Contributed by Charles Cherutich, BFM Coordinator for Subregion 4
On July 12-14 the Blessing & Family Ministry held a Parents Matching Convocation in Dallas. The theme of the convocation was “Creating a Legacy of Lasting Love”.
The convocation was attended by about 60 brothers and sisters, some from as far away as Hawaii and Alaska. Dallas was chosen for the convocation because it is situated in the central part of the USA, thereby making it easier to fly to from many locations throughout the country. The Dallas Family Church also has a versatile building structure, with several meeting rooms, a commercial kitchen and a banquet hall that can accommodate over 200 people for meals.
The program was developed by close coordination between the National BFM staff and the Dallas BFM team; weekly planning meetings were held over a period of three months.
Lecture presentations included topics such as Deepening the Parent-Child relationship and The Family Matching Process. Translation for Japanese speakers was provided.
Group discussions were held throughout the convocation where insights and inspirations about the matching process were discussed. Testimonies about the matching were provided by young second-generation couples who have gone through the matching process, as well as by parents who have helped others get matched.
A profile display room was present at the convocation where matching candidate profiles were displayed and available for parents to view. This allowed parents and Matching Supporters to choose potential matches for their own candidates that they are working with.
During the convocation, a Matching Supporter Training was conducted for about 20 participants. They learned the detailed steps of the matching process and were trained on how to navigate the matching websites that are available for Matching Supporters.
At the end of the program, many participants expressed hope that more Parents Matching Convocations would be held, and on a more frequent basis.
Participants of the PMC reflected and shared:
“It was so inspiring to learn about the matching process. I was pushed by my children to attend and I did not feel the urgency but my children really felt I have to come and I am glad I did come and I am so grateful to God and True Parents that made it possible for me to attend for the first time. Every session was useful to me and my family.”
“The PMC is very worthwhile and valuable for any parent with children of matching age or soon to be of matching age. I can’t think of any other activity in our church of greater importance or more worthy of promotion than this and BFM activities in general.”
“I am very grateful that we could have a Parents Matching Convocation in Dallas, TX. I am especially grateful for Ms. Crescentia DeGoede and Mr. John Ablest who gave so much effort to fulfill this important mission from True Parents.”
“This is the best source of education, networking opportunities and inspiration for anybody interested in learning about the matching process.”
“This was my first time attending this convocation. I felt a lot of love and care from the staff – they really want parents to be successful with matching our children. Now I have more confidence in myself and have hope for our children’s successful matching.”