2022 COUPLES’ CONFERENCE REPORT
Sequel to the success of the separate Women’s Conference held in March 2022, and the Men’s Conference held in June, the WECA headquarters deemed it appropriate to have an additional session, bringing the Couples together.
The Couples’ Conference with the theme Leave to Cleave held on Saturday, October 22, 2022. To maximize the benefits and blessings of the programme, the implementation was decentralized and happened simultaneously in all the districts & zones in Nigeria, and in some other Francophone & Anglophone Countries in WECA.
The conference kicked-off with registrations and a meet & greet session among couples. This was also followed up by couples posing to the camera for a photoshoot. At 9:30am, the facilitators gathered for prayers in the prayer room. The conference commenced at 10:00am and as part of the opening session, there was a special rendition by couples, comprising choristers and husbands or wives whose spouses are choristers. After the introduction and preamble given by the Compere - Bro. Tolulope Orija - there was a singalong anchored by Bro. Banji Tai-Sonubi, after which the opening prayer was given by Bro. Festus Oyeniyi. The District Superintendent, Bro. Isaac Adigun gave an opening remark and welcomed all to the programme.
A playlet was staged depicting the theme during the opening session. Starting with newly-weds, nursing parents, and grandparents, the mini-drama covered every aspect of leaving to cleave. It emphasized the importance of communication, financial openness, avoiding emotional attachment to the opposite sex apart from one's spouse.
All the above were centrally presented with all the different locations, zones and districts connecting via YouTube.
Subsequently, the discussion session happened at each local station and participants were clustered into groups based on the years in marriage, as follows:
0 – 2 years; 3 – 5 years; 6 – 10 years; 11 – 20 years; 21 – 35 years; and Above 35 years. The web audience were not left out - as this session was led by Bro. Segun Sonowo.
The groupings were determined to afford people of similar perspectives relate. The parameter made the classes quite interactive, as the class leader had been given the orientation to make the deliberations participant-centred and not moderator-centred. The facilitation centred on four key subheadings that can help the couple to cleave: Intention, Mindset, Blockers to Bonding (little foxes), and Bonding Stimulants.
The highly engaging session was followed by a lunch break where couples sat to eat together and related with other participants.
The second session of the programme commenced with feedback from the various groups. This revealed that couples experienced deep paradigm shift on the issues of cleaving in marriage, including those that have been married for over 35 years.
It was not all lectures as participants were treated to a light session of couples’ games. A keyl earning point was from one of the games that showed the power of unity and focus - that couples can get things done regardless of being jeered by onlookers once their minds are set on their goals.
Following the relaxed learning session was the questions and answers session. On the panel with Bro. Isaac Adigun were other two couples, the Oduolas and the Yesufus. Participants sent in questions from across the different locations and adequate responses were given.
The round off talk given by Bro. James Tifase emphasized the need for couples to remain as one to achieve more, and this led to an intense prayer session.
The programmed ended with a benediction, around 4.50pm. We had a total of 324 attendees at the WECA headquarters church in Anthony.
To maintain the focus, it was advised that Sunday School lesson 356 with the topic “Christian Conduct: Home and Church” be taken in place of lesson 355. The service was taken into an extended Sunday School Session when the District Superintendent shared some tips for a blissful marriage. Below are some of the cogent points shared:
1. Always involve the family in decisions that will impact the family.
2. Agree on timing for critical issues, including the time for family devotion.
3. Spouses should be connected, without undue influence or interference.
4. In a marriage vow, divorce is not a consideration
5. Ill health such as infertility should not be a factor to dissolve a marriage.
6. The man should be able to take his stand in the family and always protect his wife.
7. A man should never compare his wife to another woman, not even his mother.
8. The husband is the head of the wife, in recognizing the headship of the husband, the wife should not lord her decisions over her husband.
9. There should be transparency on finances between spouses.
10. Some factors for having a happy home include: love, unity, praying together, understanding, empathy, value one another, fear of God, etc.
At the end of the exhortation both the parents, old and young were led to prayers.
Overall, it was a reviving family weekend. We pray God will continue to uphold the love that was rekindled in the hearts of the couples and the entire family.