From This Day Forward Marriage Conference
Silver Spring, MD   *   October 5, 2002

SILVER SPRING, MD: On October 5, 2002, 150 couples from Toronto, Canada; Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington, DC; Virginia, and Kentucky participated in the From This Day Forward one-day celebration of marriage commitment opened to the general public and held at the World Headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Silver Spring, Maryland. This was the fourth event of its kind, and the third held at the General Conference Complex.

Sponsored by Family Ministries of the North American Division and the Columbia Union Conference, the event consisted of presentations made by Mike and Brenda Aufderhar from the Kentucky-Tennessee Conference, Willie Lee and Wilma Kirk-Lee from the Southwest Region Conference, Mike and Gayle Tucker from the Texas Conference, and Willie and Elaine Oliver from the North American Division Family Ministries.

During a day that lasted from 10:00 AM until 5:30 PM, couples listened to tips on watching out for danger signs and gender differences; filters and miscommunication; ground rules for fighting and loving; expectations and hidden issues; friendship, fun, and physical oneness; forgiveness and commitment, as well as learning new skills in communication and problem solving, which they practiced throughout the day.

"It's something every couple needs to hear," stated Paola Morris from Woodbridge, Virginia. "Praise the Lord for the enlightenment and for rekindling the love, joy and excitement in marriage," said Roberto Reyna, Jr. from Cockeysville, Maryland. "The presentations gave us a framework to articulate the issues that are often so hard to discuss," stated Karen Edwards Onyeije from Mitchellville, Maryland.

At the end of the event, couples renewed their wedding vows and received specially designed certificates to commemorate the occasion.

Four one-day marriage conferences have been planned for 2003, and will take place in Dallas, San Francisco, Stamford, CT, and Washington, DC.

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