America's Marriage Rate Plunges - Ethics & Religion Col. #1,583

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From: Michael J. McManus <>
Date: Wed, Dec 28, 2011 at 10:43 PM
Subject: America's Marriage Rate Plunges - Ethics & Religion Col. #1,583

December 28, 2011

Column #1,583

America’s Marriage Rate Plunges

By Mike McManus


            Only 51 percent of Americans are currently married – a record low – down from 72 percent in 1960, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census data.


            There are three major factors behind these trends.


            First, the number of never-married Americans has nearly doubled from 15 to 28 percent from 1960-2010.  Pew said that many couples are cohabiting instead of marrying because “they fear divorce.”    Why? Many are adult children of divorce who do not want to live through such pain again.


            Second, the number of divorced and un-remarried people has grown from 5 to 14 percent of the population.


            Third, in the last 50 years the age at which people marry has jumped six years to 26 for women, and for men, to 29 years. Today only a fifth of adults aged 18-29 are married vs. three times as many in 1960, 59 percent.


            What’s troubling to me is not the later age at which people marry, which is generally wise, but the fact so many have never married.  Only 72 percent of today’s adults have ever married vs. 85 percent in 1960. 


            This is a big cultural change.  What is behind this shift? Another recent Pew survey reported that four in ten Americans (39 percent) think marriage is “becoming obsolete.” 


            What I find particularly interesting is that 47% of those who think marriage is becoming obsolete say they would like to marry – virtually the same share (45 percent) of unmarried adults who think marriage is not becoming obsolete, who say they want to wed.

            Those numbers suggest a strategy for churches, who perform nine of ten weddings: make a case for marriage from the pulpit.  True, there aren’t many cohabiting couples in church, but there are millions of church-going parents of adult children who do not know what to say to them.


            What are the best arguments that pastors might make about the value of marriage?


            I recommend that clergy read “The State of Our Unions: Marriage in America 2011,” by the Institute for American Values ( Its co-authors are W. Bradford Wilcox of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia and Elizabeth Marquardt of IAV’s Center for Marriage and Families.


            Their report provides scientific evidence of what every pastor has long believed: “Couples who both agree that `God is at the center of our marriage’ are at least 26 percentage points more likely to report that they are `very happy.”  While 50 percent of both men and women report being very happy, of those who believe God is at the center of their marriage, 77 percent of women and 76 percent of men are very happy.


            These more religious couples are also more likely to report high levels of commitment and a pattern of generous behavior toward one another. “In other words, marital spirituality is linked to beliefs and behaviors that strengthen the marriage bond,” said the report.


            Similarly, mothers and fathers who see parenting as one of “life’s greatest joys,” are about twice as likely to reporting being very happy in their marriages. It is one of the “Top Five Predictors of Marital Success.”


            However, the report cautions that “parenthood is typically associated with lower levels of marital happiness.” Having a baby requires sacrifices such as a loss of sleep, less disposable income and often, less quality time with one another, resulting in less sex.


And there is a sad paradox among young Americans.  While most would like to have two or three children, “a growing share of young women and men believe that a good marriage is personally unattainable, and more are raising children outside of marriage.”


            However the report, “When Baby Makes Three,” provides new evidence that both husbands and wives – but wives especially – are “more likely than their childless peers to feel their lives have a sense of meaning and purpose.”  And a substantial minority of married couples do not experience parenthood as an obstacle to marital happiness.


            What is their secret?  Two answers are shared housework chores and sexual satisfaction.  One surprise is that the happiest wives and husbands today “are those with no children and those with four or more children.” 


            Another important factor is education.  Americans without college degrees are three times as likely to divorce in the first ten years of marriage vs. those with college education.


            Most important, however, is a shared faith that endows marriage “with transcendent significance.” Attending services together is a top predictor of marital stability.


            Finally, “parenthood makes life meaningful and marriage makes parenthood bearable.” 

Copyright © Michael J. McManus is President of Marriage Savers and a syndicated columnist.





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Michael J. McManus
syndicated columnist
"Ethics & Religion"
President & Co-Chair
Marriage Savers
9311 Harrington Dr.
Potomac, MD 20854



The Relationship Skills Center Creates Joy and Love

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From: Carolyn Rich Curtis <>
Date: Wed, Dec 28, 2011 at 2:27 PM
Subject: The Relationship Skills Center Creates Joy and Love

Safiya and Damorio cropped 
Dear Friend,

On a bright Saturday in late November, the Relationship Skills Center's first annual Wedding Marathon, an occasion of much joy and celebration, took place.  Eight couples that graduated from relationship skills classes were married in ceremonies as unique as their stories.


