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Inviting & Pulpit Talk Guide

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					Resource Material                         Weekend Pillar
                          U S Secretariat 1                approved July 2001




                    Inviting & Pulpit Talk Guide




                        A RESOURCE FOR
                           “Pulpiteers”




      U S SECRETARIAT WEEKEND PILLAR
                  JULY 2001

                         http://elf.wwme.org


                          Inviting – Pulpit Talk Guide      -1-
Resource Material                     Weekend Pillar
                      U S Secretariat 2                  approved July 2001



                              WWME


      Inviting/Pulpit
        Talk Guide
                    http://elf.wwme.org




     US Secretariat Weekend Pillar
               July, 2001




    A helpful tool to help you write and give
                       effective inviting/pulpit talks




                      Inviting – Pulpit Talk Guide        -2-
Resource Material                             3
                           U S Secretariat Weekend Pillar      approved July 2001


                        TABLE OF CONTENTS
OVERVIEW
     What Are Inviting/Pulpit Talks

     Purpose and Benefits of Pulpit Talks

     Who should present Inviting/ Pulpit Talks?

     Mentality of Inviting/Pulpit Talks

     Length of Talk

     Homily Time

     WWME Baby-sitting Statement

     Retrouvaille Mention in Talk and Brochure Availability

     Video Mention in Talks and Availability

     Protocol and Helpful Hints

     Workshopping

     Overwhelming Details in Your Talk

     Your First Talk

     It’s Really God’s Talk

     Thank You

OUTLINES ( 4 Outlines)
INVITING/PULPIT TALKS ( 4 Samples)

QUIZ & QUIZ INVITING/PULPIT TALK ( 1 Quiz 2 Sample Talks)

ROLE PLAY INVITING TALK
UNIQUE WAYS TO BEGIN INVITING/PULPIT TALKS ( 2 Samples)

INVITING/PULPIT TALK WORKSHOP DAY

                               Inviting – Pulpit Talk Guide          -3-
Resource Material       U S Secretariat Weekend4Pillar         approved July 2001




                                    OVERVIEW



        The Weekend Pillar of the U S Secretariat gathered and

collected successful inviting/pulpit talks and outlines from local

communities across the country. The material was reviewed and

has been compiled into this document.

        You are encouraged to reevaluate your current inviting/pulpit

talk to include the suggestions in this document. Feel free to mix

and match material from the sample talks. The bolded, italicized,

underlined parts of the inviting/pulpit talks are the personal sharings

that you will need to replace with the details from your relationship.

        We know you’ll enjoy “freshening up” your inviting/pulpit

talk and your community will reap the benefits of your effort to

make your talk “even better”!




                                Inviting – Pulpit Talk Guide             -4-
Resource Material              U S Secretariat Weekend5Pillar            approved July 2001


WHAT ARE INVITING/PULPIT TALKS


Inviting/Pulpit talks are an opportunity to speak to couples at various types of gatherings and/or
Saturday and Sunday Masses about Worldwide Marriage Encounter. They are an opportunity to reach
hundreds of couples in a more personal way. Giving inviting/pulpit talks allows us to ―tell our story‖;
the romance stage of our courting days and early marriage, how we got caught up in the modern world,
our disillusionment and what attending the Weekend has done for our marriage. Since we’re speaking at
organized groups or Mass, we have a somewhat captive audience. We use this opportunity to make
Worldwide Marriage Encounter ―come alive", peak the interest of the married couples, and make them
want to find out how they, too, can bring the romance and joy back into their marriages.


PURPOSE AND BENEFITS OF PULPIT TALKS


Pulpit talks are a very important tool in recruiting couples to make a Worldwide Marriage Encounter
Weekend. Unlike bulletin announcements, pulpit talks give us a chance to ―personalize‖ the word we are
trying to spread. They give us the opportunity to personally extend to couples an ―invitation‖ to make a
Weekend, and to offer them the same gift that was offered to us. In addition, there are some other
reasons and benefits for giving pulpit talks as well:


   Pulpit talks will reach those couples that normally don't read the bulletins, or glance over the
    announcements without really reading them.
   Pulpit talks help keep Worldwide Marriage Encounter alive and on the minds of the Pastors and
    Parish Priests
   Pulpit talks make the Worldwide Marriage Encounter movement more ―personal‖; parishioners see
    that there are ―real people‖ behind WWME. It helps bring the few sentences that show up in the
    bulletin once in a while to life.
   Some couples will respond better to ―people" than they would an advertisement.
   Pulpit talks give us the opportunity to make ourselves available after the Masses to answer questions
    ―on the spot‖.
   Doing pulpit talks gives us the opportunity to put Worldwide Marriage Encounter literature in the
    church, if it is not already there.
   For some that have read the announcements and have hesitated calling about it, or maybe were just
    afraid to call, this might just be the push that gets them to sign up.
   It’s just one more opportunity to get the word of WWME out to the people, in a more forceful and
    personal way.
   Pulpit talks offer us the opportunity to clarify the mission of Worldwide Marriage Encounter (i.e. to
    make good marriages better, not for marriage prep, not for problem solving, not for divorce saving, it
    is preventative maintenance)

WHO SHOULD PRESENT INVITING/ PULPIT TALKS?

Any couple that has made a WWME Weekend and is excited about what it did for their marriage, and
wants every couple to have the opportunity to experience a Weekend. They do NOT have to be a Team.

                                       Inviting – Pulpit Talk Guide                -5-
Resource Material               U S Secretariat Weekend6Pillar              approved July 2001

MENTALITY OF INVITING/PULPIT TALKS

Your love story is the most important part of your talk. What makes your talk come alive is your story.
This is what catches the interest of the other couples. Make your talk personal; put yourselves into it;
think of the truth behind what you are saying, and as you do be expressive; catch people’s interest.
Think for a moment of all the lectures, sermons and talks you’ve listened to in your lifetime. What is it
about a talk that caught your interest? It is usually the personal anecdotes used to illustrate a point. Just
as on the Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekends themselves, what makes the talks come alive is the
personalization. What makes a talk interesting for you will probably make it interesting for others as
well.

Have fun with your talk, and be a proud spokes couple for Worldwide Marriage Encounter!

The contents of these talks are not cast in concrete, and there is no one perfect way to give a talk. You
should do what is comfortable and natural for you. As long as you follow the ―basic‖ flow and outline,
and make sure you personalize your talk with ―Your Story", you will end up with a very effective talk.

Whether you have homily time or not, stay away from referring to the day's scripture in your talk unless
the priest requests that ahead of time. The celebrant may object to a homily from lay people.

If you talk about your romance as newly weds, disillusionment that set in and the rediscovery of
romance in your relationship via the communication taught on the weekend, they will want what you
have.


LENGTH OF TALK


There is not any specific rule as to how long your talk should be. Many couples and parishes have their
own thoughts, ideas and guidelines on length. Most of the time, however, the Pastor will dictate how
much time you will be given. This could range from 3 minutes to ―as long as you need‖, but try to
negotiate for the ideal, which is 5 – 6 minutes. Any talk shorter than 3 minutes is really not enough time
and longer than 6 minutes can become laborious. We want to give them enough information to peak
their interest and leave them wanting more. If the talk is too long, they’ll move past wanting more to
―never mind‖.


