Switzerland: Family Festival and Blessing Ceremony
Prepared by FFWPU Switzerland
The planned Family Festival and Blessing Ceremony for Zurich took place on November 4, 2018 at the Ofenhalle in Zurich. The event started at 3pm and the Emcee, Ms. Andrea Nakamura, welcomed everyone and mentioned that this family festival included a nationwide campaign with the title: “Strong Families as a foundation for a Strong Society and Nation”, endorsing strong families as well as reaffirming core values like marriage and family ethics.
After introduction, the President of FFWPU Switzerland, Mr. Heiner Handschin, gave a short presentation about the need for strengthening families at this current time.
Many international organizations, like UNODC and others, conduct programs for strong families. He emphasized that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 16, affirms the importance of the family for the wellbeing of the society and the need for the protection of this important key collective unit through the state. He also stressed that strong families can only be as strong as marriages are strong. After this a short rededication ceremony and celebration of marriage was held with all attending couples.
To prepare for the event and invite people, the community members distributed some 2500 invitations in the housing area next to the Ofenhalle community center. There were participants from this outreach efforts as well as relatives of some of our members and other guests. Some families with small children came out of curiosity through the flyers, and participated in the first step of the Ceremony and left again .
Others just came in at the moment of the Holy Wine ceremony, and did not have time to realize what was going on. Also some young people participated in the event.
One lady who just dropped in asked: “As I hear you talk about marriages between a Man and a Woman”, what about the other marriages?”
Ms. Romy Leggio-Heinrich, President of FFWPU Deutsche Schweiz, answered that the organization supports natural, traditional marriages, but people should be free to make their own choices.
The lady left empowered and seemed to feel strengthened in her belief in healthy marriage and family. With that experience, we could realize that due to the current confusion in society, “traditional” marriages and families need our support and our continuous advocacy for healthy marriages and families.
With an entertainment program featuring promising young artists the festival part of the event followed.
The cutting of a celebratory cake of some representative newly blessed couple and a sharing of a snack and refreshments followed by some fellowship brought the event to a harmonious close.
The whole event was victorious because it started out “from hell and reached heaven”. When we arrived at the Ofenhalle early morning, we found to our great surprise the whole place in a total chaos, so dirty and so much trash in front of the door. Empty and broken bottles, squashed cans and hundreds of cigarettes pieces all over.
There was a party the night before with many young people till late and they didn’t clean up after. When we arrived, we were really so shocked to see the degree of devastation. We didn’t see any other option than to clean up ourselves. While we were cleaning, some people from the neighborhood came by to complain about the noise and the disturbance of the party the night before and thought we were the organizers. There must have been even violence, to a point that the police had to come.
The families in the area were very concerned about their safety and the fact that we organized an event emphasizing the importance of good families for a peaceful and stable society and nation, people became very interested in our organization and efforts…
A sincere thank you to all who made it possible for the event to take place and be victorious. Many thanks also for all those who cleaned up and who came and helped to make a happy atmosphere despite the difficult start…