“Love was in the air” during a romantic; yet solemn Marriage Recommitment Service, where 51 couples recommitted their wedding vows to each other.
The service was the closing exercise to a Marriage Enrichment Retreat by the Central Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists at the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort, Montego Bay on the weekend of May 31 to June 2, 2019, under the theme, “Enriching your Marriage: Gather the Jewels.”
Dr. and Mrs. Gordon Martinborough, International Family Life Educators and Guest Speakers for the Marriage Enrichment Retreat conducted the Marriage Recommitment Service.
“Since you made your vows to each other, you have had many challenges, and many blessings also,” said Dr. Martinborough. Dr. Martinborough used the story of Jacob found in Genesis 35, who renewed his vows to God at Bethel after a 20-year pilgrimage in Mesopotamia, to illustrate the couples’ renewing of their vows to God and each other.
Couples ranging from 2 months of marriage to over 46 years attended the retreat and participated in the recommitment service.
Marriage Enrichment Retreat
According to Dr. Roy Dennis, Family Ministries Director of CJC and organizer of the weekend’s program, the retreat had a two-fold objective. One was for marriage enrichment--for couples to experience better quality relationships with the help of the seminars and counseling intervention. The other objective was training—a guide to local churches on how to plan couples retreat.
Pastor Dennis had high commendations for the Administration of CJC for their support in making the program a success. He said that it was the intervention of the Conference President, Pastor Levi Johnson that helped to motivate and encourage him to continue with the planning when things appeared not to be working out.
Pastor Dennis also said that this was the largest couples retreat that he has hosted since working as Family Ministries Director. He also expressed appreciation to his wife, Keisha Dennis, his Administrative Assistant, Mrs. Maxine Campbell and the Family Ministries Advisory team for their help in planning the event.
Pastor Billy Watson, Treasurer, CJC represented the Administration at the retreat and brought greetings on behalf of the Conference. Pastor Watson said that marriage-related challenges are becoming almost like an epidemic. He commended Dr. Roy Dennis for organizing the program and encouraged the couples to take full advantage of the weekend’s programme.
During the retreat, the couples were treated to presentations and engaging activities on the following topics—“Keys to a Lasting Happy Family,” “Steps to Resolving Conflicts,” “Secrets to Satisfying Sexual Intimacy” and “How to Move from Hurting to Healing.”
The presentation on “How to Move from Hurting to Healing” focused on Abuse in the family, which included guidelines for both the abused and the abuser. “The abused should take action, and the abuser should seek help,” said Dr. Martinborough.
According to Dr. Martinborough, these presentations are part of a set of 10 that make up a family enrichment package that would usually cost $US40.00 to access. However, Dr. Martinborough and his wife decided to make all ten presentations available to the couples free of cost for them to use in their churches for family enrichment presentations.
The Martinboroughs have been married for 56 years with three adult children. Besides serving the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Inter-America for 40 years, they have been conducting family life education seminars together since their retirement in 2005.