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 Marriage Savers at Preparing, Strengthening, and Restoring Marriages  
Marriage Savers: Building Stronger Communities One Marriage at Time.

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Since 1986 and in more than 200 Cities Marriage Savers has helped couples:
Prepare for lifelong marriages
Strengthen existing marriages
Restore troubled marriages
1. Why is a Community Marriage Policy® needed?
2. What is a Community Marriage Policy®?
3. What does the community agree to?
4. What are the results of a Community Marriage Policy®?
5. What are others saying?
6. How do we start a Community Marriage Policy®?
7. What can we do today?

5. What Others are Saying about Marriage Savers

Community Marriage Policies work. Below are two letters from pastors who have participated in forming a CMP in their community. Listen to their stories then find out what you can do to help start a CMP in your community.

Plymouth, Indiana

November 30, 2007

Dear Mike & Harriet,

Six years ago we attended a training you conducted at the Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky. The orientation and exposure you gave us there regarding marriage mentor programming was a great help to the formulation of Family Foundations, a marriage and family ministry organization operating here in northern Indiana. After serving as directors for that ministry organization for five years, my wife and I then began our own ministry, Marriage Ministry Partnerships, taking those mentor programs and marriage education venues beyond northern Indiana.

It has been a most exciting journey to see between 150 and 200 marriage mentor couples trained in five counties and numerous couples helped through those mentor programs and our marriage seminars and workshops. After twenty-three years in pastoral ministry, we are passionately convinced that investing in Christian marriages can provide a seedbed for the single most significant need anywhere: to see the church experience renewal and revival. That is why we emphasize, in our marriage mentor training and seminars/workshops, the need of couples seeking the Lord together in prayer.

Our familiarity with and respect for the contribution Marriage Savers has made in the marriage arena has increased profoundly during these last several years. Participant feedback and affirmation from colleagues tell us that our mentor training programs and marriage education emphases Can provide an even more significant contribution if done in partnership with an organization such as yours. We are interested in working with or for the two of you as you continue at the forefront of the marriage movement in America.

We hope to hear from you soon to discuss any possibilities that might result from joining our efforts with you in this exciting and ever expanding movement.


Paul & Sara Spasic
Marriage Ministry Partnerships

Partnering with YOU to foster Christ-centered marriages and revival I

Evansville, IN

Dear Mike,

The people of Evansville, Indiana have a fresh reason to thank you and Marriage Savers for helping us create a Community Marriage Policy which we call Community Marriage Builders.

There was an average of 1,593 divorce filings from 1994-1997 before the Diocese of Evansville (with 72 churches) joined 27 Protestant churches to sign our interfaith covenant in 1998. I am pleased to report that in 2003-2005, we averaged 1,293 divorce filings, which is a significant 20% drop in the divorce rate. Hundreds of families have preserved marriages that would have probably ended in divorce, with untold trauma to many, particularly their children.

In addition, we are particularly proud to report that the number of marriages has risen. From 1997-2003, there were an average of only 1,143 marriages per year. But there were an average of 1,324 marriages in 2004-2005. That is a 16% increase in the marriage rate. What makes this especially important is that in the same time, the U.S. marriage rate fell by 9%.

Marriage Savers gave us the vision and the initial training of clergy and mentor couples to launch marriage-saving strategies at every stage of marriage:

  • To assist couples to prepare for a lifelong marriage,
  • To enrich thousands of existing marriages,
  • To save many of the troubled ones,
  • To help stepparents be successful parents and partners.

In the past, Catholics and Protestant churches competed with one another. Historically the Catholic Diocese has required six months of marriage preparation while most Protestant churches had no time requirement. The result was that when a Catholic married a Protestant, many would marry in the Protestant church which was less demanding. That was neither in the interest of the couple nor of either Christian church. However, in the Community Marriage Policy, Protestant clergy agreed to a four-six month minimum time of marriage preparation. This higher standard has clearly paid dividends for all of Evansville.

We are particularly grateful for the leadership that Dr. Ann Gries has given Community Marriage Builders with the financial support of Catholic Charities, the United Way and dozens of participating churches. Thanks to her leadership, there are now 175 churches cooperating in this ministry, 103 Protestant and all 70 Catholic congregations including those in eleven counties beyond Vanderburgh County. And she has helped two more nearby counties create Community Marriage Policies which will be signed in July.

Sadly, we still have more divorce filings (1,290 in 2005) than marriages (1,230 in 2005). Of course, many who file for divorce do not go through with it. Unfortunately, the county does not gather data on the number of finalized divorces, but that figure is probably one-third lower than these numbers of divorce filings. Even so, it appears that our divorce rate is higher than the nation as a whole which has one divorce for every two marriages. Thus, a large task remains before us.

Nonetheless, Marriage Savers helped Evansville launch a series of initiatives that are both preserving hundreds of marriages that would have ended in divorce and encouraging hundreds of additional couples to marry. You predicted on the day Evansville clergy signed our Community Marriage Policy that "This is a new day for marriage in Evansville, and an old one for divorce." We are pleased to report that the data backs up your prediction!

May the Lord continue to bless you and your work!

Gratefully yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Gerald A. Gettelfinger
Bishop of Evansville

How do you start a CMP? It's not as hard as you think.