Way Forward Meeting #4
To the people of the Parish of Vaudreuil,
Monday May 1st at 7pm we will gather in St James’ Hall to work towards a covenant that will guide us on how we treat each other. As a community, we are founded on the teaching of Jesus Christ who taught us to love each other, to forgive each other and to treat each other with respect, no matter who we are. This is a difficult task for anybody to practice consistently, especially when we each have different ideas of where we should be heading and how we should be getting there. This has resulted, unfortunately, in situations where these values have been overlooked and we have treated each other without the care and concern that we ought to have shown.
We are living through uncertain times in the church as people in the wider community seem to be turning their backs on organized religion. We who are trying to remain faithful need to hold fast to these values of mutual love, forgiveness and respect if we want to witness to the power and efficacy of the Gospel to transform lives. It is only by reflecting the core values of our faith in our daily lives that we can draw others into our community, others who are looking for an authentic faith to make sense of a world that is so often cold and unfeeling. This may seem self-evident, but the very insecurities we feel about the viability of our communities push us sometimes to act in ways that do not reflect our faith commitments.
This covenant we develop will be a set of promises that we make to each other. We will seek to identify the specific behaviors that have been problematic in the past and develop promises to behave in ways that more closely match our shared Christian values in the future. When we fall short of these promises we will call each other back to our shared values and seek recommitment rather than seek someone to blame or impose penalties. The keeping of this covenant will become akin to a daily spiritual practice rather than a rule-book we will feel compelled to follow, and it will inform all of the aspects of our life together.
For further information, you will find below a summary of the book Behavioral Covenants in Congregations: A Handbook for Honoring Differences by Gilbert R. Rendle (1999: Alban Institute Publication). Please read it before our meeting on May 1st so you can get a fuller idea of what we will be working towards. Also, please remember that your participation is needed in this process and our work will be impoverished without your voice.
The Joint Corporation