Fox Valley Community
Marriage Preparation Covenant

This project has been funded and supported by the
United Way Fox Valley Partnership Project.

The Community Marriage Preparation Policy is the
culmination of the time and commitment of several
pastors and key individuals in the Fox Valley Area.

We believe in healthy, successful marriages.  We believe such
marriages raise the threshold for healthy successful congregations
and communities.  We believe that engaged couples who participate
in pre-marital preparation have a better opportunity for healthy
successful marriages.  Because of these beliefs, and because we
know that almost 75% of all marriages are performed by clergy, we
believe we are in a unique position to affect marriage and family life
in our community.

Therefore, we accept the responsibility to raise the level of commitment
in those we marry and those couples who look to us for spiritual instruction.
We believe that this commitment to a better understanding of what
marriage involves, will also result in the reduction of failed and failing marriages.

Acting in the name of God and the community, we are committed to
asking every couple who comes to us to be married to participate in
pre-marital preparation.

A Wedding is a day,
A Marriage is a lifetime.

Therefore, we agree to pursue the following goals:

1. We will normally require a minimum of four months marriage preparation.

2. We will require a minimum of four preparation sessions, utilizing both
Scripture and a premarital inventory.

3. We will utilize trained mature married couples to serve as mentors
to work with engaged couples.

4. We will offer post-nuptial support sessions with clergy or mentor couples
within the first two years of marriage.

5. We will participate in a network that supports congregation and clergy in
helping marriages succeed by sharing resources and encouragement.

6. We will cooperate with other congregations to create a positive climate
in the Fox Valley which can help marriages to succeed.

We understand that the content of marriage preparation will include the following subjects:

conflict management skills
relationships with in-laws
relationship with work and careers
sex/sexuality
intimacy
finances
communications
spirituality
parenting
family of origin
cohabitation

We recognize that there is no one way to address marriage preparation, and
that decisions will have to be made by clergy based on their time, talent and
fiscal resources.  As a group dedicated to effective marriage preparation, we
will commit to learning more about marriage preparation resources especially:

premarital inventories
mentor-couple programs
large group programs
clergy one-to-ones
pre-marital counseling

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