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Conference News

The Gift of . . .

Digital Conference Newsletters

At the 2016 NME conference, the Publicity couple tried something new by producing the daily conference newsletter in digital format. Each morning, before the formal opening of the day, the screen showed the daily news.

The following videos were shown as part of the NME 2016 The Gift conference in Stevens Point WI, August 4-7. These slide shows replaced the traditional printed daily news. Enjoy.

Thursday, August 4_Conference News

Shown at the opening on Thursday evening–a preview of the conference events.

Friday, August 5_Conference News

Shown Friday morning with news, notes, and images from the Thursday night opening.

Saturday, August 6_Conference News

Shown Saturday morning before the opening of the day. It shows photos, news, and love notes from the day before, Friday.

Sunday, August 7_Conference News

This slideshow was shown before the opening on Sunday and depicts the news, events, love notes, and photos from Saturday.

The Gift of . . . Conference Photo Gallery

Thursday–Opening of the Conference/Ice Cream Social

Previous Image
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The Gift. . .of

Welcome to the NME 2016 Conference, The Gift!

We are so excited to celebrate National Marriage Encounter with you. You are the gift to NME. This conference has brought together a lot of gifts–the gifts of

  • friendship–making new friends and renewing acquaintances
  • speakers and workshops–inspiring, uplifting, and great ideas you can use in your own communities
  • fun, food, and entertainment
  • worship services

Are you ready for some fun? Let’s get started.







2015 NME Summer Conference Photos

A message from Father Bob, Executive Clergy:

NME Annual Conference

The NME Conference in Jeff City was very enriching, inspiring, supportive, and fun. Everyone surely got a lot out of it. I know I did. And I loved seeing everyone.

Now plans are well under way for a tremendous 2016 NME Annual Conference (The Gift) at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (Stevens Point, WI). Begin now making your plans to attend. Put the dates on your calendar and on your fridge, August 4 -7, 2016.  Bring your friends as well.

My brother took time one Sunday afternoon to put the 2015 Summer Board meeting and Conference pictures up on Flickr. Below are the links to get to the albums.

If you can, I would ask one favor. It would take me forever to enter the names on each picture, so I ask if you would put your names on your pictures, and any others that you would like to do as well. I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.

Looking at these photos of last year’s conference, and also of a number of previous conferences, hopefully will remind you how wonderful it was to have been at the conferences, bringing back great memories. I hope it fills you with the desire to join us once again at this year’s conference.

Besides finding each conference enriching, inspiring, supportive, and fun as was last year’s, a side benefit from attending the conference is meeting more couples from around the country like those you know at home that are filled with a positive outlook on marriage. Marriage needs a lot of support and good PR. Marriage Encountered couples are special and can do that.

To view the pictures just use the links below – nothing further needs to  be done.

Conference Photos:
Board Meeting Photos:

If clicking on the link does not work, copy the link and paste it in the browser. To see photos from previous conferences click on “Back to albums list” on the Flickr screen.

To enter names of those on the photo, my brother gives these instructions. (I learned something new!)

Jack says: If you wish to add a comment you’ll have to do a bit more:

  •  You have to have an account for FLICKR and sign in .
  •  If you don’t have an account you can sign up when you access the links.  (if you have a Yahoo or AT&T mail account you can use that.)
  •  Once you’re signed in to FLICKR you can view the albums, etc.
  • Select a picture you want to comment on
  •  And after selecting the picture, you can scroll down below it and there will be a comment area you can type in and then select “Comment”

(I know that’s a bunch of stuff but computers are never super easy…


I hope you enjoy the pictures. I enjoyed taking them. Any questions or comments, send me an email (


Love & Prayers, Fr. Bob
Executive Clergy
NME Executive Team


NME 2015 Summer Conference Update

Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 5.25.49 PM

We can hardly wait to see you at the NME Conference in Jeff City MO this summer— it will be a family-friendly event with some- thing for everyone!

Children’s Program

poolFriday evening is family night at Memorial Park Aquatic Center with waterslides, kiddie pool, full-sized swim pool—all reserved for OUR event!

Keynote Speaker:

tonyJust as Tony inspired Pope John Paul II, he and his wife, Lynn, will inspire you!

Born without arms, Tony has developed a proficiency with his feet that extends to more than just day-to-day care. He is an accomplished musician who has traveled across the United States and forty foreign countries, making countless television appearances, including The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, and many more. He performed at The World Series, where he sang the National Anthem for the fifth game of the 1989 series. Tony has had the opportunity to give four performances for Pope John Paul II. Now an author his best-selling autobiography, A Gift of Hope, was published in 1989 by Harper & Row. Tony and Lynn have such an amazingly positive and infections spirit—their mes- sage is truly about living, loving and laughing!


  • Michael Coleman – “The Sacramental Nature of a Spiritual Marriage”
  • Herb & Cheryl Cobb – “How’d You Meet?”
  • Angel Embry – “The Biblical Wife”
  • Master Gardner Alice Longfellow
  • Chef Mike Keene
  • Dr. Michael Coleman – “The Domestic Church”
  • Rev. Mark Kiekhaefer – “Joy in the Journey”
  • Embry 7 Struemph Families – Interactive Jam Session – bring your own instrument or just your voice and join in!
  • Four NME Board Workshops to Enrich Your Affiliate
  • Yoga
  • Bunco Tournament
  • Much, much, more!

