One of the Blessing & Family Ministry’s most valuable programs is the Parents Matching Convocation. It provides families with tools and support as they go through the matching and Marriage Blessing process. Through participating in PMCs parents have the opportunity to learn more about the family matching process, learn from those who have matched their children successfully, network with other parents, and consider possible matching candidates for their children.
Recently, the Atlanta Family Church of Atlanta, Georgia welcomed participants and parents from Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, and Alabama, for a Parents Matching Education. 42 parents from these communities came on September 26-27, 2015 to learn and support one another.
Excitement was in the air as old friends greeted each other and new connections were made. Presentations included, “The Matching Process”, “Matching Support Resources & Tools,” and “Deepening the Parent-Child Relationship.” These topics were expertly and inspiringly given by Crescentia DeGoede.
Some of the highlights for participants were hearing testimonies from parent-matched couples, and parents who guided their adult children through the process. Several participants expressed how much they appreciated hearing both the challenges and the successes.
The singing was enlivened by Leighton DeGoede who accompanied with guitar, his daughter Rose on his back. The whole spirit of the weekend was vibrant and informative. The small group meetings held on Saturday and Sunday allowed parents to discuss and digest the material and begin applying it to their own situation. These discussions also helped parents see themselves as resources for each other.
During the closing session, parents shared their reflections on the time together. Many were inspired about the new resources available to parents online and about feeling that they were not alone in the process. All were grateful for the time investment by Leighton and Crescentia DeGoede.
After a weekend of laughing and crying together, participants departed with new insight, education and hope.
A month later, on October 17-18, another program was held at the Wyndham Garden Hotel in Chicago. This Parents Matching Convocation attracted 43 parents from Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, and Missouri. The convocation was held on the heals of a Matching Advisor Training at the Chicago Family Church on October 16-17, 2015, where 13 new Matching Advisors were trained. Holding these two events together was a wonderful opportunity to spend time educating parents, and investing int he support system of matching advisors that will help many more as they go through the process.
The weekend included presentations, small group discussions, Q & A sessions, and of course, testimonies from couples and parents.
Here is what some of the participants had to say:
“I came here as a rookie and I’m leaving with so much information. Thank you for that. I was like a sponge to be honest. It’s very hopeful to me to know that our next generation is taking ownership to teach us about the matching. I was deeply moved by the overall heartfelt impact of the weekend. I was truly empowered to successfully get both my son and daughter matched and blessed and also to continually deepen my relationship with them. I had a great experience and was very impressed with all aspects of the convocation.”
“Most meaningful for me was the concept of the matching plan which gives me confidence that the process can be properly interactive and methodical (rather than random).”
“The testimonies, both of child and parent, were fantastic. The honesty and openness is refreshing and gives hope that matchings, as challenging as it may seem, is not only possible but can also succeed. Testimonies from Blessed BC couples enabled us as parents to understand more deeply their hearts and feelings.”
“The Parents testimony gave me a lot of hope that they had patience for their children’s match. Wonderful convocation! The real life stories of those who have done it were very meaningful. The testimonies! Very powerful, very useful, very real!”
Clifton, New Jersey
Another Parents Matching Convocation and Matching Advisor Training was held in November at the Clifton Family Church in New Jersey, with 82 participants in the Parents Matching Convocation and 24 new Matching Advisors. The Matching Advisor Training was from Nov. 6-7 and PMC was from Nov. 7-8.
Participants from New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, North Carolina, and Canada came to be a part of the weekend.
Like many of the other locations, it was an extremely positive experience for those involved, with many new insights shared, and new bonds formed. Crescentia DeGoede, Debby Gullery, and Anne-Marie Mylar, gave wonderful presentations and facilitated discussions and Q & A sessions.
Here is what some of the NJ participants said:
“Wonderful presenters and content! I feel new pride in True Parents and our matching and Blessing tradition. I got substantial guidance on how to prepare for the process.”
“Simply excellent. I was inspired and learned so much and I am really impressed by the level of the entire program. Every aspect was very meaningful to me and I really loved the program.”
“The aspect of the convocation that was most meaningful to me was the deep vertical heart and wide embracing love to care for every unique family situation.”
“Thank you for not just giving information but also giving deep inspiration. I feel I have been to a wonderful workshop.”
“As my first experience, I felt refreshed and grateful for all the information given, and all the tools available, especially the online system which is so important for the community living far away. I made a determination to improve my relationship with my two children and apply all the advice given to the best of my ability in order to prepare them for the matching and Blessing.”
If you would like to experience the Parents Matching Convocation, or would like be trained as a Matching Advisor, the next Parents Matching Convocation will be taking place in Seattle on January 23-24 and the next Matching Advisor Training will be taking place January 22-23. The registration pages will be coming soon. To find out about when a Parents Matching Convocation or other valuable program will be headed to your area, sign up for our weekly newsletter on the right side.