One such story is that of Damorio and Safiya.  Damorio proposed to his bride, Safiya, the morning after their first child, a daughter, was stillborn.  They now have another little girl.


"After that tragedy, we were bonded and decided to make a life together," Safiya said. "And God blessed us with Baby Celeste."


Safiya and Damorio, who are both 31, met at a marketing class at American River College in Sacramento. The bridegroom, a chef looking for work, and the bride, a homemaker, said they jumped at the chance to get married with the other couples.


"It was the only way we could do this," Safiya said. "Our savings went toward our first daughter's funeral. The second time we had savings, Celeste came along."


Couples in the Sacramento area, like Safiya and Damorio, want to love and support one another and create healthy, strong, and safe families.  Over 200 families have turned to the Relationship Skills Center for assistance in making this happen.  In the news, we are continually reminded that healthy families are the key to creating a healthy society.


Though a great deal has been accomplished, much work still needs to be done and we need your support.   Will you consider sending us a donation? $10 will purchase a workbook for a young person, $50 will provide a relationship class to a couple which will change their lives forever, and $200 will sponsor an entire relationship class at a middle or high school.


The work we do changes relationships for good.  Thank you for your dedication to and support of Sacramento area families!


Sending you and your family health and happiness in the New Year,


Carolyn Rich Curtis, Ph.D.

Executive Director

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U.S. Families in 2010 Family Profiles Released by NCFMR

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From: National Center for Family & Marriage Research <>
Date: Wed, Dec 21, 2011 at 2:25 PM
Subject: U.S. Families in 2010 Family Profiles Released by NCFMR

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NCFMR Releases New Series of

-- U.S. Families in 2010 -- 

US Families 2010     


The NCFMR is pleased to announce the release of a series of Family Profiles that provide up-to-date analysis of marriage and divorce patterns in America.  



Family Profiles

Original reports summarizing and analyzing nationally representative data with the goal to provide the latest analysis on U.S. families. These profiles examine topics related to the NCFMR's core research themes.


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CALL FOR PRESENTERS - NARME Champions for Children Conference 2012

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Date: Wed, Dec 21, 2011 at 11:25 AM
Subject: CALL FOR PRESENTERS - NARME Champions for Children Conference 2012

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NARME’s 2012 “Champions for Children” Conference
Baltimore, Maryland
July 20-25, 2012

Presenters Wanted!

The National Association for Relationship and Marriage Education (NARME) is currently seeking qualified, professional speakers – experts in their field - to present at the 2nd annual conference.  This conference will offer an array of topics around the goal of promoting “Champions for Children."  In preparing for a successful event, we realize that our sessions are only as effective as our presenters.

Staying in line with the mission of NARME, it is our desire to establish a conference that will foster education for healthy marriages, responsible fathers, and strong families.  We are seeking presenters and speakers that will join us in this endeavor to deliver quality sessions as well as enhance the overall conference experience.  As we begin to select speakers for this upcoming conference, we hope that this will become a lifelong partnership as we team up to become “Champions for Children”. 

All seminars should tie into the theme of the conference.  Presenters are expected to provide insightful information that will enhance the abilities of organizations, practitioners, and/or individuals to provide services to couples, fathers, families, and youth and single adults from diverse backgrounds for the benefit of raising healthy children, thus “Champions for Children.”  We are looking for presenters to provide information on effective programs for marriages, fatherhood and families, children and youth, best practices, tools and resources, and research.    

One, two, or three day training programs will start as follows: 3-day trainings begin on Friday, July 20th and run 3 days, 2-day trainings begin on Saturday, July 21st and run 2 days, 1-day trainings will be on Sunday, July 22nd.

Each workshop session will be approximately 90 minutes in length and should be able to provide hands-on tools for the participants.  It is highly recommended that the session be interactive.  Workshops will be scheduled on any of the dates between Monday, July 23rd – Wednesday, July 25th, 2012.  PRESENTERS SHOULD PLAN ON BEING AT THE

If you are interested in presenting, please visit to complete
a Presenter Application.  Submit one proposal for each workshop that you
desire to present.  Proposals must be received no later than 5:00 pm on Monday, January 16, 2012.  Do not submit any physical paperwork or payment until notified to do so. 

