Enjoy a free date-night meal and strengthen your relationship Wednesdays, 6:30-8pm (Sep-Dec, Jan-Apr) Register Now >
The Pre-Marriage Course is designed for people who are contemplating marriage (and/or planning to get married at Bloomingdale Church). The five-week course is much like a date night and fulfills a requirement for those who would like to be married at our church. The five sessions are: Communication, Commitment, Resolving Conflict, Keeping Love Alive, Shared Goals and Values
The Marriage Course is for couples who are seeking to strengthen their relationship. Some couples take the course to invest in their relationship, others need more urgent help. Either way, the course offers a lifetime of practical ideas and tools to help keep your relationship strong. The Marriage Course is based on Christian principles but designed for all couples with or without a church background.
On The Pre/Marriage Course, you are seated at your own table for two. Each session consists of food and drink, a practical talk and a time for private discussion between you and your partner. Background music ensures that you can chat in complete privacy. You never share anything about your relationship with anyone other than your partner.
Over seven sessions, the course will help you to:
Understand each other’s needs
Communicate more effectively
Grow closer by learning methods to resolve conflict
Recover from the ways you may have hurt each other
Recognize how your upbringing affects your relationship
Improve relationships with parents and in-laws
Develop greater sexual intimacy
Discover each other’s “love language” and much, much more….
On Wednesday nights, your kids can attend Awana Club too. Kids (age 0 – 6th grade)enjoy fun with friends, playing organized gym games, singing, learning values, and earning awards. Kids participate in age-specific groups: Puggles (age 2), Cubbies (ages 3-5), Sparks (K-1st-2nd), T&T (3rd-4th), or PAK (5th-6th). Kids are safely checked in and out. Dedicated volunteers invest in each child. Club shirt, book, bag, and awards included with $25 supplies fee.
Have you ever considered that the local church should regularly operate in a manner that is exactly the opposite of the world? For example, the world sees a couple get engaged and says: “Great! How can we make money from this couple?” ($32K, on average, according to The Knot).
In an effort to help couples get off to a good start in their marriage, Bloomingdale Church offered a free marriage preparation course that was held for five consecutive Wednesday nights and included a free dinner each night so the couples would not be so rushed. One of the pastor’s of the church worked with the couple to plan their wedding ceremony. A soloist from the church with a degree in vocal music sang. A very savvy young man took care of the sound and all the music playlists for both the service and the reception. An amateur photographer did their pictures. The church decorating committee tastefully decorated for the wedding with church-owned decorations. A deacon ordered and served the food for the reception, and an experienced wedding coordinator worked with family and friends to pull the entire occasion together.
None of these people were paid. In fact, that is what made the whole occasion especially joyful. You could feel the love of these Christians as they volunteered. We all made new friends in the process.
Today, while at L.A. Fitness a stranger came up to me and said, “That was a really nice wedding you conducted for Alexandra.”
Why is the church doing this when it could be charging for the wedding? We want to see couples get off to a good start in married life and even be able to buy a home with the money saved. If you are interested in what I’ve described go to bloomingdalechurch.org/weddings
The average wedding in suburban Chicago is $33,391 according to The Knot. It’s no wonder the number one reason people give me for why they have not gotten married is simply: “We haven’t been able to save enough money.”
Last May I was involved in the most beautiful wedding. The bride looked as dazzling as a movie star. Her friends and family were all smiles as they saw how sharp her boys and stepdaughter were dressed. The groom looked like he stepped off the cover of GQ magazine as he watched his bride come down the long center aisle of the church on her beaming father’s arm.
It did not take long before the ceremony was underway. When it came time to exchange rings, many people, including myself, were in tears. This couple could not afford to buy wedding rings so a friend of the family said, “You can have the rings my father and mother left me. I had them soldered together but I will get them separated and burnished at the jeweler.” There was so much love in the sanctuary during the ring ceremony, no wonder there were so many tears of joy.
At the conclusion of the wedding, the bride and groom exited to Al Green’s “I’m Still in Love with You,” and walked into the church’s reception hall which had been decorated by family and friends.
