Approved by Church Council – October 16, 2017
The intended purpose of this covenant is to show who we are as Christians, by creating a safe, trusting, supporting environment reflective of the Kingdom of God by living together according to scripture’s teaching.
- Love God first, remembering God is love[i]
- As individuals, strive to mindfully participate in the ministries of the church by our prayers with and for others, presence, gifts, service, and witness[ii] including inviting others to know Christ and inviting others to Salem UMC.
- Love one another including our enemies[iii]
- Strive to know each other better
- Do not judge others, tear them down, or hold grudges[iv]
- Speak the truth in love[v]
- Be real with each other, humble, honest, and kind[vi]
- Be respectful of each other[vii]
- Include and welcome others unlike ourselves[viii]
- Agree to disagree in love and, when we disagree, we will not take it personally[ix]
- When hurt or offended by someone, we will go first to them to seek reconciliation following Matthew 18:15-17[x]
- Ask for forgiveness, forgive others, and offer grace[xi]
- Refrain from gossip[xii]
- Do not give credence to rumors
- Share no 3rd person accounts, allow each person to share their own story
- Speak for ourselves only, not for “them”
- Focus on the positive of Salem[xiii]
- We will not publically air our internal grievances and thus poison the well of potential disciples or members[xiv]
- We will participate in working towards a solution instead of just criticizing
- Keep a sense of humor[xv]
- Hold each other accountable to commitments
- Recognize and lift talents and gifts in others
- Clearly define team and leadership commitments and then live up to them
- Create a safe environment for taking risks for the Kingdom, so that we can take on new ministries or responsibilities without fear of judgment or failure
- Allow graceful exit options when someone cannot fulfill their responsibilities. If an individual wish to relinquish their team role, then the Church Council will acknowledge and provide graceful discernment and decision. If an individual is not fulfilling their responsibilities, the pastor, team leader, or Church Council facilitator will consult with them to reach a resolution.
- Hold each other accountable to this covenant, including reviewing this covenant at least quarterly, and agree to be held accountable by others.
[i] Ex 20:3 you shall have no other gods before me; Mk 12:30 you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength
[ii] UMC membership vows
[iii] Jn 13:34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another; 1Jn 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God
[iv] Mt 7:1-2 Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.
[v] Eph 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ
[vi] Col 3:9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices; Eph 4:25 So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another.
[vii] Rom 12:10 love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor; 1Pet 2:17a Honor everyone; 1Thes 5:12 But we appeal to you, brothers and sisters, to respect those who labor among you, and have charge of you in the Lord and admonish you
[viii] Deut 10:19 Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt; Lev 19:34 The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
[ix] Rom 14:5-6 Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds. Those who observe the day, observe it in honor of the Lord. Also, those who eat, eat in honor of the Lord, since they give thanks to God; while those who abstain, abstain in honor of the Lord and give thanks to God.
[x] Mt 18:15-17 If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector; Mk 3:25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
[xi] Eph 4:32 and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you; Col 3:13 Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
[xii] Prov 16:28 A perverse person spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends; Prov 21:23 To watch over mouth and tongue is to keep out of trouble; Exod 20:16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor
[xiii] Phil 4:8 whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things
[xiv] Titus 3:1-2 Remind them…to speak evil of no one; Jms 4:11 Do not speak evil against one another
[xv] Prov 17:22a A cheerful heart is a good medicine