THE UNITED CHURCH OF CANADA

THE UNITED CHURCH OF CANADA

June 17, 2008 14:01 ET

Communication Workshops Help to Keep those Wedding Bells Ringing

Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, Lifestyle Editor, News Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO, NEWS RELEASE--(Marketwire - June 17, 2008) -
June is often referred to as "wedding month." Naturally, this means it is also "anniversary month"-an ideal opportunity for couples to celebrate by reinvigorating their relationship as partners.

One way to do this is to register for a United in Marriage Communication Workshop for Couples. These workshops, run independently by trained volunteers, are recommended by The United Church of Canada. They offer couples the opportunity to spend a weekend together in a relaxed and private setting, away from everyday pressures and daily routines. It is a chance to deepen and strengthen their love as a couple.

The weekend workshops are not designed to be counselling sessions for marriages that are in trouble. Instead, couples are invited to work together at enhancing their communication skills and building on relationships that are already stable and committed.

The workshops, although presented from a United Church of Canada perspective, welcome couples from any religious background or with no church affiliation at all. They are suitable for couples who have been married for a few months or for many years. They are also open to committed couples of any marital status, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

United in Marriage offers these workshops in the belief that all couples should be able to attend without regard to their economic ability. A non-refundable $45 registration fee is required to ensure a reservation, but no bill is ever presented to couples for the real cost of the weekend workshop, which is approximately $500 per couple. This includes five meals and lodging for two nights. Instead, couples are simply asked to make a free-will contribution of an amount that is meaningful to them in their circumstances. Couples decide together, in private, the amount of their financial contribution.

There are no group discussions at a United in Marriage workshop. Each participant receives a workbook containing the agenda, session outlines, and resources for use during and after the program. Participants gather as a group in a meeting room and listen to a presentation given by the facilitators. After each presentation, couples are given a question pertaining to their relationship, followed by time for personal reflection and for writing in individual workbooks. Then each couple meets in the privacy of their own room to read their partner's reflections and talk about what has been written. After a period of time, participants return to the meeting room for another group presentation that builds on the previous one.

A United in Marriage Communication Workshop gives couples time and tools for meaningful communication. While there are opportunities to socialize with others at mealtimes or breaks, couples are meant to spend the time concentrating their attention on their partner. This is definitely a working weekend, and for many couples, it is the most rewarding work they've ever done together.

Elaine and Murray Wilson explain, "United in Marriage is important to us because, first of all, at our first communication workshop, we were amazed to find there was so much more to each of us than we originally thought, and that it was such a blessing to be able to communicate those hidden pieces of ourselves to each other."

For further information about United in Marriage Communication Workshops for Couples, please visit www.unitedinmarriage.org, or phone toll-free 1-877-240-9066.
/For further information:
Mary-Frances Denis
Communications Officer
The United Church of Canada
416-231-7680 ext. 2016
1-800-268-3781 ext. 2016
mdenis@united-church.ca
www.united-church.ca/ IN: RELIGION

Contact Information

  • Mary-Frances Denis, Communications Officer, The United Church of Canada
    Primary Phone: 416-231-7680 ext. 2016
    Secondary Phone: 416-885-7478
    Toll-Free: 800-268-3781
    E-mail: mdenis@united-church.ca