The clergy at St. Mary’s offers a variety of pastoral services to members of the parish. Feel free to contact the church office for further information.
An invaluable resource that provides moral and spiritual support to those who are grieving a loss in their lives, whether from death, illness, disability, unemployment or significant change. Evening meetings with clergy supervision are in six-week cycles about three times a year or as needed. Regular social gatherings and informal support are also offered. In particular, the group welcomes people from all faith communities.
The clergy and trained counselors are also available to counsel and work with married couples who may either experience difficulties or who simply wish to work on their marriage. The Enrich inventory, also developed by the Life Innovations, is a very useful tool in evaluation, and involves steps one and two of the premarital counseling described above. Referrals are also made to professional counselors and therapists.
The clergy and trained counselors conduct a series of counseling classes before marriage that includes the following:
- A standardized inventory called Prepare developed by Life Innovations (one hour duration);
- Six 90-minute feedback sessions interpreting the inventory results, including a workbook for the couple;
- Two two-hour group sessions that involve Biblical and theological teaching on love, marriage, and family life and a review of the Sacrament of Marriage.
Clergy and our youth director are available for family and personal counseling on any issue. This is done by appointment and is kept in confidence. Should the issue(s) be beyond their competency or schedule, they will make referrals to spiritual fathers, counselors or centers that are compatible with the Orthodox Christian faith.
By custom, homes and businesses are blessed following the Great Feast of Theophany (January 6). Upon invitation, a priest will come at a mutually agreed time to lead a brief prayer service that includes the sprinkling and drinking of holy water. Since this is such a large parish, members may also pray and then sprinkle their home or business themselves with holy water from bottles provided at church. A two-page handout contains an appropriate order of prayer for those who wish to do this themselves. Items useful for the service: icon, candle, censer, cross, small bowl of water, bunch of basil or other leafy green.
The parish maintains an intercessory prayer list of the first names of the sick and suffering. It is published in every Sunday bulletin. Contact the church office to include someone’s name.
The clergy and visitation committee of the Philoptochos will visit shut-ins, the hospitalized, and others who need prayer and support. The clergy also offer the Sacraments of Confession, Unction, and Communion. Please contact the church office if you know of someone who needs a visit or who would welcome a telephone call.