Affirmations and Covenants

Creating Covenant Community


1. Call to Leaders regarding Refugees

The Uniting Church in Australia responds
to the grace proclaimed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ,
who himself was a refugee.

We are called to work with all our hearts and minds
to love God, who is revealed in Jesus Christ.
We are called to express love and generosity of spirit
to the world for whom Christ died,
including the most marginalized people.
We seek to love the neighbour who is different
and welcome the stranger in our midst.

We implore civic leaders
to reflect the deep values of Australians,
shaped by different nations and cultures,
who seek to live in a world
characterized by peace and goodwill.

We therefore ask those leaders to embrace
a spirit of compassion
and concern for human dignity
in their considerations with regards
to Refugee and Asylum-seeker policy development.

(Adopted by the South Australian Presbytery and Synod of the Uniting Church in Australia, October 2016)


(C) 2017, A.Koh-Butler

_____________________

2. Affirmation of Community

Covenant for Affirmed Membership in a community 
with a Common Vision.
This may be said by the whole community 
as an act of Covenanting with one another before God.


We believe in God
and seek to be God’s people.

We believe that God created and continues to create.

We believe we are called by God,
to co-create community,
to be God’s people in this place
and to proclaim good news.

We believe God is revealed
in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
We seek to follow Christ’s way
and seek the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

As Christ’s people,
we will seek God’s blessings
so that we may bless others.
We will carry our shared stories of blessings
in ways that allow others to share in them.
We will seek to be generous and hospitable
in our sharing.

We believe God created the First Peoples of this place
– revealing Sacred story to them through this Land.

We seek to learn with them and share the grace and love
made possible by the Spirit of God in our lives.

We believe God continues to be revealed
in the diversity of God’s creation,
so we seek to live out the Uniting Church’s calling
to be a multicultural church and work for
the renewal and reconciliation of all creation.

As members of the ……………………………..…………
(Congregation/Faith Community) we commit to support one another as pilgrim companions.

We affirm the Vision of this Congregation/Faith Community to: ………………………………………………………………………………

We Covenant together to uphold one another in love,
caring for one another in times of distress
and celebrating with joy the blessings of God.


(C) 2017, A.Koh-Butler

_____________________

3. Affirmation of Situated Community
Covenant for Affirmed Membership in a particular place


We worship on the Land of the …………………………………………….. People.
We will worship God in this place,
mindful of the healing and restoration still to come.

We seek to come close to God in this place.
We will set our minds on Christ
and learn from the Scriptures.

We hope to honour God from this place.
We seek the breath of the Spirit,
that we may serve God
in the community beyond this place.

People of God in the ……………………………………….. Congregation/Faith Community,
God sent Jesus Christ for the world,
including the people of this region.

As followers of Jesus Christ,
will you commit yourselves to work together
to show God’s love for the world in word and deed?
We will.

Will you worship, learn, pray, support
and bless one another,
so that you may serve God
with all your heart and soul and mind?
We will.

Do you Covenant together to encourage one another
to be the People of God in this place?
We do!

Blessing

May God’s Spirit rest upon this whole community,
breathing new life into the relationships here,
so that this people may become a true reflection
of the generous love of God.
Amen!


(C) 2017, A.Koh-Butler

_____________________

4. Welcoming New Members

Chairperson of Congregation (or representative of Community):
The …………………………………….. Congregation/Faith Community holds a vision for (Vision Statement)
………………………………………………………………………………

To this end, we respond to God’s calling
to join in the mission of God (Mission Statement)
……………………………………………………………………………….

A Member of the Congregation (preferably one recently affirmed) says:
As members of this Congregation/Faith Community,
We commit to work together as God’s People
in this place. We worship God together.
We read from and study the Old and New Testaments.
We share in the sacraments
of Baptism and Holy Communion.
We serve God and God’s world, as a team,
praying for and encouraging one another.

Secretary of Congregation/Presbytery
We invite the following people to be recognised:
…………………………………..
It is our joy to celebrate that this day, the ………………………………….. Congregation/Faith Community will be grown and strengthened by your commitment to join with them in community, in mission and in ministry.
May you find a spiritual home in this community.

