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FALL 1998

Coming Weekends:
November 6–8, 1998

October 16-18, 1998

Central Illinois
October 9–11, 1998

For a new millennium . . .

It’s a whole new Weekend

September 1999 is target date for all-new outlines

Worldwide Marriage Encounter is gearing up for the 21st century. To meet the needs of couples in a changing world, the parent body of Lutheran Marriage Encounter is introducing completely-revised Weekend outlines. How this action impacts LME is revealed in the following article by our Chicago Area Presenting Couple Coordinators.

Couples attending Lutheran Marriage Encounter Weekends in the future will experience presentations that are modern and timely.

This is our conclusion after attending a training session, called a “sweep,” June 13, along with two other Northern Illinois presenting couples—Rich & Jan Schleier and Alan & Ruth Anne Wheeler.

A major commitment
One of many sweeps conducted across North America, our session introduced us
to completely revised outlines for Marriage Encounter Weekends.
LME is committed to switching to the new outlines by September 1, 1999. Before a Weekend may be presented in any area with the revised outlines, all presenting couples must have attended a sweep and written Weekend talks that have been workshopped and second-read outside of our District II. This procedure assures uniformity throughout North American Region.
The Schleiers and we have each agreed to write all 13 of the new talks, which will qualify us as Admin Couples and enable us to fill in at other levels as needed. The Wheelers will write the revised Mid Couple and Rookie Couple talks. This will give our Chicago Area a complete lay couple team.
We are in need of clergy couples and backup lay couples. We have recently been blessed with the addition of two new presenting couples—Jim & Shawn Campisi and Douglas & Natalie Sumner. We thank God for giving us these loving couples to present Weekends.

Recruit—and pray!
The coming November 6–8 Weekend is very important. We have been working to sign couples up. So far we have two couples from our church, including a clergy couple.
We are enlisting the help of every Chicago Area community to help prepare the banners that will be needed with the new outlines. We are also recommending that all encountered couples attend a revised Weekend. Beyond that, our plea is a simple one:
Recruit —and pray!
Submitted by: Ralph & Judi Golnick


• There will be new banners
• More time for dialogue
• Changes in terminology (“Masks” become “personality styles and behaviors.”)
• Reorganization of talks (The “Cana” talk is incorporated into a separate talk.)
• New music Man of LaMancha’s “Impossible Dream” will be replaced with the narrative from Beauty and the Beast. New songs include “The Rose,” “If Tomorrow Never Comes,” and “Because You Loved Me.”

Look for patterns of the New Weekend Banners in your Winter Spirit and ONLINE, too!

Nelson & Ardith Bradford

Al & Pat LaVanture

Bradfords, LaVantures join Dream Team

Nelson & Ardith Bradford and Al & Pat LaVanture have joined our Support Team
roster. The Bradfords, new Finance Couple, were encountered in 1994. They are
members of We Love Community. The LaVantures, new Hosting Couple, were also
encountered in 1994 and are coordinators of Happy Huggers Community.
We thank Chuck & Pearl Penchoff for their dedicated service as both Finance
Couple and Hosting Couple.

To see the Chicago area ILME Board members, please click here

To see the list of community coordinators, please click here


Toll-free: 800-235-1010


Chicago Area LME Website and Online Spirit:

In the wonderful world of Marriage Encounter

New NAR leaders have familiar look

Stepping to the helm of Lutheran Marriage Encounter’s North American Region
are Dan & Judy Teuscher <>, Clergy Execs, and Jim & Pam Bush <>, Lay Execs. Both the Teuschers and the Bushes are retiring from similar positions in District II, which includes our Chicago Area.
Dan & Judy, from St. Louis, served as District II Clergy Contact Couple. From Kansas City, Jim & Pam were District II Lay Contact Couple.
Replacing the Teuschers and Bushes on the District II board are Jerry & Lyn Brownlee <>, Clergy, and Arnie & Sue Kaestner <>, Lay. The Brownlees live in Jefferson City, MO. The Kaestners hail from Houston.

