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Pastoral Challenges in Marriage Conference
55 minutes | Jan 25, 2020
“Glad with the Sight of Sons and Daughters”: How We Understand Children within Orthodox
How do we understand children within marriage in the Orthodox Church? This understanding is necessary for our marriages to thrive and for those in ministry to best support parents, or couples who desire to be parents. This will include an examination of the sacrament of marriage, how children connect with the shared pursuit of deification within this sacramental union, and the significance and pastoral concerns for marriages that wish to have children but cannot. A lecture by Carrie Frederick Frost, PhD.
72 minutes | Jan 25, 2020
Growing Married in the Face of Adversity: Toward a Faith Unashamed and a Love Unfeigned
Christ’s Eucharistic relation to creation is one which involves being embodied and enduring the risk of pain, loss and betrayal with clarity, forgiveness and full response-ability for the freedom and well-being of those He loves and invites into union. Marriage unfolds its promise within this secure and loving relationship as spouses begin to existentially risk loving and forgiving in the face of adversity, moving toward a faith unashamed and a love unfeigned; the path of sanctification. How do we support couples dealing with adversity and trauma in their personal struggle to be faithful to Christ and one another? A lecture by Dn. Stephen Muse, PhD, LMFT.
103 minutes | Jan 24, 2020
Infertility in Marriage
Approximately 15% of married couples face some form of infertility over the course of their childbearing years, including difficulties conceiving, multiple miscarriages, or full-fledged sterility. Evidence from the social and medical sciences suggests that this burden ranks among the biggest grief a couple or individual can face. Yet infertility—riddled with unanswered questions, taboos, and difficult choices—is rarely addressed meaningfully in Church or society. What is infertility—medically, psychologically, and theologically? What are the unique challenges faced by Orthodox couples dealing with this issue? How do men and women cope differently with infertility? What should be the aims of pastoral care in situations of infertility? Integrating both theological and spiritual insights with their personal experiences of this grief and its effect on their marriage, they will share practical ways to comfort and minister to other Orthodox couples also dealing with this issue. A lecture by Basil and Nicole Roccas.
118 minutes | Jan 24, 2020
Getting Love Right: 3 Vital Characteristics of a Healthy Marriage
How we do “boundaries,” where we get our sense of “worthiness’ and the role of “vulnerability” as a path to intimacy that are vital to our marriages. This workshop will explore these characteristics of a healthy marriage and how we can support the couples in our ministry build them. A lecture by George Papageorge, LMFT.
119 minutes | Jan 24, 2020
“And the Two Shall Become One Flesh”: What about the Family of Origin?
In this workshop we will explore the biblical foundation of marriage and its implications for the influence of and relationship with the husband and wife's respective family of origin, particularly the common challenges they may encounter as they seek to "couple," while continuing to honor and love extended family members. Finally, we will look at scenarios couples may face and discuss ways in which clergy, pastoral assistants, mental health practitioners, and members of communities of faith can support those who face challenges associated with family of origin. A lecture by Fr. Harry and Presvytera Kerry Pappas, LMFT./marr
89 minutes | Jan 23, 2020
Marital Conflict: Moving Towards Harmony and Unity
Marital conflict impacts our mental, physical and spiritual health. What are the roots of relational discord? How can we cultivate behaviors and practices that restore our marital commitment? This workshop will draw from the wisdom of Orthodox tradition together with contemporary literature in the field of psychology to provide practical suggestions for conflict resolution and relational growth. This is a lecture by Fr. Alexander Goussetis.
99 minutes | Jan 23, 2020
To Everything There is a Season: Couples & Aging
Perhaps nothing will test a marriage more severely than one’s spouse developing a chronic, long-term illness or disability. The physical and emotional demands of spousal caregiving are astronomical, but there are ways for caregivers to master new skills, discover the more meaningful aspects of life and marriage, earn greater self-knowledge and grow in their spiritual journey. In this workshop we will explore challenges couples face as they age, common barriers that impeded success, and tips and strategies to navigate the complexity of age-related issues. A lecture by Presvytera Kristi Marx, LCSW.
121 minutes | Jan 23, 2020
Ministering to Families with Special Needs
Mental, physical, and cognitive illnesses and challenges in children can put additional strain on married couples. Men and women of varying personality types often cope differently with the added responsibilities and anxieties that come with raising children with special needs. The goal of this workshop is to equip clergy and clinicians with knowledge and sensitivity needed to support and encourage “special needs” families in their unique spiritual journeys. Inclusion in parish life is critical to spiritual growth for these families, and for the entire community. A lecture by Fr. Joseph and Presvytera Melanie DiStefano.
71 minutes | Jan 23, 2020
And the Two Shall Become One: God’s Three-fold Purpose in Marriage
We live in a world that sees marriage from a self-centered point of view—it’s useful so long as it makes us happy. But the Bible and the Church provide a different perspective. Marriage is designed to bring us closer to Christ, transform us into His likeness, and provide an outpost for ministry to others. A lecture by Dn. Michael and Gail Hyatt.
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