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Ideally, she’d like to start regional conferences targeting certain age groups as a supplement to the national event, where all are welcomed.This year’s conference will be in Atlanta in October.
However, the rate of marriages in this country has dropped while divorce remains an all-too-frequent outcome.They added a video scavenger hunt and randomly paired groups of six attendees for a walking tour of Denver to facilitate introductions.Blind date sessions titled “It’s Just Breakfast” and “It’s Just Dinner”— borrowed from the “It’s Just Lunch” matchmaking phenomenon—brought attendees together in a relatively casual atmosphere.Events like the National Catholic Singles Conference in August 2014 and the International Singles Conference, produced by the Denver Church of Christ’s Wade and Debbie Cook in September 2014, are outlets for attendees to meet others who share the same faith while exploring the challenges of forming and maintaining relationships.The former often lures attendees (although they may not always admit it), who will then return for multiple years because of the latter, the planners say.put herself in the shoes of National Catholic Singles Conference attendees.
The 38-year-old planner, who for the past 10 years has created programs based on the formation of healthy relationships, remains single.
Finding the balance between assisting singles with meeting others and not applying undo pressure to the attendees is delicate, says Cook, whose event included classes on handling finances and reconciling professional ambitions and faith as complements to sessions on relationships.
Because he’s been happily married for 22 years, Cook believes he is particularly empathetic to those who have not been as fortunate.“Every one of us know a handful of people who are in a less-than-fulfilling relationship and the pain associated with that,” he says.
“There’s not as much optimism about marriage as there has been in the past.” Northrop notes divorce affects more than just the couple involved.
Children of divorced parents, she says, may be more reluctant to enter a long-term relationship when they are adults.
Having grown up in a large family, Northrop always imagined starting one of her own.