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42nd Clergy Laity Congress Delegates Explore Questions of Family and Faith

Jul 8, 2014

PHILADELPHIA – The delegates of the 42nd Clergy Laity Congress explored during this second full day of deliberations, the complex issues affecting the Orthodox Christian Family based on the theme,"The Orthodox Christian Family: A Dwelling of Christ and a Witness of His Gospel."

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Clergy Families at the Cathedral of St. George (photos© D. Panagos/GOA)

Working and building on the ideas of the Keynote Address of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America and on the viewpoints presented by the Metropolitans of the Holy Eparchial Synod during their sessions of the previous day, several learned speakers offered presentations during two different very well attended forums throughout the day. The morning forum focused on the subject "Stress and Resilience in the Family" and the afternoon one on the subject: "Faith and Family: Building Generations of Faith."

The panelists of the morning forum spoke about the care for the individual, the care for the family and the role of the parish in helping and supporting people and families in need. The panel of the afternoon forum included His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco and dealt with growing faithful families. It explored how faith is passed on in families, and the practices that support faith formation across generations. All participants spoke from the heart, and the delegates asked poignant and realistic questions on very pertinent and meaningful issues. Fr. Constantine Sitaras, director of the Center for Family Care said: "My impression is that the delegates left both forums motivated and wanting to bring something back to their parishes, to continue this discussion, to grow everyone's understanding of families and to grow in the faith, to grow the Church, it was a truly remarkable day."

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National Philoptochos Agape Awards (photo © D. Panagos/GOA)

The work of the Congress included a multitude of other meetings, workshops and seminars. The following ministry workshops took place: Internet Ministries, Outreach and Evangelism, Family/Marriage/Interfaith marriage, Youth and Young Adults ministry, Religious Education, Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, Communications, Parish Development and Stewardship and Greek Education. The meetings of the National Philoptochos, the Administration Committee, the Archdiocese Benefits Office, the Sisterhood of Presvyteres, the National Forum of Church Musicians, and the Retired Clergy Association were also held. A special Clergy breakfast was offered in the morning with the participation of the Hierarchs of the Holy Eparchial Synod and the Representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The National Philoptochos held a forum presentation titled "Let Love Abound," and in the evening hosted a very succesful reception. A Clergy and Presvyteres Family night was hosted by Philadelphia's Cathedral of Saint George.

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