A DRAFT Covenant for Our Life Together in the Anglican Diocese of the Southwest
We covenant with the Lord Jesus Christ and one another to follow in His Way as we serve together.
We covenant to pray daily for each other, for our congregations, and for the Diocese. We pray for spiritual and numerical growth in all our congregations. We pray that we will always have a spirit of forgiveness and grace as we relate to each other.
We affirm that we will communicate in a respectful and healthy manner, speaking well of one another publicly and privately. When we fail this standard, we will repent and seek forgiveness from God and one another (Ephesians 4:29-32). When we believe that another member has sinned against us, we will seek to use the process laid out in Matthew 18:15-20, first and foremost going discreetly and directly to the person with whom we have a grievance. In all humility, we commit to transparent conversations regarding our corporate life together. We will seek mutual cooperation and collaboration in our life together.
Building Gospel Partnership
During each yearly parish visitation, the Bishop and clergy will meet for mutual encouragement and prayer. We commit to ongoing reflection and dialogue around annual goals to assess the health of the congregation and thus the health of the diocese. During the visitation the three questions that will be asked are:
- What is the target group we are trying to reach?
- How do we intend to reach them?
- What are you doing to grow in your relationship with Christ?
We covenant to live together in community, not just in worship, but in mission as well. We commit to participate in Synod, clergy and deanery gatherings, and diocesan-wide events as much as we are able. We seek to live in obedience to the Great Commission, striving to make disciples, and leading lives in obedience to the Word of God. We will look for opportunities to reach people outside our church and impact our communities.
Gospel Partnership as Leaders
We agree to engage in our common life together to the best of our ability, encouraging our congregations to join us as we work together to establish the Kingdom.
This covenant comes out of a time of testing in our fundamental relationships. The following Scripture passages shape the nature of our covenant and spell out the meaning of our faithfulness to God and to one another: 1 Cor. 12:12-27, Ephesians 4:11-32, Romans 12:3-21. We conclude with this from St. Paul:
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:3-5