“This retreat was worth it, just for the fun, but also for being able to expand my connections, learn more about myself, and learn new perspectives made it that much more worth it.” Guy participant, 28
The seventh 24+ Connect Unificationist Singles Retreat organized and led by the Blessing & Family Ministry, with the support of YAYAM, was held June 6-9, 2019 in the beautiful hills of Lake Hughes, California, two hours north of Los Angeles.
85 single young adult Unificationists 24 years and older from around the country and internationally gathered to connect, grow together, and prepare for future relationships.
Two participants of the retreat shared:
“The couple testimonies and how much the staff shared about their own experiences and journeys definitely made the weekend feel more of a vulnerable and family experience. That we can all be real with each other. I also appreciated all the activity time we had to be with each other. To allow things to naturally form and flow. The last speed conversations activity when we dressed up was the cutest thing! I loved it. It definitely set a mood.” Gal, 28
“I would definitely recommend this retreat to other Unificationist singles. It has helped me be more comfortable with the idea of looking for a potential partner, getting matched, and receiving the Blessing. This retreat has given me a lot of insight into what I could do to improve myself and given me the desire to grow further.” Guy, 24
The retreat was directed by Young Adult Ministry Coordinator, Tasnah Bercy, and supported by: Raymond Burns and Steph Eby, Brian and Angie Vieth, and Shizuka and Ben Pehling. Matching Supporter Coordinator, Marjorie Buessing supported as a parental figure. The weekend took on a unique flavor with each staff couple expanding on each of the weekend’s themes through a mix of personal testimony and introspective activities. Morning sessions encouraged participants to reflect on where they are at now in their relationships with themselves, God and others, where they would like to go in the future and what really counts in a marriage, as well as the importance of forgiveness and ownership in the process of creating our futures. Marjorie Buessing and Tasnah Bercy also led a breakout on Healing and Starting Again, a highlight for many who are looking to move forward from a previous relationship.
Participants were given time to share their insights and inspirations with each other. Afternoons were filled with fun activities such as zip line, paintball, archery, rock climbing, sip and paint, and chilling in the pool. Evenings were a mix of team building activities, improv, deeper sharings and connecting around a campfire.
Other participants shared:
“Personally, I appreciated that I was reminded that in order to move forward in my life that a healing journey or something within each of us must be moved. I feel that God answered my questions, though it wasn’t in the form I wanted/expected, I was grateful that I found more clarity for my future.” – Gal, 25
“I liked the couple testimonies, prospective conversations, and other activities that really pushed the two genders to mingle and get to know one another. I like the environment the staff created where people are encouraged to reach out and be direct and be vulnerable and take a stand for their future.”
“For me, the testimonies from the staff/couples were very liberating. I could find a piece of where I am at right now in almost every story. I am so grateful that I was about to learn from their experience.” – Guy, 27
“I took away the value of responsibility. I definitely was reminded about how important it is to be willing to take action, no matter in what aspect of life. That the action brings the clarity and the clarity is greater than any nerves. Also how much of life is so connected and how much God is preparing me and helping me really grow and be the best I can be as a person.” – Gal, 28
“I think this is one of the most cost-worth-it retreats/workshops ever. I think a lot of people are going to recommend it to their friends.” Guy participant, 28
The 24+ Connect Retreat plays a crucial role in reaching the 24-35 year old demographic of our movement who are looking for a program that addresses such an important experience in their life, the matching, and Blessing. The retreat even drew participants from other nations, such as Europe, Japan, and Korea, allowing for America to connect young people around the country and the world to each other in an effort to generate more happy and healthy Blessed Families.
We had a waiting list for this retreat even before Early Bird ended soooooo….
Stay tuned for future retreats (the next one is pending for January 2020):