In 2013, Lauren Pulley (now Matushka Lauren!) had a vision for mentoring the young ladies at St. Athanasius Orthodox Church of America in Nicholasville, Kentucky. She had seen these girls grow up from babies to children to young ladies. She hoped to play a more intentional role in their lives and thought of creating a ministry where the girls were invited into her apartment and served tea while they discussed and prayed together. Lauren hoped to discuss spiritual matters and topics that would be better suited for girls ranging from 7th grade to seniors in high school.
The ministry launched with her assistant, Frederica Lewis, and was instantly a hit with the young girls. The group consisted of about three faithful young ladies.
By the following year, the Pulleys were called to attend St. Vladimir’s Seminary so Lauren needed to find someone to support Frederica with the ministry. Lindsay Buhler was brought on and helped play a supportive role during the year while also bringing her young baby with her to the meetings. The group grew in size and they were faithful in attending. They especially liked meeting over summer even though people missed due to traveling and such. It helped them stay anchored between academic years. We made t-shirts that matched and delighted in the joys of deepening mentorship.
The third year of the ministry, Frederica moved to pursue a career out of state and so Lindsay found someone to assist her in co-leading – Kathryn McCord. They continued to meet in a home and serve tea as always while discussing topics close to the girls’ hearts which we did not cover yet…. Dating. We covered dating only briefly in past years because of the ages of our girls in attendance but since they were mostly in high school now, the topic was a pressing one to discuss. By this year, we established regular email correspondence with the mothers and the parish priest, Fr. Justin Patterson, to ensure we covered the topic of dating with full disclosure to the parents since this is truly a topic to be directed primarily by the parents. Email correspondence with the mothers turned out to be very fruitful and beneficial. They appreciated all that we were doing and they loved staying informed.
The fourth year of the ministry began without Lindsay Buhler as a leader because she moved away, and Sarah Werner was already helping out in youth ministry the past year, so she was an obvious pick to replace and support Kathryn as they continued the ministry. This takes us to the present, the academic year of 2017-2018.