Cornerstone Community Development Center: Enriching Marriages in Indiana Project

The Cornerstone Community Development Center is a non-profit, non-sectarian unit of Cornerstone of Hope Church, Inc., located in Indianapolis, Indiana.  The marriage ministry of Cornerstone of Hope Church was formed to educate couples on effective ways to resolve conflict, improve communication, and enhance marital relations.  The church has been hosting programs for couples within the congregation for several years, and after seeing the couple’s marriages flourish, decided to expand the program to the community in collaboration with other houses of worship and community partners. 

The Enriching Marriages in Indiana Project (EMIP) trains and equips low-income couples that have chosen marriage to gain a greater understanding and appreciation of their relationships through a range of marriage education services.  Through these services, couples acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to form and sustain healthy marriages. 

Testimonial from a Couple  Whose Marriage was Saved

As we reflect on the last three years, we are amazed at seeing where we are today versus three years ago.  We started attending the workshops, conferences, and retreats at the birth of this program while our marriage was very unstable.  Even though we attended several sessions, {we separated} in December 2006.  During the separation, the staff at EMIP encouraged us to attend various other workshops, retreats, and conferences.  Even though we had decided to give up on our marriage, your team kept the faith.  Thank you for not giving up on us.

During the workshops we learned so much about ourselves and being a couple.  The training on communication and blended families helped us the most.  We learned how to communicate better through our mentors.  We learned to talk things over before acting, how to engage in a conversation and express our feelings by not starting a statement with “you”, but “I”.  We were taught to respect each other’s feelings and to repeat statements back to get clarity and understanding.  We were also taught to listen to understand and not to respond.

It was interesting to find out that relationships have seasons just like our lives do, and that seasons do change.  Two of the highlights that we really enjoyed are the retreats and the Valentine conference.  At the retreat, we learned how to spend time alone with each other and as individuals.  We’ve learned to compliment each other and give each other the highest respect.

This program is beneficial to us and we will continue to participate because we realize that if the marriage breaks down so does the family.  Because of EMIP and its staff, we have renewed our vows after two years of separation and are back together.

The Healthy Marriage initiative is part of ACF’s strategy to enhance child well-being. ACF has funded organizations across the country to provide comprehensive healthy relationship and marriage education services, as well as job and career advancement activities to promote economic stability and overall improved family well-being.