Ciccarellis Direct Ministry for Couples
Better marriages within a better world is the objective of a unique program organized and conducted by a Southeastern California Conference pastor and his wife who devote valuable private time to a program called Sacred Hearts Ministry.
Jon Ciccarelli and his wife of 23 years, Lisa, have strong convictions that sometimes 21st century marriages are being shaped by today’s culture and society and not by the presence of God in the couples’ lives. Ciccarelli is senior pastor of the Calimesa church in the Inland Empire.
Their conviction that couples can greatly enlarge their marriage success rate led the Ciccarellis to initiate their program four years ago to “unlock some of the keys to the success of a good marriage in today’s mixed-up and sometimes erratic society.”
Sacred Hearts Ministry periodically brings couples together to grow in relationships that will improve the home, the church, and society all at the same time.
They do it through marriage retreats usually conducted over a weekend in a secluded atmosphere, where they can give careful consideration to ways and means of making marriage the success that God intended it to be.
The Ciccarellis met in their freshman year of college and fell in love on their very first date. They have two children, Andrew James and Alana Michele. Together they have had more than 40 years of experience in the area of marriage counseling and spiritual direction. Jon is pastor of a 1,200-member church, and Lisa is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in Calimesa.
“Many couples,” says Jon, “are yearning for the secret to an incredible marriage.” He maintains that the “secret” is a marriage strongly connected to God.
"Marriages can be shaped by the very heart and hand of God,” he said in commenting on their program. “Yes, it takes some effort and intentionality, but by the grace of God it can be a reality.”
Their program is a yearlong project, according to Jon.
“When a couple decides to be a part of the process, they are committing, with 14 other couples, to be a part of three marriage retreats for a year, one retreat every six months. They will journey together experiencing what only God can do when they are intentional about their relationship with God, their spouse, and others who have the same priority.”
Until moving to the Calimesa church in September 2009, Jon was either associate or senior pastor of the Escondido church for 17 years. During that time, he was a chaplain for the American Red Cross of San Diego on an on-call basis. He earned his Master of Arts degree in pastoral studies from the Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, Calif., in 2004.