HOMILY TIME


It is a high value to give a Pulpit talk during homily time. However this does not mean you are to give a
homily. It is the recommendation of the Priests serving on the Weekend Pillar to make a one or two
sentence reference to the readings, if they lend themselves to such reference. If the Pastor insists on
including ―homily‖ material in your talk, it is highly recommended that you give him a copy of your
presentation and ask his assistance in weaving appropriate material into your talk.




                                        Inviting – Pulpit Talk Guide                  -6-
Resource Material               U S Secretariat Weekend7Pillar              approved July 2001



WWME BABY-SITTING STATEMENT


The policy is very clear; Worldwide Marriage Encounter DOES NOT provide baby-sitting, because of
the liability associated with it. It is best not to mention baby-sitting at all in your pulpit talks. If you
should be asked about baby-sitting, after Mass for example, be prepared with the following suggestions
that can also be found in Operation Registration, A Resource for Registration Couples, Registration
Call Guide at a Glance, on the ELF web site. They are:



Babysitting:
       Ask relatives to watch your kids as a gift (your birthday, Christmas, etc)
       Trade with friends or family.
       Share your story. Weekend benefits the family so much it’s worth doing everything possible
          to make sitter arrangements
       When was the last time they had a weekend alone together?
       Grandparents would love to watch kids for such an important event.
       Parents out of town? Get back to them with weekends near the parents.
       Your church probably has couples/families willing to help. Suggest they call the church
          office


Issue with leaving kids:
        Benefits to family more than worth leaving them for one weekend
        Share your story and what your family got from it-improved communication with kids, etc
        Empathize. Share and accept their feelings, be relatable and connected
        Neighbors check in on kids, take kids to Mass, etc
        Weekend is not held far away
        You will have a phone number to leave for emergencies.



RETROUVAILLE MENTION IN TALKS AND BROCHURE AVAILABILITY


WWME strongly encourages you to say ―Worldwide Marriage Encounter is for couples with good
marriages who want,. to make them better. Our Church offers a weekend experience called Retrouvaille
for couples with troubled or hurting marriages.
Furthermore we encourage you to contact Retrouvaille in your diocese, get brochures from them and
have the brochures available for couples who need that weekend.




                                        Inviting – Pulpit Talk Guide                  -7-
Resource Material                U S Secretariat Weekend8Pillar              approved July 2001




VIDEO MENTION IN TALKS AND AVAILABILITY


WWME strongly encourages you to mention in your talk that you have a few 15 minute videos available
for those who are here without their spouse and would like to take one home to view it together. Then
ask when they are finished with it, to pass it on to a friend or return it to the Church literature rack. It is
helpful to print stickers with your local registration number and the phrase ―Pass this video on to a friend
or relative OR return to the Church literature rack for another couple to view‖ and place the stickers on
the back of the videos. You’ll be amazed at how many videos are taken – that’s what they’re for!
English & Spanish Videos can be ordered through the National Office by email at
wwmeoffice@aol.com or call 909-863-9963.


PROTOCOL AND HELPFUL HINTS

 Printing your Talk
You won't be pulled from the pulpit with a handwritten or scribbled on pulpit talk, but it is much easier
to read if it has been typed out and double spaced. Use a font that is easy to read at a glance. Script
fonts and small fonts are often too difficult to read smoothly. Try out several fonts and sizes, sentence
case letters rather than all upper case is easier to read and helps you anticipate the end of a sentence for
better emphasis and delivery. Find the font size and style that you are most comfortable with, even if
the style is different for the husband and the wife.

 Dress Code
The couple that sets up the pulpit talk at the parish should ask the pastor about appropriate dress for his
parish. He will be happy to give you some guidelines. Jeans, shorts, sweatshirts and T-shirts are never
appropriate.

 Worldwide Marriage Encounter Nameplates/Jewelry
It might be practical to wear your name tag and/or a WWME pin (if you have these), especially when
you are in the back of the church after Mass. It identifies you as a Worldwide Marriage Encounter
Couple, and gives the other couples a chance to see your name in print, in case they have forgotten it and
want to address you by name. In general, use your own judgment. In reality, it probably won’t make that
much difference one way or the other.

 Attend the Mass
Please attend the Mass(es) at which you are speaking. Don’t be the person who shows up five minutes
before the talk and comes strolling up to the podium from the back of the church. Be in attendance for
the entire Mass, preferably somewhere towards the front and near the podium.

 Communion As A Couple
As many of you do already, it is a good idea to go to communion as a couple, side-by-side. This will
probably set you apart from the rest of the congregation. However, it demonstrates the special feelings
you have about each other and your sacrament. Be proud of who we are.




                                         Inviting – Pulpit Talk Guide                  -8-
Resource Material               U S Secretariat Weekend9Pillar             approved July 2001




   Courtesy At The Parish

Make sure you arrive early enough before mass to meet with the celebrant for introductions and special
procedures / instructions. It’s a good idea to give the celebrant a card (cheat sheet) with your names for
his introduction of you. Also offer to him that when the celebrant encourages the congregation to make a
weekend after you speak, the response is higher. Reconfirm with him when you will be speaking.
Without exception, follow all the rules outlined by the Pastor. If he doesn’t want you inside the church,
vestibule or gathering space after Mass, then make sure you are outside greeting the couples after the
Mass. We want to maintain a good relationship with the Pastor. Show respect for him and his parish.
Make sure you know the rules and abide by them.



WORKSHOPPING


Your pulpit talk must be workshopped before the designated pulpit talk by a workshop couple in your
area. The reasons for being workshopped are:

1. It is the best way to condense the presentation so that it gets your story across in the most direct way
possible.
2. It ensures that the talk you are giving is the best that it can be.
3. That any and all information, comments and statements that you are making are correct.
4. It will give you confidence and the peace of mind knowing that your talk has been workshopped and
that it is ready.
5. If you’re not sure of who to call, contact your Area Coordinators or Recruiting Coordinators.
They will be able to assist you.



DELIVERY OF TALKS


Presenters of Inviting/Pulpit talks should be trained (as are lectors for Mass) to be aware of:
1. Be familiar with your presentation – reading over it several times before hand.
2. Voice projection into the mic and speaking slowly and clearly.
3. Mic adjustment:
    This may require moving it during the talk if there is a great height difference between the
       husband and wife.
    Be aware of how sensitive the mic is by observing lectors during Mass, and adjust it accordingly
       when you speak.
4. Look up as much as possible while you are speaking and make eye contact with the congregation
   while your spouse is speaking.
5. Be aware of projecting positive non-verbals (smiling, tone of voice , etc)
6. Double space your talk for easier reading. Also, sentence case is easier to read than all upper case.
                                        Inviting – Pulpit Talk Guide                 -9-
Resource Material                                     10
                                U S Secretariat Weekend Pillar            approved July 2001




OVERWHELMING DETAILS IN YOUR TALK

Keep the details of the weekend, when you heard of it and your decision to go, to a minimum. Capture
their interest with your love story, they can ask you questions on the details after Mass and through the
registration couple.




YOUR FIRST TALK

When you give your first pulpit talk, you’ll probably be very nervous. This is O.K., as most couples are
nervous the first time. Just keep in mind that the talks get easier the more you do them. Also keep in
mind that it’s the message you are spreading, and the gift that you are offering, that's important. Being
nervous can also be a good thing. Many times when couples see you giving the talk, they just might say
to themselves ―If this couple believes in Worldwide Marriage Encounter that much that they are
speaking despite their fear, then this is something I want to find out more about.‖


IT’S REALLY GOD’S TALK

One thing to keep in mind, and which might just make you a little less nervous, is to remember that we
are instruments of God. We write our talk, have it workshopped, go to the church, open our mouths and
give the talk. But we are NOT alone. God is with us and helping to give that talk. He won’t ever let you
embarrass yourself or be an embarrassment for the work you are doing for Him. It is HIS work we are
doing, not ours. And it is His grace that stirs a couple to attend a Weekend. God works through His
people. We are His instruments. He will give us the strength and courage we need.


