Enriching marriage through online Bible study and getaway weekends

Throughout the month of February, hundreds of WELS members have joined the Interactive Faith online Bible study discussing marriage led by Rev. Randy Hunter. The final session will be tomorrow, Wed., Feb. 22. Hunter will be leading the study live at both 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. (central). If you’ve missed this Interactive Faith series, archived sessions are available at livestream.com/interactivefaith for viewing at your convenience.

While some couples participate at home, some congregations have been using the online study for group Bible study. Members of Mt. Calvary, Redding, Calif., have been meeting each week as a group to participate in the study.

“This was our first Interactive Faith done as a group. I think it might have been the first anyone did here,” says Rev. Brian Doebler, pastor at Mt. Calvary. “The main benefit of the Interactive Faith is the expertise from other pastors you can bring into your own church. Pastor Hunter regularly does marriage retreats and brings a lot of research, biblical insight, planning, and experience. Plus, I got to participate with my wife as a student rather than the teacher.”

Hunter says he wrote this study to help couples continue the conversations that will help grow their marriage. “Each of the study guides includes conversations that can continue for weeks to come. Sometimes the timing isn’t right or the couple next to us is too close or maybe one spouse just needed to think about it more. Couples can take their study guide with them on date night and rekindle the conversation at a restaurant, coffee shop, or on a walk. The online study may only last an hour, but the conversations can continue for many more,” he says. The study guides can be downloaded for free at cad.welsrc.net.

Beyond the online study, Hunter travels around the country to lead marriage enrichment weekends hosted by congregations. He says, “One reason WELS Marriage Enrichment and Getaway Weekends are so successful is the unique Lutheran emphasis on our fallen nature and the rescue Jesus has carried out. The Spirit uses that message to change hearts; I just follow up with application of the difference that makes in our marriages, skills that demonstrate the fruit of faith, and help couples learn from other couples.”

Though individual congregations organize these weekends, anyone is invited to attend. Upcoming marriage enrichment weekends are scheduled in Zion, Ill., March 17-19; Leesburg, Va., April 21-23; Lake Mary, Fla., Aug. 4-6; and Deadwood, S.D., Oct. 20-22. Learn more about these marriage enrichment weekends at wels.net/events.