EVANGELICAL FREE CHURCH OF WINDSOR WEDDING POLICY
The Evangelical Free Church of Windsor believes strongly in marriage and holds it in high regard. Hebrews 13:4 says, “Let marriage be held in honor among all.” Marriage was God’s idea, and not only did He define what marriage is, He has given guidelines in His Word to keep the marriage relationship strong. Genesis 2:24 tells us, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” Jesus reaffirms this in Matthew 19:4-6, “Have you not read,” He replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?’ So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” Because of these teachings as well as others in the Holy Scriptures, we believe that God created marriage to be between one man and one woman for life.
The Evangelical Free Church of Windsor will faithfully follow this scriptural definition of marriage in the teaching and practices of this church. Therefore, we will not officiate, solemnize, perform, or host a marriage or marriage-like ceremony involving anything other than the union of one man and one woman as instituted by God. Our church views the wedding itself as a ministry and not merely a ceremony. Thus we perform weddings primarily for those who are regular attendees of our church. Additionally, both persons must be confessing Christians, or both persons must be non-believers who are willing to have a God honoring ceremony (2 Corinthians 6:14). Our pastoral staff cannot in good conscience perform a wedding for a couple if they believe one person is a Christian and the other is not.
For those who have been divorced, pastoral staff will ask about the circumstances of the divorce prior to agreeing to perform any ceremony. It is our commitment to prepare couples as well as we can for their life together. Couples who want to be married at the Evangelical Free Church of Windsor must participate in premarital counseling. The purpose of this counseling is to assist couples in assessing their readiness for marriage. This will include clarifying the beliefs, values, strengths, and behaviors each individual brings to the relationship. It also seeks to discover and resolve any conflicts or weaknesses, and to develop the insights and skills needed to meet potential tensions or conflicts in the future. This counseling may also address other areas of concern that arise.
This process will normally require four or five, perhaps more, meetings with the Pastor performing the ceremony or someone he designates. Because of the time commitment necessary to complete these sessions, requests for a wedding in this church should be made a minimum of six months in advance.
The Evangelical Free Church of Windsor holds to the biblical position that sexual abstinence before marriage is God’s design for each couple, and that living together or involvement in sexual impurity, as biblically defined, before marriage significantly increases the likelihood of divorce. We desire that all marriages be Christ-centered and God honoring, thus we encourage couples to agree to abstain sexually and to live separately until their wedding day. This will aid in creating the space necessary to maintain needed boundaries. For those couples who do not agree to this and do not maintain this aspect of their relationship, our pastoral staff reserves the right to withdraw from the process and not perform the ceremony.
The Evangelical Free Church of Windsor may allow services conducted by Pastors not from this church, but any ceremony performed in our facilities must be consistent with the values and beliefs of this congregation and approved by the Senior Pastor or the Elders of the church.
This process is not intended to be a rigid system. There will always be situations that create exceptions. These guidelines have been carefully constructed to provide the best possible preparation not just for the wedding day, but for a lifetime of marriage. Please talk to one of our Pastors concerning any exceptions.
Adopted by Congregational Decision – October 2014
Placed in P & P Manual – October 2014