Christ Church to Host Free Parenting Talk: “Living in an Age of Anxiety and Finding Hope”

Christ Church is hosting a free parenting talk, “Living in an Age of Anxiety and Finding Hope” on Sunday, Feb 26 at 11:15am in Parish Hall. The panel of experts includes:

• Josh Barton, Host, Director of Youth Ministry at Christ Church, Greenwich

• Joe O’ Callaghan, LCSW, Dept Chair Social Work, Stamford School Psychotherapist, Greenwich Center for Hope and Renewal

• Clarena L. McBeth, LMHC, LPC, Adolescent & Adult Licensed Psychotherapist

• Ashley Lopez, Crisis Service Counselor at Kids in Crisis

Rev. Dr. Cheryl McFadden, Assoc. Rector, Christ Church Greenwich, Head of Pastoral Care

Anxiety was already a crisis pre-covid, but the pandemic has increased it exponentially, especially for students. It’s not only challenging for them but their families as well. Why are they anxious? It can be about their performance, how they are being perceived, social media, their bodies, isolation, and more.

Symptoms vary widely, from withdrawal and avoidance, to irritability and lashing out. Students are good at hiding their thoughts and feelings but some signs can be sleep problems, stomach aches or headaches, a drop in grades, substance abuse, and other signs.

What can we do about it? Join this panel of experts to listen and have a conversation over coffee and breakfast, along with other family members who also worry about their children.

Panel Host, Josh Barton, Director of Youth Ministry at Christ Church Greenwich

Josh has worked in Youth Ministry for 20 years and has interacted with thousands of students. Josh serves on the Greenwich Together Council in hopes of giving our youth as bright a future as possible in these unprecedented times. Josh is dedicated to helping students find joy-filled lives that are full of purpose and service. 

Panel of Experts:

• Joe O’ Callaghan, LCSW, Dept Chair Social Work, Stamford Schools, Psychotherapist, Greenwich Center for Hope and Renewal

Joe has worked as a clinical social worker/therapist for 32 years.. For the last 27, he has worked in the Stamford, Ct Public Schools where he is the Dept. Chair for Social Work, overseeing 43 social workers and the development of a trauma informed mental health system of care. Joe’s expertise is in grief and loss, school based mental health services, trauma informed interventions, and trauma informed schools, clinical supervision, crisis intervention and management. In addition Joe is an adjunct asst. professor of social work at the Silver School of Social Work at New York University where he teaches courses in clinical practice.

Joe received a master’s degree from Smith College School of Social Work in spirituality and clinical practice. He is a Prolonged Grief trained therapist who studied at Columbia University’s Center for Prolonged Grief. He works with individuals, couples, families and groups dealing with life transitions, mental health challenges such as depression and anxiety. He also has extensive experience in youth ministry, retreat leadership, contemplative prayer and men’s spirituality.

• Clarena L. McBeth, LMHC, LPC Adolescent & Adult Licensed Psychotherapist

Clarena is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Certified Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC), Clinical Functional Family Therapist, and a Certified Clinical Telehealth Provider. She has over 13 years of experience treating adolescents, couples and adults who suffer from depression, anxiety, adjustment disorders, eating disorders, trauma, stress, and relationship difficulties, among others.

Clarena received her BA degree in both Psychology and Sociology from Fairfield University, and pursued her Master’s Degree from Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology at Yeshiva University, in Mental Health Counseling shortly afterwards.

A mother of four children, Clarena is a parishioner at Christ Church Greenwich, serving on a number of Discernment and Recruitment Teams, as well as their Racial, Healing, Justice, and Reconciliation Taskforce. Clarena served on the Christ Church Preschool Board for many years and was President from 2018-2020. She received a Women Who Inspire Award at the YWCA Greenwich and is a past President of the Junior League of Greenwich.

• Ashley Lopez, Crisis Service Counselor at Kids in Crisis

Ashley has been at Kids in Crisis for 4 yrs while she attends Sacred Heart University, obtaining her Masters Degree in the spring. She is an intern at Norwalk High School She has been actively working with children and adolescents from all ages for 10 years.

Rev. Dr. Cheryl McFadden, Assoc. Rector, Christ Church Greenwich, Head of Pastoral Care

Cheryl oversees Pastoral Care as well as spiritual formation, liturgy, and is the passionate leader of Women’s Ministries, running weekly women’s group discussions, Bible studies, and gatherings. This year she and her co-chair, Senior Warden Lucy Rinaldi, are hosting a Women’s Conference on April 22, across the entire Christ Church campus. 

Cheryl holds a doctorate of education in “Leadership in Higher Education” and has spent 25 years as a professor of education at various institutions. She has a Master of Divinity from Yale University, a Diploma in Anglican Studies from Berkeley Divinity School, and a Certificate in Educational Leadership and Ministry. Before coming to Christ Church Greenwich, Cheryl served as the Associate Rector and Director of Family Ministry at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Raleigh, NC, where she helped to develop the Mary Beth Fee Center for Pastoral Care. Cheryl and her husband, Patrick, have three grown children: a son, Sean, and twin daughters, Devin and Cailin.