From This Day Forward Marriage Conference
Bethesda, MD   *   October 4, 2003

BETHESDA, MD: On October 4, 2003, about 125 married and engaged couples as well as a few singles from Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and Washington, DC, participated in From This Day Forward, a one-day celebration of marriage commitment opened to the general public and held at the Hyatt Regency Bethesda Hotel in Bethesda, Maryland.

Sponsored by Family Ministries of the North American Division and supported by the Columbia Union Conference, this is the last of four From This Day Forward marriage conferences taking place across North America in 2003.

The event consisted of presentations made by Brenda and Mike Aufderhar from the Kentucky-Tennessee Conference Family Ministries, Gayle and Mike Tucker from the Arlington Seventh-day Adventist Church and Texas Conference Ministerial Association, and by Elaine and Willie Oliver from the North American Division’s Family Ministries.

During a day that lasted from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM, couples learned skills on communication, problem solving, forgiveness and commitment, as well as a greater understanding for dealing with the more intimate aspects of married life. They also enjoyed the music of In His Image, a Christian singing group from Washington, DC.

“I came to a new understanding of myself and my spouse. God is truly able to heal.” A participant shared in her evaluation of the conference.

The event concluded with the renewal of wedding vows and the challenge to "live, love, learn and leave a legacy." Twenty-two of the participants requested Bible studies and are being followed-up.

Five From This Day Forward marriage conferences are scheduled to take place in 2004.

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Written by: Willie Oliver, Director of Family Ministries for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America