MBC marriage enrichment conferences enjoy strong first half, poised for second
By Allen Palmeri
May 17, 2005
JEFFERSON CITY – Enthusiasm continues to build for the regional Marriage Enrichment Events sponsored by the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC). The first half of the 2005 lineup was a success, according to MBC Family Ministries Specialist Joe Ulveling, because people are being blessed.
Ulveling has scheduled seven of his “Hooked for Life” marriage conferences in Missouri this year. The spring tour included stops at Dexter, Springfield and O’Fallon. The fall lineup has events in St. Louis, Branson, Jefferson City and Raytown.
“Trailblazing is cutting a path where there’s never been a path cut before,” Ulveling said. “That takes work. It takes a lot of preparation. We have spent a lot of time in trying to get the word out, and they really are gaining momentum going into the fall. My heartbeat is that this will just be the tip of the iceberg as far as having parenting events, financial workshop events and everything that can help families.”
The last stop in the spring was April 29-30 at First Baptist Church, O’Fallon. A couple came up to Ulveling and said that they had been separated and were getting back together. They told him that because of his teaching, they were made aware of what it will take to make their marriage work.
“That’s only God, and there’s been story after story like that,” Ulveling said. “After the events, the couples have overwhelmingly come up and said, ‘Where are those next ones again?’ That’s where it’s really been gaining some momentum.”
Ulveling’s goal is to enhance each conference with a concert performed by a well-known artist. In the fall, he has lined up Russ Lee to sing twice, at Concord Baptist Church, St. Louis, in September and at First Baptist Church, Raytown, in October. He also has secured Judy Martin Hess for a Sept. 30 concert in Branson.
“I want them (the couples) to loosen up some, to have fun, to relax, to laugh, to hear their (the musicians’) testimonies about their passion for family,” Ulveling said. “I think it’s important for them to hear that these are real people who are coming in.”
Cost for each conference is $50 per couple, which covers all of the materials.
“Quality and excellence are what all of these are about,” Ulveling said. “They’re practical. They’re hands-on. It’s not about building up the convention. It’s about building up families in our communities and in our churches. That’s the heartbeat of it, and to use it as an outreach event as well.”
For more information on the fall conferences, call 1-800-736-6227, Ext. 420.