THANK YOU

On this note a heart-felt ―Thank You‖ is in order for helping to do God’s work through pulpit talks.
Remember that you are not alone; there is an entire Worldwide Marriage Encounter Community behind
you ready to help. Just ask.

Good Luck and May God Bless You!




                                        Inviting – Pulpit Talk Guide              - 10 -
            Resource Material              U S Secretariat Weekend Pillar     approved July 2001


                                PULPIT TALK OUTLINES

OUTLINE # 1


      OVERVIEW


 To meet the couples where they are in their marriage in today’s world – at
  various stages of disillusionment.
 To get them to reminisce about the romance of their own relationship via
  the personal sharing of the presenting couple.
 To give them a snap shot of how society is undermining their marriage and
  family – possibly without their awareness.
 To raise the suggestion that their children’s view and expectations of
  marriage are being profoundly influenced by society.
 To raise their awareness that God has a stake in our relationship as husband
  and wife
 To call them to action for them and their children.
 To give them a snap shot of what the weekend is not and who it is for.
 To challenge them a bit & invite them to this most important event for the
  benefit of them and their family.



     OUTLINE           5 – 6 minutes long

I.      Introduction H or W .5 minute

        A. Names, your parish, how long married, # of children and their ages
        B. Why we are here simply stated:
           ―To invite all married couples to a Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekend‖

II.     Romance/Disillusionment/Our weekend

        A. H 45 seconds
        Describe your Romance of your courting days through knowing this was the woman of our
        dreams with whom you wanted to spend the rest of your life


                                        Inviting Pulpit Talk Guide           - 11 -
         Resource Material         U S Secretariat Weekend Pillar              approved July 2001



       B. W 1 minute
          1. Briefly talk about – 1st few years – honeymoon time – this is really a transition sentence
             or 2 stating that your 1st years were just as you dreamed and you knew you were going to
             be special and different
          2. Another transition sentence or 2 stating that the honeymoon began to fade because your
             focus and communication shifted from the 2 of you to work, schedules, bills, kids, etc.
             The spark was gone and you often wondered, ―Is this all there is?‖
          3. Wonder about your future, when kids are off on their own
          4. Describe how your Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekend changed all that
             a. Got back in touch with each other, hopes and dreams
             b. Learned to communicate once again like the dating & honeymoon years
             c. Added bonus it improved communication with your children
             d. Restored your hope for your future
             e. Relationship is more vibrant now than when you were first married

III.   Influences from society & media (a wake up call)
       A. W continues 45 seconds
           Our informal training for marriage began as children and continues today via
              1. TV, movies, politicians – ―family values‖ debated in the press
              2. Bombarded with the skewed and negative messages they send that permeates our
                  society
              3. The TV families you grew up watching versus today’s (Aly Mcbeal, Temptation
                  Island, Friends and the Real World on MTV) where no marriages survive and long
                  term commitments are ridiculed
              4. Internet chat rooms devoted to the destruction of marriage
              5. Hostile atmosphere that exists for today’s couples – Marriage is under siege – our
                  children are being formed profoundly
       B. H 30 seconds
           Values in Society Today (the alarm is still ringing)
              1. Look out for # 1
              2. Like Nike says ―Just Do It‖ if it feels good
              3. If things get too tough – move out or in with someone else
              4. Divorce rate in approaching 60%!!
              5. We tend to take our Marriage for granted and one day we wake up and wonder what
                  happened to the happy bride and groom we once were
              6. Don’t know what to do or where to start
       C. H continues 15 seconds
           A Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend is the place to start
              1. Offers a different, positive view and training for married couples
              2. Based on 2 key values
                  a. Communication is vital to a successful marriage
                  b. Our marriage relationship is important to God and our Church – God does have a
                      plan for married couples – Marriage is a Sacrament, a vocation ,where Jesus
                      performed His first public miracle



                                      Inviting Pulpit Talk Guide                 - 12 -
          Resource Material         U S Secretariat Weekend Pillar               approved July 2001


IV. Motivation to Make a Weekend W 1 minutes
      A. Realities and solutions
              1. We all experience loneliness, disillusionment and distance in our marriages
              2. Learn to live with it or give up all together
              3. Communication techniques taught on weekend give us tools to work through the
                  disillusionment to find joy & intimacy again
      B. Being Proactive
              1. Transition = i.e.- good marriages just don’t happen – people don’t become great
                  hunters, fishermen, doctors, or salesmen. They work at it by being proactive.
              2. We married couples are called to be proactive for our marriages instead of
                  reacting to life or circumstances so we don’t become a statistic
              3. Tune up example = cars can’t run year after year, mile after mile without a
                  tune up – neither can our marriage.
              4. A Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend is the best proactive ―tune up‖ for
              married couples today
      C. H 30 seconds What a weekend is NOT and who it’s for
              1. Not a retreat
              2. Not a counseling program
              3. There are NO group discussions
              4. It IS a private time between a husband and wife away from all distractions
              5. Focus is on the future not the past
              6. Weekend IS for couples with good marriages who want to make them better
      D. Retrouvaille Statement read as is
     “Our Church offers a weekend for hurting and troubled marriages called Retrouvaille”
              (You should have Retrouvaille brochures available and on display with ours)
      E. Announce the Next Weekend Date and Location

V. Wrap up W 1 minute
      A. Family life is diminishing
         1. Our children are learning from us about marriage & relationships
         2. No better gift for our kids than to model a strong, healthy and loving marriage
            relationship
      B. Making time for a Weekend
         1. Difficult with our busy schedules
         2. Won’t find time but can decide to make the time
         3. Read as is. ―Please consider accepting our invitation to invest 1 weekend in the most
            important relationship in your life – your marriage‖.
      C. Videos
         1. Have a few copies of 15 minute video that describes the weekend
         2. Can take one home to view with your spouse
         3. When you’re finished with it pass it on to a friend or return it to the Church literature rack
      D. Your availability after Mass
         1. Where you will be after mass with brochures and to answer questions
         2. Point out the display boards with brochures at other exits (IFAP boards)
      E. Closing
         1. Thank Fr. ________ for allowing us to talk with you today
         2. Thank you for your time and attention
         3. Hope to see you at the ________ (date) Weekend
                                       Inviting Pulpit Talk Guide                 - 13 -
          Resource Material         U S Secretariat Weekend Pillar                approved July 2001




OUTLINE # 2

The focus of the pulpit talk is to generate the desire to learn more about the Weekend on the part of
those in the congregation. Your story needs to be real and genuine and go to the heart of what the
Weekend did for you as a couple. Remember to relax and have some fun with this because it is a brief
glimpse into your love story.

I      Introduction (Husband or Wife)
       - Introduce yourselves and thank the pastor (not the celebrant, unless he is also the pastor) for
       allowing you to speak.

II     Romance (Husband or Wife)
       - Describe the romance you experienced during your early relationship (dating, engagement,
       early marriage). Try to paint a vivid, but brief picture of what your lives were like.

