What is Marriage Encounter?

A "Marriage Encounter" is a weekend away from home, family and responsibilities where in a comfortable, secluded environment a couple is guided in the discovery of new techniques of communicating and sharing with one another.

It is not a retreat, but it is a program designed to give couples the opportunity to examine their lives together, their weaknesses and strong points, their attitudes toward each other and toward their families.

Couples are given the opportunity to look at themselves, privately with their spouse in an honest, face-to-face, heart-to-heart encounter.

Who is it for?

Marriage Encounter is for any married couple who loves each other and wants to continue living together in the vows they made at their wedding.

Marriage Encounter is for any couple who desires a richer, fuller marriage. Since every marriage can be improved, even the best marriages can find new meaning and deepened joys through the weekend.

Is The Marriage Encounter For All Faiths?

Yes, all Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekends are conducted in the framework of the Christian or Jewish faiths. United Methodist weekends are expressed in the traditions and understanding of the United Methodist Church. If you are of another Christain "faith expression," we will make every effort to help you contact a Marriage Encounter leader in your denomination. Other denominations which have active Marriage Encounter groups include but are not limited to: Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran, Seventh Day Adventist, Churches of Christ, and Baptist.

What Happens On An United Methodist Encounter Weekend?

Sessions are held Friday night through Sunday afternoon. At each session a lead couple and a United Methodist Clergy Couple make a presentation or informal talk. The purpose of each presentation is to inspire the couples making the Encounter to become aware of their own feelings about various aspects of their marriage.

The second step - expressing these feelings to each other - is achieved through a technique taught during the weekend, called dialogue. All dialogue sessions between couples are always conducted privately, and away from the group. The weekend is orderly, informative and structured to present a new technique of communication to couples in as interesting and understandable a fashion as possible.

What It Is Not -

The Marriage Encounter is not a marriage clinic, a sensitivity group or T group.

It in no way attempts to solve any emotional or psychological problems. Couples do not disclose their problems to the group or lead couples for discussion or criticism.

It is NOT a group oriented weekend.

If you are under the care of a psychiatrist or psychologist, you may not want to attend at this time.

Is There Any Age Limit?

No, couples who have been maried for only a few months and couples married over forty years have attended. They have found the weekend a rich and rewarding experience in their marriages.

What Does A Weekend Cost?

A tax-deductible, non-refundable registration fee is required to insure a reservation. In addition, a blank envelope contribution is taken on the weekend; Marriage Encounter is entirely self-supporting. No one, however, is refused the opportunity to make a Marriage Encounter weekend because of a lack of funds. If needed, babysitting can be arranged for the children of couples planning to make a weekend.

This page is maintained by Carl & Jane Denbow.
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