Before submitting an application, please read the Presenter Agreement ( found on page 8
of the application
).  Proposal
selections will be made by Friday, January 20, 2012, and presenters will be notified via e-mail.  The presenters that are selected will be given right of first refusal for an exhibit booth.        

Thank you in advance for your consideration.  We hope to see you at NARME’s “Champions for Children” 2012 Conference in Baltimore!

Best Regards,

Maggie Russell & Rob Harrison
NARME 2012 Conference Co-Chairs

Strengthening Marriages and Families

P.O. Box 14946 | Tallahassee, FL 32317 US

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Pajama Parties and Pigtails! | FTF eNews December Vol.1


















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From: First Things First <>
Date: Fri, Dec 16, 2011 at 12:12 PM
Subject: Pajama Parties and Pigtails! | FTF eNews December Vol.1

First Things First eNews
  December 2011    Volume 1             
In observance of the Christmas holiday,
FTF will be closed 12/23 through 1/2/12.

FTF Classes

Preparing for Marriage*

A class for

engaged couples 


January 18 & 25    


5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

First Things First

620 Lindsay Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403 


Click here to register

Dinner or Lunch provided by First Things First


Visit for additional classes 



Boot Camp 

for New Dads  

A class for about  

to be dads.  


December 17   


9:00 p.m. to Noon

Erlanger Women's East
1751 Gunbarrel Road
Chattanooga, TN 37421  





(Family University)  


* Funding for this project was provided by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Grant: 90FM004801. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families   

Save The Dates!


January 28, 2012

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Secret Keeper Girl
Pajama Parties and Pigtails! 
First Things First welcomes the Secret Keeper Girl Live: Pajama Party Tour to the Chattanooga Convention Center on Saturday, January 28!!  This amazing event is for mothers and their daughters ages 8-12 and offers inspirational messages about true beauty and modesty all within a fun, pajama party theme. You can even wear your jammies!  The show is from 6:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. Tickets are only $15.00 with group discounts available. It's the perfect holiday gift for your little girl!!  

Get your tickets today!

Sponsors: J103 and Little Caesars 
FTF Holiday Survival Guide

Remember how much you enjoyed the holidays as a child? But now as an adult, some of the sparkle of the season may get lost under a mountain of To-Do lists and holiday stress. Not to worry! FTF has some great resources to help you better manage the stress of holiday planning and recapture some for the magic of this special time of year.

Click here for FTF's Holiday Survival Guide
Champions for Children in 2012
Every Child Matters.
Over the past 15 years, attitudes and core values have changed as a result of the work of First Things First. Couples are choosing to work on their marriages; fathers are becoming more involved with their children and lives are being changed for the better. Our commitment to you, your family and our community is to be Champions for Children. We cannot do this work alone.  We need an army of Champions for Children who will join us to build a brighter future for generations to come.

To invest in the work of FTF and become a Champion for Children, please CLICK HERE


620 Lindsay Street
Suite 100

Chattanooga, TN 37403
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13th Annual Fatherhood & Families Conference Early Rates Extended

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From: James Rodriguez - Fathers & Families Coalition of America <>
Date: Fri, Dec 16, 2011 at 9:13 AM
Subject: 13th Annual Fatherhood & Families Conference Early Rates Extended

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Fathers & Families Coalition of America (FFCA) 13th Annual National Fatherhood & Families Conference - Restore the Legacy of Fathers, which is being held in Los Angeles, California February 21-24, 2012 conference updates

Early Registration Conference Rate Extended

Special Offer for Head Start and NASW Members

Hotel Rooms at Discounted Rate Extended

Child Welfare and Domestic Violence Experts to host a special track

New Conference Feature and Benefit!

Since 1999, Fathers & Families Coalition of America has collaborated with Head Start programs for the Annual National Fatherhood & Families Conference. The partnership allows all current National Association of Head Start members to register at the FFCA Member rate. In 2011, FFCA extends this special discount to all National Association of Social Worker members. Fathers & Families Coalition of America is pleased to announce the Fatherhood Practitioner and Healthy Relationship Educator Certificate (FPHREC) developed with researchers, national experts, faculty from numerous institutions of higher education and practitioners, will be certified by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). FFCA has developed the FPHREC program intended for paraprofessionals to advanced degreed participants with faculty from several major universities that will be launched at the 13th Annual National Fatherhood & Families Conference on Tuesday, February 21, 2012. Attendees will benefit from direct practice research and experiences from social work, criminal justice, marriage and family, child welfare, and other human service/family development faculty members.

