The Department of Missions and Evangelism
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
CLERGY & FAMILY WELLNESS
Healing The Healer
One of the key ingredients for parish revitalization and renewal is the wellness of our clergy and the clergy family.
Two of the key problems for our clergy can be found in being isolated and becoming a workaholic. These are not the only problems our clergy face, but often relate to, or are the source of other problems.
On this page, you will find resources which have been vetted for the purpose of Clergy and Clergy Family wellness.
Clergy are one of the key targets of the Evil One, specifically spinning truth into a myth. These myths vary, such as
"If I take care of God's people, then God will take care of my family."
"If I am not in my office, then the parish will think I am not working."
"God will take care of me as long as I take care of His people."
"If everyone is not happy, then I am not doing my job."
In each of these myths is a seed of truth, but a distortion now exists to the point of illness.
Confidential Assistance Program
The Confidential Assistance Program (CAP) is a service available to clergy and their family members free of charge to provide immediate, confidential assistance from trained counselors for any problem for which assistance is needed. Such problems include but are not limited to the following issues:
Marital, family, and other relationship issues
Emotional, stress, and work/career issues
Child and elder care questions
Financial and legal problems
Real estate transactions
Substance abuse and violence
Availability of CAP Services
Clergy or family members who identify themselves as associated with the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese are considered eligible to receive services. Unlimited telephone counseling and up to five face-to-face counseling sessions are available each time a person contacts the Confidential Assistance Program.
Our CAP provider has changed. Our new provider, ComPsych, makes counselors are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by calling (800) 272-7255. For TDD call (800) 697-0353. Online resources are available at guidanceresources.com. See the Clergy Compensation Manual for the Company ID of the Archdiocese (needed when you make the phone call). No voice mail, answering machines, or answering services are used. Callers who seek a face-to-face appointment can request one from the counselor answering the phone. Appointments for face-to-face counseling are made within three days for non-urgent requests and within 24 hours (same day) in an emergency.
Confidentiality is strictly maintained. Information or records kept by CAP will not become part of the participant’s personnel file.
Referrals and Follow-up
In addition to phone and face-to-face counseling with CAP counselors, counselors can refer clergy or family members to providers capable of giving any extended or specialized care necessary to address the problems identified. Depending on the problem, providers might include mental health professionals, credit counseling services, legal resources, or other appropriate professionals. Counselors make every effort to accommodate individual preferences in terms of gender, location, financial limitations, or age. Counselors notify the provider that the person will be calling to set up an appointment.
Counselors review the cost of the recommended care and applicable benefit coverage with the person seeking assistance before making recommendations. Counselors strive to make referrals that do not create a financial hardship or that are eligible for benefit reimbursement.
Two weeks after the last face-to-face counseling session, CAP counselors follow up by telephone with the person who sought assistance to determine whether the person connected successfully with the referred provider and whether the person is satisfied with the provider. Any unsatisfactory outcome will be addressed with additional face-to-face counseling or another referral. Counselors follow up every four weeks thereafter for up to three months to assure that the person is doing well and is satisfied with CAP services provided and with any referrals.
Additional Private Resources
The Department of Missions & Evangelism has access to additional resources concerning clergy wellness, including but not limited to:
5-day program for clergy and clergy couples in Georgia.
The program is led by Dn. Stephen Muse, well-known Orthodox therapist, author, and speaker.
Articles on clergy and clergy family wellness.
A website with even more resources, such as audio on marriage from an Orthodox perspective, all for Orthodox clergy and clergy family.
Contact the department for more information and your identity will be handled confidentially. Also, we do not make assumptions that you are asking for the resources for yourself to help provide anonymity.