Contributed by Judie Lejeune, BFM Coordinator for SR2
On Dec 7 & 8, 2019 the Blessing & Family Ministry of Subregion 2 held a Level 3 Blessing Workshop in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the workshop was to prepare first and second-generation couples for their first years of marriage and beyond. This included six topics:
- Vision for a Healthy Marriage
- Handling Differences
- Relating & Creating
- Marriage in the Unification Culture
- The Marriage Bed
- Purpose & Value of Marriage & the Blessing
The workshop was attended by three second-generation couple and one first-generation couple. Staff included Judie Lejeune, Natascha Phillips, Loretta Schauffler, and Jongsook Moon. Because it was such a small group, it was also a very intimate group and much sharing took place.
The program was developed with support from the National BFM staff who provided helpful information on the format of the workshop, as well as presentation and handout materials. Also, very helpful was the playlist for music to play during social, discussion and reflection time. People were sing and dancing along with the music during the social times.
Lecture presentations were provided by Judie Lejeune, Subregion 2 Coordinator, Natascha Phillips, Subregion 2 YAYAM Coordinator, Reony & Adalia Tonnyeck, second-generation Blessed Couple and Loretta Schauffler, BFM National Blessing Interviewer Coordinator.
We were especially blessed to have Reony and Adalia Tonneyck present the topic “Marriage Bed” and lead the gender breakout sessions that followed. This topic addressed many questions and concerns about married sexual life. They also gave great insight into the trust that can develop between two people and how the of power of God’s love enters through married life.
Reony also shared several websites that proved helpful to him during the first years of his marriage and up to now. They have been blessed for 11 years.
Emmanuel and Risa Ossok offered a testimony about adjusting to married life. This beautiful couple from Cameroon and Japan made us laugh as they took us through the adventures of learning about each other’s culture and led us to think deeply about why we are making the choice to get blessed.
Throughout the workshop the couples discussed with each other and then shared with the group on topics like “what higher purpose do you want your marriage to serve”, “what kind of support system do you have in place”, etc.
At the end of the workshop each participant had a picture taken with the certificate of completion and shared grateful goodbyes.