Would it work as well online? What about the candlelit dinners? What are the opportunities that COVID lockdowns provide? What about the refreshed and renewed content for this seven- session course?
These were some of the questions that Bill and Julia Brown considered as they pivoted to run The Marriage Course Online rather than in person. They had planned one course for May-June 2020. At the point of writing they are one week away from the last session in their third course for the year with 102 couples having participated as well as 2 singles.
Of the 102 couples there have been 24 couples in pastoral/staff leadership roles in churches and numerous others in ministry leadership roles. As well there were 14 couples where one or both partners were not connected in with a church. People linked in from city and country regions, from Victoria and from interstate with one from PNG as well, from English speaking backgrounds and numerous other language backgrounds. At least two couples who participated are now facilitating courses of their own and several other couples are exploring the possibility of doing so in their community.
Participating in The Marriage Course is a wonderful way to invest in your relationship whether it is in good shape or whether it need some revitalization. People young and old, some not yet married or even engaged, some struggling and seeing this as perhaps as a final effort all acknowledge the help that it has been.
Doing the course online has made it very accessible to many more couples. Chatting as a couple in the privacy of your own home has been a winner and allowed conversations to go deeper. Not having to find baby-sitters has been a gift. Children and teenagers seeing parents intentionally investing in their marriage has been an unexpectant and welcome bonus. It is true that we want to model what we want caught.
Couples have fed back that the course is gentle in the way it goes about addressing big topics and nourishing a relationship. It gives tools to work on issues raised and there is a good balance of input from a range of experts and interview couples followed by opportunity for structured discussion.
The Marriage Course is a great way to strengthen marriages and families. It addresses some great opportunities in local communities, and is a wonderful on-ramp into Alpha Courses, parenting courses and the church community.
Bill and Julia are planning on facilitating more courses in 2021 starting in February. For more details email Bill on firstname.lastname@example.org or look out for more information via the BUV bulletins early in 2021.