Planning Your Presentation
- You may use this outline for Marriage Encounter information meetings or for presentations to any group. Review the INFORMATION MEETING GUIDE.
- Decide in advance whether this presentation will be made by one couple (dividing it between husband and wife) or by two or three couples.
- Plan to give a United Marriage Encounter brochure to each person, as they arrive.
- The host couple introduces the couple(s) who present this outline. Then each encountered couple in the room should briefly share their own Marriage Encounter experience. Both husband and wife should share.
- Be informal: sitting down; no reading; but it’s OK to use notes.
- Keep your guest couples in mind and heart. Relate to them where they are now. Don’t overwhelm them. Avoid hugging and Marriage Encounter jargon. Don’t mention dialogue, love letters, prayer couples, Sing-off, or contents of Weekend talks. (Some parts of the Weekend need to be experienced and can’t be explained. Also, we want to have some happy surprises for the couples on their Weekend.)
Section A: Introduction
- We thank you for wanting information on Marriage Encounter. At a time when marriage and the family are under attack, we’re glad you care about your marriage. We are happy to share with you how Marriage Encounter helps make good marriages better.
- Our own Marriage Encounter Weekend meant so much to us, and we’re so convinced of its value, that we want others to receive this good gift too.
- You’ll hear briefly from each couple here who have been on a Marriage Encounter Weekend. Then there will be plenty of time for your questions.
Section B: What Marriage Encounter Is
- Marriage Encounter is a weekend program to help good marriages become better. It includes a short course in communication between husband and wife. It’s a practical and happy way to strengthen a marriage and keep it growing. We believe a good marriage is worth working for, and even the best marriage can become better.
- Marriage Encounter is a tried, tested program with a record of success for more than 30 years. It began in 1962 within the Roman Catholic Church. Now it has spread worldwide, with many branches. Our branch is United Marriage Encounter. It brings couples together from all Christian churches.
- MarriageEncounterisbasedontheChristianfaithandaChristianviewofmarriage. However, no religious doctrine is forced on anyone.
Presentation Outline 5-13
4. More than one million couples have experienced a Marriage Encounter Weekend. On the average Friday night, at least 1,000 couples are beginning their Weekend somewhere around the world.
Section C: Who Should Go On A Marriage Encounter Weekend?
- This is for married couples of all faiths and all ages. Young, middle-aged, and Golden Anniversary couples can all benefit. We have learned that couples usually get more from the Weekend if they’ve been married at least a year.
- Any couple whose marriage is important to them, and who want growth in their marriage, should consider Marriage Encounter. On the Weekend each couple start wherever they are and grow from there.
- Almost any married couple can gain a lot from a Marriage Encounter Weekend. For example, we recommend it for: (Personalize; which describes you?)
- Thecouplewhowouldlikesomepracticaltoolstoimprovetheircommunicationwith each other.
- The busy couple who don’t have enough time together. We offer you an entire weekend to be together as a couple and focus on each other. It’s a real treat.
- The couple who have a good, solid marriage but would like more romance,sparkle,and zip in their relationship.
- We especially recommend Marriage Encounter for couples who don’t need it. You who already have a very good marriage will enjoy making it a great marriage. After your Weekend you’ll know why we say, “If you don’t need Marriage Encounter, you deserve it.”
Section D: Who Should Not Go On A Marriage Encounter Weekend?
- If you have a perfect marriage, we can’t help you!
- Marriage Encounter is not recommended for couples with problems so serious that they need professional help. Yet some couples report their Weekend saved their marriage. If a couple who have severe problems decide to go on a Weekend, we respect their decision. But we ask everyone to remember Marriage Encounter is not marriage counseling and is not designed for troubled marriages.
- If you strongly don’t want to go on a Weekend, you shouldn’t. And we won’t pressure you.
- However, doubts, hesitation, and foot-dragging are very normal and won’t prevent you from having a great Weekend.
- If one of you wants to go, and the other is unsure but is willing to cooperate, it almost always works out well.
- Marriage Encounter is not for everyone. But our experience has been that nearly all couples who have a good marriage and want a better marriage are glad they gave themselves this special Weekend. If you stay for the whole Weekend, put yourself into it, and give it a fair try, you’re very likely to have a rewarding experience.
Section E: What Happens On A Marriage Encounter Weekend?
- The two of you are together as a couple, concentrating one another and your relationship, for an entire weekend. You’ll be in a motel or retreat center, with no phone calls, no job, no children, no interruptions, no distractions. The Weekend gives you quality time to grow closer as a couple and learn some helpful new ideas for communication.
