United Methodist Marriage and Engaged Encounter Says 'Thank You'

September 09, 2010

By Jerry and Sue Angove and
Glenn and Gwen Tilton

After 31 years, we are closing our program. Thank you to the hundreds of couples who attended a United Methodist Marriage or Engaged Encounter Weekend here in California. We loved the buzz that happened on every weekend when couples came in Friday night hesitant and distant, and by Saturday night were in love again and really working on their relationship.
Thank you to the dozens of fantastic couples who gave long hours for years to write the talks, sign up couples, and organize and present the weekend retreats. Thanks to the couples who went out and organized Flame groups in their church or community to keep the dream alive to make a difference in the lives of married couples. We still have five or six active groups.
Thank you to the many pastors in our Conference for their support in making couples in our United Methodist churches aware of the program. Our all-volunteer team of Presenting Couples has presented Marriage Encounter and Engaged Encounter weekends to thousands of couples from Fresno to Redding, and Sacramento to San Jose.
We will never forget the key sayings of Marriage Encounter: "Feelings Are Neither Right nor Wrong," "Listening is the Key to Love," "Dialogue is a Gift," "Marriage is a Covenant," and "There’s a New World Somewhere … if you will hold my hand." 
Many Marriage Education programs are still available for church ministries such as couples' retreats and adult classes:
  • Several Marriage Encounter Flames groups are still operating in the Sacramento area and are open for couples who wish to have a marriage support group. We encourage church leaders to organize such groups to support couples as life changes.
  • Marriage Enrichment programs are also operating in several churches.
  • Marriage Encounter weekends are still offered by Roman Catholic and other churches.
  • DVD-based Marriage Education programs are also available through us or on the Internet. 
  • Several other leaders in the Conference have expertise and knowledge.
We would be glad to refer couples to any of these programs or individuals and to work with any pastor or interested persons to develop a program with them. Just contact us at jsangove@surewest.net or gtilton2@comcast.net.   
We extend our love to you all.