The purpose of pastoral care is to cultivate the healing, transforming presence of the living Christ in the lives of the people within the parish and beyond. In the Orthodox Church, the sacraments and liturgical services are central to pastoral care. Beyond the sacraments, pastoral care takes place in a variety of forms and includes everything from hospital or homebound visitations, to informal discussions about faith and life, to offering a pastoral presence in a time of crisis. Please call the Church office (816-942-9100) if you would like to arrange pastoral care for yourself or for a member of your family.
If you or a family member would like a visit in the hospital by a priest, please call the church office at 816-942-9100 and give the full name (the name under which they have been admitted to the hospital) of the person to be visited, the name and location of the hospital and whatever additional information you think may be helpful.
The gift of God's forgiveness is received through private prayer, corporate worship, the disciplines of prayer and fasting, penitential services and above all through the sacrament of Holy Confession.
The value of Holy Confession is twofold. First, through this sacramental act of the ordained priest and the Christian believer we have the assurance of divine forgiveness, according to the words of Christ (Jn 20:23). Secondly, Holy Confession provides the opportunity to talk about one's deep concerns, to receive counsel and to be encouraged toward spiritual growth, all of which are universally recognized as extremely beneficial to personal life.
Holy Confession is appropriate whenever an Orthodox Christian feels the need for it. It is also a part of our total spiritual preparation during the fast periods leading up to the great feasts of Easter, Christmas, the Falling Asleep of the Theotokos and the Feast of Twelve Apostles.
Confessions are heard on Saturdays following the 5:00 pm Great Vespers service or by appointment.
"Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel."
-1 Corinthians 4:15
Spiritual direction in the Orthodox Church involves fostering the healing and spiritual growth of people in a sacramental, liturgical, and community context and through a personal pastoral relationship with one’s spiritual guide – aka “spiritual father” or “spiritual mother.”
Therefore, in addition to participating in the services and sacraments of the Church and in addition to personal prayer, reading scripture and practicing the spiritual disciplines, every Orthodox Christian should seek spiritual direction from a trusted, mature and faithful spiritual father or spiritual mother. Ideally, one’s spiritual father will also serve as one’s father confessor (in the case of a spiritual mother, one can go to her for spiritual counsel and advice and also go to a father confessor for the sacrament of confession). While this is usually one of the designated roles of parish clergy, some individuals have a pastoral relationship with a spiritual father who is not connected to the local parish.
If you haven’t already done so, please speak with your priest to arrange spiritual direction.
Pre-marital counseling is offered (and required) for all couples seeking to be married at the Annunciation. The counseling involves teaching the couple about the nature and purpose of the sacrament of marriage in the Orthodox Church. In addition, addresses certain practical concerns in marriage in an effort to help couples navigate their way through marriage successfully and to identify (and if possible resolve) areas of difference that may become a source of conflict later.
Three sessions of pre-marital counseling are given by a parish priest to any steward (and their future spouse) in good standing of the Annunciation who is planning to be married.
Please contact a priest to arrange your premarital sessions.