This CORE program is to inform and encourage our Communities and members the value of their financial support for United Marriage Encounter (UME): Annual Marriage Builders brochures should be available. To order them send a request to (firstname.lastname@example.org). OUR Call as a couple: “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.” Proverbs 3:9-10 NIV Open with Prayer: Program:
United Marriage Encounter (UME) is a volunteer run organization with support from the Marriage Encounter Support Foundation. For over 40 years it has relied on volunteer Team Couples presenting Weekends and Community couples generously giving of their time to promote and invite, to manage registrations, conduct hotel negotiations, set up on Friday night, carry in luggage and create an environment of love and hospitality for the couples attending. A CORE value of UME is “We believe couples deserve to experience our Weekend regardless of their ability to pay. We will fund our Weekend expenses by encouraging couples to “Pay Forward”, encouraging members to support the ministry annually, and seeking other generous donors. UME asks couples on the Weekend to help “Pay Forward” for couples they may never meet or may never know to experience a UME Weekend.
Although for many years this was enough to sustain Weekends, it is no longer adequate. Many say it is the economy, others say that people don’t care about marriage like they did. Weekend Contributions only provide 45% of the cost of a Weekend. The additional 55% is made up with annual contributions from members that have attended a Weekend and believe God has called them to help with their financial gifts. UME needs generous caring couples to help support Weekends in the future. Weekend contributions are not enough to keep the Weekends alive.
Many ask, why don’t we get some federal grants or other grants? Simply put, we seek those but have not been successful because of our Christian beliefs, and our Statement of Faith. We continue to seek outside support but having our members invest in other couples is the greatest way to have a stake in other marriages. Many myths in the ministry have been stumbling blocks for our members. Listed below are just a few of those stumbling blocks. Myth Busters: The Weekend Cost $80. No, the weekend does not cost $80. The average cost of a weekend is more than $600 per couple. The $80 one time registration fee goes to the local community to pay for room decorations, meals for volunteers, local promotion, advertising, and community events. Registration fees are not used for any part of Weekend expenses. United Marriage Encounter has unlimited funds to present weekends. No, UME is funded by donations of weekend couples during the “Share the Dream” presentation and by Annual Marriage Builders. Annual Marriage Builders are couples committed to giving financial support in funding UME Weekends. They give monthly, quarterly, or annual pledges in various amounts. Currently weekend contributions make up about 45% of funds to be used for the next year and AMBs currently fund 55%. The ministry has operated with a deficit budget for many years.
A balanced budget can only be achieved by supporting less weekends or Board approval to withdraw from a dwindling reserve fund. The Reserve Fund will provide a long term safety net. No, based on past years history the reserve fund will only last three to four more years. You must give $600 to be an Annual Marriage Builder. No, Annual Marriage Builders can give any amount. UME has been blessed with $10 a month gifts to more than $250 per month. Every dollar counts. Staff is paid to do weekends. No, the staff does not work for UME they work for Marriage Encounter Foundation (MESF), a separate organization. They do however take vacation time from MESF to present Weekends.
Truths and Cool Facts: United Marriage Encounter is supported by the Marriage Encounter Support Foundation (MESF), the New Hope Foundation, and volunteers. MESF provides staffing, promotion, overhead costs, and community support. New Hope provides office space, clerical support, IT functions and equipment, and utilities United Marriage Encounter costs only include weekend costs. Included in the UME budget are hotels and meals to conduct the weekends, team travel (volunteers) presentation materials, inviting and weekend handouts, and registration costs. Weekend tasks, including team presentations are done by volunteers. Board members are not paid.
Is it expensive to send team couples to Asia? UME is a mission ministry and although the Asia Weekend couples giving exceeds the cost of hotel and meals it does not always cover flights depending on when the Weekend is given a green light. Our mission as the MESF staff is helping the Asia regions develop Team Resources and leadership in their countries so they can have Marriage Encounter Weekends in their culture and language. UME is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountably www.ecfa.org ECFA is the highest standards for non-profits. UME is one of the few organizations in the US that have no overhead costs. 100% of UME’s administrative cost is paid by MESF. 100% of the Board Members for UME-MESF contribute as Annual Marriage Builders as well as 90% of our presenting US Team Couples. (Due to International banking it is hard to track non USA Team couples giving.)
16 10/10 Question: What would I like to do financially to help UME provide weekends in the future? How do I feel about my answer?