What is an Engaged Encounter?Engaged Encounter - United Methodist is a weekend experience designed to help couples prepare personally and as a couple for marriage. The focus is on the marriage, not on the wedding. "A wedding is a day ... a marriage is a lifetime." Couples are shown communication and decision-making techniques they can use throughout their lifetime together. Engaged Encounter is specifically designed for quiet reflection and discussion by each couple. It is a positive, simple, common-sense experience between two people who are either seriously considering engagement, engaged or recently married. At no time will the couple be asked to share their private experiences with the group.
What an Engaged Encounter is not:It is not: -a lecture series -a group sharing experience -a Bible study -or a vacation weekend. Who should attend? Although the Engaged Encounter is United Methodist in orientation, it is open to couples of any faith. Any couple serious about making and keeping their marriage the best it can be will discover the weekend to be meaningful and non-threatening and will be able to relate the weekend concepts to their own faith. This includes couples of all ages and those who have been married before. Couples without church affiliation are also welcome.
When and where?Engaged Encounter weekends are held several times during the year, at various locations throughout the country. The program begins on Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. and ends Sunday afternoon about 4:30 p.m. Of course the total weekend stay is essential to experience the full benefit. Register early to be assured a space. Contact the persons listed below for weekend dates.
What is the cost?A non-refundable deposit, usually between $35 and $50 sent with the registration form will hold a reservation for you. The total weekend cost, including the deposit, is usually between $175 and $235 per couple, depending on facilities costs in the area. The balance, which covers rooms for two nights and meals, is due on arrival at the weekend. Please make your check payable to Engaged Encounter - United Methodist. Scholarships are available for couples for whom the cost of the weekend would be a burden.
What to pack and wear:Separate sleeping facilities are provided for men and women on the weekend. Pack separately and bring casual clothing that will be comfortable. Jeans, shorts and tennis shoes are acceptable. Variations in air conditioning make it a good idea to bring sweaters for indoors. Depending on the weather, part of the time may be spent outdoors as well, so a jacket may be advisable. No formal gatherings require ties, coats or dresses.
What happens at the weekends?The weekend is presented by three married couples -- all are United Methodist, one is clergy. The presentations are given to the group as a whole. After each presentation, each couple has private time for personal sharing with each other. A wide variety of subjects are presented to give each couple freedom to explore the areas important to them. The weekend unfolds differently for each couple, since each person brings a different perspective to the relationship. By communicating their own fears, values and expectations, couples gain deeper understanding of themselves as they prepare for the covenant of marriage.
Why should we attend?The weekend experience offers each couple the insights, the tools, and the confidence to enrich their relationship and strengthen their love for one another. They learn that good marriages don't just happen. They must be developed. For many couples, this weekend is one of the most significant experiences of their courtship.
Comments from marriage experts:"Engaged Encounter is the best marriage preparation program in communication for engaged couples of any denomination in the U.S." - Michael J McManus, author of the book,"Marriage Savers", syndicated columnist in 100 newspapers, radio commentator" "In addition to pre-marital counseling, another wonderful way to eliminate the unpleasant surprises of early married life is a program called Engaged Encounter ... I strongly recommend Engaged Encounter to every couple planning a wedding." - Dr. James Dobson, author of "Love for a Lifetime", founder of Focus on the Family.
Comments from couples who have attended an Engaged Encounter Weekend:"It seemed like it was just 'our' weekend. I found a new friend for life, my fiancee." "It has been three years, but when I hear Engaged Encounter... I get a warm feeling, a smile and recall it as the real beginning of our relationship." "Friday night, we loved each other. Sunday night, we loved each other so much more... and still do." "I felt apprehensive, but in just two days we learned more about ourselves than in the 2 years of dating. I felt confidant." "We almost didn't go. I really believe if we hadn't attended, we would have missed the greatest growth opportunity of our life." "How can I describe before and after? How about comparing glass to diamonds?... or optimism to total belief in him and of our love relationship." "We dated for 5 years, so I didn't expect to really learn much from the weekend. Boy was I surprised. There were still topics we had not really discussed, and I found out we didn't always know how each other felt on every issue." "We laughed, we cried, and we talked. (Oh yeah, we also argued a little.) Yet we reached a level of closeness and communication that would have been very difficult to do on our own. It was as if we were falling in love all over again."
Comment from a couple already married for a year:"Although we thought we had a very close and open relationship up until that weekend, we would not be where we are in our marriage without those 3 days. We were able to uncover our individual thoughts and expectations about our marriage in a very safe and supportive environment. It brought us closer together than we had ever been."
Contacts for Engaged Encounter - United MethodistAlabama: Jerry & Lynn Wilson (334) 661-3722 firstname.lastname@example.org (EE weekends still in planning stages) California (North): Jerry & Sue Angove (916) 781-6785 or: Morgan & Anne Staines email@example.com California (South): Dee & Matt Taylor (909) 370-3380 or Tom & Laura Rothaar firstname.lastname@example.org Colorado: Marcy & Roy Lae (303) 225-3826 or: Rich & Vicky Gorman email@example.com Illinois: Jerry & Donna Robey (815) 232-8218 firstname.lastname@example.org Indiana: Evan & Mary Jane Farmer (219) 657-5733 or Steve & Rita Sowers email@example.com Michigan: Robert & Carol Jones (616) 796-5311 firstname.lastname@example.org Missouri/Kansas: Randy & Sue Biggerstaff (314) 928-5297 Nebraska: Ken & Trish Ross (308) 384-8884 (1st weekend planned for Fall '96) Ohio: Roger & Kathy Beitzel (513)235-0895 or Barb & Otie Mekoleske (216) 264-2841 mekoleske.1@ postbox.acs.ohio-state.edu Pennsylvania: Curt & Evelyn Bookhammer (814) 832-2616 Bookhammer@aol.com Texas: Don & Vivian White (713) 721-8666 or: Dave & Peggy Richards email@example.com Virginia/Maryland Duff & Polly Means (703) 860-1506 firstname.lastname@example.org Wisconsin: John & Rosie Mitchell (414) 894-7177 OTHER AREAS: Protestant Expressions: Dave & Sue Edwards (303) 753-9407 or send a self-addressed stamped envelope to: 1509 S. Forest St. Denver, CO 80222 Catholic Engaged Encounter: Mike & Kathy Chavez 76776,email@example.com