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Many CQ readers know that the First Mate and I volunteer our time at Twin Cities Marriage Encounter, a non-profit that holds weekend retreats for married and engaged couples to work on communication in their relationships in a non-denominational Christian approach. The organization does not provide counseling or advice, but instead assists couples with communication techniques that help resolve conflict and increase commitment between spouses. While we discuss religion and Christian thought on marriage, the weekends are open to all faiths.
We have seen the good results that Marriage Encounter provides. While it doesn't solve all problems, Marriage Encounter has strengthened thousands of marriages and helped numerous young couples prepare for marriage in a realistic and positive manner. Many of the couples that have an encounter weekend come back to lead weekends for other couples. We believe that by strengthening marriages, we help to support the basic unit of human society -- the family -- and therefore strengthen and stabilize society as well.
TCME is a non-profit organization, and we charge far less for the weekends than they cost. Most couples will provide us with tax-deductible donations to help cover our expenses at the end of the weekend, but we also provide assistance for couples with no means to pay for their encounter -- in fact, we have never turned a couple away for financial reasons in the 30+ years of Marriage Encounter. Accordingly, we rely on outside donations to help us keep our doors open.
I will be promoting a fundraiser for Marriage Encounter all week on CQ. We have just opened a PayPal account, and I would ask you to give generously to a truly worthy cause. (In fact, I would encourage those married couples to also attend an encounter weekend to see how worthy it is!) Your donations are tax deductible and will help keep our doors open so that we can continue to serve our community.
Thank you in advance for your generosity, and I will update you on our progress!
UPDATE AND BUMP: We've had some donations already roll into the PayPal account, and we thank you very much! If you wish to donate but do not have a PayPal account, please contact TCME at the website link for credit-card donations.
I thought I would include some comments from couples who had their encounter earlier this year:
“A new kind of trust & understanding.”
“A chance to really communicate in a most constructive manner at an in depth level. We truly were able to get to the root of a variety of ongoing issues currently affecting our marriage. As empty nesters we are facing problems of caring for elderly parents & the needs of our adult children.”
“Acceptance of each other; feelings of gratitude, forgiveness towards each other. Tools to attempt improved communication, sexuality and spirituality. Thank you all for everything! You put a lot of effort into making us feel special and important!”
"A better understanding of each other and how important each of us are in our relationship. We had not been sharing well & really needed to be brought to this process. There are hurts that needed to be discussed. Thank you for offering & facilitating the weekend.”
Thank you again for your generosity!
UPDATE II: We've raised a few hundred dollars so far -- thank you to those who have donated. I hope that we can continue this over the weekend. Maybe we should do a caption contest?Sphere It View blog reactions
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