Seminarians to be encountered

From Dave Dorn’s Internet Prayer Chain

This September 11-13, a very special Weekend will occur in St. Louis. It will be a Weekend filled with seminary students from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.
This is the first time in the history of Lutheran Marriage Encounter that we have been allowed to offer a Weekend to the married students at the Seminary. Praise God!
We ask that you pray for a “Full Weekend” of Seminary students. We ask for God's protection for all those who will be involved in the Weekend. And we ask that the married students who attend the Weekend would truly have a "Miracle Weekend."
We also ask that changed relationships of those who attend would help ME “Change the World” one congregation at a time.
What a wonderful God we serve!
In His name,
Jim & Pam Bush

Chicago Board to meet Sept. 13

The Chicago Area LME Board will meet Sept. 13 at the home of Tom & Elaine Tredinnick.
The Board meets quarterly. Area encountered couples are always welcome to attend or express concerns they may have to our Lay Contact Couple—Alan & Ruth Anne Wheeler <>


Exciting positions are available on the Chicago Area Support Team roster. Check out these perks:
• On-the-job training
• No experience needed
• All expenses reimbursed
Just think: The IRS can’t tax what you don’t make!
Besides all this, by joining the Support Team you’ll be making the Marriage Encounter Dream come alive for other couples. And you’ll be strengthening your own coupleness! Current urgent needs include:
Newsletter Layout Couple—edits Spirit copy; prepares layout.
Prayer Letter Coordinators—compiles prayer letters and sharing letters from Prayer Couples.

Here’s Our Challenge:
1. Pray for the mission of Lutheran Marriage Encounter.
2. Pray about serving on the Support Team as a couple. Check out the New, Revised, and Open Tasks listed at
3. E-mail the Lay Contact Couple, Alan & Ruth Anne Wheeler <> if you have questions or want to sign on.
Did we mention a special perk you’ll receive when you join:

Ways to help EVERY COUPLE share the Dream!
There are many ways you as a couple can help fulfill the Marriage Encounter dream of encountering the world for Christ. Please ask the Lord to guide as you select the best way for you to show your couple love.

Show the Video

“A Weekend of Discovery —A Lifetime of Love”

If you don’t yet have your free copy of the Lutheran Marriage Encounter inviting video to share with your married friends, ask your Community Coordinators about it. Or contact the International Lutheran Marriage Encounter Supply Couple:
Bruce & Ila Zellmer <>

Hold an Information Night

One Chicago Area community recently held an Information Night at a local church— and six couples from that session signed up for the next Weekend! Communities have creatively made information presentations in the form of talks, skits, and video. If you need ideas or materials, contact the Chicago Area Supply Couple:
Rich & Barb Samonte at 630-971-3625

Christmas will soon be here! Surprise a special couple with a
that covers the registration for a Marriage Encounter Weekend. It’s easy to
do. Contact Alan & Ruth Anne Wheeler, area lay contact, at <> for more details.
Fill out your portion, slip the certificate in a pretty gift envelope, and present it with love.

Use Bulletin Announcements

Homework can be fun! Attend a Marriage Encounter Weekend and learn a new way
to communicate with your spouse. The next Lutheran Marriage Encounter weekend
is scheduled for November 6-8 at the Midway Best Western in Elk Grove Village.
Call Alan & Ruth Anne Wheeler at 708-424-0537 (or put your own name and number
here) for more information.

Refresher Course. Now that the kids are back in school, how about a refresher
course for Mom and Dad? Marriage Encounter is an enriching and revitalizing
experience to help make good marriages even better. For more information call
708-424-0537 (or your phone number).

