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What is an Engaged Encounter?

Engaged Encounter - United Methodist is a weekend experience designed to help couples prepare personally and as a couple for marriage. The focus is on the marriage, not on the wedding. "A wedding is a day ... a marriage is a lifetime."

Couples are shown communication and decision-making techniques they can use throughout their lifetime together. Engaged Encounter is specifically designed for quiet reflection and discussion by each couple. It is a positive, simple, common-sense experience between two people who are either seriously considering engagement, engaged or recently married. At no time will the couple be asked to share their private experiences with the group.

What an Engaged Encounter is not:

It is not: -a lecture series -a group sharing experience -a Bible study -or a vacation weekend. Who should attend? Although the Engaged Encounter is United Methodist in orientation, it is open to couples of any faith. Any couple serious about making and keeping their marriage the best it can be will discover the weekend to be meaningful and non-threatening and will be able to relate the weekend concepts to their own faith. This includes couples of all ages and those who have been married before. Couples without church affiliation are also welcome.

When and where?

Engaged Encounter weekends are held several times during the year, at various locations throughout the country. The program begins on Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. and ends Sunday afternoon about 4:30 p.m. Of course the total weekend stay is essential to experience the full benefit. Register early to be assured a space. Contact the persons listed below for weekend dates.

What is the cost?

A non-refundable deposit, usually between $35 and $75 sent with the registration form will hold a reservation for you. The total weekend cost, including the deposit, is usually between $175 and $300 per couple, depending on facilities costs in the area. The balance, which covers rooms for two nights and meals, is due on arrival at the weekend. Please make your check payable to Engaged Encounter - United Methodist.

What to pack and wear:

Separate sleeping facilities are provided for men and women on the weekend. Pack separately and bring casual clothing that will be comfortable. Jeans, shorts and tennis shoes are acceptable. Variations in air conditioning make it a good idea to bring sweaters for indoors. Depending on the weather, part of the time may be spent outdoors as well, so a jacket may be advisable. No formal gatherings require ties, coats or dresses.

What happens at the weekends?

The weekend is presented by three married couples -- all are United Methodist, one is clergy. The presentations are given to the group as a whole. After each presentation, each couple has private time for personal sharing with each other. A wide variety of subjects are presented to give each couple freedom to explore the areas important to them. The weekend unfolds differently for each couple, since each person brings a different perspective to the relationship. By communicating their own fears, values and expectations, couples gain deeper understanding of themselves as they prepare for the covenant of marriage.

Why should we attend?

The weekend experience offers each couple the insights, the tools, and the confidence to enrich their relationship and strengthen their love for one another. They learn that good marriages don't just happen. They must be developed. For many couples, this weekend is one of the most significant experiences of their courtship



It seemed like it was just “our” weekend. I found a new friend for life – me fiancé.”

“It has been three years, but when I hear Engaged Encounter I get a warm feeling, a smile and I recall it as the real beginning of our relationship.”

“I felt apprehensive, but in just two days we learned more about ourselves than in the two years of dating. I felt confident.”

We almost didn’t go. I really believe if we had not attended, we would have missed the greatest growth experience of our life.”

“We were able to uncover our thoughts and expectations about our marriage. It brought us closer together than we had ever been.”