Minister or Leader  
People of God in this place, will you welcome ……………………………………. to share in the responsibilities of God’s community in this place?

People
We will

Minister or Leader
………………………………………..,
Do you affirm your willingness to share in
the responsibilities of God’s community in this place?

Affirmee/s
I/We do

Minister or Leader  
As the ………………………… Congregation/Faith Community,
together we join our voices to the generations
who have gone before to proclaim the Christian faith:

(The Congregation joins in the Nicene Creed or other statement of faith)

Together we offer ourselves as the Affirmed Members of
the  ……………………………… Congregation/Faith Community.
Amen!


(C) 2017, A.Koh-Butler

_____________________

5. A Congregational Covenant - invocation

We covenant together,
proclaiming One God
– Father, Son and Spirit,
committing to a shared life
of worship, witness and service.

We will seek to live
the way of Jesus Christ,
respecting and caring
for God’s creation.

We call upon the Holy Spirit
to enliven us and set us to work
for reconciliation and renewal
in the world.

Others will know whose we are
by how we learn to love one another,
so we covenant together
to love
as Christ has loved us.
Amen.


(C) 2017, A.Koh-Butler

_____________________

6. A Congregational Covenant - confession

We believe in God,
Creator, Redeemer and Comforter.

As followers of Jesus Christ,
we commit ourselves to worship, witness and service,
as the ………………………………….. Congregation.

We affirm we have heard God’s call to us
to shared life in community.

Just as the disciples of the early church
held life in common,
we seek to share our resources,
personal and corporate,
to better serve the world
for which Christ died
and was raised.

We join together to proclaim the good news:

Christ has died.
Christ is risen.
Christ will come again.


(C) 2017, A.Koh-Butler

_____________________


7. Covenant of a Faith Community – I

We are the ………………………………… Faith Community.

We commit ourselves to exploring faith together,
in relationship with …………………………………………… (Presbytery/Agency/School).

We seek to journey creatively together,
respecting difference and valuing giftedness.
We ask God to guide us and bless us in this journey.


(C) 2017, A.Koh-Butler

_____________________

8. Covenant of a Faith Community – II

Just as God gave promises to Abraham and Noah,
to Sarah and Mary,
to the twelve and the women on Easter morning,
to the Apostles and the Saints,
the  …………………………… Faith Community
seeks God’s promises for us.

We claim God’s promises of healing and wholeness,
of renewal and reconciliation,
of justice and unconditional love.

In the spirit of the New Covenant of Jesus Christ,
we ask for God’s blessing
as we seek to embody God’s community in this place.
Amen.


(C) 2017, A.Koh-Butler

_____________________

9. Trinity Affirmation of Community

God said,
“I am the Lord, your God.
You shall have no other gods but me.”
We will worship God alone.

Jesus said,
“Love one another,
as I have loved you.”
We will love and care
for one another
in the way of Christ.

Jesus breathed on the disciples,
saying,
“Receive my Spirit.”
We call upon the Spirit
to fill us anew,
so the world may be blessed
by this community of God.


(C) 2017, A.Koh-Butler

_____________________

10. Household Covenant

May we who live together
be forever mindful of God.

May we seek God’s face
in each other.

May we reflect that which is good
in our words and actions.

May we work to bless one another
on a daily and nightly basis.

May we pray at all times
for our home and those beyond it.

May we offer the hospitality of God
as a team.

May we respect the need for sacred space
in our common life.

May God hold us to this Covenant
and bless us in its fulfillment.


(C) 2017, A.Koh-Butler

_____________________

11. Learning Community Covenant

May we learn the ancient stories,
from Dreaming and from Law.

May we hold a space for imagining together,
for growing in holiness and wholeness.

May we create opportunities for discovery,
risking the Way of Jesus, in humility and community.

May we honour one another’s contributions
and wait upon the spirit of reflection and insight.

May we love the living Word,
who is God, revealed in Christ.

