Governance

DRAFT Covenant Letter

This past Spring, our Diocesan Standing Committee appointed the people listed below to form a Covenant Committee to follow up on recommendations the Standing Committee received concerning the best way to strengthen our trust, fellowship, and shared mission.  Working with our Bishop, the Covenant Committee has spent the past several months in prayer and discussion as we prepared the attached Draft Covenant.

This draft is now in your hands to read, discuss, and offer to God in prayer.  We want to hear your thoughts on how it may be improved.  We also want to hear what you like about it and what portions inspire you to deeper faith, fellowship, and shared mission. Your questions and comments may be addressed to the Covenant Committee in writing by emailing covcmte@anglicansw.org.

You are also invited to call members of the Committee, if you prefer, at the following numbers.  We are a busy group.  If you do not get one of us on the phone, please leave a message, and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

The last day of the comment period will be Friday, October 19.

Covenant Committee Members
Gus Haddad, Covenant Committee Chair:  915-241-5010
Fr. Pete Falk: 505-449-7506
Warren Smalley, Standing Committee President: 505-379-1716
Fr. Tom Finnie, Covenant Committee Secretary: 432-853-2751
Bishop Mark Zimmerman: 505-312-8877
Dn. Bill Lock, Diocesan Chancellor: 505-880-1200

With your comments in hand, we will produce a final draft of the Covenant.  This will be presented at the November Standing Committee meeting for their approval and publication.  Afterward, the entire Diocese will be encouraged to subscribe to the Covenant and live according to its godly precepts.

THE COVENANT COMMITTEE
September 20, 2018

 

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.

Prayer
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.

Biblical Relationships
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:

  1. What is the target group we are trying to reach?
  2. How do we intend to reach them?
  3. What are you doing to grow in your relationship with Christ? 

Common Mission
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

 

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