Retrouvaille of Grand Rapids

Discernment 2015




Marriage is the cornerstone of the family, and an important building block of healthy communities.

Couples who face difficult times in marriages are often presented with only one solution: divorce.

We at Retrouvaille provide a different answer, one that saves marriages and preserves the family tree.



Retrouvaille of Grand Rapids exists to provide help for couples in West Michigan and beyond who are living with the disappointment and pain of a marriage in trouble. The program is designed to get couples to communicate, to turn to one another and begin talking at a heart-to-heart level.


With the labor of volunteer members, Retrouvaille offers the opportunity for a year-long journey of marital healing and rediscovery, through Weekend retreats, post-Weekend support programs, continuing support programs, and a peer-to-peer network of support and counseling.


The need for this program is increasingly acute. In the United States, 41% of first marriages end in divorce. Financial stresses are one of the main contributors to divorce, and in difficult financial times, the rate of troubled marriages is even higher. Even as marriages face more and more stressors, they often lack the support or communication tools necessary to make it through tough times.


We see the results of these marital stressors on a daily basis. For every 20 couples that make inquiries about a Retrouvaille weekend, 100 go unserved. Many couples facing financial difficulties are unable to pay the $300 nominal fee requested by Retrouvaille. Spanish-speaking couples are not served at all.


Retrouvaille is responding to these needs by initiating an ambitious drive to increase its programs, volunteer base and capacity for support. Foremost is the effort to increase retreat weekends from 3 per year to 1 per month. Funds are also needed to set up a Spanish-language program, increase scholarship offerings for couples that need them, and increase the publicity budget so that we can reach more couples.


This initiative will require the investment of donors who understand the importance of strengthening marriages and keeping families together.



Retrouvaille is an International community of disciples committed to the continued healing of their marriages and, empowered by the Holy Spirit, sharing their stories, talents and gifts to promote and spread the healing ministry of Retrouvaille.


Retrouvaille of Grand Rapids exists to provide help for couples in West Michigan and beyond who are living with the disappointment and pain of a marriage in trouble. The program is designed to get couples to communicate, to turn to one another and begin talking at a heart-to-heart level.


We believe that every marriage, a union of one man and one woman, deserves the opportunity to survive, be healed and thrive as a covenant of life and love. Retrouvaille is the place where we, as hurting couples, found hope and so we are passionately committed to dramatically increasing the number of couples involved in our ministry.


Completed Goals from previous Strategic Plan


1.       Schedule and host a formation weekend by July 2014 COMPLETE

2.       Formalize structure for Board and Committees COMPLETE

3.       Complete revision of by-laws COMPLETE

4.       Host at least 1 fundraiser and launch fund development committee COMPLETE

5.       Actively work with Regional Support and Development Team to collaborate ideas, approach and strategy COMPLETE

Top Goals for 2015


1.       Presenters

A.            Have at least 2 presenting couples from Grand Rapids for each Post Talk by December 2015

B.            Have at least 1 presenting couple for each of the three WEEKEND sections


2.       Marketing

A.              Have a consistent and working publicity plan in place and a publicity couple to work it


3.       Volunteers














The following positions are executive positions as identified in the by-laws for Retrouvaille of Grand Rapids. Each executive couple has the responsibility to attend all regular and special meetings as determined by the annual calendar. Executive couples also agree to put their marriage first before Retrouvaille and do so by continuing their Retrouvaille journey by attending Retrouvaille educational and enrichment events. All executive couples do their personal best to communicate the values, mission, vision and goals of Retrouvaille thru servant leadership within their own community thru writing and presenting to weekend couples using Retrouvaille approved materials. Positions indicated in red are relative to this discernment process.


* Coordinator Couple

Coordinator                            2 year Term        Now thru 2017

Purpose of the Coordinator is to assure Retrouvaille of Grand Rapids remains faithful to the mission and by-laws set forth by the International Council and Local Board of Directors keeping our local community accessible to everyone.

1.       Responsible for assuring that all directors and committee members are offered a volunteer experience that is enriching to their marriage.

2.       Responsible conducting all board meetings.

3.       Responsible for assuring that all activities of Retrouvaille Grand Rapids are in compliance with the by-laws established by its board of directors and that of Retrouvaille International

4.       Responsible for arranging dates for all Retrouvaille programs.

5.       Responsible for liaison with Retrouvaille International Board.

6.       Responsible for attending the International Council Meeting of Retrouvaille International as finances allow or appointing a designate to do so.

7.       Responsible for liaison with Region 9 Support and Development and to attend quarterly meeting of coordinators via phone, web or in person

8.       Responsible for attending the Region 9 Mid-East Gathering as finances allow or appointing a designate to do so.

9.       Responsible for maintaining collaborative partnerships including but not limited to that with Retrouvaille Coordinators of Michigan.