III    Disillusionment (Husband and/or Wife)
       - Describe how over time things changed. You became distant and separate (married singles).
       Share the pain and loneliness that resulted. Again, paint a picture of what your marriage was
       like. Share some of the areas where you had difficulty, i.e. kids, intimacy, finances, career, in-
       laws. If the husband and wife will share the same disillusionment, then only one should share.
       However, if the sharings will be different, then both should share. It is important that you help
       the couples to experience the feelings you experienced during this time.

IV     Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend (Husband and Wife)
       - Without going into detail about the Weekend itself, describe the significance of the Weekend
       for you. Share something of what you discovered during that Weekend. It's very important that
       both of you share on this point. Draw the couples into the transformation that took place on your
       Weekend.

V      Challenge      [Should relate back to Section III Disillusionment]
       - Challenge the couples to examine their own relationship, perhaps using questions such as
       "What are the priorities in your life right now?" "Are your children sitting between you in the
       pew today? Are they between you in your relationship?". Encourage them to look at each other
       and make a promise to attend the next Weekend they possibly can. Try to focus your questions
       on the issues you raised because you've been there and you're not asking them to consider
       anything that you didn't.

VI     Information
       - Mention the date of the next Weekend and that you will be available following Mass to
       answer questions and help them sign up for a Weekend. You can mention there are more
       weekends, but let them ask about those after mass. Also mention that Worldwide Marriage
       Encounter is for good or solid marriages. Let them know our Church has a program for
       marriages in trouble called Retrouvaille.



                                       Inviting Pulpit Talk Guide                  - 14 -
        Resource Material         U S Secretariat Weekend Pillar              approved July 2001




VII   Closing Quote           [Should relate back to Section III Disillusionment]
      - "When we die and go to Heaven, God isn't going to ask us what kind of car we drove, how
      much money we made or even how effective we were as parents. He is going to ask us how
      well we loved one another." You can make adjustments to this to relate better to your story, but
      it's important that you make them think about the fact that God cares most about how they love
      one another. Leave the podium without thanking anyone. It's important that you leave them on
      the spot in silence to contemplate what you just said.




                                     Inviting Pulpit Talk Guide                - 15 -
          Resource Material         U S Secretariat Weekend Pillar               approved July 2001



OUTLINE # 3
This talk is designed to be similar to the way we would invite a single couple and should be written as if
we are talking to some of our friends. Remember to personalize, be natural, make it really you and
speak is if you are inviting only one couple.

A. Intro and Opening
       Warm greeting and thank the priest. Introduce yourselves using your and a little about
       yourselves but be brief. Tell them you want to talk to them about something that has deeply
       affected you and your marriage.

B. Romance of your courtship and early marriage including how you talked for hours and were ―best
   friends‖
C. Light Disillusionment
      Explain how gradually the excitement began to fade. It didn't happen overnight but as time went
      on the job, house, children etc. began to draw you away from each other. Little things began to
      grate an each other's nerves. There seemed to be less and less interest in the two of us.
       Briefly share some specifics of disillusionment. In dating days you seemed to accept everything
       about each other; now minor things seem to cause upset. Give some specific examples, but
       KEEP IT LIGHT. A few humorous examples would be helpful (dirty socks left on the floor,
       empty gas tank, unrecorded checks, hair all over the bathroom sink.) "We didn't seem to talk
       about us anymore." Your marriage, wasn't everything you had dreamed it would be. "Why am I
       so lonely in this so called good marriage? Was this all our marriage was going to be, a lifeless,
       hum- drum routine?
D. The Weekend
           open to couples married 1 or 101 years
           no group sharing
           not counseling
           not for problem solving or process to criticize one another
           for couples of all faiths
           for couples with good marriages
           intimate and private time for couples
 distractions kept to a minimum
E. Joy From Weekend –
       Briefly describe the joy you experienced in your relationship as a result of the Weekend. Focus
       was on one another, it was a special time and learned a method for communicating that has
       improved your communication with one another and your family.
F. Conclusion –
      Announce the next weekend date and location. Tell them where you will be after Mass with
      brochures and to answer any questions.




                                       Inviting Pulpit Talk Guide                 - 16 -
             Resource Material          U S Secretariat Weekend Pillar                 approved July 2001




OUTLINE # 4


5 – 6 Minutes


ASK PRIEST TO INTRODUCE YOU BE FORE YOU SPEAK. WRITE OUT YOUR
NAME, YEARS MARRIED, PARISH YOU’RE FROM, AND HOW LONG INVOLVED
IN WORLDWIDE MARRIAGE ENCOUNTER.

I.        INTRODUCTION (Husband, .5 min. max.)

          A. Open with a few welcoming sentences. Such as: We are going to speak
          today on the dignity of marriage. In response to a message from Bishop _______,
          addressing his concerns for the family, and of your pastor, Father _________, we
          are going to tell you about the Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend we
          attended ____ years ago. We'd like to tell you a little about why we decided to go,
          what happens on a Weekend, and how it touched our lives.

II.       Why we decided to go (Wife, husband, .5 min. each)

           A. Cover these points:
                Our life together before the Weekend. How we talked. Where our focus
                   was. (Wife) Modern world images of marriage.
                When I first heard about the Weekend, I decided
                   _______________________.
      Husband finishes with inner thoughts at times, i.e. feeling lonely at times, frantic pace,
       isolation, pressure, etc. (Husband should hit hard here, talking to the guys)

III.      Tell about the Weekend itself (Don't refer to it as Marriage Enrichment, or a
          weekend away for the two of us. Call it the Worldwide Marriage Encounter
          Weekend, and not the M.E. Weekend) (One spouse, 1 min.)

          A. Weekend is simple and positive.
          B. Series of talks given by a team of trained couples and a priest.
          C. The couples share experiences from their own lives, and the priest does the
          same. No sermonizing, no telling what you should or shouldn't be doing.
          D. Each talk gives you an opportunity to look at yourselves as individuals, and to
          look at your relationship with each other, with God, and with others.
          E. Weekend is strictly between you two. Not a retreat, sensitivity sessions,
          counseling, or group sharing.




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IV. Tell how the Weekend touched your lives (Husband, wife, 1 min. each)

       A. Gone away on weekends before. This was different. Why?

       B. Learned a technique of communication. Can work through anything now with a
       lot less hassle and stress. We are better able to resolve things, rather than sweep
       them under the rug. Found we can use this technique we learned with others
       (family, friends, boss, co-workers)

       C. Once again find ourselves sharing our dreams with each other. We'd forgotten
       how, it seemed. Can share hopes and yes, even gripes, so much easier now, and
       really feel listened to.

       D. I was (this-type) ___ person before the Weekend, she was (this type) We still
       are those types. Weekend is not about changing people, it's about learning how to
       share ourselves more fully. How to seek understanding. How to forgive each other
       for our failings and shortcomings.

V.     How they can get to go on a Weekend. (We want to take away all their excuses for
       not going...time, money, etc.) Give date(s) of next Weekend(s).
       (Husband/wife, 1 min.)

       A. Time. Appeal to the guys--when was last time you did something
       crazy/romantic with her? Too many commitments. Fine, make another one...one
       that puts the two of you first with no TV, phones, kids, etc.

       B. Money. Don't let this stop you. Free will donation at the end of the weekend.
       We never want finances to be an obstacle, the weekend is for all couples.

