Growing Families is a free, monthly seminar for parents and grandparents led by experts in the field of child development, psychology, and education, as well as parents who offer to others what has worked. Join us for a great line-up of speakers who help parents deal with parenting challenges and foster the spiritual development of their children.

Interested in more classes like this? We also offer parenting classes throughout the week through our Parent Education program. If you have a child 0-18, we have a class for you!

Check out these videos of past Growing Families presentations.

October 15, 2017
Debra Kessler, Psy.D., R.N., M.N.
“Redefining Negative Emotions as Road Signs on Life’s Journey

September 17, 2017
Anchor: Children & Family Counseling
“Signs & Solutions to Stress”

March 12, 2017
Jennifer Shim Lovers
“Positive Parenting with the Brain in Mind”

(No video available for above presentation)

Sunday, February 26, 2017

“Six Practices for a Passionate and Connected Marriage” by Scott & Melissa Symington

Scott & Melissa Symington, discussed six helpful practices that can boost intimacy in a marriage (physical, emotional and spiritual connection) in a world filled with distractions and disconnection.

Scott entered the field of psychology with a diverse background in business and consulting. He earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the Fuller Graduate School of Psychology and completed a M.A. in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary. Scott is passionate about helping individuals and couples move towards greater freedom, aliveness, and intimacy.

Melissa earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the School of Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary, where she also completed a M.A. in theology. Her training, practice, and interests include psychodynamic psychotherapy, mindfulness, neuroscience and psychological assessment. Melissa graduated from Whitworth University with a B.A. in Psychology and Philosophy. In addition, Melissa holds a M.A. in Philosophy from Claremont Graduate University.

Drs. Scott and Melissa Symington met while attending graduate school, have two young children, and have enjoyed partnering together on their professional journey. They are also active members of our LCPC community!


Sunday, January 22, 2017

“You Are What You Love: Neuroscience, Psychology and the Church” by Brad Strawn

Brad Strawn is a licensed psychologist and professor at Fuller Theological Seminary. He helps us think about how our children are being shaped by the practices and rituals in our lives. He helps us understand how recent developments in psychology and neuroscience show us that humans are not primarily “thinking beings” but “doing beings” or “desiring creatures.”

We are not primarily shaped by what we think but by the practices and rituals that we become involved in (most of these we don’t even think about) and these rituals shape our “hearts” toward particular goals. If this is true, then parents need to think long and hard about what kinds of rituals and practices they and their children are engaged in and how those are shaping their lives and Christian faith. Furthermore, it points to the need for the church to be the place where we have the chance to engage in rituals and practices that shape our hearts toward the things of God – e.g., the Kingdom of Heaven/God. – Brad Strawn

Prior to joining the faculty of Fuller’s Graduate School of Psychology in 2012, Dr. Strawn was Professor of Psychology at Point Loma Nazarene University and also practiced as a clinical psychologist.  He is a published author and is an ordained Elder in the Church of the Nazarene.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

“Shepherding Your Child’s Heart for God” by Sloan Walsh

Cultivating our children’s personal relationship with God is one of the greatest privileges and joys of a Christian parent. Sloan Walsh, Parent Educator and mother of three will be sharing on parenting approaches that best support our children’s walk with God, the key role that prayer plays in seeing Him move in their lives, and ideas for cultivating a culture of faith in our families.

A former elementary teacher and literacy specialist, Sloan Walsh has been teaching Parent Ed for the past 15 years here at LCPC, teaching the Toddler, Three/Fours, Parenting Elementary Kids, and Parenting Your Exceptional Child classes. She and her husband Bob, married for 27 years, have served in various ministry positions, working with kids and young adults, teaching classes on prayer and ministering in prayer and counseling positions. When Sloan is not teaching she enjoys time with her family, exercising, art journaling, connecting with friends and getting her much loved time alone with God in worship and listening prayer.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

“Talking with Children & Teens about Tragic Events” by Amoret Kaufman

From social media and traditional media to school lockdown drills and 9/11 lessons, our kids are constantly exposed to the reality of tragedy and trauma. Join us for this month’s Growing Families presentation by Amoret Kaufman, M.S. to learn how to limit the impacts, acknowledge their fears, answer their tough questions, and help them feel safe. The presentation will be held Sunday, September 18, at 9:30AM in LCPC’s Fellowship Hall, which is located in the Demarest Family Life Center.

A local community member and parent of 2.5 kids, Amoret Kaufman earned her Masters in Counseling Psychology from California Lutheran University, and her Bachelors in Psychology from UC Santa Barbara. She is currently a registered intern at Anchor Children and Family Counseling in Pasadena working with Dr. Melissa Springstead. Amoret provides support, guidance, and psychotherapy to adults, children, and families managing anxiety, depression, learning differences, attention challenges/ADHD, recovery from traumatic events, addiction recovery, and changes to family dynamics and relationships. Learn more at

Sunday, April 10, 2016

“Called to Mission” by Alisa Medders

God’s message is clear… 1,500 times in the scriptures we read of God’s promise to bless all nations. We also read of God’s charge to “serve others, make disciples and go to all nations”, but have you ever truly asked yourself, “What does this mean and how does this apply to my family?” Come learn about God’s heart for all people and get practical ideas to put your faith into action while growing closer as a family.