10.   Responsible for liaison to the directors of Retrouvaille of Grand Rapids. Additionally it is the responsibility of the coordinator to assure all activities performed by directors are complete on associated timelines.

11.   Responsible for promoting the mission of Retrouvaille to its community members

12.   Responsible to assure all acting presenters are following the policy/procedure established by Retrouvaille International and maintain fidelity to the expectations set forth by Retrouvaille Grand Rapids


NOTE: To qualify as coordinators, couple must fully completed their full Post Program within one year of discernment, actively present Retrouvaille approved weekend/post weekend materials and be a member in good standing within the community.


* Deputy Coordinator Couple

Deputy Coordinator                 2 Year Term         Now thru 2017

The purpose of the Deputy Coordinator is to act in a supporting role to the coordinator thru the development of skills, thoughts, leadership and actions preparing to act as Coordinator.

1.       Work in collaboration with the Community Coordinator Team to build leadership capacity within the Community

2.       Fill in for the Coordinators when they are otherwise not able

3.       Help other couples fulfill their Retrouvaille servant-leadership positions as needed.


Secretary Couple Job Description

Secretary                             2 Year Term                                        Now thru 2017

The purpose of the Secretary is to record and retain records in support of Retrouvaille of Grand Rapids.

1.       Responsible for attending community meetings as often as possible and all board meetings.  (Board meetings are currently the third Sunday of every month from 4 pm to 6 pm)

2.       Responsible making sure that all minutes and agendas are taken and retained and emailed to all members of the board.

3.       Responsible for keeping all minutes on file.



* Weekend Coordinator Couple Job Description

Weekend Coordinator               3 Year Term    Currently Held Position   Now thru 2016

The purpose of the Weekend Coordinators is to organize The Weekend details in support of Retrouvaille of Grand Rapids.


1.       Responsible for recruiting Post teams as far ahead as possible.

2.       Responsible for recruiting couples to provide meal to presenters on Friday prior to the weekend launch.

3.       Responsible for recruiting an Angel Couple

4.       Responsible for coordinating water/drinks/snacks (if needed) for the weekend.

5.       Responsible to meet with the Weekend Registration Couple in advance of the weekend

6.       Responsible for obtaining, maintenance and storage of supplies associated with weekend including the ordering of weekend program books, dialogue cards and copies. (includes facilities clean up post weekend)

7.       Responsible for appropriate maintenance and storage of Mass Kit in accordance with the Information Code of Cannon Law.

8.       Responsible to make contact with the prayer couple prior to the weekend.


NOTE: It is highly encouraged that the weekend coordinator recruit several community volunteers for assistance with the above described duties.




Finance                                 3 year term   Currently Held Position      Now thru 2016


The purpose of the treasurer couple is to keep and maintain the financial records of Retrouvaille Grand Rapids and make sure that we fulfill all financial laws required by the state of Michigan and federal government.


1.       Responsible for the accuracy of records of monies received and paid out through the

2.       Retrouvaille account.

3.       Responsible for maintaining a checking account for the Retrouvaille program and reconciling the monthly bank statements.

4.       Responsible for paying for all expenses related to the Retrouvaille program.

5.       Responsible for keeping detailed record of all deposits and bills paid.

6.       Responsible for giving an up to date financial accounting at each community meeting.

7.       Responsible for mailing (5% of gross donations) assessment to Retrouvaille

8.       International.

9.       Responsible for submitting required government, tax (IRS), and state agency reports.

10.   Responsible for maintenance of all licenses and records associated with Retrouvaille Grand Rapids as a non-profit agency. (501C3 and License to Solicit)

11.   Responsible for procurement and maintenance of board approved insurance policies.


* Core Coordinator Couple Job Description

Core   Coordinator                  2 Year Term        Now thru 2017

The purpose of the Core Coordinators is to organize monthly CORE meetings to further heal the Retrouvaille couples and build relationships in support of Retrouvaille of Grand Rapids.


1.       Responsible for arranging a CORE schedule and presenting that schedule to the community.

2.       Responsible for ensuring the active promotion of all CORE group meetings and topics using email, social media, telephone and website

3.       Responsible for enrichment opportunities for the community.



Publicity                               2 year term         Now thru 2017

The purpose of the Publicity Couple is to create visibility and attendance at Retrouvaille of Grand Rapids weekends and actives.


1.       Responsible for creating and maintaining a mailing list for targeted communications promoting the weekend and/or CORE activities and fundraising solicitations.

2.       Responsible to coordinate marketing collaterals utilized for the promotion of Retrouvaille activities. Includes but not limited to letters, ordering of brochures and publications posted on various websites

3.       Responsible to maintain the website of Retrouvaille of Grand Rapids

4.       Responsible for delivery of announcements/newsletters to community members of Retrouvaille of Grand Rapids

5.       Responsible to prepare and deliver bulletin announcements to all participating churches and parishes at least two months prior to scheduled Retrouvaille Weekend date.