       C. Years married. Couples married 1 year to 101 years are welcome. Doesn't
       matter, equally effective for all.

       D. How they can sign up today. Where you’ll be after Mass for further questions
       and other dates of upcoming Weekends. When possible, have pencils and sign-up
       slips in the pews.




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SAMPLE TALK # 1 – WRITTEN FROM OUTLINE # 1


HUSBAND:

GOOD MORNING. We are ___________. We’re from _________________parish in

_____________ and we’ve been married ________ years . We are here today to invite all

married couples to a WORLDWIDE MARRIAGE ENCOUNTER WEEKEND.

Romance for me began in the summer of 1967 at a CYO dance when a cute, short haired, big

brown eyed girl with dimples asked me to dance to the song "TO LOVE SOMEBODY" by the

B G's. I was immediately drawn to her outgoing personality and beauty. We visited or spoke

on the phone almost daily through our high school & college days.     I looked forward to

spending every minute possible with ___________. She was my biggest fan and my best

friend. ___________ had a way of making me seem special and important. I can't recall the

1st time we discussed marriage, but it was something we dreamed and talked about frequently

as I gradually realized I didn't want to live my life without her.


WIFE:

Our first few years of marriage were just as we had dreamed. We were going to be different &

special and live happily ever after. But gradually the honeymoon glow began to fade and our

communication shifted from us to kids, work, schedules and bills. The spark in our

relationship fizzled out and I often wondered - Is this all their is? Our Worldwide Marriage

Encounter Weekend changed all that. We got back in touch with ourselves, our hopes and our

dreams. We learned to communicate once again like we did when we were dating and as an

added bonus, it improved our communication with our children. Our weekend restored our hope

for our future.



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Our informal training for marriage began as children and continues today as we are bombarded

with subtle but profound examples from television, movies, soap operas & politicians. Family

Values are debated on T V and in the press.     ________ and I were influenced by T V families

such as Donna Reed and Father Knows Best. The Brady Bunch or the Cosby's may have been

your family models. Today our children are receiving training about marriage from shows like

Ally Macbeal, Friends and Temptation Island where there are no marriages that survive. In fact,

long-term committed relationships are ridiculed. Last but not least our kids are learning about

life and relationships from The Real World on M-TV - and that is quite scary!


HUSBAND:


Society today tells us to look out for ourselves, to live life to the maximum and if it feels good -

to "JUST DO IT". When things get a bit difficult - move on or move in with someone else. In

the United States we are now approaching the 60% mark of the number of marriages that end in

divorce. I’ll bet 99% of couples getting married believe their marriages will last forever.

Unfortunately, too many of us take our marriages for granted & wake up one day wondering

what ever happened to that happy bride & groom - BUT DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO OR

WHERE TO START.

       Worldwide Marriage Encounter is the place to start. The weekend offers a different

view and training for married couples. It is based on 2 strong beliefs: COMMUNICATION is

vital to a marriage, and our COUPLE RELATIONSHIP is important to GOD and our CHURCH.

God DOES have a plan for married life.Jesus worked his first public miracle at a wedding.




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WIFE:

Most of us experience periods of loneliness and distance in our marriages and this is normal. But

some of us never make it through this disillusionment; we get stuck in it; and learn to either live

with it or give up altogether. The communication techniques taught on the weekend gave us the

tools to work through our disillusionment and find the joy and intimacy that God yearns for all of

us to experience in marriage. Good marriages don't just happen. People don't become great

fishermen, hunters, doctors or lawyers without being proactive. Scripture repeatedly calls us to

be pro-active. For us as married couples that means taking responsibility for our marriages

rather than reacting to circumstances. We are being proactive in the care of our cars when we

change the oil, rotate the tires or get a tune up. Our cars can't go on mile after mile, year after

year without some care. Neither can our marriages. A Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekend

is the best proactive "pit stop" available today to keep our marriages strong and healthy and gives

us the tools to deal with whatever the world throws in our path.


HUSBAND:

The weekend is not a retreat or a counseling program. There are NO group discussions. The

focus is on the future - not the past. A Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekend is designed for

couples with good marriages who want to make them even better. Our Church also offers a

Weekend for hurting or troubled marriages – called Retrouvaille. Our next open weekend will

be ____________________ at _______________________. Family life today is diminishing

and our children are learning from us about married life and relationships. In our world today,

we cannot give our children a better gift than to love each other and to share that love with them.




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WIFE:

We know how difficult it can be to find time in today's busy world to get away for a weekend to

work on our relationship. To be honest, you'll never find the time but you can decide to make

the time. Please consider accepting our invitation to invest one weekend in the most important

relationship in your life – your marriage. We will be available after mass in the back of church

with brochures and to answer any questions you may have.

We also have a few copies of a 15 minute video that describes the weekend which you can take

home & view with your spouse. There are display boards with brochures at the other exits as

well.

We want to thank Father __________ for allowing us to talk to you today. Thank you for

your time and attention and we hope to see you on the _______ weekend.




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SAMPLE TALK # 2
Husband:

Good morning/afternoon. My name is________ and this is my wife _____. We

would like to thank you for giving us this opportunity to speak to you today about

the sacrament of matrimony. _____ and I are parishioners at _________ in

______ and we've been married for ____ years. We're here today to invite all the

married couples in this parish to attend a very special weekend called Worldwide

Marriage Encounter. It is a weekend open to all married couples who have a good

marriage. Our Church offers a program called Retrouvaille for marriages in

trouble. To attend a Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekend, your age or the

number of years you have been married doesn't matter. It is for couples of all ages

that have good marriages and want to make them even better. The weekend isn't

a retreat, seminar or counseling session, but rather, an opportunity for the two of

you to rediscover just how special you are to one another.

Wife:

You may be wondering about this gift we brought up with us. What would you

think if we told you this is a gift we received ___ years ago on our wedding day,

but hadn't opened yet. Many of you have a gift just like this, but don't realize it.

The gift represents the many graces of the sacrament of matrimony that Jesus is

willing to give us. The catch is, we have to be willing to open ourselves and our

relationship to this gift. This is what the Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekend

is all about, opening and discovering the many gifts of our relationship.

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Husband:

The first gift we have to offer is a weekend to just be by yourselves. When was

the last time just the two of you got away for a weekend? A weekend without the

interruptions of kids, the telephone, the TV and all the other responsibilities of

daily life? A weekend for just the two of you to spend time together? This is one

of the gifts of the Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekend.


Wife:

The second gift is improved communication. On the weekend you will learn a new

method of communication. This communication technique helped us get back in touch

with the couple we were when we were first married.          We have

grown in our understanding, love and respect for each other.


Husband:

The third gift is a more open and loving relationship. We have found that this gift also

extends to our friends and family. We are much more loving and compassionate in our

dealings with them. Since our weekend, our children are more secure and our home

has a more loving and peaceful atmosphere. The greatest gift parents can give their

children is their love for one another.

Wife:

Another gift of the marriage encounter weekend is rediscovering how special you are as a

couple. On our Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekend, we began to see that instead

of being ordinary, we have a very special love. We had some reservations about going



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on the weekend because we weren't sure what we were getting into.       _______ & I are

very private people, and we didn't want to have to share our personal experiences with

anyone. We would like to put your fears to rest by telling you that there are no group

sharings. The weekend is a private experience between the 2 of you.


