Friday, January 28, 2011

Local couples can renew vows at Feb 13 ceremony

Becki Robinson, coordinator for the Marriage Resource Center of Miami Valley’s Greene County satellite office, prepares for several upcoming events meant to forge lasting relationships. One of those events is “A Celebration of Marriage.” The Sunday, Feb. 13, ceremony will allow married couples to renew their vows and learn more about what makes a healthy marriage.

Published in Xenia-Gazette 1/27/2011 10:10:00 PM

Local couples can renew vows at Feb. 13 ceremony
XENIA — Greene County couples will get to strengthen their bonds and reaffirm their love on Sunday, Feb. 13, when the Marriage Resource Center of Miami Valley holds “A Celebration of Marriage” at Emmanuel Baptist Church, 1120 S. Detroit St.

The event, which will take place during Marriage Week USA, is meant to be a community-wide ceremony that helps couples recapture their zeal and rekindle their commitment to their marriages. The ceremony will begin at 3 p.m. with a vow renewal, giving attendees an opportunity to repeat the words spoken to their significant other on their wedding day. Certificates will be provided for participants.

Following the vow renewal, time will be taken out to honor those who provide essential instruction and guidance to couples before and during marriage. During the mentor recognition segment of the event, mentors will stand and be recognize for their efforts to build and preserve healthy relationships between spouses. Marriage mentoring, says Becki Robinson, the Greene County coordinator of the Marriage Resource, has made an unappreciated contribution to the preservation of relationships.

“Statistics show there is a 90 percent success rating for couples who take a year of dating, courtship and mentoring,” said Robinson.

After the mentor recognition, local pastors, businessmen and city officials will join together with the signing of a marriage policy that declares their commitment to the institution of marriage. According to Robinson, the policy affirms local leadership’s conviction that strong communities are built on the bedrock of strong marriages.

“This marriage policy shows their dedication to the idea that healthy marriages lead to healthy families,” said Robinson. “In turn, healthy families lead to a healthy community.”

Before the event comes to a close at 5:30 p.m., a reception will be held, complete with wedding cake and punch. The Marriage Resource Center’s Greene County office will also be open for attendees to visit.

Robinson hopes to have Greene County’s longest married couple present at the celebration. People wishing to nominate a couple for consideration are encouraged to visit the Marriage Resource Center’s website at or contact Becki Robinson at 937-324-3604. Couples wishing to register for the vow renewal or get more information can also visit the website or call 937-689-0149.

The Sunday, Feb. 13, ceremony will set the stage for a Real Intimacy and Growth Skills (RINGS) class on Feb 19. The class, which will be held from 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Emmanuel Baptist Church, seeks to equip couples with the tools and skills required to build and preserve a loving and lasting marriage.

“The class does not present what is ideal,” said Robinson. “It gives practical tools. Some men are scared of the RINGS class. I tell the guys that we don’t sit in a circle and share our feelings. It’s about getting the tools that help people be successful in marriage.”

The class will be carried out in an informal classroom setting, complete with lunch and learning materials. Attendees will be asked to envision the goals and benefits of a loving, lasting marriage. In addition, mentors will help couples learn how to strengthen their communication and conflict resolution skills. The class, says Robinson, is well-suited for couples of all stages.

“So many people think, ‘My marriage is doing okay. I don’t have to do anything,’” said Robinson. “When you have a car, you have to have regular maintenance. When you have a plant, you need to water it or it will die. Likewise, you need to do something that keeps life and health in your relationship.”

The cost of the class is $40, which covers workbooks and refreshments. Interested couples can check the website or call to register and learn about discounted rates.

The Marriage Resource Center of Miami Valley was founded in 2004 to address the high divorce rate in Clark County. In 2006, the center began offering classes in Greene County. Three years later, a satellite office was started in Greene County at Emmanuel Baptist Church. The center, which is working to procure its own building in Greene County, partners with community churches and works to inspire marriage success by developing initiatives that build value and skills for healthy relationships.