Good communication is the foundation of any marriage, but communication issues continue to be the number one reason that couples seek counseling. Often it is just some simple bad habits causing the problems. Once it gets started, negative patterns tend to escalate when both spouses repeat them. In this interactive workshop, we will take a look at some of the most common barriers and mistakes in communication patterns in marriage, and you will learn how they can be resolved.

how to spot and deal with Troublesome and Toxic people. Almost every group will have one or more of what we call “EGRs.” EGR stands for: Extra Grace Required. These are well-meaning but high-demanding people who can derail a group discussion if not dealt with in a healthy, biblical way. In addition to this, there are often Toxic individuals who have little to no regard to the damage they leave in their wake when they get involved in a church. We will be teaching on how to spot these individuals and deal with them directly, firmly and graciously before they cause division and chaos.

It is not usually a question of IF you will face a crisis in your life together as a couple; it is more a question of WHEN you will face an unexpected crisis. Successful and thriving marriages are not immune to “Life Happening.” In thriving marriages, both individuals have learned how to work together as a team and to effectively cope with and adapt to the changes that occur in life. In this interactive workshop, you will learn how to effectively communicate, cope with and adapt to the unexpected changes that happen throughout your marriage.

How to Successfully Discuss Difficult Issues At West Ridge Community Church November 4, 7:00 to 8:30 PM Every couple has had topics and issues that are difficult if not almost impossible to discuss and resolve. Often our fears and past experience or learned behavior from growing up get in the way of our ability to feel comfortable discussing particular issues with our spouses. In a healthy relationship, it is of utmost importance to learn to trust one another enough to be vulnerable with one another in the areas where we are most sensitive and/or fearful. In this interactive workshop, we will discuss many of these “Hard To Talk About” topics and help you to take the next step in honing your communication skills.

It was a real pleasure to work with Alexander and Melanie and to be the officiant for their wedding.  The couple resides in Louisiana and until recently we did most of our planning by online video conferencing.  These two are former Marines and met as they were being deployed to combat duty. The worked hard to build their relationship when they had months of active duty in which each was assigned to different parts of the world.  A very unique aspect of their ceremony was a painting they did for the Unity Celebration. They each had a canvass on an easel on the opposite side of the room from each other. They pre-painted the background on the canvass and then each did ½ of the painting on their canvass.  When they were done, they took their pictures off the easels and met in the middle of the room holding them together so that everyone could see that they blended together in one picture. The guests applauded their work.

Ron and Christy were married at the Enzo and Lucia Ristorante in Long Grove on Saturday, July 14. We had originally planned to have the wedding outside by a beautiful fountain in the back garden area of the restaurant, but it was raining lightly and the wedding was moved inside to one of the private banquet rooms. Everyone at the restaurant was extremely helpful to make things work for the wedding.

This was the first wedding I officiated for in which the couple had a Ketubuh signing. The Ketubah is a Jewish marriage contract, outlining the responsibilities of the bride and the groom. The Ketubah confirms that the couple are both willingly accept each other and assume obligations to one another. One of the oldest elements of a Jewish wedding, the Ketubah dates back over two thousand years. Today the Ketubah is more spiritual, and not usually legal covenants that the bride and groom make with one another. Often the bride, groom and Rabbi signed the Ketubah in the presence of two witnesses, family and friends. Ron and Christy chose to have it as part of the ceremony and it was a wonderful addition to a very nice family oriented wedding.

Sarah and Mike invited me to be involved in their wedding ceremony at Kuipers Farm in
Maple Park on Friday the 13th of July. I had a great time officiating their ceremony and
they were fun to work with. Kuipers Farm is a great setting for an outdoor wedding and
they have a fun train ride that the wedding party and guests can take after the
ceremony.

Sarah and Mike use the Unity Cross for their Unity Ceremony. They got the cross
online and it was a nice addition to the wedding. There is a base for the cross with a
small drawer in it for them to store a love note to each other. The main cross in put in
the base by the groom and represents his leadership and protection of the bride. The
bride then has an ornate cross that is placed inside the larger cross that represents her
beauty and the many capabilities of women. The crosses are held together by three
pegs placed by the couple which represent the trinity and the scripture stating that a
three stranded cord cannot be broken.

I had never officiated a wedding before at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Wheaton for Juan and Jenice on June 16, 2018.  The original chapel of the church is a beautiful building that dates from the 1800’s and is a perfect setting for a wedding.  The all dark wood building has super high arches and beautiful stained glass windows.  We are pictured in an adjacent modern fellowship hall next to the chapel.  Juan is a Marine and wore his dress uniform.  This was a very hot day even for a 10 AM wedding but the building is air conditioned and very comfortable.  Several family members were involved in the ceremony including both of their mothers for the candle lighting unity ceremony.

The Weston Hotel in Itasca was the setting for the wedding I officiated for Leo and Mary on June 15, 2018.  I had not been at this venue and is it ever a beautiful setting for a wedding.  Attached to the hotel is a giant air conditioned/heated tent that overlooks the lake and is a wonderful place for a wedding and/or reception.  There is a great patio outside the tent and then a walkway down to the lake.  The bridal party walks down the walkway with guest seated on either side for a lakeside wedding with a great giant fountain off to the left.  Both Leo and Mary were easy to work with.  We did not have a rehearsal but everything went flawlessly in this relaxed wedding.  The wireless microphone I was using kept cutting out and the sound guys immediately ran a wired mike up to me from their sound booth about 100 feet away & all was good.

I officiated the ceremony for Robert and Rachel in a forest preserve on Saturday, June 16 which was a day that came close to setting the record high temperature and the wedding was in the full sun at 1:00 PM.  Guest had to park about ¼ mile away and they had a golf card shuttling them to the remote campground where the ceremony took place.  Robert and Rachel got engaged at this very spot and it was an ideal location for their wedding.  The bride and bridesmaids all had lanterns instead of flower bouquets.  The guests waited under the trees in the shade before the wedding started.  There were coolers of cold water and hand held fans for all the guests.  Robert and Rachel wrote their own vows and both got an applause from their family and friends when they were done.  It was a very warm day but we all acclimated to the heat and it was not as bad as you would think it could be.  This was a very fun wedding with a very down to earth group of people.