- The Weekend is from 7:30 p.m. Friday to 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Please reserve the entire 48 hours for your Weekend. If you must leave early or leave at any time, even briefly, that’s the wrong Weekend for you. Choose a Weekend when you can stay for the full 48 hours.
- A team of Christian married couples, including a clergy couple, present the Weekend. They give a series of talks about marriage and your relationship with each other and with God.
- After each talk, everyone is given a question. You jot down your reflections on that question. The two of you, in the privacy of your own room, discuss your reflections. Then you repeat the cycle, with another talk, question, and private reflection.
- *On Friday evening the couples are asked to introduce each other to the group. Please eat before you arrive. There will be five meals, brief devotions Saturday morning, and a beautiful worship and communion service Sunday evening.
- It’s a busy, structured Weekend. You won’t have much free time. Don’t bring your swim suit, tennis racquet, cellular telephone, or beeper. You’ll be working hard, but it’s the kind of work that brings lasting rewards.
Section F: What Doesn’t Happen On A Marriage Encounter Weekend?
(Note: If any of these points were important to you, say so.)
- It’s not group sharing or group discussion. You don’t reveal your personal life to the other couples. Your personal sharing will be private, in your own room, heard only by your own spouse.
- Marriage Encounter is not group therapy, marriage counseling, or sensitivity training.
- Nothing threatening happens on the Weekend. You won’t be asked to do anything contrary to your own religious beliefs.
Section G: How Can You Give Yourselves A Marriage Encounter Weekend?
- First, make your own decision on whether you would like to attend a Weekend. We suggest that you go home, talk and pray about it, and then decide.
- Fill in the registration form on your brochure, and mail it with a US $40 check payable to United Marriage Encounter.
- Fill in your preferred date on the registration form. The dates of Weekends in our area are in your brochure. (IF Weekend dates are NOT in brochure, give dates and ask couples to write them down.)
a. When you select a Weekend, be sure you can stay for that entire Weekend from 7:30 p.m. Friday to 7:30 p.m. Sunday.
b. List your first and second choice. If the Weekend you want is full, you’ll go on a waiting list. You still may get the Weekend you want, especially if you can go on short notice.
4. What does a Weekend cost?
- The registration fee is US$80. If you have to cancel for any reason, your registration remains good for any future Weekend.
- You don’t pay for your room, meals, or the other expenses of your Weekend. You can’t pay for your own Weekend, because other couples have already given the money to pay all these costs. The couples who present the Weekend are not paid; Marriage Encounter pays only their actual expenses.
- On your Weekend you’ll be invited to contribute for future Weekends for other couples. The amount is up to you. You can decide how valuable your Weekend has been and how much you can give to help others have this opportunity. Your donation is made in a sealed blank envelope; it’s confidential and tax-deductible.
- Nobody should stay away because of lack of funds. Other couples have already paid for your Weekend, and they did it gladly. Your presence is far more important than your money.
Section H: Conclusion
- We’d like to share our own experience with you. (Note: This should be warm, personal, and relatable to your guest couples: how you decided to go on a Weekend, any doubts or foot- dragging, what your Weekend meant to you, how you have grown as a couple through Marriage Encounter, and how you feel now about your Weekend.)
- Marriage Encounter isn’t magic. If you sit there waiting for lightning to strike, it won’t. What you get out of your Weekend depends a lot on how much you as a couple put into it.
- But for those who are open to it, something very good happens on a Marriage Encounter Weekend. God works with you on your Weekend, and it’s even better than we had expected.
- We can’t fully describe the Weekend. Words are not adequate. You have to experience it yourself to understand fully what we’re trying to say. If you could see and hear what we have seen and heard, you’d know why we are so convinced of its value.
- If you choose to give each other the gift of a Marriage Encounter Weekend, and if you open yourselves to all that the Weekend offers, we believe it will be one of the happiest decisions you’ll ever make.
Questions (after all encountered couples have shared): “Now we invite your questions to help us fill in the gaps.” Be ready to break the ice: “Before our Weekend I had a question about…” or “Many couples wonder about….” If you don’t know the answer to a question, promise to find out and call back.
For Promotion materials and/or brochures, please contact your local Community Executive Couple or your local Community Promotion-Information Coordinators. If you are uncertain about who these couples are, please contact:
United Marriage Encounter® P.O. Box 209 Muscatine IA 52761-0069 USA +1-866-483-8889 UME pays for the call (available only in USA) +1-563-264-8889 Fax +1-563-264-3363 www.unitedmarriage.org firstname.lastname@example.org