The Boston Family Church hosted John and Helen Abelseth, BFM Matching Supporter Coordinators for North America, to present the Matching Preparation Seminar on Saturday, September 29 and a Matching Supporter Training on the following day, September 30. Boston was the fourth stop in their second ten city seminar tour (and their 18th of the year). Crescentia DeGoede, Director, and Sunder Willett, Intern, of the national BFM also came to support the program. Over 20 parents and younger members attended the program.
As well as being BFM Matching Supporter Coordinators, John and Helen have also guided their five children through the Matching and Blessing process and drew on that experience for their presentations. The seminar opened with a presentation of the matching process guidelines and the resources available to support parents and matching candidates such as the different matching websites and the network of matching supporters. Then there was a discussion of how parents and their son/daughters can prepare themselves for the matching. After lunch, there were testimonies from two younger members about their matching and Blessing experience as from parents who had helped their children through the matching process. The seminar concluded with a practical exercise for how to improve communication with one’s parents or children both to illustrate the importance of communication and to give participants a head start in preparing for the matching.
The participants really appreciated the practicality of the seminar and the emphasis on the importance and power of the parent-child relationship. “One of my biggest takeaways from the blessing seminar was the importance of the parent-child relationship for the Blessing,” said one young Unificationist participant. “In order to go through the matching and Blessing process, it is extremely important for proper communication between parents and children. To be honest, I was initially reluctant to attend the seminar with my parent as we are still having difficulty communicating with each other about the matching process, but I think we both came out of it wanting to improve on that.” Another young Unificationist participant said that they really appreciated learning about the mechanics of the matching process and how every person could have their own unique path to the matching and Blessing.
Several participants said they were “reassured” both by the content and the testimonies of candidates who had been matched and received the Blessing and parents who had matched their children. One parent said, “It gave me hope about the path to the Blessing for my child that has been distant from the church. I realized that I can accept them where they are at, and take steps towards the matching when they are ready.” A younger participant was impressed by the importance of honesty: “There is someone out there for everyone so there should be no shame in yourself or your past. You should be honest to your potential match about yourself and your past to find the person who is actually right for you.” Another parent also shared that they really appreciated how the matching process has evolved to where it is now and that the guidelines and resources really are carefully designed to help matching candidates find an ideal match. Overall, participants left the seminar not just feeling the weight of the matching process but also reassured by the opportunities it offers.