Diocese to Begin New Family Ministry

(Johnstown, PA) With the start of Great Lent 2020, our Diocese will also start a new ministry for families: SPF50.

Orthodox Christian families face many challenges.  Engaging children with their faith both in church and at home and helping parents keep Christ as Head of their household present ongoing difficulties. Far too often, what is experienced at church on Sundays is not brought back into the home. When that disconnect remains, as youth leave home to begin a new life on their own, they will often leave the Church behind as well.

In the search for answers to help families, the best solution may be the simplest one.

"Praying together and reading Scripture together are pillars of a Christ-centered Orthodox Christian family. While families may desire to have these activities in their home, they may not be sure how to start. SPF50 intends to help our families bridge that gap,” says the Very Reverend Stephen Loposky, one of the creators of SPF50.

SPF stands for “Scripture, Prayer, Family” and is designed to equip families to read the Scriptures and pray together at home. Why “50”?  Fr. David Mastroberte explains: “On average, if a family uses the recommended Bible readings and prayers, they will spend approximately 50 minutes per month in these spiritual exercises. This is not a time limit, but rather meant to encourage even the busiest family that they can make these a part of their life and learn to love encountering God in prayer and the Scriptures.”

With the blessing of His Eminence, Metropolitan Gregory, the SPF50 team has produced the first installment of this ministry program. Each issue will be available both in hard-copy and digital form. The first issue will cover the months of March and April, with appropriate prayers and a reading plan for the Gospel of St. Mark. A section of the Diocesan website dedicated to SPF50 will also contain supplemental resources to help families get started and maintain participation.

SPF50 is not meant to be separate from the ministry of the parish, but rather an extension of it.  Each participating family will fill out a commitment card, which will be given to their parish Priest. Under the guidance of their Priest, the participating families will be encouraged to meet on a monthly basis, in order to foster fellowship and support.

Quality time with our Lord is hard to come by.  Quality time with your family is hard to come by.  SPF50 intends to help families have both.

The first issue will be available Sunday, February 23, 2020.