Church Impact
Highlights

To make it more accessible, we’ve turned email updates into a streamlined landing page for further details.

Adventures in Marriage retreat at our church partner in Lake Ridge, Virginia.

She arrived at her church’s weekend marriage retreat expecting her struggling marriage to end in divorce.

And, she was not alone. Of the 128 who attended this church’s Adventures in Marriage retreat, 16 of those participants were actively considering divorce.

By the end of the weekend, her heart moved.

“This weekend saved our marriage. I am not kidding. Before we came, I thought we were finished, but now I can’t believe I have hope again!

She wasn’t the only one. 

  • 15 of those in attendance who were considering divorce (93.75 percent) left the retreat recommitted to their marriage.

 

The post-retreat survey numbers and feedback from this Communio partner church’s first marriage retreat were eye-popping.  In all, 34 of the participants beforehand said they did not feel bonded or connected with their spouse. Afterwards that number dropped to just 1.

Adventures in Marriages (AIM for short) is the name of the marriage retreat created by  Richard Albertson and his wife Elizabeth. AIM was the workhorse program for our church partners in Jacksonville, Florida during Communio’s successful 2016-2018 pilot. 

And, our partner church in Northern Virginia – St. Elizabeth Ann Seton – saw incredible movement in the post-retreat surveys.  Before the retreat, 78 of the 128 participants said they were not confident in their ability to resolve conflict in a healthy way.

Afterwards, that number dropped by 95 percent. By the way, I’ve included some pictures from this retreat at the end of the email.  They had more than 50 children in their childcare attracting a strong number of young families.  The participant feedback was amazing – you can read all the participant feedback by clicking here.  But, I’ll share a few of the highlights:

“This was a life-changing experience. Truthfully was completely convinced our marriage was going to end after years of trying.  Both of us have been determined to make things work but counseling made it seem irreparable. This class gave us insights to ourselves, our styles of personality conflict resolution and a perspective found nowhere else.”

Another retreat guest shared:

“The practicality of exercises was just what we needed after years of very heady spiritual formation that wasn’t helping us resolve concrete and emotional issues.”

Couples conversing at the Adventures in Marriage retreat in Lake Ridge, Virginia.
128 people attended the Adventures in Marriage retreat.

Outreach Event at Valley Community in Avon, Connecticut

Valley Community Baptist Church in Avon, Connecticut brought in Grammy-nominated artist Ryan Stevenson to hold a concert. In all, 510 attended this special evening.  The concert was Valley Community’s latest deployment of their Full-Circle Relationship Ministry. Jay Kuhrt, the pastor running point for this ministry, has been encouraged:

Here’s the thing that I have noticed in the short time that I’ve been with Communio. Our church has never been more creative than it is right now … We’ve never done things like a game night just to have fun with people. We’ve never done a date night challenge, which was hysterical – it was a lot of fun.

Communio has delivered to us a strategy, it’s given us something to look forward to, and it has brought on creativity. We’ve already seen numbers of people come into or community as a result of things that we are doing.  

And it’s working. Valley Community’s Sunday attendance has grown 22 percent since the beginning of their partnership with Communio.

St. Patrick's Sunday attendance is up 19 percent - Kansas City, Kansas

St. Patrick Church in Kansas City  – named for the ancient Irish saint and not Patrick Mahomes.

Over the better part of two years, this parish has had nearly 2,000 attend various outreach events, ongoing engagements, and growth journeys.  This has included:

  • At the Growth Journey level: St.Patrick Church ran the Evermore in Love skills-based marriage retreat, the Marriage Course by Alpha, and Building a Eucharistic Marriage.
  • For ongoing Engagement: This is the 70 percent fun/30 percent enrichment stage: hosting ice cream socials, a couples’ wine and cheese nights, and a date night challenge.
  • Multiple Outreach events: The church has invited the community to multiple hayrides and evening bonfires and an annual Easter Egg Hunt.

All this ongoing relationship ministry is producing real fruit as the parish’s Sunday attendance is up 19 percent over the last two years. 

The parish staff member running the ministry shared with our team that she is seeing more and more young families at ministry events, and even seeing grandparents engaging with their children and grandchildren at those events.  Oftentimes this is bringing back families who had long ago stopped attending church.

Nearly 4,000 first-time guests - Big Sky Country

Now, flying further west, we could visit the largest city in Big Sky Country, where Faith Evangelical Church in Billings, Montana, hosted a couples’ comedy night that drew in 800 attendees.  In all, 450 – or 56 percent of those in attendance – were outside guests to the church.

Two hours down Interstate 90, one of the largest churches in Montana – Journey Church – also hosted a couple’s comedy date night with more than 3,000 in attendance over two nights.  We’re still waiting on numbers for those who were first-time guests. 

LifeFamily Church hosted a Daddy/Daughter Dance - Austin, Texas

Our large, multi-site evangelical church partner in Austin, Texas – LifeFamily Church – hosted a Daddy/Daughter Dance to engage husbands and fathers.  Registrations were capped at 270 and the event There is clearly a huge demand for these types of opportunities.

A High Demand for Marriage Courses in Charlotte, North Carolina.

In Charlotte, our partner – Good Shepherd is in the middle of running another 16-week Re|Engage class.

They currently have 40 married people in the class, which is the current maximum number that they take on. This marriage-focused church that recently broke with the United Methodist communion has a wait list of people seeking to attend every time they offer the class. Because of the demand, Communio is supporting their dynamic marriage pastor to bring in Adventures in Marriage as a secondary skills-based growth journey for their couples.