May we love One Another,
as a community in God’s heart.


(C) 2017, A.Koh-Butler

_____________________

12. A Homegroup Covenant

God bless this house!
May peace come upon this household
and all who enjoy hospitality here.

In our gathering, may we give and receive
the sacred gifts found in the heart of God.

May we seek in our time together
a space for grace to abound.

May the troubles and disturbances of life
be placed in the respectful care
of a generous spirit,
embodied among us.

May we learn to act justly, love mercy
and walk humbly together.

And may God bless this house
and may all who enter be blessed!


(C) 2017, A.Koh-Butler

_____________________

13. Covenant Blessing

While this blessing has been used in the blessing of couples,
it is also suitable for the blessing of blended families
and congregations coming together.
It is particularly appropriate when the preaching makes references
to the Covenants found in scripture, as models for our life aspirations.

Before God gave us a concept of Law,
God gave people a way of offering their lives and actions –
the things most dear to themselves – to God.
What God gave before Law was Covenant.
It is the most ancient of sacred trusts and promises.

In a Covenant, we declare something to be
set apart from the ordinary and to be known as Sacred.
We offer the declaration into God’s care, by faith,
asking that God will make the Covenant holy.
A Covenant is recognised as a gift of God
and a means of experiencing God’s grace.

In Covenantal relationships, we can know the joy of God,
who created us to live for God and one another.
When we recognise God’s love expressed in ‘the other’,
we discover a new reflection of God’s image.

Christ’s New Covenant with us is founded
in the love and generosity Christ showed to his Church,
so it is right that each new Covenantal relationship
should honour the gifts of God
and be celebrated among the people of God.
In recognising your choice to enter into a Covenant today,
this gathering asks God to make your relationships holy.
We ask God’s blessing upon you.

May your life together be faithful.
May you love one another as pilgrims on the way.
May your interactions be filled
with dignity, respect, tenderness and delight.

God fill your hearts and minds
with a growing spirit of deep joy,
that together you may proclaim God’s goodness
in your shared life.

In celebration of this Covenant,
we light this Candle to remember
that Christ’s light will illuminate your path.
Whenever the way seems dark,
light the Candle as a reminder
of God’s presence and gracious love for you.


(C) 2017, A.Koh-Butler

_____________________

14. Covenant Prayer

Not every couple treats their marriage as a sacred Covenant. Some seek God’s face, expressed in ‘Law’, in their marriage, rather than the comfort of a legal contract. For many, marriage is not simply about the relationship of the couple, but about a the whole community and wider kinship relationships that will be strengthened by entering into the Covenant of marriage.
This prayer is for such a couple… and for all those around them.

For those that shaped the lives
of (N)………  and (N) ………,
we give thanks.
We give thanks that their nurturing and lived examples influenced the values that led to this day.
May (N)………  and (N) ……… continue
to have guides and guardians in their lives –
people who demonstrate love and hospitality to them, that their lives may also demonstrate love and hospitality toward others.

For the hopes and plans
(N)………  and (N) ………,
we ask blessing.
May their dreams and visions
be ever aligned with your ongoing creativity to bring about Heaven, one foretaste at a time.
May (N)………  and (N) ……… live as children of Heaven
and proclaim your love in the world.

For those of us who today bear witness to the Covenant.
May we live our lives in ways
that seek to encourage and strengthen
(N)………  and (N) ……….

May we take time to share in their lives
and invite them to share in ours.
May we defend them and support them
– in good times and when sorrows arrive.

God, who gives life and love,
We pray that we might be bearers of both
to (N)………  and (N) ………
that their Covenant with you
might be a beacon in the world.

We pray for their workplaces (…).
We pray for their neighbours (…).
We pray for their household and sense of home.

Be with (N)………  and (N) ………, O God,
and grant them your Wisdom.
Amen.


(C) 2017, A.Koh-Butler

_____________________





No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for visiting, I look forward to hearing from you.
When making a comment, please remember this is a site frequented by young people and those who may not be 'up with your jargon'.