A recent graduate from Fuller Theological School, Alisa Medders obtained her degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. She is currently working as an intern at Northrup Family Counseling in Pasadena, California.

With the help of her colleagues, Alisa created POUR OUT, a non-profit that focuses on providing mental health support and training to humanitarian workers all over the world. Her work has taken her to Mumbai, Kolkata, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Uganda.

Alisa’s love of writing and her desire to know God culminated in co-authoring three books. You can follow her on her blog, where she shares about her trials, her joys, her children and her God.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

“The Surprising Science of Praise” by Joel Peterson

Some kinds of praise may actually do your child harm by hindering them from building certain traits. Come learn everyday practical tips — and the science behind them — that parents can use to help build resilience and persistence in their child.

Joel Peterson is the critically acclaimed author of the national award-winning books, Dreams of My Mothers: A Story of Love Transcendent, an Amazon bestselling novel inspired by his experiences as a mixed-race adoptee from Korea, born to an unwed prostitute in extreme poverty. He was adopted at the age of 7 and raised by a Swedish-American family in rural Minnesota.

He currently serves as Treasurer and Chair of the Governance Committee, USC Verdugo Hills Hospital Foundation and President of the Community Scholarship Foundation of La Canada Flintridge. A former La Canada School Board President, he served 8 years on the LCUSD Governing Board.

Joel is currently attaining a PhD (Education Policy & Reform) at Claremont Graduate University. His research is focused on innovations to education interventions. He earned his MBA from The R.B. Pamplin School of Business at Virginia Tech and his BA in Economics from the University of Virginia.
Sunday, February 21, 2016

“Married  . . . and Still Engaged!” – Drs. Marv & Joyce Warman

Joyce and Marvin Warman were married in 1968 and combine the experiences of over forty years of pastoral and counseling ministry into a unique style of writing and teaching together.  They have raised their family in their home in Burbank, California.  Marv is an ordained minister and a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in La Canada, California.   Joyce is a voice, piano, and theory instructor.   Marv and Joyce have served on pastoral staff with Evangelical Free Churches and Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena, their home church,  where they still remain active teaching parenting classes and a premarital series: Grounds For Marriage.
The Warmans have co-authored with Bill and Martha Sears PARENT PROJECT: Tools For Godly Parenting.   Joyce is a regular contributor for the Spanish magazine, La Familia.  Marv and Joyce foundedWarm an’ Loving Ministries and are frequent speakers at conferences and retreats.   Warm an’ Loving offers personal counseling, seminars and workshops on a wide variety of topics drawn from their studies and from their experiences as parents of three grown daughters, three sons by marriage, and as grandparents to 7 lovely grandchildren.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

“My Teenager’s Substance Use: Problem or Just Experimenting?” By Kimberly Prator Barglow

Dr. Prater discusses patterns of adolescent substance use, warning signs of problematic use, and what parents can do to promote positive decision making in their children.

Sunday, November 8, 2015 

“Mindfulness and Stress” – Joey Fung, PhD., Clinical Psychologist
Joey Fung received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from UCLA and is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Fuller Seminary. Her research spans across the areas of parenting, parent-child relations, and culture and psychopathology. She also maintains a small private practice in South Pasadena.

When children and teens are stressed many cope in unhelpful ways. One tendency is to constantly worry about problems. Mindfulness helps children and teens move away from these extremes toward healthy stress management.


Sunday, October 18, 2015 

“Failure to Launch” – Jeffrey Prater, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Prater has spoken numerous times both at Growing Families and Parent Ed. He has a Doctorate in Psychology from Fuller Seminary and is co-Founder of Integrated Learning Solutions and founder and director of Psychology Resource Consultants.

Parenting guidelines to help set your children up for success as independent and self-sufficient young adults, preventing the growing problem of what has been coined “Failure to Launch” syndrome.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

“The Overachievement Trap” – Jeffrey Prater, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Prater has spoken numerous times both at Growing Families and Parent Ed. He has a Doctorate in Psychology from Fuller Seminary and is co-Founder of Integrated Learning Solutions and founder and director of Psychology Resource Consultants.

Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by the pressure for your children to achieve high grades and the burden of extracurricular activities all while trying to maintain a peaceful home? How do you8 know the difference between a healthy expectation and desire for your children to do well and an unhealthy pressure to achieve? Dr. Prater offers alternatives to the overachievement trap and helps to create a family plan for restoring and maintaining balance in your home.