28 Aug Forward for Families
From the Desk of Laura Bunker:
Since 1978, United Families International volunteers have been dedicated to protecting and strengthening the Natural Family. From humble beginnings, we have grown into an global organization with members, friends, and affiliate groups on nearly every continent of the world.
Who are we? We are people like you–mothers, fathers, community members–who believe that strong families are the foundation for strong civilizations. What do we do? We provide education to citizens, United Nations delegates, and policy makers at all levels of government, to encourage them to consider how proposed policies and legislation will impact families. And, with your much appreciated support, we have had 35 years of important successes.
Over the past decade, those successes have happened largely through the dedicated efforts of Carol Soelberg, UFI President since 2006. A busy mother of 13 children, Carol has tirelessly given untold volunteer hours to the work of educating, advocating, and uniting the pro-family voice around the world. As Carol has recently retired as the President of UFI, we thank her for her tremendous service to the families of the world.
Recently, nearly 70 members and friends of UFI met together to make the changes in UFI officers and board members, and to strategize how UFI can move forward in “Securing A Future for the Family.” We thought you would appreciate reading highlights from this meeting’s informative presentations:
William C. Duncan, Director of the Marriage Law Foundation, and incoming UFI Board member: “By deciding that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional the U.S. Supreme Court has created two paths. The first, is a ‘slow motion Roe v. Wade’ where courts across the nation strike down marriage laws one by one, sometimes affecting the other states in the region. The other possibility is that courageous judges, acting on the large body of evidence favoring the concept of marriage as the union of a husband and wife, will allow the states (specifically, the people of the states) to retain a policy that recognizes that children are entitled to be raised by a married mother and father. This battle is not over yet.”
Margaret Dayton, Utah State Senator: “My priorities as a Senator have always been to support the Constitution of the United States (religious freedom is an essential part of that Constitution), and to promote measures that maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society. The mission of UFI connects with my priorities, and I align myself with the goals of this organization.”
Dr. Timothy Rarick, Ph.D., Brigham Young University-Idaho: “In a culture where many 18-to-25 year olds view marriage and family as impediments to their life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, I have seen a counter philosophy rising up among college students. For the past 2 1/2 years I have had the privilege of designing and teaching “Child & Family Advocacy.” This senior level course, required for students majoring in either Child Development or Marriage & Family Studies, focuses on the interaction between science, values, public policies, and religious doctrines relating to the well-being of children and the traditional family at the international, national, state, and community levels. Students learn how to employ research, persuasive speaking and writing skills, and the use of effective social media. To contradict a popular tune, they are not “waiting on the world to change,” they are advocating for the world to change!”
Jenny Cooper, UFI Intern: “All of my experiences with United Families–completing an internship with United Families Utah at the Utah Capitol, presenting during a side event at the UN with United Families International, and volunteering with them in other capacities–have solidified my passion to advocate for marriage, family, and children. They have helped me to understand that while knowledge is important, applying and sharing that knowledge is equally crucial. United Families International is made up of people who do just that; they not only work hard to understand the threats to the family, but work tirelessly to counteract them.”
Phil Marriott, outgoing UFI Chairman of the Board, continuing Board member: “I am so proud of UFI. Leaders like Carol Soelberg sacrifice time and their own finances because they love people, and want to defend and preserve the Family. UFI is like a modern David and Goliath in constant battle, fighting for Mothers, Fathers and Children. Our track record is impressive, and now, we are stepping it up a notch. Our “World Family News” website gives you daily world news about the family. Our “World Family Forum” website provides content to help families overcome the troubles they face, and information to help young and old learn how to best raise their children and be a better spouse. We base our findings on Social Science not just blind faith. But we need plenty of faith these days, to battle forces like addiction that are tearing apart families. The Family is the organization that will save our society. Let us earn your trust and help us serve your son or daughter or friend or stranger.
Robert Spiel, incoming UFI Chairman of the Board: “The history of UFI is one of success time and time again…against very long odds. True, not all battles have been won, but the impact we have had as an organization upon the families of the world through the influence we’ve had upon policy makers is tremendous. It reminds me of a thought I recently heard that applies perfectly to where UFI has been…and where it is going: Wind will snuff out a candle. But it feeds a fire. UFI’s successes have been because of the fire felt by each and every UFI member for the preservation and advancement of the family. Stiff head winds have met UFI at seemingly every turn – yet this organization has only become stronger because of it. It is a privilege now to help take UFI to a new level as the chairman elect.”
Carol Soelberg, outgoing UFI President: “It has been an honor to participate the past ten years in the fight to save the family. I have witnessed many miracles as ordinary but dedicated people have sacrificed to produce extraordinary results in implementing language, policy and programs that have helped sustain the family. I have felt both the thrill of success and the devastation of failure—And, of this I am certain: the natural family will prevail. It will be protected by the wonderful people around the world who recognize the importance of the family, see the threats against it and act in some way to preserve it. Simply put, YOU are the bottom line in saving families.”
Laura Bunker, incoming UFI President: “Every child comes out of the womb looking for someone who is looking for them. Decades of research and eons of time tell us that the best “someones” for children are the married mother and father who created them. The natural family is greater than the sum of it’s parts–it is the safest, healthiest place in the world for children, and as such, is the very foundation of society. If we believe something is “inevitable,” we shift the responsibility from ourselves. We all have unique opportunities within our own reach to strengthen and protect the family. Our job is to do what is within our reach to build again a family-centered civilization.”
Two new UFI websites were introduced at this meeting, with resources to help empower families:
- World Family News–daily news affecting your family. For example: “The only real protection for religious freedom is maintaining the traditional definition of marriage.”
- World Family Forum–family strengthening resources. For example: “A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.”
Also, the 2014 World Congress of Families was announced. It will be held in Moscow, Russia, and the theme will be, “Large Families–the Future of Humanity.” United Families International is proud to be a sponsoring partner in the World Congress of Families.
As UFI moves Forward for Families in 2013, won’t you consider contributing $20.13 to strengthening and protecting the Natural Family? We cannot do this important work without you!
President, United Families International