The Words of the Schanker Family
We are pleased to invite parents to the second in our series of Parents Matching Convocations (PMCs) this year, to be held in Hayward, CA (near San Francisco) on June 25-27, 2010. All of the necessary registration and schedule information is contained in this memo. A third PMC will be held in Chicago August 6 - 8, 2010. Details and registration for this convocation will be available later this month. An additional New York PMC will be held in the fall.
Beginning with this PMC, the convocation registration process and submitting of candidate information and photos will be entirely online. In addition, the Blessed Family Department and Blessed Family Association have worked to integrate the application and profile process for convocations with the registration process for "Matchbook," the online matching site at www.blessedfamilies.org. Candidates and their families can now apply once, and indicate where and to what extent their profile and photo information can be accessed by others, from total privacy, by permission only through advocates or advisers, etc.
The PMC provides an excellent opportunity for parents to understand the matching process, learn from those who have matched their children successfully, network with other parents and learn about potential matching candidates. The PMC is not a place to conclude matches, but to learn, plan, and connect with other families. Because a healthy matching process depends upon a communicative relationship with your adult child and a clear plan with your candidate's input, we strongly recommend that parents attend a PMC well before beginning the matching process with their children. Parents whose children are at least 16, who plan to support them in finding a match but have not yet attended a PMC should participate simply to learn and prepare.
Participants in this summer's PMCs will be able to:
Learn the new international guidelines and recommendations for parents' matching, and receive the new matching handbook
Hear testimonies and insights from parents and Blessed Children who completed the matching process successfully
Meet and network with other parents from outside their own community, and consider potential matching candidates for their sons and daughters
Learn about websites, matching advisers and advocates, international matching, and other materials and resources to support them in the matching process
Learn how to deepen the parent-child relationship, and how to address the matching process in diverse ways, depending upon where your children are at
The PMC experience will help parents understand and prepare to support their children's matching process, and avoid many of the challenges and pitfalls experienced by others in previous efforts.
JUNE 25-27th CONVOCATION INFORMATION:
I. Location: The convocation will be held at:
La Quinta Inn and Suites Hayward
20777 Hesperian Blvd., Hayward, CA 94541
Telephone: (510) 732-6300; Fax: (510) 783-2265
Onsite registration will open at 4:00 PM Friday afternoon, June 25th (pre-registering online will save you money and time at the conference registration). The program begins with Orientation at 7:30 that evening, and closes at 1:00 PM on Sunday, June 27th.
III. Who Should Attend
Parents of matching candidates; Blessed siblings of matching candidates are also welcome. Parents of younger BCs are encouraged to attend, to familiarize and educate themselves about the process and their role, and begin developing a family plan for matching their children.
IV. Registration -- Save Money by Registering Early!
To encourage prompt registration and facilitate planning and organization, participants can save money by registering early. You can now pay directly online by credit card:
Pay by June 4th: $70/individual; $100/couple; $40 for each additional family member
Pay by June 20th: $80/individual; $120/couple; $50 for each additional family member
Pay after June 20th: $100/individual; $150/couple; $50 for each additional family member
The registration fee covers the convocation program and materials, a Matching Handbook, and snacks and refreshments during the program. Accommodations and meals are the responsibility of each participant. There will be substantial time for meals, and there are many affordable restaurants and stores within walking distance of the conference hotel.
To register, visit www.blessedfamilies.org, and click on the pink PMC registration banner on the right side, below login, groups and summer camp sign-up. Or visit the members area at www.familyfed.org/members, and click on the PMC banner near the top. Candidate profiles and photos can also be uploaded at the registration site, and should be completed by June 20th. If you need assistance registering for the PMC, or uploading profiles and photos, contact your district BFD or Email.
V. Transportation and Accommodations
There are large, comfortable rooms available at the three-star La Quinta Inn and Suites, the PMC hotel, for $59 per night, including a "Bright-side" breakfast with a variety of choices. To obtain this rate, call the La Quinta at (510) 732-6300 as soon as possible, and ask for the "FFWP Block Reservation." NOTE: availability may be limited, and a minimum of 15 rooms are required to obtain this rate. Otherwise, the cost will be higher. Please register soon. View the hotel and rooms, and learn about amenities and attractions at www.lq.com/lq/.
The PMC hotel is 20 minutes from the Oakland Airport, and the hotel provides free shuttle service from the airport. For shuttle information, call the hotel or visit www.lq.com/lq/.
VI. Preparing Candidate Profiles
Parents may attend the PMC without displaying any of your children as a candidate (Only parents who are displaying a candidate may enter the display area and view other candidates). Candidates can be displayed at the PMC without their parents being present. But candidates can only be displayed with their permission and involvement. No parent should attempt to display their adult child as a candidate or pursue a match without the candidate's involvement.
To be available at the PMC, every candidate and family should do the following:
A. Complete the candidate profile page at the PMC registration site. This will allow candidates to participate in Matchbook, PMCs, or both, and to designate their preferred level of accessibility.
B. Complete the additional 9-question personality profile at the profile page. This is optional for Matchbook participants but required for candidates at the PMC. Candidates should complete these profiles themselves, with the support of their parents.
C. Upload three good-quality photos at the profile page: one half-length (head and torso) and one full-length of the candidate, and one family photo. The profile and photos are required, but do not necessarily need to be uploaded at the time of registration. They must be uploaded by June 20th for the Hayward PMC. If parents bring photos or profiles to the PMC that require scanning or copying to be displayed, there will be a $20 charge, and we cannot guarantee how quickly the material will be ready for display.
Some other good ideas for preparing for the PMC include:
Visit the link below and use one or more of the resources recommended there to more fully understand your adult child's character, and prepare a fuller profile: www.familyfed.org/members/index.php?option=com_contentandview=categoryandlayout=blogandid=949andItemid=626
Be creative! A poem, photo montage or personal story also conveys who you are, and can be added to your profile at the PMC. Parents can also prepare "contact cards" with the candidate's picture and your family's contact info to give to other parents at the PMC.
IMPORTANT: If your candidate submitted a profile for the PMC in 2009 or earlier, you must contact us if you wish to still be displayed. We strongly recommend profiles be updated and improved, with your adult child's permission and participation. We will not display any old profiles unless we have heard from the candidate that they wish to be displayed.
For additional information visit the registration site, or contact us. We look forward to seeing parents at UTS, and to supporting candidates in the process of matching and Blessing. May God be with you and your family.
Rev. Phillip Schanker
National Blessed Family Department