After the excitement of the Blessed Culture and Sports Festival at the Unification Theological Seminary, families going through the matching engagement process gathered for a deep experience at a level 2 Blessing Workshop from August 9-11, 2015. The 67 participants including 8 parents came from all over the country including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Florida, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Washington, North Carolina, Connecticut, Maine, Montana, California, Massachusetts, Quebec, Canada, and even Iceland.
The lecturer for the weekend, Debbie Gullery, gave the first presentation after orientation entitled, “What Do I Bring to the Table?” followed by questions and discussion. It was just a small taste of what they could look forward to in the rest of the program.
Monday was the first full day, and participants started off with discussions like “Matching Smarts”. Some discussions were conducted as a group, and others separated gender.
Participants were eager to share what they learned in the presentations. “The aspect of preparation is really empowering for me. Spiritual preparation is really the key to help the matching process and to have good communication with my parents,” said one participant.
Everyone enjoyed some free time and recreation after lunch, as well as a chance to connect with others and reflect. They also had some down time between sessions. Debbie gave a presentation before dinner entitled, “My Heritage, My Legacy”, followed again by questions and discussion.
Perhaps the most impacting part of the weekend was hearing matching testimonies in the evening. Hearing their peers share about their real life experiences was enthralling for participants. One shared, “I really appreciated the testimony night. It gave me a lot of useful insight and perspective on the matching process.” Another commented, “I really enjoyed the personal testimonies, hearing the individual experience and knowing that it differs for each person.”
The last day began with the presentation, “Understanding the Matching Process” followed again by discussion. Because the program would end just after lunch, participants took the rest of the morning to reflect and give feedback on their experience. Here’s what some had to say:
“I learned so much and got so many answers to carry with me on my new path to improve myself and prepare to be matched in the near future.”
“I enjoyed the lectures and meeting new people. I also liked having parents here and hearing their input.”
“Thank you for a clear and engaging workshop. I feel more confident in my understanding about the whole process of the matching and Holy Marriage Blessing.”