Group reports

„At present seven families belong to our CFM group. We meet on the second Saturday of every month. Apart from our regular meetings we organize a kids’ party to celebrate the birthdays of our children once a year. These are joyful afternoons for us. Every Tuesday evening we have a prayer in our church. On these occasions we pray for different intentions related to us also as a group. We are trying to make programmes for the whole group, but they are not very easy to organize. At the end of October we will take all the kids to the Circus together.”

„We have been using the booklet called „Strong Marriage”. Everybody is interested in its topics, so each time there is an interesting sharing. We are glad that two nice couples have joined our group, and that there is a need for each of us to come together and share once a month.”

„There are six couples in our CFM group. We meet on the first Sunday of each month, between 3 and 6 pm. During this time every couple tries to find someone to take care of their kids. Four couples have babies or very young children. Besides our monthly meetings we have agreed to have informal meetings between just two families at a time, whenever it suits them. This is usually a weekday afternoon or evening. This way, should a couple miss a monthly meeting, they would still be in touch and not stay away from the group for two whole months.”

„It is a problem for us that some people hardly speak. They are easily silenced by more noisy, talkative members. Perhaps they, too, would be more open in a very small group. That is why we are planning to form very small groups for a while during our meetings. Sometimes we have also had couple sharing. In the summer we spent a nice weekend in the house of one of our families at Lake Balaton. Between 1-5 August we spent a week together – 10 families – at  a small country town. An interesting feature of our „young couples group” (this is the name we use for ourselves) is that one of the husbands comes from Ecuador (he used to be a street musician), another husband is from Spain, and one of the wives comes from Russia.”

„This year our programme will be enhanced: we continue to meet every fourth Monday evening using the CFM booklet, and we will also have a prayer together fortnightly in between the group meetings. We were quite strict about setting dates and informing everyone beforehand. Besides this, we plan to have regular outings with our kids of school age. This is not for all parents, just for two or three fathers and the „older” kids of the group.”

„We have all managed to spend a long weekend together at Lake Balaton. It was an opportunity for informal sharing, playing, and more serious conversation in the evenings. It was good to be together!!
It turned out after the summer gathering that one of our couples are expecting a sick baby. Praying for them, carrying them in spirit, helping them – it all took us a lot of energy. It was kind of equal to an intensive spiritual retreat. Several couples said they had thought over again the cornerpoints of their marriage. We have also shared about this with other couples.
Our prayer life has also been renewed. According to our summer commitment, we have decided to pray the Saturday vespers before our regular meetings. Our plans are: to renew our group prayers, to have a „prayer-homework” between two meetings, two couples will make the next Original Marriage Encounter. We will continue our group sharings using the booklet called „Strong Marriage”.” 

„We spent a nice weekend with our CFM group at Lake Balaton. In September our meetings have continued. Last year a new couple joined us. We had the idea that it would be good for every couple to experience responsibility for the whole group, therefore we are going to elect a new „leader” couple every year.” 

„There are four families in our group. We spent a few days together in the summer. In September we continue our meetings with the booklet called „Sources of strength”. This is the fourth year for us. We keep in touch with the CFM group in Győr, West of Hungary. We are now organizing their visit to us (we went to visit them this spring).”

God created man and woman to  give meaning, life and love to the universe. He created marriage „to His image and likeness”, and God is not a circle. He is the spiraling foundation of Life and Love.
   The quest for happiness in marriage demands that you expand your vision and perspective beyond your marital relationship. You are challenged by today’s society to stop being a selfish and isolated married couple. And you are called by the Creator to depart from your conjugal and family love, and go towards the universal love.
You, as a married couple, have been born to become a loving spiral of love!           

 Gabriel Calvo
founder of Marriage Encounter
and the FIRES programmes