6.       Responsible for periodically arranging for newspaper articles promoting and explaining Retrouvaille in city, neighborhood and church newspapers.

7.       Responsible for arranging Public Service Announcements on various media prior to weekends (T.V./Radio)

8.       Responsible for maintain relationships with community partners (tv/radio)

9.       Responsible for seeking opportunities to promote Retrouvaille of Grand Rapids within the community. (Pulpit talks, Radio, TV, Fund drives)



NOTE: It is highly encouraged that the Publicity Coordinator recruit several community volunteers for assistance with the above described duties.




Registration                               2 year term         Now thru 2017

The purpose of the Registration Couple is to welcome new Friday Night Couples to Retrouvaille of Grand Rapids thru the Registration Process.


1.       Coordinate communications using email, phone and mail regarding the attendance at Retrouvaille Of Grand Rapids weekends:


a.       Communicate location, concept of weekend (not details) and expectations using various templates provided by International/and or approved by the coordinator.

b.      Maintain voicemail account/greetings


2.       Using the registration resources on the Retrouvaille International Website ensure:

a.       Information for all confirmed registrants have been properly entered

b.      The couple “pre-weekend” follow up is complete (Formerly called Interview)

c.       Registration fees are received and recorded

d.      Assign couple numbers

e.      Provide final list to prayer couple (Just needs couple number and names)


3.       Work as liaison to Hotel/Retreat Center providing list of couple names in accordance with the contract.


4.       Welcome couples at Registration table on Friday Nights

a.       Ensure check in process is complete electronically on website

b.      Assure couple waiver forms are received


5.       Provide attendance worksheets including name and couple number, Hotel Room assignment, First and Last Names phone numbers, email address, registration fee  and church to:

a.       Hotel

b.       Coordinator

c.       Angel Couple

d.      Presenting Teams (3 copies)

e.      Priest

f.        Treasurer 


6.       Continuous follow up with those inquires who have not yet confirmed attendance

7.       Schedule meeting with Weekend Coordinator prior to weekend
















Retrouvaille needs many hands to keep our community strong. Currently the following committees are 1 year terms. Committee chairs & members are encouraged but not required to attend board meetings.


Committee Chairs are asked to communicate all business needs and to provide regular updates to the Community Coordinator by using email, phone or personal meetings. You are encouraged to complete a short report to submit to the Secretary Couple prior to scheduled board meetings. Templates are provided.  Other responsibilities of the chair are to actively seek and invite others to assist.



* PRAYER COMMiTEE Job Description


The purpose of the Prayer Couple is to obtain support thru prayer for the ongoing needs of our ministry including Friday Night Couples prior to and after weekends.

1.       Responsible for sending a communication to a sharing list via email and collecting responses; printing responses and assuring physical copy is obtained by the community coordinator or weekend coordinator prior to or on the Friday night of scheduled weekends

2.       Responsible to obtain the list of Friday Night Couples from the Registration Coordinator

3.       Responsible for soliciting community members to write physical prayer cards prior to or on the Friday night of scheduled weekends. (Some Prayer Couples choose to perform this activity individually)

4.       Responsible for encouraging the support of prayer within the community especially during special events held locally, regionally or international. This is done through the utilization of email or in person at CORE events. 


* By-Laws Comittee Job Description


The purpose of the By-Laws Couple is to assure that the current by-laws sort forth by Retrouvaille of Grand Rapids remain current, relevant to the communities needs as well as remain faithful to the by-laws/policies and procedures set forth by Retrouvaille International.


2.            Responsible for annual review of by-laws and making any suggested changes to the board in writing for review and ratification.


* LOCATIONS Comittee Job Description


The purpose of the Locations Couple is to keep Retrouvaille accessible to everyone through the consistent review and analysis of weekend and CORE locations.


1.       Responsible for review of contractual agreements between weekend and CORE locations

2.       Responsible to negotiate a contract for weekend activities in accordance with the financial needs of the community. (Best Room Rates, Food, Conference Room and Accommodations.

3.       Responsible to submit formal review and suggestions to the board at least annually or prior if necessary.


* NOMINATIONS Comittee Job Description


Future committee- Currently Under Review


* Spiritual Direction Comittee Job Description


 The purpose of the Spiritual Direction Committee is to actively pursue a spiritual director for Retrouvaille of Grand Rapids.


1.       Responsible for the active pursuit of a priest and or minister and spouse who will perform all duties pursuant to spiritual direction in partnership with Retrouvaille of Grand Rapids.

2.       Responsible to actively pursue change to International by-laws allowing a Deacon to act as Spiritual guide as presenter on weekends.