Sample CMP from Oakland County Michigan
To: Marriage Activists
Fm: Mike McManus, President
This Oakland County Community Marriage Policy is an excellent model for
community clergy to consider for several reasons:
1. Oakland County is a major suburb of Detroit, with 1.2 million
residents, the 30th largest county in America.
2. It sets reasonable goals, such as "to radically reduce the divorce
rate and increase marriages in area congregations." The divorce reduction goal
was included in the first Community Marriage Policy which accomplished far more
- a 57% reduction of the divorce rate on a county-wide basis, and an increase of
marriages from 1,300 a year to 2,700, though that was partly due to population
3. The strategy to accomplish the goals is stated simply and eloquently.
Oakland County Michigan
This Community Marriage Policy
expresses the common concerns of
the faith community regarding the
need to establish a culture of
marriage and family and to
strengthen and nurture proposed and existing marriages.*
created the dignity and companionship of marriage and family that is revered in
time, tradition and scriptures of the Children of Abraham, and that God intends
the marital bond and covenant to endure in the vowed husband and wife for the duration of a
leaders and religious and community advocates of marriage and family, we have a
responsibility to raise the standard for preparing, nourishing, strengthening,
and restoring marriages. This preparation begins early in life and continues
throughout the life cycle by living the values of good marriage.
the Grace of God, our efforts will secure the fundamental integrity of marriage
and family, radically reduce the divorce rate and increase marriages in area
congregations; we also believe we will sharply reduce cohabitation and
out-of-wedlock birth rates among teens and adults and thereby improve the
quality of marriage and family life in Oakland County.
four to six months of marriage preparation that includes a premarital inventory
and the processing of results with a trained mentor couple, who also teach
skills of communication and conflict resolution along with biblical principles of a successful marriage.
courtships of at least a year.
abstinence outside of marriage and fidelity within it.
at least two post-wedding mentoring sessions with clergy or a mentoring couple
within the first year of marriage.
mature married couples to serve as mentors to work with engaged couples,
newlyweds, and those experiencing marital difficulties.
all existing marriages with an annual retreat, videos and conferences conducted
at each church.
hurting spouses and marriages in crisis by training couples whose own marriages
once nearly failed to mentor those in trouble.
the case of a separated couple, help the spouse trying to save his/her marriage
by taking a workbook course with a friend of the same gender over 12 weeks to
help that person grow so much that he or she attracts back their errant mate.
couples with step children who normally divorce at a 70% rate to join a Step
Family Support Group which can save 80% of those marriages.
and share human and material resources with other houses of worship to support,
strengthen and safeguard marriage and family as vital institutions in our
Create a non-profit organization to assist Oakland County congregations in
achieving these goals and extending them to more houses of worship over time.
aspire, like “a city on a hill,” to be a beacon of hope for other communities.