More in Love. Married couples go home from a Marriage Encounter weekend more
in love with each other than ever! The next Lutheran Marriage Encounter
Weekend is November 6-8, 1998 at the Midway Best Western in Elk Grove Village.
To receive information and registration brochure, call Alan & Ruth Anne
Wheeler (708-424-0537) or (your name and number).

Try Marriage Encounter—For a Change! Looking for a new way to let your spouse
know you love them in the midst of your jobs, car-pooling the kids, and trying
to keep up with your house, pool, and yard? Let him or her know who is still
#1 in your life. Share a Marriage Encounter Weekend with each other. The next
Lutheran Marriage Encounter weekend is November 6-8, 1998 at the Midway Best
Western in Elk Grove Village. For more details about a weekend, call Alan &
Ruth Anne Wheeler at 708-424-0537 (or your name and number).

Wine . . . Dine. . . Sign . . .

It’s a tried-and-true method. Invite a married couple you know who deserves a Marriage Encounter Weekend to your house to dine. After dinner, whip out a registration form, or surprise them with a gift certificate.


By Alan Wheeler

I sat on the shore
alone, watching a gull fly,
hearing the waves roar,
muting my heart's cry.

As you came into view,
I saw you drawing near.
It was as if I dreamed you
with a dream vision sharp and clear.

Are you the one,
the one I anticipate?
If I let you walk on,
will it, then, be too late?

I saw you glance at me,
the same question in your eyes.
Is there any chance
that I will answer your heart's cries?

We left the beach that day,
Hand in hand, side by side,
Our loneliness carried away
by the ebbing of the tide.

Listen . . .

When I ask you to listen to me and you start giving me advice, you have not done what I asked.
When I ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me why I shouldn’t feel that way, you are trampling on my feelings.
When I ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to do something to solve my problem, you have failed me, strange as that may seem.
Listen! All I asked was that you listen, not talk or do—just hear me.
Advice is cheap: 50 cents will get you both Dear Abby and Billy Graham in the same newspaper.
And I can do for myself; I’m not helpless. Maybe discouraged and faltering, but not helpless.
When you do something for me that I need to do for myself, you contribute to my fear and weakness.
But, when you accept as a simple fact that I do feel what I feel, no matter how irrational, then I can quit trying to convince you and can get about the business of understanding what’s behind this irrational feeling.
And when that’s clear, the answers are obvious and I don’t need advice.
Irrational feelings make sense when we understand what’s behind them.
Perhaps that’s why prayer works for some people. Because God is mute, and He doesn’t give advice or try to fix things—just listens and lets you work it out for yourself.
So, please, listen and just hear me. And, if you want to talk, wait a minute for your turn; and I’ll listen to you.


“It is cynicism and fear that freeze life; it is faith that thaws it out, releases it, sets it free.”—Harry Emerson Fosdick
Lately, am I living in the freeze of cynicism and fear, or the thaw and freedom of faith? How do I feel about my answer?

“RANSACK: RANdom and Senseless ACts of Kindness: Start some kind words on their travels—who knows where the good it will do may stop?”
What kindness did I do today? How do I feel about this?

Where do I see us 5 . . . 10 . . . 20 . . . years from now? How do I feel about my answer?

“It is a great deal better to live a holy life than to talk about it. Lighthouses do not ring bells and fire cannons to call attention to their shining—they just shine."—Dwight L. Moody
Do I “ring bells and fire cannons,” or do I try to simply shine? How do I feel about my answer?

What makes it difficult for me to write my dialogue letter? How do I feel about my answer?

Community Corner

We have good news for you!

“Where two or three are gathered in My name, I am there in the midst of them”
(Matt 18:20, NKJV).

God is truly living this out in Chicago Lutheran Marriage Encounter! He has been richly blessing us in these summer months, with His gifts of the Spirit. And we have great news for you:
Starting out with a great group of couples, Chris & Sue Markgraf have begun a new community in the Northern Suburbs of Chicago, around the Mundelein area. The new community was named Close Encounters by those who have been attending. Anyone and everyone is welcome to come by and get acquainted with them.

