Frequently Asked Questions About Marriage Encounter
Get answers to your questions about Marriage Encounter. Don’t see an answer to your question? Ask us on our contact page.
What is a Marriage Encounter?
We believe that every married couple can have a mutually satisfying, life-long relationship that improves with time and effort. Marriage Encounter is a weekend where married couples (a man and a woman) are given the opportunity to develop a closer, deeper and more satisfying marital relationship, as well as strengthen their relationship with God.
What is the cost of the weekend?
Marriage Encounter is a non-profit organization. There is a non-refundable fee of $50 due when you submit your application. So that we can continue blessing couples through the ministry of Marriage Encounter, a free-will offering is taken during the weekend. The suggested donation amount is $445 per couple. This covers meals, lodging, supplies, etc. We recognize that not every couple is financially able to give this amount, so we encourage couples to donate what they are able to give. No one is ever refused the opportunity to attend a Marriage Encounter weekend due to lack of funds. If finances are a concern, we urge you to check with your church to see if assistance is available to cover the cost of the weekend.
What do we need to bring for the weekend?
You will have a motel-style room with bed linens, towels, washcloths and soap provided. Dress casually and comfortably. Besides your personal items, please bring a finger food snack to share on Friday night.
What time does the weekend start and end?
Marriage Encounter check-in time is 7-7:30pm on Friday, with the first session beginning at 7:30pm. The retreat ends at approximately 3:00pm on Sunday.
What is the format of the weekend?
Marriage Encounter is a working weekend, where couples listen to sessions presented by a pastor couple and two lay couples who share from their personal experiences with the goal of inspiring the attending couples to look at themselves as individuals, at their marriage relationship, their relationship with God, and their relationship with the world around them. Following most of the presentations, attending couples are given a question to help them think through the issues addressed in that session. They are given time to think through their responses individually, then they have the opportunity to share their responses with their spouse in the privacy of their room. It is not a marriage clinic or counseling session. The purpose of the weekend is for a husband and wife to develop a better knowledge, understanding and acceptance of each other through the use of a communication technique that is taught on the weekend. The weekend is presented from a Christian perspective, but the concepts go far beyond the boundaries of any given denomination.
Do we need to stay overnight, or can we commute from home?
Since you will derive a great deal of benefit from mingling with other couples who, like you, want to build their marriages, we strongly encourage couples to stay overnight. Staying on site also allows you to be free from everyday distractions and focus entirely on one another. Make the weekend a get-away with the one you love! If special circumstances (i.e. a nursing infant or care of a handicapped child) make it difficult for you to stay overnight, please contact our administrator at 717-569-5676 to make special arrangements, or to register for a non-residential weekend.
Do we need to share with the group?
Couples are not required to disclose any aspect of their marriage to others. There is time on Saturday evening to share if you so wish, but we do not require it.
What is a non-residential Marriage Encounter weekend?
Non-residential weekends are occasionally presented as an option for couples who live in the area and have a need or preference to return home at night. Location and cost may differ from a regular Marriage Encounter weekend.
Can I attend a weekend if I am not a Mennonite/Brethren?
Mennonite & Brethren Marriage Encounter is open to couples of any denomination. The weekend is presented from a Christian perspective, but anyone can attend. If you are interested in finding another expression (denomination) of Marriage Encounter, you can visit the WorldWide Marriage Encounter site at www.wwme.org.
I am a pastor, and I would like more information on the Interdenominational Pastor’s Weekend.
The Interdenominational Pastor’s Encounter is designed for Pastors and their spouses to revitalize their marriage, take time away from church and responsibilities, and earn CEUs in an enjoyable environment. Location and cost may differ from a regular Marriage Encounter weekend. Pastor’s weekends are often held on a Thursday-Saturday schedule to enable pastors to be back in their churches on Sunday. For more information, please give our administrator a call at 717-569-5676. The Mennonite & Brethren, United Methodist and Presbyterian expressions of Marriage Encounter are cooperating to bring the benefits of an Encounter to our pastors and their spouses.
I am a pastor, and would like to know if Marriage Encounter qualifies for Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) with my conference/denomination.
For pastors in the Lancaster Mennonite Conference, CEUs may be available for attending a regular Marriage Encounter weekend or the Interdenominational Pastor’s Weekend. Pastors would need to speak with their bishop and suggest that Marriage Encounter meets the requirements for CEUs. Other denominations/conferences would need to check with their leadership.