Marriage On The Rock- Couple’s Retreat May 2018
6th June 2018
This year the South England Conference (SEC) Family Ministries department partnered with the 'Rekindle The Spark' team to host this year's couple's retreat, 'Marriage On The Rock', facilitated by Pastor Fredrick Russell and his beautiful wife Sis Brenda Russell all the way from Atlanta.
We were humbled to welcome 80 couples to the beautiful De Vere Staverton Estate for the 6th annual retreat on 4-6 May and what a weekend it proved to be. The introductory seminar on Friday evening set the tone for the weekend and challenged couples to begin the process of 'Confession and Forgiveness'; a soul-searching process of allowing God to show you how you may have knowingly or unknowingly caused emotional or indeed physical pain to your partner so that the process of healing those hurts can begin. Portions of the seminar were dedicated to 'table talk', an opportunity for couples to discuss in small groups some of the finer details of a marital relationship, for example; the intimacy needs of women and men in marriage as well as the 'boundaries' that should never be crossed in a marriage but what was striking were the testimonies our speakers gave of their early marital experiences. Ultimately, we learnt that a disconnect between us as individuals and God will lead to a disconnect between us as couples and so in order to rebuild our relationships with each other, we must start with our relationship with God.
'Date Night' on Saturday evening is always one of the highlights of this retreat and this year the testimonies and tributes were so moving; the openness and willingness of couples to share their tribulations and triumphs and appreciate one another was heart-warming; once again, there were very few dry eyes in the room at the end of the session. The evening ended with what has become the RTS trademark massage session but if you want to know what that is all about I guess you will have to come and find out for yourselves at the next retreat.
Once again, it was a privilege to welcome couples from within the SEC borders and beyond with one of our couples coming all the way from Glasgow. We had a large proportion of first-time attendees with many being invited along by their friends. We would also like to recognise Oxford church who saw it fit to send their young newly wed couple to the retreat; what a way to invest in your youth! May God continue to bless the families and churches represented at the retreat.
Our sincere thanks go to Pastor Fredrick and Sister Brenda Russell who took time out of their busy schedules come and spend time with us here in the UK. We would also like to acknowledge the presence of the British Union Conference Family Ministries director, Pastor Leslie Ackie and his wife Sis Irma Ackie, the SEC Communication director Pastor Sam Davies and his wife Sis Marcia Davies as well as our very own SEC Family Ministries director, Pastor Augustus Lawrence, and his wife Sis Barbara Lawrence. They all facilitated a very poignant anointing service towards the end of the retreat; every couple present was received by one of the pastoral couples for a prayer and blessing giving us all an opportunity to quietly reflect on the weekend we had just had.
Thank you to our amazing musicians and praise team for leading us in praise and worships as well as to the RTS team members who work tirelessly in the background to ensure that the programme runs smoothly and providing those little extra touches that made it all so very sweet.
Every year, we send our cars for a service and MOT to ensure that they are working safely; in our jobs, we receive Continuous Professional Development sessions to ensure we stay in the game; we propose that it is time we invested time and diligence in enhancing our marriages as happy marriages, build happy families which in turn build happy and fruitful communities with the ability to withstand the darts Satan is constantly firing at us.
For those who were unable to join us in May, do not despair; from 2-4 November 2018, Rekindle The Spark in collaboration with the SEC Family Ministries department will be hosting Pastor Myron Edwards, particularly for those who have been married for 15 years and below. To secure your place, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org in the SEC Family Ministries department and pay your deposit
We look forward to welcoming you to the next couple's retreat in November 2.