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Sample CMP from Oakland County Michigan

To:  Marriage Activists
Fm: Mike McManus, President
       Marriage Savers

       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 growth.

       3.  The strategy to accomplish the goals is stated simply and eloquently.

Oakland County Michigan Community Marriage Policy

Preamble: 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.*

 

We Believe:

God 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 lifetime.

As 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.

By 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.

 

We Will Therefore:

Encourage 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.

Encourage courtships of at least a year.

Affirm abstinence outside of marriage and fidelity within it.

Offer at least two post-wedding mentoring sessions with clergy or a mentoring couple within the first year of marriage. 

Train mature married couples to serve as mentors to work with engaged couples, newlyweds, and those experiencing marital difficulties.

Enrich all existing marriages with an annual retreat, videos and conferences conducted at each church.

Heal hurting spouses and marriages in crisis by training couples whose own marriages once nearly failed to mentor those in trouble.

In 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.

Enable 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.

Collaborate and share human and material resources with other houses of worship to support, strengthen and safeguard marriage and family as vital institutions in our community.

To Create a non-profit organization to assist Oakland County congregations in achieving these goals and extending them to more houses of worship over time.

To aspire, like a city on a hill, to be a beacon of hope for other communities.