They cut a beautiful three-tiered wedding cake that had been baked and decorated by a terrific baker in our church. We also ate other goodies prepared by people from the church. In the words of Brandon and Kiara: “God is who brought us together, even through the stormy weather. We know the devil is clever, but we know that God is way better.”
If you have ever attended an 11am worship hour at Bloomingdale Church, more than likely you’ve seen Head Ushers Curtis and Danielle W. greeting at the front doors. They always have big smiles and are willing to give comforting hugs.
We are grateful that some friends invited Curtis and Danielle to an Alpha Course in 2005. Although they both had religious backgrounds growing up, they have had dramatically different experiences and fell away from any organized religion in their adult lives. Curtis was raised Baptist until he was fifteen and then attended meetings of the Jehovah’s Witnesses until he was 18. Danielle was raised Jewish, and had never attended a church before she visited Bloomingdale.
They will tell you that their experiences in the Alpha Course changed their lives. Pastor Bill became a support friend through Wednesday night Alpha, even with his crazy Alpha joke time.
The Alpha Course led Curtis and Danielle to start attending worship and they become more involved in the church fellowship. In September 2006, they both made the commitment to be baptized at BC as followers of Christ.
They attended Joe and Andrea Z.’s first Alpha 2.0 class. They later went on to lead that course for several years after Joe and Andrea left for international work. Now, Curtis and Danielle are instrumental members of Joe and Andrea’s Barnabas group, a team that seeks to encourage international workers.
As deacons, Curtis and Danielle can often be found serving all around the church. However, if you ask them what their favorite activity outside of worship service is, they will tell you it’s participating in Day Camp with Marina R. every June as well as volunteering during BC’s annual Interdependence Day Celebration. Danielle enjoys the Tuesday night Women’s Break for the lessons she learns each week and the wonderful women in her table group.
Since January 2012, Curtis and Danielle have really enjoyed facilitating the Date Night/Marriage Courseon Wednesday nights. Married for more than 20 years themselves, they know that all enduring relationships take work. “We would recommend this course to those in all kinds of relationships who want to grow strong together through all situations,” said Curtis.
They have served couples engaged to be married and those who have been married for 40-plus years. “A common misconception is that couples take this class only when they are having trouble,” said Danielle. “We encourage all couples to take it. It certainly allows you some quiet, private time to strengthen your relationship.”
The course is nicknamed “Date Night” because couples are served a home-cooked meal in a soft-light setting at tables for two. The material produced by the folks that brought us Alpha is presented, and discussion is only between you and your partner. The children’s program, AWANA, functions at the same time, keeping the children (ages 2-Grade 6) safely occupied during the couples’ date night.
Curtis and Danielle know something about children. Their third child, Tyler, is 19 and has grown up at BC. He is currently attending College of DuPage and lives at home with Curtis and Danielle in Addison. Their older children have grown and started families of their own. Daughter Kiara is 25, and she has 5-year-old Joe and 4-year-old Isaiah. Curtis and Danielle’s son Belden is 23 years old and has 2-year-old Lorrell. No one will worry about the Washington house being an empty nest! There is always room for grandbabies, and rescued pups George, Bailey, and Bella who are always eager for the boys to visit.
As Curtis and Danielle approach their 10th year attending BC, they said it is impossible to pick out a single favorite memory. However, if you run into them some Sunday morning just ask them for a story. They will be glad to share one.
Our Neighbors: sharing stories about some of Bloomingdale Church’s people.
Imagine an evening where you sit at a candle-lit table, eat a thoughtfully prepared home-cooked and talk only to your spouse or fiancée in a private setting. Each week there is practical help by way of video coaching from Nicky & Sila Lee, an engaging couple who have been successfully married for over thirty-five years and have four children. The meal is free, and if you have children they are welcome at our children’s club program, Awana which meets in the main facility at the same time.
The Alpha Marriage Course begins on Wed Feb 4, 6:30-8:30 pm in the lower level of the north building. The cost is $13.00 for the two workbooks, but everything else is free. Curtis and Danielle W lead the course and Karla A is the chef.