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The Center for Family Care nurtures and empowers stewards who, at the forefront of ministry within the home and parish family, navigate the joys and challenges of life.  Grounded in prayer and through multifaceted resources, trainings, and collaboration with the ministries of the Archdiocese and metropolises, we foster the building up of the Body of Christ.

In an effort to fulfill this mission the vision of the Center for Family Care is to:

  • The Center for Family Care will nurture and promote collaboration with others to more fully serve the Body of Christ.
  • The Center for Family Care will expand its exposure and presence, raising greater awareness of its ministry.
  • The Center for Family Care will share and develop programs and resources that enhance family life.
  • The Center for Family Care will equip others for ministry through training and education.

Commonly understood, family is generally constituted by parents and their children who are brought together by Divine grace to form a household. It must also be affirmed that, as the Body of Christ, the Church definitively establishes a broader dimension of family—one established through the baptism that unites its members. We are all one family and relatives in Christ! Sound family ministry is, in reality, a systematic ethos of how a parish approaches ministry. It is people-centered and not program-centered.

Ministering to families is, at times, difficult because it is a reflection of life’s pervasive challenges. These inherent difficulties are to be acknowledged and, in a sense, embraced as opportunities for healing and reconciliation. The concerns and struggles of our families (emotional, physical, and spiritual) are, likewise, shared by the Church. Family ministry creates an infrastructure within the parish that facilitates its parishioners’ most critical needs—directly or through referral. It is not the goal of family ministry to create ‘perfect’ families; rather, it is to promote church communities whose members are welcomed with unconditional love, support, and fellowship for the purpose of their spiritual growth and salvation—to foster an environment where our people look to the Church as the place of restoration.

Past and Present

In his keynote address at the 2002 Clergy-Laity Congress in Los Angeles, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios presented a bold initiative for the Greek Orthodox Church of America. He announced that the Church would begin an intense effort of focusing on the needs of families. Through generous financial grants from Leadership 100, the Center for Family Care has developed printed and online resources, conducted retreats and seminars, and worked to create an infrastructure for family ministry in the Archdiocese. In 2011, a Clergy and Seminarian Couple Care ministry was launched and continues to steadily grow with increased participation and the development of new resources. Since its inception, this ministry has sought to create a vision and action plan for an intentional and self-sustaining network of love, support, and care for clergy and seminarian couples of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. The objective is to offer tools and resources for healthy, holistic personal and relational well-being.

In September of 2016, the Center for Family Care welcomed Fr. Alexander Goussetis, DMin as the full time director. Fr. Goussetis will work full time with Fr. Constantine Sitaras and the entire Center for Family Care team to continue to build this ministry for the faithful of our Archdiocese.

[Add blurb about this study] The Orthodox Family in America at Home and in Church

 

  • Strength Through Faith

    Center for Family Care

    November 6, 2018

    With today’s common perceptions of what qualifies for being “strong,” we might be somewhat surprised to find an extraordinary example from a certain young girl from antiquity—one who was likely just a teenager. That is, however, exactly what we see when we look at the life of the Theotokos—strength in its most noble form. Read More

  • Raising Kids Who Care

    Center for Family Care

    October 24, 2018

    How can we, as Orthodox Christians, help our children reveal, nurture and cultivate the love and empathy hidden within their hearts in a society plastered with messages of self-seeking and self-fulfillment? How can we raise children who will become adults with a desire to care for and serve others wholeheartedly? Read More

  • What to do to Prevent and Detect Child Abuse

    Center for Family Care

    October 17, 2018

    As Orthodox Christian parents, we may find it difficult to address the topic of child abuse, especially regarding our own children’s well-being and safety. We may like to believe that our children are protected by our prayers and our Orthodox community, but in reality child abuse can happen to any child, anywhere. Read More

  • What's My Job?

    Center for Family Care

    October 7, 2018

    If we wish to serve [the church], whether male or female, we must all find our gifts and use them to serve our communities. It is particularly important to help our daughters identify the work women do in their parish and to help them see the value and richness of ministry and service that women provide. Read More

  • Creating Your Parenting Plan

    Center for Family Care

    October 1, 2018

    An effective Orthodox parenting plan dismisses worldly falsehoods such as the virtue of material possessions—wealth and the “child with the most toys wins” attitude—and instead brings forth a kingdom-focused approach that concentrates on eternal truths. By placing the proper focus with our families on humility, forgiveness and holiness, we are preparing them for God’s kingdom. Read More

  • Sharing in the Pain of Losing a Loved One

    Center for Family Care

    September 19, 2018

    The loss of a loved one—whether a parent, a spouse, a child or a good friend—can be one of the most devastating and painful experiences in life. It is an unavoidable reality that all of us will experience at some point in our life’s journey. As the old saying goes, time heals. Yet my observation through the years is that time itself is not the solution. Read More

  • Engaging with the Visual Life of the Church

    Center for Family Care

    September 14, 2018

    The Orthodox Faith contains within it a rich visual, aural and tactile world for both children and adults to explore. Our worship services are incredibly layered; they weave Scripture and song together into the dance of liturgy. Our iconography plays a key role in this liturgy by facilitating worship and revealing the basic principles of our Faith. Icons are a visual expression of our theology, bringing to life the hagiography of the saints and preaching the Gospel to all ages. Growing our children’s visual literacy and understanding of faith using icons is a powerful tool at our disposal. Read More

  • Grants at Work: Center for Family Care

    Center for Family Care

    September 12, 2018

    It should be noted that the CFC operates from a dual understanding of family. Of course, there is the family of the household, the basic social structure of any culture, traditionally comprised of parents and children. Conversely, all Orthodox Christians are, indeed, family, not by shared genetics, but through baptism into Christ’s Body, His Holy Church. Therefore, the ministry efforts of the CFC extend also to the greater family of faith. Read More

  • Anxiety and Our Life in Christ

    Center for Family Care

    August 14, 2018

    Christ and His Church offer salvation, eternal life, and the hope of the Resurrection. The church is not a type of psychiatric medication or a fabrication meant to calm our existential crises. It is the place where we experience the reality of the Kingdom of Heaven and God’s love for mankind through the ultimate expression of gratitude in the Eucharist. It is in this experience, in conjunction with the best of what modern medicine and therapy have to offer, that we find rest from the worry of this world. And, as we find peace, those around us will encounter Christ’s saving rest as well. Read More

  • Keeping Focus

    Center for Family Care

    August 11, 2018

    How often do I sit at the feet of our Lord and attend to His every word? How can I expect to keep Him as my life’s center if I don’t really take time to focus on Him daily? I may say I don’t have time, but the fact is I am just disoriented—crashing into all sorts of things instead of focusing on God. Does this sound familiar? Read More

Contact Information

79 Saint Basil Road, Garrison, NY 10524
Tel.: (646) 519-6695 
Email: [email protected]
Web: family.goarch.org

 

Staff Staff