In addition to the Certification Program, the 13th Annual National Fatherhood & Families Conference is pleased to announce Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will be available with NASW.

For additional questions regarding the Certificate Program or CEUs please email Dr. Nathan ONeal at or call us at 347-850-3237 or 303-369-2997.

Record Low for Marriages

Did you know? Barely half of all adults in the U.S.a record low are married, and the median age at first marriage has never been higher for brides (26.5 years) and grooms (28.7), reports a new PEW Research Center analysis of U.S. Census data. The number of new marriages in the U.S. declined by 5% between 2009 and 2010, a sharp one-year drop that may or may not be related to the economy. Join us at the first 2012 conference to develop best practices for community, faith-based, tribal and government programs with a focus on strengthening families at the 13th Annual National Fatherhood & Families Conference.

Online Registration Open Now For the 13th Annual National Fatherhood & Families Conference Register Now! the Early Rate has been extended through January 10, 2012. For the full conference program click here.

Updated Conference Features and Registration Information

Conference Hotel Discounted Rooms Extended please take advantage of discounted early registration rates at the Westin LAX Hotel Click Here

For A Room Reservation.

We invite you to use our online conference registration feature to facilitate your participation. Go to our home page, scroll down the home page and click on Conference Program. Here, you can review and obtain pertinent information regarding the event, nominations, and directions. In order to facilitate your registration (purchased orders or credit card transactions) use our online registration by going here now by fax to 602-252-3598 and mailed registrations to FFCA at PO Box 8267 Phoenix, Arizona 85066

Fatherhood & Healthy Marriage/Relationship Practitioner Certificate provides valuable professional education on the latest models for program sustainability, capacity building, research and innovative responses to develop family strengthening programs and services as detailed on page six (6) of the Conference Program

The Social Media Certificate detailed on page seven (7) of the CONFERENCE PROGRAM and will provide all levels of professionals and types of organization a model to develop sustainability through social media. This will include a course on QR Codes and how to utilize a 3D Platform see sample here.

Limited Conference Hotel Discounted Rooms Extended:

The Conference Host Hotel has reported that more than seventy percent of the conference room block is sold out! We encourage attendees to reserve your room today to save before rates increase. You can go online at to take advantage of discounted early registration rates and a discounted hotel rate at the Westin LAX Hotel Click Here For A Room.

Event Venue: The Westin Los Angeles Airport 5400 W Century Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90045

Join Us In Los Angeles! Conference Registration Is Now Open!

Open to all attendees and community members The 9th Annual National Father & Leader Of The Year Award Honoring Mr. Cedric the Entertainer Kyles, Father Greg Boyle and Mr. Richard Claytor Thursday, February 23, 2012 from 6:00pm to 10:30pm.

Open to all attendees and community members The 5th Annual Inter-Faith Breakfast Thursday, February 23, 2012 from 7:30am to 10:00am. This plenary session will feature six national leaders and keynote, Ms. Acacia Bamberg Salatti, Deputy Director, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Secretary Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships.

Conference Hotel: Westin Lax Hotel
Address: 5400 West Century Boulevard- Los Angeles, CA 90045
Room Reservation: 1-800-937-8461 Room Rates Start $129.00
Conference Code: Fathers & Families Coalition Of America

Continuing Education Units (CEU): Fathers & Families Coalition of America is also seeking continuing education units for nurses, social workers, and psychologists.

Visit to register and learn more here for the conference program

James C. Rodriguez, MSW, Ph.D., Candidate
CEO and President
james.rodriguez@fathersandfamiliescoalition.orgSkype: james.rodriguezffca


FFCA's Social & Blog Community


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New 3D Platform FFCA Channel

Click Here For The FFCA 3D Platform

Conference Program



Click Here For The FFCA Affiliate Directory

New Domestic Violence Reportprovides insights for best practice considerations.

Community & Faith Based Partnership To Address Fatherlessness

Copyright © 2011 Fathers and Families Coalition of America, Inc. 39 East Jackson Street, Phoenix, Arizona 85044
Telephone: Los Angeles (424) 224-1DAD - New York (347) 850-DADS and Phoenix (602) 254-5081
39 E. Jackson Street #143 | Phoenix, AZ 85004 US

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