Valentine's Day Weddings (Romans 12, Issue 268)
Issue 268 — February 11, 2016
Valentine's Day Weddings
The Chapel of Friendly Bells at Trinity United Methodist Church in downtown Youngstown, Ohio, once again will be the site for numerous weddings on Valentine’s Day.
Many people's attention turns to love and marriage on Valentine's Day. Taking note of all the extra traffic at the marriage license office at the Mahoning County Courthouse, which is next door to Trinity UMC, the church members decided to offer hospitality.
Rev. Jerry Krueger, pastor of Trinity UMC, said that hosts at the welcome center at the Chapel of Friendly Bells will greet the couples, ask for identification and marriage license, and the $50 fee that will be used to benefit two local food ministries. That $50 is the only cost to the wedding couples. Weddings on Valentine’s Day are conducted on a first-come, first-served basis; and attendants and guests are welcome.
Pastor Jerry of Trinity UMC and his wife, Rev. Susan Brown of Canfield UMC, offer a simple, Christian wedding service that includes traditional wedding vows, the exchange of rings, Scripture, and a blessing of the couple. Wedding vow renewal services are also offered on Valentine’s Day.
The clergy couple said although the Valentine’s Day weddings are first-come, first-served, marriage is a serious commitment between two people. “They are choosing to be married in a United Methodist church and making an effort to begin their married life in covenant relationship,” Pastor Jerry said. “It’s a covenant relationship with each other and God.”
“We value the covenant of marriage, and that will be conveyed,” Pastor Susan said. Scripture passages will include 1 Corinthians 13, “Love is patient, love is kind ....” and Colossians 3:12-14, which is about the treatment of one another.
There also will be follow-up to the weddings, just as the pastors would do with a scheduled wedding at their churches.
Pastor Jerry said, “We want the couples to know they can use the church as a resource at all stages of life.” For young couples planning a family, this may be an opportunity to “reconnect with a church over time,” Pastor Susan said.
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
- What unique ministry opportunity is connected to the location of your church? Do people need a place to gather for services such as voting or health services?
- What hospitality can your church offer that leads to blessing a secular situation?
- When your church welcomes community activities, what follow-up activities are planned?
Produced by Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church to communicate effective principles and practices demonstrated by congregations that are actively making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
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