Dear Friend,
Welcome to our third issue of our quarterly newsletter from Friends Couple Enrichment. You are receiving this newsletter because you have participated in a Couple Enrichment Event in recent years, or have expressed interest in Friends Couple Enrichment. We hope you continue to think fondly of Couple Enrichment and can help us spread the news about this ministry. 
 -- Friends Couple Enrichment Communication Committee
Friends Couple Enrichment is offering two sessions of workshop #48 "Sacred Conversations" this summer at the FGC Summer Gathering in Niagra, NY. Please hold our leaders, Nancy and Phil, and Sharon and Tom, in the light as they prepare for these wonderful opportunities. For more information about the workshops, visit the FGC website
There will also be an information session about Friends Couple Enrichment held sometime during the Gathering. Please help us spread the word by encouraging your friends to attend to get a “taste” of this ministry.

An Exercise to Share .
A Tender ‘Because’
In Couple Enrichment workshops, we focus on a dialogue technique that includes the speaker using a three-part sentence, usually described as “I feel … [fill in an emotion]… when I see/hear/experience … [fill in an event or thought] … because ….[fill in the details].
The structure may feel stilted, but it can lead to deep revelations about our inner lives; and learning and sharing about inner lives is an important part of intimacy. Even if your partner isn’t around to listen, framing your thoughts within this structure can increase self-awareness.
Don’t believe me?  Try this exercise.   Think of the word “tender”, which has at least two meanings. One is a feeling of love – for example, the tenderness of a parent for a child.  One is a feeling of hurt or vulnerability – for example, the tenderness of a bruise, or a seedling exposed to cold weather.
Now, alternating these two different meanings of “tender”, complete the three-part sentence at least 6 times (3 times using the ‘loving’ meaning, 3 times using the ‘hurt’ meaning).  
Whenever I do this, I’m surprised at how mundane the sentence seems until I get to the ‘because’.  THAT is where the sentence becomes truly mine. It requires me to be honest, to dig down to what is really going on inside, waiting to be brought forward to the light. Two people may start the sentence the same and even describe an event the same way, but the 'because' will be unique.
Here’s two examples from my life:
I feel tender (loving) when you ask for my help on a project because I enjoy the creativity of working with you.
I feel tender (vulnerable/hurt) when I ask you to repeat something and you repeat it very slowly, because that’s the way I would expect you to talk to someone who doesn’t understand English. All I want is for you to speak more loudly so I can hear.
Go ahead – try it. One loving tender followed by another vulnerable tender. Just follow your heart. And once you’ve finished, consider sharing some of your discoveries with your partner.
“I feel tender when . . . because . . .”
 Marsha Green
View more exercises on our website
Got a Story?
In 1969, David & Vera Mace led the first Marriage Enrichment Leadership Training Workshop at Pendle Hill. Dorothy and Robert Barrus, Shirley and Verne Bechill, Charles and Eleanor Perry, Dorothy and Will Samuel, Bob and Margaret Blood, and others were among those who participated.
Brad Sheeks, who began leading workshops with his partner Pat McBee in the 1970s, is writing up a history of the early years of Couple Enrichment and the couples involved in leadership. If you are aware of people who participated in workshops in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, Brad would love to be in contact and hear favorite stories, particularly from and about the leader couples.  Brad can be reached at

Bring a Couple Enrichment Event to Your Community

Increasingly, Quaker Meetings and other communities are seeking ways of being supportive to couples and families under their care. 

There is a particular richness when a retreat is held for couples within a single meeting or community. It not only enriches the individual couple relationships, but it also deepens the bonds of caring among the couples in the group, and thus enriches the meeting or community as well.

FCE has 18 active leader couples spread across North America. What would it take for your Meeting or Community to invite one of them to lead a Couple Enrichment Event in your community? 
Find out more about how to plan a Couple Enricment event
Friends Couple Enrichment

Friends Couple Enrichment is a ministry of spiritual transformation with a particular focus on couples in committed relationships. The ministry is offered through leader couples who are animated by an inward call to be midwives to the deep joy that can be found in such relationships. By example, these leader couples invite others to participate in and be witnesses to the intimacy of the gathered community.  

Our mailing address is:
1010 Wells Street, Durham, NC 27707

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Friends Couple Enrichment · 1010 Wells St. · Durham, NC 27707 · USA

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