SACO—A new ministry based at Good Shepherd Parish in Saco aims to provide families with young children, couples who are nearly married, and couples who are engaged with opportunities to build a warm community of friendship and faith.
The Young Families Fellowship (YFF) will kick off on Thursday, Sept. 27, from 6-8 p.m. at Most Holy Trinity Church, 271 Main Street.
“We want to provide a strong community of fellowship for our children as they grow, one that helps all of us as a family draw closer to Christ,” said Josh Houde of Good Shepherd Parish who is organizing YFF. “We believe many others will find value in this as well.”
The gatherings will be held each Thursday night and all in attendance will join together for an opening prayer. Then, the women will break off for a time of focused discussion and fellowship while the men play with their children. Later, the men will have a discussion while the women play with their children. The evening will conclude with a closing prayer.
“Our discussion resource this fall is the book ‘Head and Heart: Becoming Spiritual Leaders for Your Family’ by Katie Warner,” said Josh. “We will have several extra copies of the book on hand, but encourage people planning to come to order their own copy.”
The Thursday night gatherings are just the tip of the YFF iceberg as a variety of other activities and events are planned for the coming months.
The schedule includes family outings to the Apple Festival in Alfred (Sept. 22) and Pumpkin Valley Farm in Dayton (Oct. 20), a “Holyween” All Saints Celebration (Oct. 31), and couples’ nights out.
“We are also planning a Las Posadas Celebration on Dec. 13. It’s a Mexican tradition reenacting Joseph and Mary’s search for lodging in which to give birth to the Savior,” said Josh. “The aim of YFF is to offer opportunities for young families and people on the road to family life to enhance their faith and formation.”
The ministry is launching during the Diocese of Portland’s “Joy of the Family” initiative, which helps protect, promote, and strengthen marriage and families in our world.
“Throughout the diocese, as we continue to celebrate the ‘Joy of the Family,’ we have challenged parishioners and parishes to strengthen family life as a place where faith is learned and practiced,” said Bishop Robert P. Deeley. “The family is the domestic Church. Families, living in love in the light of the Gospel, show us that relationship and care for one another is the way to live a full life.”
A special “Joy of the Family” section has been created on the Diocese of Portland’s website. The section includes a wide range of resources and will be continually updated. To access the section, visit www.portlanddiocese.org/joy-of-family. For more information about YFF, contact Josh Houde of Good Shepherd Parish in Saco at firstname.lastname@example.org.