as she identifies the societal challenges which impact the Orthodox family (i.e., issues of mental and physical health, family structure and stressors, media).  Dr. Constantinou will also clarify the role of family ministry in helping families deal with these challenges, discuss strategies for coping with these challenges, and propose a model for family ministry, which incorporates resources in mental health and family functioning.

paul and cindyPAUL & CINDY KAROS: St. Mary's Greek Orthodox Church, Minneapolis MN

Paul and Cindy Karos have been married for seventeen years, have three children between the ages of eleven and fifteen, and have been active in both the Greek and Antiochian Archdiocese.  Paul has had a long Wall Street career, and also completed the St. Stephen's Applied Orthodox Theology Program in the Antiochian House of Studies.  He has used this degree to lead many men's programs around the country, pre-engagement counseling, prison ministry, and one-on-one men's ministry. 

Prior to being a full time mom, Cindy's career was in domestic and international sales management.  She was also the youth director for the Midwest region of the Antiochian Archdiocese for ten years, where she led teen workshops, helped establish youth groups and worked with adult youth leaders.  She has lead the St. Mary's Pan Orthodox Family Camp in the Twin Cities as well as been involved in other church leadership positions.

Workshop Session-
Using Family Ministry to Build Community Connections

Join Paul and Cindy as they share successful programs that have strengthened and built fellowship at St. Mary's Greek Orthodox Church.  Special focus on Family Camp and Koinonia house ministries will be made.


Fr. Jim KordarisFR. JIM KORDARIS: Director-Department of Outreach & Evangelism; Greek Orthodox Archdiocese

Fr. Jim was born and raised in Minneapolis.  He received his BA-Psychology in 1979 and MBA-Finance in 1983 from the University of Minnesota.  At his home parish of St. Mary's in Minneapolis, under the spiritual guidance of Fr. Anthony Coniaris, Fr. Jim served in various capacities, including Camp Counselor, Bible Study Leader, Parish Council President (2 years), IOCC Committee Chair and Stewardship Chair.

Following twelve years in the financial services industry, Fr. Jim entered Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, receiving his M. Div. degree.  He has served the parishes of St. Demetrios in Jamaica, NY, Archangel Michael in Roslyn Heights, NY, and currently serves the parish of St. George on West 54th Street in New York City.

In January of 2003, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios appointed Fr. Jim Director of the Archdiocesan Department of Outreach & Evangelism.  In 2009, Fr. Jim was appointed Director of the newly formed Department of Stewardship, Outreach, & Evangelism. 

Workshop Session-
Family Outreach: Building Up the Body of Christ

The Church is the "Body of Christ" (1 Corinthians 12). Therefore, to be a member of the Church is to be a part of the living Body of Christ.  Just as every member has a different function in the human body, so does each have a specific function of calling in His Church.  Without all the members of the Church participating and working together, our ministries do not reach their full potential.

Research has shown that 96% of the unchurched are at least somewhat likely to attend church if they are invited (Rainer, Surprising Insights from the Unchurched). Bringing people to church is the calling of every Orthodox Christian.  Far more than any other person, a family member was influential in persuading an unchurched person to come to church.

Fr. Jim will examine and discuss strategies, programs, and resources for family outreach.


Natalie NixionNATALIE KAPELUCK NIXON: Director-Office of Youth Ministry; Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the United States of America

 Natalie Kapeluck Nixon has served as the Director for Youth & Young Adult Ministry of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA since 2000.  She sits on the board of directors of Orthodox Christian Fellowship for which she has held several executive committee positions as well as Student Advisory Board Advisor, Interim Program Director, and College Conference Advisor.  She also serves as a youth consultant for the Orthodox Fellowship of the Transfiguration and the Assembly of Bishops Committee for Youth.

Natalie also serves as the director for the Ukrainian Orthodox Camping Programs and is the co-founder of the Mommy & Me/Daddy & Me camping program.  She has also served as the Young Adult Coordinator and Youth Commission Chairman for the Ukrainian Orthodox League.  She is married to Ethan Nixon and they have a very exuberant six year old by the name of Theodore.

Workshop Session:
The Church of the Home

In scripture the Church is described as "the body of Christ" and the "bride of Christ the bridegroom".  How does the Orthodox understanding of Christ's Church apply to the Orthodox Christian home?  By studying scripture, the Holy Fathers, sacramental life and holy tradition, this workshop will explore the living theology of the Church within our homes.


Fr. JasonFR. JASON ROLL: Director-Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries; Greek Orthodox Archdiocese

 Fr. Jason Roll was the assistant priest at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Northridge, CA.  Prior to arriving at St. Nicholas, Fr. Jason was the Director of Ionian Village, a youth summer camping experience in Greece operated by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, for three years.  When he was not promoting the Ionian Village program at various parishes, Father served at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in New Rochelle, NY.

He is a graduate of Oregon State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a minor in Behavioral Sciences.  He received his Masters of Divinity from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology where he graduated cum laude in 2009.

Fr. Jason has more than twenty years of camp and youth ministry experience as well as more than eighteen years of professional and management experience.  Fr. Jason resides in New York with his wife, Presvytera Sandra, and their three children.

Workshop Session-
Making Our Faith Real to Our Children

This presentation will offer ways to teach our Orthodox faith that is practical and real to our children of today.  Moreover, it will help us discover that living and learning our faith by our actions is more effective.  Additionally, we will cover how today's technology can help our young people on their spiritual journey. 


JAMIL.jamil samara: director-department of internet ministries; greek orthodox archdiocese

 Jamil became interested in electronics, computers, and understanding how things work form a very early age, which led him to study computer science at Boston College and eventually begin a career in web development.  Through his passion and dedication to the Church, Jamil found his way to begin working for the Archdiocese in the 2002, and has been the director of the Internet Ministries department since 2011.

While serving the Archdiocese, he is also taking classes at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.  He enjoys contemplating the convergence of technology and faith and strives to further develop tools and service that benefit the larger Orthodox Church worldwide.

Workshop Session-
The Intersection of Technology and Faith: Implications for the Modern Family

In this session, we will explore the landscape of technology as it exists today and what implications that has for the modern family of faith.  Participants will gain a better understanding of the pace of technology, its trends over time, and some alarming statistics.  We will also explore good technology safety practices, utilizing the website as a starting point.  Finally, we will talk about how all of this can be practically applied in the context of the family - for couples, parents, extended families, and the church community.


 VRAME picture.jpgANTON VRAME, Ph.d.: Director-Department of Religious Education; Greek Orthodox Archdiocese

 Anton Vrame was appointed Director of the Department of Religious Education of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, on January 1, 2007.  Dr. Vrame is Adjunct Associate Professor of Religious Education at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.

Dr. Vrame is the Chairman of the Faith and Order Commission of the National Council of Churches in Christ, USA, representing the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.  He is a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Religious Education.  He served as Treasurer (1998-2005), Vice-President (2005-2007), and President (2007-2009) of the Orthodox Theological Society in America and is leading an effort to create an international academic organization of Orthodox Christian Religious Educators.

Dr. Vrame is a native of Chicago and holds degrees from DePaul University (B.A.), the University of Chicago(M.A.), Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (M.Div.), and Boston College (Ph.D. in Theology and Education).

Workshop Session-
It Takes Two: Parents and Faith in the Home

Dr. Vrame will start a discussion about the distinct roles that parents play in the development of faith at home by looking at the Virgin Mary and Joseph (bring your Bible!) as parents and then applying what is learned to parents and parenting today.



For questions, please contact the Center for Family Care at or 845-424-8175