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After the birth of Mitch and Jenna Buenger’s third child, their time together seemed to be relegated to the few short hours after the children were in bed.

However, by the end of the day, both were too exhausted to work on their marriage and it became stagnant. They realized something needed to change before their marriage became in trouble.

Thankfully, Jenna found the “One Extraordinary Marriage” podcast, hosted by Tony and Alisa DiLorenzo.

“We needed some positive change in our marriage. The famous quote, ‘If you fail to plan, you can plan to fail’ directly applies to marriage,” Mitch admitted. “After following them for about a year, we decided to ask them through a personal message if they would consider coming to Kenosha and sharing their expertise with our church. They said, ‘yes.’”

Mitch and Jenna attribute the improvement in their marriage to being more intentional and to speaking each other’s love language as described by Gary Chapman, author of “The 5 Love Languages” and through the DiLorenzo’s podcast.

“Their podcast emphasized the need to plan and schedule time for your marriage,” said Mitch. “It’s called the intimacy lifestyle. After we had a plan, we began to see change.”

To be held at Kenosha church

The “One Extraordinary Marriage Conference” will take place on Sept. 21 at Journey Church, 10700 75th St.

Designed for marriages to move into a place of better sex, more laughter and deeper conversations, the conference is not a typical “sit and listen all day” type of event. Couples will create a personalized plan in their conference workbook for how they expect to grow and succeed in their marriage.

“Tony and Alisa’s podcast places a strong emphasis on intimacy within marriage, but they offer 22 years of marriage experience and wisdom in all areas,” said Mitch, organizer of the event. “The conference will focus on communication, creating a vision for your marriage, finances, intimacy and much more.”

Chick-fil-A is offering a lunch option. Waterfront Warehouse is hosting the VIP dinner following the conference. Hampton Inn and Suites has a block of rooms available through the end of the week.

The conference is important for all marriages, not just ones going through difficult times. According to Mitch, anything a couple can do to intentionally invest in the strength of their marriage is important.

“Not all couples will take the time to do so. The conference only asks couple to give eight hours of their time for one day to benefit from advice and communication tools that could benefit their marriage for a lifetime,” he explained. “Any marriage that comes to the conference willing to act on the lessons given could improve their marriage forever. That’s important.”

Communicating with each other

One of the greatest issues facing couples today stems from the lack of communication. Several married couples mentored Mitch and Jenna for several years and through the mentoring, they learned that most troubled marriages suffer from communication, intimacy and financial issues.

“Intimacy and finances tend to be at the top of this list of conflict for couples, but there’s a great chance that at the core of those issues, there’s a communication breakdown,” Mitch said. “This conference teaches communication strategies in every area you could think would be important.”

The conference is open to any married couple from any church or for those who do not attend church and want to improve their marriage.

“This won’t feel like a church service,” explained Mitch. “I hope a lot of couples attend. Don’t wish you had. If eight hours could change your marriage for the better, for a lifetime, what would keep you from attending?”

If you go

What: “One Extraordinary Marriage” Conference

Where: Youth Auditorium of Journey Church, 10700 75th St.

When: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21

VIP dinner: 7 to 9 p.m.

For more information: Phone 262-694-3300 or visit https://oneextraordinarymarriage.brushfire.com/events/453950

Marriage course offered at Journey Church

Beginning Sept. 25 through Nov. 6, Journey Church is offering a series of seven sessions designed to help married couples invest in their relationship and build a strong marriage. The sessions are based on Christian principles but designed for all couples with or without a church background.

The course is designed for couples seeking to strengthen their relationship as well as addressing more specific challenges. The marriage course offers essential tools and practical ideas to help build relationships to last a lifetime.

While the marriage course is not a follow-up to the conference, Mitch Buenger explained that many of the same topics will be discussed, but in greater detail over the seven-week course.

“The course uses a video curriculum that ends with discussion time after each session for couples to engage in what they just learned,” he said. “When couples leave the conference excited and ready to keep investing in their marriage, they can jump right into the marriage course and keep the momentum. The biggest hurdle is committing to the time once a week for seven weeks. Again, if couples plan to invest in their marriage, they have the foundation to see the change they desire. We’re helping them have structured and proven opportunities to do that.”

According to Mitch, Journey Church desires to see strong, healthy relationships and they believe marriages can be the key to positive changes in the community.

“We also believe faith starts at home. So, we’re believing in marriages to be strengthened form the opportunities we’re providing so that the marriage thrives,” he said. “If the marriage thrives, we have good reason to believe the kids will thrive. If the whole family is thriving, the church of thriving families thrives. If the church is thriving, the community thrives. We want to make it easy for people to find and experience God. We believe God changes us for the better. Pouring into the marriages at our church is just one of the many ways we do that.”

If you go

What: Marriage Course

Where: Journey Church, 10700 75th St.

When: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays from Sept. 25 to Nov. 6

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