*Definition of Marriage for Grace Fellowship
"We believe that because God our Creator established marriage as a sacred institution between one man and one woman, the idea that marriage is a covenant only between one man and one woman has been the traditional definition of marriage for all of human history. Because of the longstanding importance of the traditional definition of marriage to humans and their relationships and communities, and, most importantly, the fact that God has ordained that marriage be between one man and one woman, as clearly conveyed in God’s inerrant Scriptures, including for example in Matthew 19:4-6 where in speaking about marriage Jesus referred to the fact that 'He which made them at the beginning made them male and female,' the Church hereby creates this policy, which shall be known as the 'Marriage Policy.'"
Requirements for Marriage
Schedule a Meeting with a Pastor
Shortly after receiving your marriage application, a staff member will be in touch to schedule a meeting between the couple and a pastor. During this meeting, the pastor will provide the couple with a general understanding of our marriage documents and clarification surrounding expectations. The pastor will also schedule with you additional dates for your final pastoral counseling and wedding preparation meeting. (Please note: the number of meetings is left up to the pastor's discretion.)
In addition to the Definition of Marriage for Grace Fellowship (stated above), couples who are married at Grace and/or would like a Grace Fellowship pastor to officiate their wedding must meet and perform the below requirements:
- Premarital process. In preparation for a wonderful marriage that will last, couples are required to participate in our premarital process as outlined on our website (click here). If additional counseling is suggested, arrangements will be made to meet with a pastor or recommended counselor.
- A sincere Ministry, not just a "service." At Grace Fellowship, our pastors prepare for and perform weddings as a sincere ministry to couples and not just as "a service." Performing a wedding ceremony and all that is required of it over the course of a weekend is significant to our pastors and their families. Grace suggests an honorarium of $200 that can get paid at anytime before the ceremony to the pastor performing your ceremony.
- Worship service attendance. Engaged couples are asked to attend Grace Fellowship worship services regularly (at least 2 times per month) during the class/mentoring period and prior to the wedding.
- Spiritually aligned. You, as a couple, must be "aligned spiritually" (see 2 Corinthians 6:14). A pastor will discuss this with you in your initial meeting.
- Living arrangements and sexual purity. In preparation for a Christ-centered marriage, we ask that you and your fiancé not live nor sleep together prior to your wedding, and that you agree to strive for sexual purity (as discussed in Ephesians 5:1-3).
- Marriages involving a previous divorce. Marriages involving the man and/or woman having previously divorced will be left to the discretion of the pastor to apply Grace Fellowship’s stance on a biblical allowance for remarriage. Once a decision is made, it will be honored by all pastors as final. It is strongly encouraged that at least one year of legal divorce must pass before considering remarriage. A new relationship should not be pursued until the potential for a healthy reconciliation has been exhausted and time for personal healing and recovery has passed (see 1 Corinthians 7:10-11).
Please feel free to follow up with your counseling pastor with any questions or concerns you may have.