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					                   WORLDWIDE MARRIAGE ENCOUNTER
                    WORLD COUNCIL DOCUMENTS

     Our experience in Marriage Encounter leadership at several levels has
demonstrated the need for a proper transmission of leadership to new leaders from an
outgoing team. We have also received many requests at all levels for a transmission
process which is thorough, lifegiving, nurturing, accountable and useable by all levels
of leadership.

     There are many good reasons for the use of a structured process of handing
on leadership which guarantees the formation of both the outgoing leaders and the
incoming leaders and which also ensures the transmission of key knowledge,
vision, values and history in a way which is faithful to the charism and tradition of
Marriage Encounter. Some of the specific reasons for the use of such a process

1. The need for the incoming leadership team to be formed as an ecclesial team,
   especially if the couple and priest have not previously worked with each other.

2. The need for the faithful and reliable handing over of files, documents, archive
   material, information and data pertaining to administration.

3. The need to give additional information and attitudes which may not be written
   and which might be of a personal nature and require understanding rather than

4. Outgoing teams need to process their separation from a role to which they
   have been deeply committed emotionally and the transition to a new and
   different role in which they are able to support the new leaders as invited.

5. Leadership at whatever level has accumulated experience and has been exposed
   to enrichment which needs to be put to the service of the movement in a variety of
   ways and levels. This is a precious resource which can continue to be a gift to the

6. We have often seen good, generous leaders in Marriage Encounter, leave at
   the end of their term of office in a spirit of disillusionment, in disagreement with
   their successors, experiencing difficulty with the consequences of decisions
   made while they were in leadership, criticism or inappropriate expectations
   placed on them by themselves or others.

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                                                     Leadership Transmission Process

7. There can be a grieving of the loss of quite deep relationships made at another
   level which incoming leaders may not yet have experienced and to which they
   may not be sensitive.

     For these reasons we believe that the care of leaders in this transition time,
either into leadership or out of it, requires much prayer, support and sensitivity,
both on the part of leaders and of those who call them into leadership. If this is
provided, the vision and mission of Marriage Encounter are more likely to be
faithfully transmitted.

    The primary purpose of a transmission process such as this is to establish a
relationship of trust and confidence between the outgoing and incoming teams
which will facilitate the faithful handing over of the vision, history and information
necessary for the incoming team to serve effectively according to their gifts.

There should be three steps in this process:

    1.     Establishing an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect through a
           common vision.
    2.     Sharing of experience.
    3.     Communicating necessary information.

    Under normal circumstances, the process requires the teams concerned to
spend a significant period of time, ideally a weekend, living this experience
together. In addition to allocating time for a lifegiving transmission process, funds
must be committed to allow this to happen. We believe that only with such an
allocation of time and funds can the transmission of leadership be fully guaranteed.

Liam & Sue Davison and Fr Bill Challenor
April 1995

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                                                    Leadership Transmission Process

                                FRIDAY NIGHT
                    “Something which has existed since the beginning,
                    which we have heard,
                    which we have seen with our own eyes,
                    which we have watched
                    and touched with our own hands,
                    the Word of life –
                    this is our theme.
                    That life was made visible;
                    we saw it and are giving our testimony,
                    declaring to you the eternal life,
                    which was present to the Father
                    and has been revealed to us.
                    We are declaring to you
                    what we have seen and heard,
                    so that you too may share our life.
                    Our life is shared with the Father
                    and with his Son Jesus Christ.
                    We are writing this to you so that our joy may be complete.
                                                                         1 JN 1:1-4

    The Word of life has been given to us through the experience of the weekend
and through sharing in the ongoing life of the Marriage Encounter community. As
we enter this transmissions process, may we continue to be open to the life of
Jesus through the power of his Spirit and so be impelled to share this life with
those coming after us in leadership. If our term of office has been an experience of
the Good News for us, we will have been empowered to hand on that which we
have received. Only then will our joy be complete.

    Teams to share their response to this reading and spend some time in prayer
together for the successful outcome of the process.


I.   Working Time to Reflect and Share on Aspects of Leadership
     Here follow some important aspects of leadership with appropriate scriptural

        Presenting team read the scripture passage, then the comment which
         follows. Then give the question.
        There follows personal reflection time (10 minutes)
        Then each person shares with the group something significant from your
         personal reflection.

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                                                   Leadership Transmission Process

Leadership is Being Chosen

    Jn 15.16 “You did not choose me, no, I choose you; and I commissioned you
    to go out and bear fruit...”
    The movement has discerned you as leaders through nomination and
    selection. In this discernment God has called you. Being called empowers us
    to respond to that call. It is not an empty call, it is an empowering call.

    Question: How did you hear the call? What does being chosen mean to you?
    How do you see yourselves as being empowered?

Leadership is Unsought

    Is 6.8-9 True prophets do not seek office. But when chosen, they accept. This
    is a sign of their authenticity.