Register NOW! And bring some friends! Meet some friends! Make some new friends!

Our Vacations with NME Conferences

kentjeannetteCreate Your Own Marriage Magic While Having Fun!

Are you looking for a unique summer vacation? Would you like to know what area of the country you want to explore each year? Consider attending National Marriage Encounter Conferences. We did in 1984 and were hooked! In fact, we haven’t missed one since then.

National Marriage Encounter (NME) Conferences are open to encountered couples and families, as well as those interested in Marriage Encounter in any way. You do not have to be leaders or even think about being leaders to benefit from a conference. Speakers, workshops, entertainment, and worship make up the program. Friendly people and great food make it special. College dorm living makes it unique, but there are usually motels near the campus for those who want a little more luxury.

Kids Welcome

We began taking our youngest son, who was five-years-old in 1985, along to our second conference. From then on, he attended with us (except for the year he was fifteen and took Driver’s Education) until he turned seventeen. The next year he helped with the children’s program and then led it in 2006. So, we planned family vacations around the conference locations.

Summer Vacations

We had the advantage of being schoolteachers. The conferences were late enough in the summer that we took continuing education courses earlier in the summer and still attended the conferences. Some years we visited local tourist sites and some years we went to the conference or home the long way! In 1985, we went via Gettysburg, Virginia, Ashville and the Smokey Mountains, toured the Biltmore House in Tennessee and then the Cincinnati Zoo before arriving in Oxford, OH for the conference. One year we went north from Central Michigan across the Mackinaw Bridge through the UP and back to Iowa. Once we went from Wisconsin via the Black Hills of South Dakota before heading back to Iowa. When we were in Virginia for the 1999 NME Conference, we took in Williamsburg, Jamestown, Washington’s Mount Vernon, and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. In 1988, we welcomed our first granddaughter in Michigan, and then headed to Whitewater, WI for the conference. The next year following the conference in Mount Pleasant, MI, she and her family went camping near there along with us and Steve and Peggy Steinbronn and their four children. Two years later, we picked her up shortly after her brother was born and took her with us to Collegeville, MN for Dance to Life. Another year we took the car ferry from Kewaunee, WI to Ludington, MI to go from the conference in Green Bay to visit that family in Michigan. That’s just a few of the places we went in those first 27 conference years. Imagine where you can go starting next summer.

Great people, Inspiring speakers

Besides the fun vacations, we learned a lot about National Marriage Encounter at the conferences and met a great group of people who were and are involved in that program. We made friends from across the United States, heard wonderful speakers, and learned from other encountered couples in workshops and conversations. When we worked on the four conferences in Iowa (1987-2006) either as chair couple or registration couple, we met and spent some time with John Rosemond, a noted authority on parenting, and Deanna Edwards, a delightful singer. Along the way, we learned a lot from other nationally acclaimed speakers, sometimes before they became famous: Fr. John Powell, Clayton Barbeau, Gary Chapman, Tony Campolo, Krysta Kavenaugh, Ken Davis, and Ernie Larson. We met Fr. Gabriel Calvo, the founder of Marriage Encounter, who challenged the audience each year to spread the fires of love and bring the children! We listened to wonderful speakers from the vicinity of each conference, such as Bishop Robert Morneau from Green Bay; Fr. Dominic Garramone, the bread baking monk from near Peru, IL, who hosts a PBS television show; Shannon Zetterlund, Mrs. Iowa 2002; Ron Willis; and Dennis and Wendy Mannering. We laughed and cried with zany and serious workshop presenters; we sang in the mornings and danced at night. The conferences always refreshed and revived us and reminded us of the importance of marriage and family in our own lives and in the world.

 July 16-19, 2015

So, start your next summer vacation planning in and around Jefferson City, Missouri. Plan now to attend the next NME Conference on the lovely Lincoln University, with a new dorm from July 16-19, 2015. If you haven’t attended an NME Conference or missed several, this is the place to be. The conferences are always inspiring, educational, and fun with singers, musical groups, dances, and ice cream sundaes! Besides the conferences make great starting or ending places for vacations. The southern Missouri area have a lot to offer – from Jefferson City itself, to the Ozarks to the south and west, to St. Louis with it fabulous botanical gardens and zoo.

Come Live, Love, and Laugh with wonderful people for a rewarding experience next July! Meet the NME Board – your national and regional representatives. For more information check or find National Marriage Encounter on Facebook.

See the list of National Marriage Encounter Conferences and locations from 1973 to the present. Prior to that time, there was a Marriage Encounter Conference held in South Bend, IL in 1973 and perhaps other conferences focusing on marriage before that time.

Hope to see you at the conference in Jeff City!
Kent and Jeannette Babcock
former Heartland Trustees and current NME Business Administrators.

Heartland ME Affiliate Meeting Happening Now

The affiliate leaders from the Heartland Region are spending the weekend in Kaukauna, Wisconsin. They are spending the next day and a half talking about ways to grow Marriage Encounter at both the local and national level. Check with your Heartland affiliate leader to hear more about the ideas shared at the meeting.

Heartlandaffiliate meeting

Still Time

nme 2014 copyThere is still time to register for the 2014 NME Summer Conference in De Pere Wisconsin, July 10-13. Join the NME community for a relaxing, fun time filled with lots of great workshops, family activities, and field trips.

More details and links to the registration form can be found HERE.

Come join the fun!