Workshops at the 2024 Clergy-Laity Congress in San Diego

The 2024 Clergy-Laity Congress at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina will feature engaging workshops for attendees. On Tuesday, July 2, these workshops will include sessions focusing on addiction ministries and support groups, ecumenical families, mental health ministries, interparish associations, and youth safety.

“The Saint Anastasia Fellowship – Addictions Ministry and Support Group,” presented by Rev. Fr. Nikolas Delaveris, will unveil the innovative approach of the Saint Anastasia Fellowship, an Addictions Ministry and Support Group within the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. Addressing addiction complexities by establishing a localized, confessional community, the fellowship emphasizes that addiction necessitates a communal response and presents an effort both immediate and local, celestial and universal.

“Ecumenical Families: A Pastoral, Theological and Canonical Approach” will be hosted by Rev. Patrick Viscuso (PhD), Rev. Philip Halikias (PhD), Despina Prassas (PhD), and Rev. John Chryssavgis (PhD) in collaboration with the Huffington Ecumenical Institute at Hellenic College Holy Cross. The panel discussion will focus on new pastoral, canonical, and theological responses to the common reality of ecumenical families (couples from different Christian denominations), which calls for a renewed, compassionate, and pastorally-inspired approach.

“The Assembly of Bishops’ Mental Health Ministries,” hosted by Sangeetha S. Thomas (MS), Randa K. Anderson (PhD), Fr. Vasili Hillhouse (M.Div., M.A.), and Rebecca Pearsall (MSW), will invite you to examine the complex space where spiritual care and ministry can intersect with the mental health needs of parishioners. Panelists will discuss the prevalence of mental health concerns in our communities, the impact of socio-cultural stigma around mental health, the implications this can have for an individual's spiritual development, and the various resources available to attend to these growing needs.

“Inter-Parish Associations – A Futuristic Vision” will be hosted by His Grace Bishop Sevastianos, Spyridoula Fotinis, Rev. Nicholas Anton, Presvytera Maria Drossos. This session will discuss how Inter-Parish Associations promote communication, camaraderie, and cooperation across Orthodox Christian parishes, breaking down barriers across Orthodox Christian jurisdictions and witnessing Christ's love in local society through common ministry. The panel will discuss what an IPA is, how to start one, and testimonials from existing IPA leadership.

“Youth Safety - Best Practices,” hosted by Rhea Ballas, the Department of Youth Safety, Archon George Tsougarakis, General Counsel, Archdeacon Justin Bosl, and Archon Harry Ruska, will emphasize that youth protection is a critical component for healthy, active parishes. Presenters will discuss what we all can do to safeguard our ministries, including background checks, training, and how to comply with requirements of parish insurance companies.

More information and full workshop schedule here.

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