By: Crescentia DeGoede, BFM Director
On July 11-13, 2014 the National Blessing and Family Ministry (BFM) conducted a Matching Advisors (MA) Training and Parents Matching Convocation (PMC) in Columbus, Ohio at the beautiful, newly renovated Columbus Family Church (CFC). It was the first MA Training and PMC held in Columbus Ohio. The BFM team was invited to Ohio to conduct a PMC by David Young, the CFC Assistant Pastor. Organization and leadership of the convocation was a team effort of dedicated members of the CFC who graciously volunteered their time and energy, and the national BFM team.
The convocation was well attended, with a total of 70 participants, many participating in a PMC for the first time. While there were of course many participants from Ohio, participants also came from Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, New York, Connecticut, and Alabama. The purpose of PMCs is to help Unificationist parents learn about the matching process, better equip themselves to match their children, and meet and network with other parents.
During the convocation participants listened to presentations from: BFM Director, Crescentia DeGoede, on “Inheriting a God-Centered Matching Tradition”, BFM Consultant, Debby Gullery on the “Matching Process Guidelines” and “Deepening the Parent-Child Relationship”, and BFM Tech Support, Leighton DeGoede on “Online Matching Tools and Resources”. They also listened to testimonies from young Blessed couples about the process by which they were matched, Matching Advisors about how they have helped families in the matching process, and parents who have matched their children on what worked and what didn’t. Participants also had the opportunity to discuss in small groups their questions, concerns and challenges regarding the matching process with one another, and provide support. Participants with children of matching age (18 years or older) also had the opportunity to view profiles of eligible candidates for the matching from around the country and world.
Through the Matching Advisors Training, 20 new Matching Advisors were equipped and certified to support 1st generation members and Blessed Families in the matching process. Trainees included: District 6 co-pastor, Yusun Abrahams, newly installed CFC pastor, Frank Sanchez, CFC assistant pastor, David Young, Chicago pastor, Rev. Kazuo Takami, and Indianapolis pastor, Toby Gullery. The training consisted of a several different presentations given by Crescentia and Leighton DeGoede and Debby Gullery about the matching process and the role of a matching advisor, and how to utilize matching tools and resources.
Testimonies from Convocation participants:
“It was first my time to attend a PMC. It was very helpful to understand what to do and release my fear. Now I know what to do and how to start with my family.” – Naomi Da Silva
“My overall experience was truly inspiring and insightful. I’m glad my family had the opportunity to participate in this convocation. I will spread the word about how great it is. Thank you for your devotion, dedication and determination to bring a high quality program to Blessed Central Families.” – Michael Dickerson
“I’m so grateful to have the convocation in Columbus. Every single moment was with loving spirt. Thank you all and thank you God.” – Takako Bates
“I came to this PMC with a rather heavy heart not knowing what to do with my youngest daughter who is not pure anymore. This workshop released me from my fear of how to proceed with her matching process. We will still face challenges in the future, yet I feel so hopeful. It was good to disclose the problem in public, although my fallen nature didn’t want to.” – Anonymous
“The speakers were knowledgeable and effective speakers. The program was well paced. We were able to cover topics and discussions sufficiently in the allotted time.” – Jim Bard
“This is the 5th or 6th convocation I’ve attended. My objective was to network. I enjoyed it immensely, primarily due to the wonderful brothers and sisters I met. I am humbled by each person’s story and situation.” – Jim Howell
“Besides the testimonies from second generation Blessed couples, I was most impacted by Debby Gullery’s presentation on Deeping the Parent-Child Relationship. Even though I thought I had a good relationship with my son, I realized there are many areas for improvement.” – Joan Mwamlima
“I think the convocation was very well organized and conducted. I am very impressed with the quality and information and clarity with which it was presented. I feel like I have a clearer approach to the matching and Blessing of my children.” – Anonymous
The CFC is already planning to host another PMC in 6 months and hope to have an even greater number of people attend the next one.