    Question: As you know assume leadership, what are your feelings?

Leadership is Spirit – empowered

    Eph 3.14-21 Leaders are empowered by the Spirit.

    Question: In what ways has your previous experience of leadership been an
    experience of being empowered by the Spirit? In what ways are you open to
    the Spirit empowering you as you take up this new role?

Leadership is Service

    Jn 13.1-15 The “sacrament of leadership” of the Last Supper. Jesus takes a
    towel and washes the feet of his disciples.
    Jn 21.15-17 “Do you love me? Feed my sheep”.
    Lk 22.24-27 “Yet here am I among you as one who serves”.

    Question: Are you ready to lead through serving? What will this call you to be
    and to do?

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Leadership finds its strength in the affirmation of others

    Phil.1.3-9 Paul prays for the community and affirms them. It is impossible to be
    a leader without a mutually respectful and committed relationship between the
    leader and the followers. The willingness of the followers to follow empowers
    the leaders. There is a responsibility on the part of the calling community to
    support the leaders. The leaders for their part are obliged to listen to the
    community they are leading and always recognize the value and dignity of
    each one in the community. Leaders will inevitably make decisions which are
    unpopular with some but with each decision there must be careful listening and
    consultation with the community and prayerful discernment.

    Question: How will you encourage a relationship between leaders and
    followers which is characterized by mutual respect and listening during your
    term of office?

                                       Coffee Break

Leadership is immersed in the community

    Leaders need to be immersed in the life of their local community, involved at
    the “grass-roots” and in touch with the weekend experience.

    Question: What is your ongoing contact with a local community? How will you
    ensure that contact with a local community will continue to nourish you during
    your term of leadership?

Leadership preserves unity and gives life to the community

    Eph 4.1-6: Leaders must always strive to maintain unity within the movement,
    both in terms of maintaining and nurturing a common life and in terms of
    resolving conflict through negotiation and reconciliation. Unity can only come
    from within. It can never be imposed from outside. Is unity possible without
    shared vision, trust and belief in the goodness of the other?

    Question: How will you ensure unity at all levels in the worldwide (secretariat,
    national, district, etc.) family? How will you address difficulties, disagreements
    and conflict?

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                                                      Leadership Transmission Process

Leadership calls for detachment and refocusing

    Leadership challenges us to refocus. We are called to let go of the other role,
    the previous role of service with the vision and span of interest appropriate to
    it. We need to set aside some of the interests and enthusiasms we may have
    for the duration of our term of office and adjust our focus to the demands of the
    new role.

    Our focus is to be on those being served in the new role, e.g. the Council, a
    secretariat, country, region, district, etc. as appropriate.

    We are also called to embrace fully the charism and specific spirituality of
    Worldwide Marriage Encounter. This is not to make judgments about any other
    movements, spiritual practices or groups but rather to focus specifically on this
    present call to serve the family of Worldwide Marriage Encounter.

    Question: Identify those enthusiasms and preferences which might distract you
    from the core values and charism of Worldwide Marriage Encounter during
    your term of office?

Leadership in Marriage Encounter is based on Spousal Relationship

    All leadership roles in Marriage Encounter are based on “right relationship”.
    Leaders have a responsibility to care for and nourish their spousal relationship
    which is at the core of all leadership in the movement. This is their primary
    responsibility. If the spousal relationship is intimate and responsible (for both
    couple and priest) this will nourish the ecclesial team relationship. This will flow
    on to what they do and how they do it with their people. This makes leadership
    life – giving.

    One of the dangers of leadership is that the expectations of others may put us
    under pressure and this may impact on our relationship.

    Question: Are you aware that the pressures and demands of leadership can
    impact on your spousal relationship? How will your leadership reflect your
    spousal relationship? How do I react to the expectations of others?

                                 Concluding prayer

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                                                     Leadership Transmission Process

II. Sharing our Story

    The purpose of this section is not only for the teams to share something of their
    journey in Marriage Encounter but also to build and deepen trust and
    confidence in each other.

    Each team to take team time to prepare responses to the following; Each team
    to share in turn.

Outgoing team share on:

       Brief history of their involvement in M. E.
       Gifts we brought to the role we are handing on Gifts we received in
       Joys we have experienced.
       What has been the personal cost for us? (eg time, family, parish,
        community, work, leisure).
       There are also things like the expectations of others, criticism, unmet
       Gifts we may offer to M. E. in other roles and plans for future involvement.
        What motivated me/us while in leadership?
       Did I find myself seeking to meet needs in the role?
       Negative effects on me/us/team?
       How did I address that?
       What would we do differently if we were in this leadership role again?
       Gifts we see in incoming team.

