What is a Marriage Encounter Weekend?
The weekend experience is designed to help married couples communicate more intimately with one another in order to deepen and enrich their relationship.
The emphasis is on communication between husband and wife. In a private, comfortable environment away from the distractions and responsibilities of everyday life, you are given the opportunity to look at yourself and your relationship with each other and with God.
You will learn a special communication technique to take home with you so that you will continue to grow in love and appreciation of each other.
Marriage Encounter is a positive, building experience. More than a weekend away, it’s a weekend of discovery that will rejuvenate your marriage.
Although there are group sessions where presenting couples talk about their own experience in a growing relationship, you will never be asked to talk about yourself or your marriage in front of other couples.
The Marriage Encounter weekend is not a workshop or sensitivity group. There are no counseling sessions or therapy, nor is there an attempt to solve problems. It is NOT a group-oriented weekend.
You are not encouraged to come because you need a weekend, but because you deserve a chance to grow in your love for one another.
It is a full weekend, so you are encouraged to come well rested. However the weekend is well worth the work you expend.
Cost of the weekend:
The aim of Marriage Encounter is to make the weekend available to all couples regardless of their ability to pay. At the time of registration, each couple pays a $100, non-refundable, non-receiptable deposit to reserve their spot on the weekend. The associated cost to host a couple for the weekend is approximately $600.00, however no one is ever refused attendance due to lack of funds. Some couples give more than the cost to help those who can’t afford the full amount. Fundraisers are also held annually to help make up for any short-fall. Alumni, thankful for what Marriage Encounter has done for their relationship also often make donations over the years as well. By these methods, God has been faithful in making it possible for this ministry to continue.
What is included:
Meals and snacks are provided for the weekend. If you have dietary restrictions, please advise us at the time of registration. Accommodation is provided, with each couple having their own room and an adjoining washroom. Materials to help you work through the material presented on the weekend are also provided. Details of what to bring are provided prior to the event.
What Happens on a Weekend?
The weekend begins on Friday night and continues until Sunday late afternoon.
- During the weekend, a team of trained volunteer couples and a pastor couple present a series of sharing times centered around their own real life experiences. The purpose of each sharing is to inspire couples to come to understand their own feelings about various aspects of their marriage.
- The second step, sharing these feelings with each other, is accomplished through a method called dialogue. Dialogue gives husband and wife a time for personal reflection and exchange. Exchanges between spouses are conducted away from the group, in the privacy of their own room.
- At the end of the weekend, couples have experience in using the tools that will continue to enhance their relationship and communication when they return to their daily routines. Provision is made for ongoing contact with Marriage Encounter in order to renew incentive to keep maintaining the marriage.
There’s no such thing as a perfect marriage
Every relationship can use a little work—a tweak here or there.
There’s benefit in coming together to learn from one another and be encouraged.
A great opportunity is coming up soon for you and your spouse to do just that with the protestant Marriage Encounter Weekend. Couples can look forward to a weekend away from distractions of work, life and family in order to focus on each other and their marriage relationship. Even though the presentations are done in a group setting, the weekend is very personal between husband and wife, with much time given for couples to encounter one another in new ways– with new tools of communication and sharing
- Marriage Encounter weekends are intensely personal and hearing volunteer leader couples share about their marriage relationship often helps participants open up to their spouse in new ways. We’ve heard that some couple’s marriages were heading toward divorce as they’d stopped communicating, but the Encounter experience gave them new ways to listen and talk together. Others have benefited from the chance to talk deeply when they are in a new stage of marriage, such as early parenting or empty nest.
Marriage Encounter weekends have been appreciated by those who are married 5 years, and those married 50 years! So it’s really for a couple who wants to strengthen their marriage relationship, whether it’s a good marriage or one that needs some help.
- Participants gather Friday evening and the weekend wraps up Sunday afternoon, which includes a time of worship. Sessions continue throughout the whole weekend, and include some sharing by volunteer couples, followed by personal time for couples to reflect and then share with their spouse on the topic of that session. All meals are provided — and each couple has their own room with a private bathroom. Meal times and breaks give opportunity for couples to interact with other couples or to take that time for relaxation such as going for a walk outdoors with your spouse.