May 2020 Newsletter from
The Marriage Education and Resource Center (MERCY)
At the end of each year I put together a status report about MERCY.

In December, we opened the report by saying, "We believe 2019 has been a year of preparation for possibly a new phase at The Marriage Education and Resource Center (MERCY)." Little did we know the changes and challenges we would be facing in 2020 right out of the gate. However, the Lord knew and we believe He will be with us as we adjust to what lies ahead.

We do want to share with you a synopsis of MERCY'S activities for 2019 as you are an integral part of this ministry.

Grace and peace,

Penny and David
"Finding Hope for Your
Hurting Marriage"
 by Focus on the Family
You are hurting , but you don't want to walk away from your spouse.

This FREE, 6-part video series called “Finding Hope for Your Hurting Marriage” was created to offer encouragement to couples in hard places. With the help of God, you can find strength and hope, and influence conditions in which your spouse can find forgiveness, get professional help, and change his or her behavior.

Join Jim Daly and Dr. Gary Chapman for an honest look at how to love your spouse in the midst of major heartache.

Video #1: “Living in Reality”
Video #2: “How Our Emotional Needs Drive Behavior”
Video #3: “The Depressed Spouse”
Video #4: “The Controlling Spouse”
Video #5: “The Physically Abusive Spouse”
Video #6: “The Unfaithful Spouse” 

For more information, click here
How to Really Make Marriage Work
Excerpts from an article by
Missy Knechel
Inspirational love marriage quote. Happily married people know that keeping score is what unhappily married people do. Simple trendy design.
"I'm a score keeper. I'm competitive by nature. I like to win. Even if I'm playing 'Go Fish' with my kids, I play to win. When I first got married 12 years ago, I liked to see an even playing field for everything. I'll cook, he can clean. I'll do the laundry, he can do dry cleaning.
When kids came into the picture, I'll do baths on M/W/F, he can do baths on T/Th/S. I'll wake by early with the kids on Saturday, he can wake up early on Sunday. Seems blissful, right? Seems like a great partnership, right? Wrong!

When you divide up all the necessary 'chores' of the day like this, resentment starts to seep its way in. . ."

If you would like to read her entire article and what Missy learned after 12 years of marriage and some tips she offers, click here
New Online Relationship Courses
Grace Marriage - Free 5-Session Marriage Study
Grace Marriage is about helping couples with the application of the grace of Jesus Christ into the marriage relationship. These virtual sessions can be used once a week for five weeks in a row.

David and I (Penny) have been working through these and highly recommend them.

Extraordinary Couples' Series
The "Extraordinary Couples' " Guided Video Series from Mike and Jennifer Foster is a fast-paced, practical couples' course that will teach you the tools to radically improve communication in your relationship, amplify love, and see the best version of your partner.

What's included:
  • 14 "Snack Size" High Definition Videos
  • 14 Action Worksheets - PDF downloads
  • MP3 Audio Download of all Sessions
  • Session Transcripts
  • Bonus: Date ideas and short readings PDF
Cost: $29

For more information, click here
Self-Study Relationship Courses

Love Thinks offers 4 online courses that individuals can complete from the comfort and safety of their home and receive a certificate upon completion.

Each course comes with downloadable skill sheets and/or a workbook.

The courses are: Head Meets Heart (for singles); Rock Solid Marriage (for couples); Rock Solid Marriage Ready (for engaged couples) and The Mother Load: Helping Couples Unite to Tackle the Mental Load (a couple's course for managing the division of responsibilities in the home.)

For more information,
The Couple's Post
The Couple's Post offers support for married couples, by married couples. Problem areas like money, sex, communication, conflict, date nights, feelings, romance, in-laws, parenting and grief are discussed.

For more information, click here
Moments With a Counselor -

How do you help your spouse deal/cope with grief and guilt?

Todd Claypool - Chaplain in the U.S. Army and Founder of Capernaum Retreats
Some Highlights of MERCY'S Activities in 2019
  • MERCY offered three workshops and one webinar in 2019 with 65 people attending these events.
  • MERCY offered The "Love and Laughter Date Night" in partnership with Ballardsville Baptist Church where 156 people attended.
  • David and I (Penny) personally mentored 10 couples in 2019 by working with them through the 8-10 week PREPARE/ENRICH program with a spiritual emphasis. Of the 12 active facilitators MERCY has trained, 44 couples were mentored this past year.
  • Four Coupletime groups are meeting on a regular basis.
  • MERCY continues to give free resources and assign mentors to couples who are struggling. In addition, MERCY assists with payments for professional counseling, if needed, or intensive weekends for those who may not be able to afford these services.
  • MERCY hired a part-time employee in October to help MERCY with marketing, fundraising and administrative help . However, we have not been able to use her services a lot lately since the pandemic.