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