Husband:

Right now you may be feeling like we did before our weekend. Our marriage is really

good. Why does it need to be better? We found that we had to let go of a good marriage

to have a great marriage. The weekend brought us closer together than we had ever

imagined. Whether you have been married one year or fifty years, a marriage encounter

weekend can help rekindle that "just married" feeling. We had a couple on one of our

recent weekends that had been married 43 years. They said the weekend made them feel

like newlyweds. Imagine what it can do for you!


Wife:

The next weekends are ____________________ at the _________________. If these

dates don’t fit your schedule, there are weekends scheduled throughout the year. We will

be ____________ after mass. Please come and see us if you have any questions or if you

need more information to help get you registered for the weekend. We also have display

boards with brochures at the other exits.

Thank you for listening. You have a beautiful gift just waiting to be opened. We urge

you to take one weekend to open it and see all the wonderful things that are

in store for you!




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SAMPLE TALK #3


HUSBAND:


Good morning/evening. My name is ________ and this is my wife ______. Do you remember how fun
it was to date your future spouse? Do you remember your wedding day, your honeymoon , and your
early years of marriage—how thrilled and happy you were? We want to speak to those whose marriages
don’t quite feel like that anymore. We want to talk about Worldwide Marriage Encounter and invite you
to give this wonderful gift to each other.


WIFE:


I married _________ and we set up our first home in________________. We were spontaneous and
romance abounded. Our honeymoon stage lasted until our first child was born two years later. The
pressures of work, raising a child and volunteer activities started to choke out the time we spent really
talking with each other. We had a good marriage and still loved each other, but seemed too busy or
too tired to show it as much as before.
Several years later and after many invitations, we finally attended a Worldwide Marriage Encounter
weekend. We heard it was for good marriages who want to make it better. That’s good because we
did not really have marital problems. I went along with___________ just to see what the weekend was
all about.


HUSBAND:


Marriage Encounter is a weekend designed to give couples a chance to really focus their attention on
each other. The weekend starts on Friday night at 8:00 and ends with a Mass on Sunday at 4:00 PM.
The format is a series of talks on different aspects of married life, given by three couples and a priest.
After each talk, you will be given an opportunity to




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reflect on the topic using the tools you will learn, to communicate effectively with your spouse in the
privacy of your room. There is NO group discussion.
Every couple’s weekend experience is different. For me, I learned how much I took our relationship
for granted and how much I missed talking and sharing our hopes and dreams together. I
rediscovered the reason we got married in the first place. In a nutshell, I fell in love with _______ all
over again.    Do we now have a perfect marriage? Of course not, but we are having fun again.


WIFE:


Looking back now, that weekend has been one of the best things we ever did for our relationship. It
brought back the intimacy, romance and sparks in our marriage. The next weekends offered in the area
are________ & ________________. The registration fee to reserve a spot on the weekend is
__________. At the end of the weekend, a blank white envelope is given to each couple for a free will
donation to help defray the cost of the weekend. No one is ever turned away due to lack of funds.
The Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekend is for couples with good marriages who want to make
them better. Our church offers a weekend experience called Retrouvaille for marriages with deep hurts
or thinking of divorce.
We will be ____________________ to answer any questions you may have and to pass out brochures.
We also have a short video about the weekend that you are welcome to take home with you. After you
view it, pass it along to friend or return it to the Church literature rack.
We would like to thank Fr. _________ for inviting us to speak to you today about this wonderful
opportunity.
Thank you for your time. We encourage you to consider giving the gift of a Marriage Encounter
weekend to each other. You deserve it.




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SAMPLE TALK # 4


HUSBAND:

Thank you Father. Good __________, we are_____________ from __________ parish

in __________.

Maybe like us, you want to have a marriage of lifelong romance, joy, and happiness.

And like we once did, maybe you've concluded that such a marriage is possible only in

fairy tales. We once thought that too -- and we're here today to tell you how we turned

that hope into a reality.


WIFE:

We're here to talk to you about a Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekend. Our Marriage

Encounter was an experience that has touched our lives as well as the lives of millions of

couples, priests, and religious throughout the world. The Worldwide Marriage Encounter

Weekend has grown into the largest marriage enrichment program in the whole world. Why?

Because it works. Even Pope John Paul has said that he places much hope for the future of the

world in Worldwide Marriage Encounter. It's really the first program to come along that helps

make good marriages better – and has been doing just that for over 30 years.


HUSBAND:

     When we were first married we were on cloud nine. It seemed as if we could talk to each other

about anything and everything. There seemed to be no end to our romance, hand holding, and

closeness. It didn't take long though for other things to creep into our lives. Take our

marriage and throw in home owner duties, the job, and driving children around from activity

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to activity and all of a sudden the romance, communication, and "US" time, got pushed to the

back burners. It occurred so subtly that we hadn't even realized that it was happening. This

seems to happen in a lot of marriages. I can tell you straight out that I was reluctant

to go on a Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend. I was afraid that the Weekend would

require us to share deep personal matters with outsiders. I was afraid that it was some kind of

marriage counseling or that it was for marriages that were headed for divorce. I was also

afraid that the Weekend was going to be preachy.


WIFE:

Fortunately none of those fears turned out to be true. Our Worldwide Marriage Encounter

Weekend was an experience that was extremely private to just the two of us. It was also an event

that changed our lives for the better. It was a chance to spend time away together and to take a

pause in our busy lives. We learned again how to communicate with each other and it re-ignited

the romance that was still inside us but had been buried under all kinds of clutter. Skipping past

the fancy phrases, the bottom line is that we had re-discovered our love for each other. It was a

brand new beginning for us. Now there is that romance back in our lives again - just like when

we were dating but much better.


HUSBAND:

In most professions you expect that the professional has had formal training- PLUS that they've

kept up with advances in their field. For example, you wouldn't go to a doctor who hasn't

cracked a book open since medical school.

But in our vocation - marriage - we are just required to take a few hours of Pre-Cana and then

that's it - we're on our own. A Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend gives you that chance


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to get the kind of refresher for your relationship, renews your romance and helps you learn how

to really communicate with each other again. The Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend is

for couples with good marriages who want to make them better. Our Church offers a weekend

experience called Retrouvaille for marriages with deep hurts or thinking of divorce.


WIFE:

Maybe you're thinking, like we did, that marriage, the way it's shown on TV, is okay. But

it's possible to do better than that. Instead of just an okay marriage, or a good marriage, you can

have a GREAT MARRIAGE.

So we invite you to go on a Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend. It makes sense to invest a

weekend on behalf of the most important relationship in your life.

Act now, a Weekend is coming up the weekend of                          .


HUSBAND:

We have these handy information brochures available at all the exits and we invite you to take

one. We will be available at the back of the Church after Mass to answer any questions. We

also have a few copies of a short 15minute video about the weekend that you are welcome to

take home with you especially if your spouse is not with you today. When you’re finished with

it – pass it on to a friend or return it to the Church literature rack.

Thank you for your time and attention today. Hope to see you on the ___________ weekend.




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                               MARRIED COUPLES
                            MARRIAGE ENCOUNTER QUIZ

In the silence of your heart, answer the following questions.

___ We have the kind of marriage I want for our children.
___ My spouse and I communicate well.
___ I have given my spouse a 10 second kiss outside the bedroom in the
    past week?
___ My spouse is my best friend and closest confidante?
___ We agree on how to spend our spare time.
___ My spouse and I understand each other when discussing finances.
___ We agree on child-rearing techniques.
___ My spouse and I dream and make plans for our future together.
___ I am as passionate about my spouse today as I was the first year of
    our marriage?
___ TV, work, sports, children or extended family never interfere with
    my ability to talk with or be with my spouse.
___ In the last year, we have gone away for a weekend free of all
    distractions, to focus on our relationship.

