News of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Pittsburgh area, counsel from its leaders, and reflections from its members.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

LDS Family Services in Pittsburgh - The Arbor - November 2014


LDS Family Services is a private, nonprofit organization established by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to strengthen individuals and families.

LDS Family Services' Michigan Office provides support to the three Pittsburgh stakes, the Jamestown NY Stake, all the stakes in the state of Michigan, and the Toledo, Cleveland, Akron, Kirtland, and Youngstown Ohio stakes.  Doug Gardner, the full-time manager of the Michigan Office, has primary responsibility for the Pittsburgh stakes.


LDS Family Services provides:

Individual, marital and family counseling

Stake presidents can request that its two excellent courses, Strengthening Marriage and Strengthening Families, for their stakes.  Janet Stoddard of the Pittsburgh Seventh Ward has regularly taught those classes as a welfare specialist in the Pittsburgh PA Stake.

LDS Family Services has played a central role in developing Family Home Evening lessons designed for parents to teach their children about the dangers of pornography.  The lessons include basic doctrines and principles about the sacredness of the body, sexual intimacy, following the Spirit, choosing good media, appropriate actions for when a child sees pornography, and repentance. The lessons include age-specific activities parents can select based on the needs of their family.

LDS Family Services has hired Bishop Mark Geherin of the Pittsburgh First Ward to work as a part-time counselor to meet with Church members in the Pittsburgh and Erie areas. Bishop Geherin brings tremendous talents and experience in his role as a professional counselor.


Adoption services

In June 2014 LDS Family Services announced changes to its adoption program. Currently, LDS Family Services provides free counseling to LDS single expectant parents and their families and assists LDS families who are hoping to adopt by providing free consultation and referral to community adoption resources, as well as screening and registration for a free adoption matching website.

Addiction recovery program

This 12-step program provides help for dealing with addictions involving substances (such as alcohol, tobacco, drugs, coffee and tea), gambling, pornography, inappropriate sexual behavior, codependency and disorders associated with eating.The Michigan Office publishes the Arbor, a monthly periodical that provides updates on meetings available to those in the Pittsburgh area. Each issue also highlights one of the program's twelve steps. The November issue focuses on step eleven:
Seek through prayer and meditation to know the Lord's will and to have the power to carry it out.

In June 2014 the First Presidency approved a new Spouse and Family Support Guidecurrently available on line, but scheduled for publication as a booklet in the future.

Consultation with Church leaders

LDS Family Services is available to assist Church leaders as they work with members of their congregations who are dealing with social or emotional challenges.

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