Welcome Close Encounters
Close Encounters will be meeting the fourth Friday of the month, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Bring your notebooks and a snack to share. You will want to call the Markgrafs at 847-970-9661 to check on the monthly location of the meeting.
Also coming up this fall will be a potluck hosted by this new community! Be on the lookout for more information from your local community coordinators, or call the Markgrafs or ourselves (708-424-0537) for more information.

Welcome Weekend Couples
It isn’t too early to start planning for the November Weekend, either! On Friday, November 6, starting about 5:30-6:00 p.m. or so, we will need couples to come and carry luggage for the Weekend couples. We will also need someone to take pictures of the couples attending the Weekend. If you can help with these tasks, please let us know. You can e-mail us at <>
How many couples have you invited to the Weekend? Go out there and sign ‘em up!
Alan & Ruth Anne Wheeler


If you have any local community photos or items you would like to become part of the “information age,” featured on the Chicago ILME website, please give Alan and Ruth Anne Wheeler a call, or drop them an e-mail. They will be glad to post them on the Chicago Lutheran Marriage Encounter website for you.
Also available at this site are back issues of Spirit, local community information, and a Chicago Area message board for announcements, prayer requests, and chatting. Coming soon to our site will be a Chicago map showing the communities and the areas they encompass, dialogue questions, and more! Uploaded already are a daily motivational quote (good for dialogue questions!) and the local forcast. Keep your browser pointed at because you never know what new things you just might find!

Get in the Spirit

Lutheran Spirit of the Windy City & Greater Chicago Area is distributed quarterly, as resources permit. Here’s how you can keep the Spirit flowing:
Items for publication may be sent to:
Don & Rita Crawford <>
(We reserve the right to edit and condense.)

Send Changes of address to: Dale & Judy Perryman <>

Tax-deductible monetary gifts (payable to Lutheran Marriage Encounter) are
appreciated. These should be directed as follows:

Newsletter donations to:
Nelson & Ardith Bradford

General LME contributions to:
Will & Mary Sauermilch
LME District II Finance Couple
Please contact Alan & Ruth Anne Wheeler at <> for further contact information.

Winter Spirit Deadline: November 1

Calling all White Elephant Hunters!

Our annual pilgrimage to the happy hunting grounds of Jugville, Michigan is scheduled for Oct. 23–25.
That’s right, it’s time for the “Sixth Annual Shack Up” and everyone is just as excited this time around as the first time—maybe even more so after meeting so many never-know-what-to-expect, fun-loving, banana-eating, story-telling, hot-tubbing, rocker-ing couples over the past five years.

Gastronomic pleasures
Its always a delight to welcome new lovers to the gastronomic pleasures of eating banana splits at 9 p.m. every night, breakfast buffets on Saturday and Sunday morning, the noonlight horse-and-buggy-ride designed for hot (chocolate) lovers, and the unwrapping of never-to-be-seen-again (for at least two year) marvels that defy the imagination, good taste, or public display.

Food, fellowship, and fun
To reserve your passage on this year’s safari, you must be merried (sic), humorous, possess a “white elephant” you’re willing to part with, and have reservations to purchase a boarding pass.
The cost for each couple, including meals, will be $190 for the forest view; $210 for the lake view; and, for those lovers who don’t mind getting into a little hot water, $300 for a hot-tub room.
Meals include Friday and Saturday night dinner buffets, Saturday and Sunday breakfast buffets, lunch, a snack, and those infamous banana splits. Check in by 3 p.m. on Friday and enjoy a weekend of “food, fellowship, and fun.”
We’d love to fill you in on the details. Give us a call so that we can book your passage on this years “Shack Attack!”
We love you!
Roger & Jean Afman
PS: Remember to invite that special couple who would enjoy “splitting” a weekend with you!

To return to the first page of the Chicago ILME website, please click here