         IF YOU ANSWERED “NO” TO ANY OF THESE QUESTIONS,
                 YOU AND YOUR MARRIAGE DESERVE
           A WORLDWIDE MARRIAGE ENCOUNTER WEEKEND!

                              UPCOMING WEEKEND DATES:

        ______________________     ______________________ _____________________


                  WWME INFORMATION REQUEST FORM
His First Name___________________ Her First Name______________________
Last Name__________________________________________________________
Address_____________________________________________ Apt # _________
City_________________ State_____ Zip__________ Phone _________________
Wedding Date____________________ Today’s Date_______________________
Email ____________________________________________


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QUIZ SAMPLE TALK # 1


HUSBAND:

Good <morning><evening>. My name is _______ and this is my wife _______. We are here

today to talk with you about one of the greatest gifts our church has to offer - Worldwide

Marriage Encounter. Every person in this room is affected in some way by the sacrament of

marriage - whether you are married yourself or have relationships with married people. I'd like

to ask you all a few questions as we get started… How many people in this room have jobs?

Okay - how many have been to some sort of continuing education for your job in the last year - a

computer class, a conference, a certification course, a parenting class, whatever. Now - how

many are married? And how many have been to any kind of marriage continuing education in

the last year? Do you think your marriage is as important as your job? We asked those

questions to point out how easily we accept that we need to enrich our knowledge and skills at

work, but many of us do not put the same effort into the most important relationship in our lives.


WIFE:

Studies tell us a lot of alarming things about marriage. They tell us that 50% of marriages are

now ending in divorce, and that of the 50% that do not, half of those are unhappy marriages.

Statistics show that less than 10% of married couples ever experience true intimacy and that the

average married couple spends 6 minutes or less per day in intimate communication. I don’t

know about you, but there a lot of less important things I spend more than 6 minutes doing every

day – reading the paper, going through the mail, playing on the computer, watching TV. We put

more time into those things than we do into the marriages we pledged to dedicate our lives to as

a vocation.

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HUSBAND:

We have some marriage quizzes in every pew. If you are married and didn’t get one, we ask you

to pass them down so every married person has one. If you aren’t married, feel free to take one

to give to a married friend you care about. This quiz gives you ideas of several areas that could

possibly be improved in your marriage. Please take just a moment to look through the questions

and you will probably see that there are areas of every marriage in this room that can be

improved. God gave us the gift of marriage as a sign to the church of Christ’s love for us. Your

marriage is vitally important in our world today. The Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekend

is designed to help you make your marriage the best it can be. Every couple who goes on a

weekend gets different things out of it. We’d like to share a few things we got out of our

weekend. We learned that marriages go through stages and that it is perfectly normal to have

times of loneliness and struggles. We explored our personalities and saw how our behaviors

affect each other. We learned how to talk about threatening subjects like in-laws and money in a

productive way. We learned what the sacrament of marriage really means and how God calls us

to love each other. We learned 5 tools to keep our relationship a priority in this hectic world we

live in today. We learned how to be better listeners and to be more accepting and understanding

of each other. We remembered why we got married in the first place and reaffirmed our love

and commitment to each other. And we rekindled our hope, passion and romance.


WIFE:

Are you ready to become proactive in order to make your relationship a fulfilling, exciting

vocation? If so, we want to invite you to attend our next Worldwide Marriage Encounter

weekend, which is scheduled this summer on ___?____. This is a fantastic opportunity for


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those of you who have weekend commitments during the school year – so if you are a school

teacher, a youth sports coach, a Scout leader, a CCD teacher, or you have kids with those

obligations, we especially urge you to make this weekend now.

The weekend is not a retreat or counseling session - it is continuing education for your marriage.

Your personal sharing of thoughts and feelings is done between you as a couple, in the privacy of

your room, not with the group. You do not have to be Catholic to attend – you just have to be

married.

We’ll be ___________ after Mass to answer any questions, or you can give us the

information slip at the bottom of your marriage quiz and someone will call to answer your

questions. We have brochures at the exits and copies of a 15 minute video that you can take

home to view if your spouse is not with you today. When you’re finished with it pass it on to a

friend or return it to the Church literature rack. If you are in a hurry, visit our website at where

you’ll find all kinds of information. Or if you are ready to go on a weekend, we’ll be happy to

take your registration today.

Our weekend was without a doubt the best gift we have ever given each other. We strongly

encourage you to take advantage of this great opportunity!

Thank you Father __________ for inviting us to speak today and thank you for your attention.

We hope to see you on one of our upcoming weekends.




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QUIZ SAMPLE TALK # 2

WIFE:

Father ___________, we would like to thank you for these few minutes. We are _____________

from ____________ church and we are here to talk about marriages. For those of you who are

not married, please listen to what we have to share, because it's worth passing on to married

family members and friends. Independent studies have shown most married couples are satisfied

with their marriage. But, if you were able to make a wish right now, just this one time, and be

able to improve one area of your marriage relationship what would it be?

To help you we have identified some of the more common areas on a quiz that you will find in

your pew. Please review them to see if there is an area that you would like to improve.


HUSBAND

Some of you may have answered "yes" to all of the items. I can relate to that. I am often

satisfied with a status quo and even though I like change in my life I am easily satisfied with

what I've got. I was happy with my old push lawn mower and used it for years until I finally got

a fancy new self-propelled mower last summer. I was also satisfied with my marriage before our

Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekend. But just like I wouldn't want to go back to that old

back breaking lawn mower, I wouldn't want to go back to the marriage we had before our

weekend.


WIFE

We are giving you the opportunity to make your wish come true, a chance to move from status

quo. We won't wave a magic wand, because the ability to make it come true lies with you. All

we or anyone can do is to offer you the tools. That is what a Worldwide Marriage Encounter


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Weekend did for us. We learned communication skills that helped us to work on the areas that

were listed on the check sheet. By taking a weekend away from our routine, we focused on each

other away from the kids, the paper, the TV and all other distractions.


HUSBAND


For me, even though I was satisfied with my marriage, I wanted to improve my friendship and

intimacy with __________. Our move here to _____________ had been a very difficult and

stressful time, and with 3 small children, jobs, and hobbies we had fallen into the rut of a

mediocre marriage.

Our weekend was the start of a new stage in our life together. We have an exciting, alive, and

intimate marriage. Because of what we learned on our weekend we have the tools to build on

our marriage as we continue our journey through life together.


WIFE


In today's busy world it's easy to find reasons to pass up going on a weekend, but the busier we

become in our life the less time we take just for each other. Many of us have taken a workshop

or a course to make us better at our jobs. We would all have to admit that showing up to the same

job for 50 years and just working would not make us better at that job. But each workshop we

attend gives us some new edge to make our effectiveness better. Our marriages are the same.

We can't just wake up with the same person for 50 years and expect to have a great marriage. It

takes experiences like a Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekend to improve our marriages.




                                       Inviting Pulpit Talk Guide                 - 36 -
           Resource Material          U S Secretariat Weekend Pillar                    approved July 2001




HUSBAND


We are asking you to invest one weekend for your relationship. We believe you are worth it.

Father ______________ believes you are worth it, otherwise he wouldn't have invited us here

today. Improving your marriage will have an enormous impact on your children, too.

