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Family Services

One of the three items highlighted by H.G. Bishop Serapion on December 23rd, 1995 was the strengthening of the family. For the first ten years of the new bishopric, many services evolved in several churches such as parenting classes at Holy Virgin Mary Church and newlywed classes at St. Peter and St. Paul Church, among others. Also, the survey carried out at several churches by the Coptic Family Services showed the need for educational activities related to family dynamics, prevention of marital problems and deeper understanding of family interactions.

To develop such services in an organized manner, H.G. Bishop Serapion chose a group of priests and lay persons who are knowledgeable by experience or training as members of a committee to address these issues. The group met on December 12th, 2006 and discussed the mission of the committee and areas to be covered.

Seven areas were identified:

  1. Educational courses and seminars to include topics having to do with premarital life, newlyweds, parents, in laws, and clergy.
  2. Assisting individual churches in the Diocese with their family retreats by developing material, selecting topics, and helping with finding speakers.
  3. Assisting churches to set up regular family meetings, either individually or by region.
  4. Establishing and recommending reading material and reference books for church servants, bookstores and clergy related to the subjects. Possibly, a central library would be established later.
  5. Production of pamphlets, books, and websites for use by participants. Also, recommendations of movies and cartoons for family entertainment.
  6. Practical application by assisting in weddings through planning suggestions, and possibly entertainment groups for receptions.
  7. Specialized counseling centers. This would be carried out by professionals and held outside the churches for privacy. This would be linked to Coptic Family Services, already in existence. The attendees were given assignments to coordinate an area for subcommittees to develop it further. Members are to meet periodically, probably on a quarterly basis for further planning, implementation and evaluation of these services.

Posted by Fr. Moses Samaan

July 24, 2012