by Gary Murakami
He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Married Couples in Christ (MC2) is a ministry for married couples who want to grow in their relationship to God, their spouse, and other couples in the group. Our couples are newlywed to 37 years married with the average at 19 years married.
Before Evergreen SGV moved to our current campus in 2007, two MC2 marriage groups were meeting in homes in Arcadia and Walnut. In order to capitalize on meeting space at the church property and the close proximity of the youth group meetings, the two groups merged into one group in 2008. We now meet in the Café primarily on the first Fridays of the month at the same time as the youth group meetings.
Generally, our format begins with yummy snacks as couples arrive. Then we have a devotional message from our speaker who could be Pastor Cory or any of the other pastors. Examples of some of the past topics are: Five Requirements for Successful Change, Rules for Life, Praying as a Couple, Fellowship with Family, and Stages of Marriage. Discussion questions are provided by the speaker and are discussed as we break up into small groups of 3 or 4 couples to share and pray.
A feature of this marriage ministry is that we provide childcare for young children on campus for a nominal fee. Some of our meetings are actually designated as “date nights”. On these nights, after a short devotional, the couples go off-site on their own for a date where they can discuss a list of questions given to them. Childcare is available for these nights too.
We also have enjoyed special meetings where a catered dinner is served or a movie is shown. At our November meeting last year, we hosted a square dance for couples in the church with a professional caller. Pastor Cory does not enjoy square dancing but he even said it wasn’t as bad as he thought it would be. Because it was so popular, we will be repeating it again this November.
The leadership for MC2 consists of Pastor Ron Miyake, Sherry & Jimmy Lee, Donelle & Gary Murakami, Stella & Benny Wu, Anna & Allen Yee, and Arlene & Gary Yee. The aim of the leadership core is to serve the couples in the ministry so that those couples can grow in their marriages.
Through the years I have been involved with this ministry, I have experienced blessings as I witness the same results year after year.
· Couples are engaged with each other. As I observe couples in their groups, they are interested, and ready to share. Even the reluctant spouse warms up after a short while and actively participates in discussing things about their marriage.
· Couples become friends. Invariably, couples connect with other couples in their small group and get to know someone else that they did not even know before or get to know acquaintances at a deeper level. These ties have led to many couples becoming friends for years afterwards.
· Couples support one another. As we learn new principles or practices that will help our marriages, it is not always easy to make the necessary changes. I am blessed that couples pray for one another to support each other and follow up later to help them be accountable.
· Couples realize that they are not so different from others. This is a very common occurrence shared by our couples. As we share about our marriages, we find that we imagined we were the only ones with marriages like ours, but we are wrong; we are really much more alike than we thought.
I have a lot to be thankful for as God has blessed the couples that have committed to investing in their marriages by attending MC2.
Because we value having stable, consistent small groups, we open up the ministry to new couples at the beginning of the year. We would love to have other couples join us for our next session beginning in January 2018. Announcements for signups will be made beginning in November.