The next Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekend will be held ___________________. Our

weekend was the best gift we have ever given to ourselves and to our children, and that is why

we stand here today. How many things on your calendar for this year are for your relationship?

We will be in the back of church with brochures or to answer your questions. If you want more

information you can turn in the bottom of your quiz or visit our web site. If your spouse is not

with you today we have a few 15 minute videos that you can take home to view together. When

you’re finished, pass it on to a friend or return it to the literature rack of church

Thank you for your time and attention today, we hope to see you on the next weekend.




                                          Inviting Pulpit Talk Guide                     - 37 -
         Resource Material        U S Secretariat Weekend Pillar        approved July 2001



                             ROLE PLAY MASS TALK (3 minutes)


MRS. 1. ____ & ____ called and invited us to go on that Marriage Encounter thing.

MR. 2. Why don’t we go? Tom & Jan went. So did John & Patti and Jim and Connie and
    they all said it was great.

MRS. 3. Are you saying we have something wrong with our marriage?

MR. 4. No, well not exactly. Well, we don’t have as much fun as we used to - I just thought a
    weekend alone might give us some special time.

MRS. 5. So that’s why you want to go on this weekend!

MR. 6. Well, maybe. Really I just thought it was time to have some couple time, we haven’t
    done that in a long time.

MRS. 7. You know how difficult it is for me to be away on weekends. It’s my only time to
     grocery shop, do laundry and clean the house.

MR. 8. I’ll help you take care of those things during the week.

MRS. 9. Oh great! The last time you helped by doing the laundry, all my whites turned pink.

MR. 10. Well, I think the house can get along without us for one weekend.

MRS. 11. What about _____’s activities. You know he/she has soccer most weekends and he
     wants us to be at all his games.

MR. 12. If we explain to him that we need time to make sure our marriage stays good, I think
    he’ll understand. Besides, we don’t need to be at every game.

MRS. 13. Okay, but who will watch the kids all weekend?

MR. 14. I’ll ask my Mom. I’m sure she would be happy to come out for the weekend.

MRS. 15. We can’t afford a weekend away right now, it’s not in the budget.

MR. 16. ____ & _____ said that on Sunday of the weekend we can decide how much we can
    afford to give - it is a donation.


                                     Inviting Pulpit Talk Guide          - 38 -
         Resource Material       U S Secretariat Weekend Pillar           approved July 2001




MRS. 17. Why do we need to go away for a weekend to communicate, we talk all the time?

MR. 18. Oh yeah, like we did last night. I call that a fight. Really, I was thinking of the
    weekend like an insurance policy for our marriage. ______ said that even though the
    divorce rate in the U.S. is over 50%, it’s only 2% for couples who go on a Marriage
    Encounter Weekend. Do you love me?

MRS. 19. Of course I do.

MR. 20. But do you love me?

MRS. 21. You know I do. I cook meals for you and take care of the house.

MR. 22. But do you love me?

MRS. 23. Yes, I love you. Okay, maybe we SHOULD get away for a weekend. ____ & ____
     said there is a weekend ________. Oh, never mind, you’ll probably want to stay home
     and watch the ________ play football/baseball/basketball/golf.

MR. 24. No, I can survive a few days without ______! I’d like to know a little more about the
    weekend before we sign up. Let’s fill out this slip in the pew and ask for more
    information. Maybe we should stop and talk to the couple in the back of Church and ask
    some questions.

MRS. 25. There’s a display board back there that looks interesting, too. Okay, let’s find out
     about this Marriage Encounter weekend.

MR. 26. Could that conversation have been between the two of you? We all can find reasons
    why we are too busy to take time for our relationship. Don’t let those excuses keep you
    from enriching your marriage. There are brochures and sign up slips at the end of each
    pew. We will be in the back of Church to answer any of your questions and we will
    gladly take your filled out slip. We invite you to check out the display boards we have
    set up at the church exits.

MRS. 27. Our Marriage Encounter Weekend was one of the best things we’ve done for us and
     our family. It encouraged us to be all we could and to let our marriage be a good
     example for our children. Our world desperately needs to see marriages shine. We
     encourage you to take the time for your marriage.




                                    Inviting Pulpit Talk Guide             - 39 -
          Resource Material        U S Secretariat Weekend Pillar              approved July 2001




UNIQUE WAYS TO BEGIN PULPIT TALKS


SAMPLE # 1



HUSBAND: Hi Hon, I’m home! Where’s the mail?

WIFE: Hi. I’m in the kitchem.

HUSBAND: How was you day?

WIFE: Not so good. The credit card bill came today.

HUSBAND: That’s nice. Where are the kids?

WIFE: Oh, the kids? Bud got an A on his math test and Sissy made the soccer team.

HUSBAND: That’s nice. Have you seen the remote?

WIFE: How did your project go at work?

HUSBAND: Funding fell through. There may be some layoffs.

WIFE: That’s nice dear. OK, your dinner’s in the fridge. I’m late for the P T A meeting. I’ll be back
at 8, see you later.

HUSBAND: Bye. Where’d you say the remote is? Pause.

Sound familiar? Wonder what happened to the newly wed couple you once were that

talked endlessly about living happily ever after? Well that’s why we’re here today. To

tell you how making a Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend can bring the

honeymoon back to your relationship.




                                       Inviting Pulpit Talk Guide               - 40 -
           Resource Material          U S Secretariat Weekend Pillar                approved July 2001




SAMPLE # 2



WIFE: Honey, will you take out the garbage?

HUSBAND: Sure. (Pause)

WIFE: (grumbling) Huh, I asked him to take out the garbage almost 10 minutes ago,

and he still hasn’t taken it out. If I want something done, I just have to do it myself.

How can he be so disrespectful? Pause

HUSBAND: What??? I come out here to get the garbage, and she’s already taken it out!

I guess she really doesn’t want me to pitch in and help her around the house. I wonder

why she asked me to take it out in the first place if she was going to do it herself?

Sometimes I just don’t understand her.

WIFE: Sound familiar? Does anything like this ever happen to you? Misunderstandings

like this are common between husbands and wives. Often times our communication

fails because we expect our spouse to think the same way we do. The results can be hurt,

resentment, anger, and distancing over the years. The stresses from our jobs, raising our

kids, volunteer work, and other activities can leave little leftover time for us.

We can become more like room-mates than soul-mates. We’re here today to tell you how

to improve your communication and bring the romance back to your marriage.




                                         Inviting Pulpit Talk Guide                     - 41 -
       Resource Material    U S Secretariat Weekend Pillar    approved July 2001




PULPIT TALK WORKSHOP DAY


Have several copies of Inviting/Pulpit Talk Guide available for couples to use.


1:00 PM     Gather/Hugs

1:15 PM     Intro/Prayers

1:30 PM     Divide into ? groups (depends on size of the gathering) to listen to
            Group Leaders Pulpit Talks

2:00 PM     Group Leaders present outlines

2:15 PM     Groups separate to write – Leaders float around to assist writing
            couples

3:15 PM     Groups present first draft Pulpit Talks to Group Leaders.

3:45 PM     Revisions to Pulpit Talks

4:00 PM     Groups separate to finalize revised talks.

4:30 PM     Groups present final Pulpit Talks to Group Leaders.

5:00 PM     Pulpit Talk Schedule of Assignments

5:00 PM     Closing Prayers/Goodbye Hugs




                               Inviting Pulpit Talk Guide      - 42 -

				
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