Incoming team share on:

       Brief history of their involvement in M. E.
       Gifts we bring to leadership.
       Dreams we have for our term of office.
       What we think we will have to give up for the sake of this position (time,
        other pursuits, etc.)?
       How      might     my      behavior    pattern affect  my    leadership?
        (self/spousal/ecclesial team/those being led)
       The style of leadership we would like to embrace.
       Where do we go now for personal support and affirmation? Will they be
        available to us in this new role?
       Discuss and clarify what I understand by leadership/power/authority in
        relation to new role as leaders.
       You have been called to leadership in the context of the needs identified
        during the selection process. What would you like to have addressed by
        the end of your term of office?
       Gifts we see in the outgoing team.

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                                                    Leadership Transmission Process

                                   Coffee Break

10/10 on the following question:

Outgoing team:      “How do I feel right now about leaving leadership?”
Incoming team:      “How do I feel about our term in leadership right now?”

After spousal dialogue and ecclesial team sharing, both teams share their
responses to this dialogue.

III.   Eucharist

Theme of thanksgiving, affirmation, commitment, commissioning as appropriate
and as prepared by participating teams.

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                                                      Leadership Transmission Process

IV. Matters For Discussion And Comment

Before the transmission process is held, the outgoing team will give a report for
their district/country/secretariat etc., based on the four pillars – weekend, teams,
structure and community.

They may wish to use the following headings as a focus for this report:

    1.   Basic information about the community.
    2.   Specific joys – What has been going well?
    3.   Sadness’ – What difficulties have been experienced?
    4.   Where there may need to be help or support given.
    5.   Any other issues and concerns that the outgoing leaders may have.

Other matters to be included may be things such as:

        Finance.
        Formation needs.
        What is happening in the four pillars (if not already covered).
        Documents – especially minutes of meetings, correspondence and
         Outlines Archives.
        Directories.
        Conduct of meetings (including aspects such as chairing, decision making,
         use of team time, etc.), frequency, location, arrangements and hosting
        Visitation (not only do the leaders experience the local community. Local
         communities are drawn into a sense of unity with other communities
         through the presence of leaders)
        Relationship of incoming and outgoing teams.
         Outgoing team – the call to let go but be available for support, information,
         etc. – letting go but not abandoning.
         Incoming team – the call to lead in their own way but value the wisdom and
         experience of the outgoing team and seek their assistance if necessary.

Team Sharing: Each share on the most endearing qualities of the three persons on
the other team.

V. Closing Eucharist

The two teams to plan a liturgical celebration of the handover. See appendices for
material to use. The commissioning of the incoming team to be part of this
Eucharist. See Appendix 2.

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                                                    Leadership Transmission Process

                    Appendix 1

                    Old Wood

                    There is something inside us
                    which wants to pay homage to things spent,
                    whether they be bones of animals or trees,
                    old ruins, or even last year’s calendar.
                    To touch a relic of the past
                    is to feel the chain of life unbroken,
                    what was flowing into what is and what will be
                    in a continuous movement, forward and up.

                    I know that I am in error
                    if I ignore the present
                    in my dream for the future,
                    or if I try to reverse the flow
                    and live for yesterday.
                    And yet, I am this strange mixture
                    of hope and nostalgia,
                    investing in time unborn,
                    clinging to days that are dead,
                    often missing out on what is.

                    Dear Lord, give me the grace
                    to hold the past lightly
                    and to lay no claim to the future.
                    May my reverence for old wood
                    and my eagerness for new seasons,
                    enrich this present time of growth
                    and find their rightful place
                    in the greenness of now.

                                                                 Aotearoa Psalms
                                                          Prayers of a New People
                                                         Joy Cowley & Terry Coles

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Appendix 2 – Prayer For Transmission/Commissioning

Lord, you have never waited for us to become perfect before showing us the
measure of your love or commissioning us to serve you in our world.

We dare to believe that you are always calling us to a new venture, pointing us to
new horizons in service and that you will never cease to call us beyond the present

This is a task, Lord, we cannot do alone. We need you as our guide and we need
the love of each other.

On this occasion, therefore, we claim the privilege of committing ourselves anew to
your service as we take up this new leadership role or relinquish it.

We commit ourselves to intimacy in relationship and generosity in service so as to
bring fresh life to the whole Marriage Encounter family.

Help us to love our world as you love it, to bring peace and friendship into our work
with others and courage into our plans and policies for the future. Help us above all
to bring freshness to Marriage Encounter and adventure into our Church.

Help us to accept disappointment and frustration, opposition and rejection, and not
lose heart.

Create in us a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within us. Stir into a
flame the gifts you have given us and the faith to use them without reserve.

Give us the freedom, as your disciples, to move into the unknown and the untried,
to see the opportunities of the new day, and to serve our present age with
compassion, imagination and courage.

Lord, continue to be with us until we have done our part in building your Kingdom
through the work of this movement of Marriage Encounter and until we share
completely in your joy.


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