Monday, August 11, 2008

Couple to Couple League’s Convention 2008

Asheville, North Carolina — (August 5, 2008) — Over 150 families gathered at the Lifeway Ridgecrest Conference Center near Asheville, NC from July 29 – August 2, 2008, and were re-energized in their dedication to the Natural Family Planning (NFP) lifestyle. The occasion of their meeting was the biennial convention of The Couple to Couple League International (CCL), one of the nation’s largest providers of NFP education to couples. Attendees had traveled from 32 states (including Hawaii), Canada, India, and Hong Kong to be part of what has become a very popular event for the families associated with CCL.

The convention, themed “Advancing the Culture of Life Through NFP,” provided a mix of national and international speakers who presented a combination of main talks and workshops that were inspiring and practical in their support of marriage, Church teaching on sexuality, parenting, nutrition and natural family planning.

Nationally-known speakers included Bishop Samuel J. Aquila of the Diocese of Fargo, North Dakota; marriage counselor Greg Popcak, MSW, Ph.D. and his radio co-host wife, Lisa; professor of moral theology Christopher Thompson of the Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity; biological anthropologist and researcher Katherine A. Dettwyler, Ph.D.; John Bruchalski, M.D., Ob/Gyn, founder of the Tepeyac Family Center in Fairfax, Virginia; Damon Clarke Owens, M.S., founder of Joy-Filled Marriage NJ and the New Jersey NFP Association; and Tami Kiser, founder of the Smart Martha seminars. International flavor was provided by German NFP effectiveness researcher Petra Frank-Herrmann, M.D., Ob/Gyn, and CCL-affliated speakers included Executive Director Andrew Alderson; Board Chairman Linda Kracht; Board Members Tom Bengtson, Erik Tozzi, Jack Burnham, M.D., and Fr. Erik Pohlmeier; Project Managers Ann Gundlach, Vicki Braun, and Silvia Schmidt; author of Fertility, Cycles & Nutrition, Marilyn Shannon; and CCL Teaching Couples Mike and Ann Green, and Adrian and Stacey Nagle.

Most convention attendees were certified Teaching Couples, Promoters, or members of CCL. The Couple to Couple League has been providing instruction on the highly effective Sympto-Thermal Method of natural family planning (NFP), clarification on the moral issues surrounding the use of NFP, and support for breastfeeding since its founding in 1971. The convention is an opportunity for volunteers to recharge their batteries, sharpen their teaching skills, and share strategic ideas and successes with volunteers from other parts of the country, and for other attendees to fellowship with like-minded families.

“I thought this was the best convention ever,” said Chairman of the Board Linda Kracht. “All of the speakers were smart, engaging, funny, and timely in their message. Also, the Ridgecrest staff was wonderful, and the facilities were very well laid out in a beautiful setting. I heard from many attendees that they were enjoying themselves.”

The families who attended brought with them over 350 children who participated in age-appropriate activities including outdoor play, crafts, music and games. In addition to various group activities, teens also received one age-appropriate talk per day and had opportunities to participate in a high ropes course, outdoor laser tag, and a rock-climbing wall. In addition, all convention attendees were treated to a family concert by Catholic wife, mother and recording artist Marie Bellet.

To learn more about the CCL organization and the Sympto-Thermal Method of Natural Family Planning, visit

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