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Center for Family Care Develops Clergy-Couple Care program

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Feb 3, 2017

TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. – The Center for Family Care, hosted Jan. 26-27, at the Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Tarpon Springs, 38 participants from throughout the Archdiocese for a meeting to develop the focus of its Clergy-Couple Care ministry. Included were priests, presvyteres, mental heath professionals, laypersons as well as representation from the Archdiocesan Presbyters Council, the National Sisterhood of Presvyteres, and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.

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Clergy-Couple Care provides clergy and seminarian couples—as they serve the Body of Christ—with multifaceted resources that cultivate healthy, holy self-care that build strong and vibrant marriages. Studies have indicated that the spiritual, physical, and emotional well-being of clergymen—including the health of their marriages and family lives—directly impacts their ministries. Healthy priests are able to lead thriving parishes. The two-day meeting in Tarpon Springs, helped establish the vision statement of Clergy-Couple Care and create goals to guide its work for the next three to five years.

The meetings began with a brief overview of the:

  • Ministries of the Center for Family Care
  • “Trauma, Relational Spirituality and Resilience: A Study of Greek Orthodox Priests and Presvyteres,” a study conducted in collaboration with the Danielsen Institute of Boston University
  • Lily Endowment grant for clergy financial literacy
  • Current work of the Clergy-Couple Care ministry

Through the skilled facilitation of Drs. Anthony Bashir and Richard Robbat, the participants created a vision statement and goals to address:

  • ongoing resources and opportunities for clergy couples to strengthen their marriages as the core of their life and ministry
  • the development and coordination of protocols and personnel for crisis prevention, intervention and response for matters regarding clergy couples and families
  • the growth and development of resources for counseling, health/wellness, and financial literacy for clergy couples and families
  • the formation and preparation of seminarian couples for ministry at Holy Cross School of Theology

This meeting was made possible through a generous grant from Leadership 100, and its participants expressed their gratitude for Leadership’s support.

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