Greg Jones, the founder of the Anglican Centrist blog, reminds us this morning, while the bishops are meeting in Lambeth discussing the Covenant, that there is another official form of the Covenant that we haven’t paid much attention to recently.
In 2005 the Anglican Consultative Council, one of the four instruments of the Unity in the Communion proposed the following form of a Covenant that is based in Mission rather than Confession:
A Covenant For Communion In Mission
…God’s work through Jesus, empowered by the Holy Spirit, is to seek to heal [the world’s] hurts and reconcile its brokenness. The preamble reminds us that as Christians we are called to share our relationships in the mission of God to the wider world, bearing witness to the kingdom of love, justice and joy that Jesus inaugurated…
Nourished by Scripture and Sacrament, we pledge ourselves to:
- Recognise Jesus in each other’s contexts and lives
The nine points begin with Jesus Christ, the source and inspiration of our faith and calls for those covenanting for mission to look for, recognise, learn from and rejoice in the presence of Christ at work in the lives and situations of the other.
- Support one another in our participation in God’s mission
Point two acknowledges that we cannot serve God’s mission in isolation and calls for mutual support and encouragement in our efforts.
- Encourage expressions of our new life in Christ
Point three asks those who enter into the covenant to encourage one another as we develop new understandings of our identities in Christ.
- Meet to share common purpose and explore differences and disagreements
Point four provides for face-to-face meetings at which insights and learnings can be shared and difficulties worked through.
- Be willing to change in response to critique and challenge from others
Point five recognises that as challenges arise changes will be needed as discipleship in Christ is deepened as a result of both experience in mission and encounters with those with whom we are in covenant.
- Celebrate our strengths and mourn over our failures
Point six calls for honouring and celebrating our successes and acknowledging and naming our sadness and failures in the hopes of restitution and reconciliation.
- Share equitably our God-given resources
Point seven emphasises that there are resources to share – not just money and people, but ideas, prayers, excitement, challenge, enthusiasm. It calls for a move to an equitable sharing of such resources particularly when one participant in the Covenant has more than the other.
- Work together for the sustainability of God’s creation
Point eight underscores that God’s concern is for the whole of life – not just people, but the whole created order – and so we are called to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and to sustain and renew the life of the earth.
- Live into the promise of God’s reconciliation for ourselves and for the world
This last point speaks of the future hope towards which we are living, the hope of a reconciled universe – in which ‘God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven’ for which Jesus taught us to pray.
We make this covenant in the promise of our mutual responsibility and interdependence in the Body of Christ.“
Read the full article here.