DOES THE COMMUNITY CHURCH HAVE A COVENANT?

 

OUR AFFIRMATIONS AND COVENANT

 

I believe that I am a valuable person, created in the image of God, a part of God’s great family in a marvelously diverse world, all of which, in an early biblical account, God pronounced not just good, but very good!

 

In that biblical account, it is clear that God’s original intention was for us to experience a life of great meaning—one with deep personal relationships in a world of peace and plenty.  There was only one condition:  not to lose awareness of the Source, the loving God who made it possible.  Apparently, it is possible for all people, both individually and collectively, to live a profoundly relational life of peace and joy, love and caring—a maximally fulfilling life.  The key to that life is, every day of our lives, to pay primary attention to the Source.

 

But history, many of the great world religious, and our own scriptures remind us that to experience fully God’s priceless gift of unending joy is not likely.  We do tend regularly to lose sight of the Source—the loving God of us all, the God who wants only the best for us.  Because of that, we acquire and pass from generation to generation various dysfunctional ways of living and relating.  The result is that our jobs, our marriages, our friendships, life in general and even our churches are much less fulfilling than they could be.  We tend to blame one another for any hurt, unhappiness, or feelings that “something is missing,” rarely realizing that the basic problem is spiritual:  our habit of ignoring the Source—except, perhaps, on Sundays.  We choose other priorities, and so we continue repeatedly to “burn our fingers in the same fire.”  Life, at times, can be quite good; but it and our relationships continue to be less than they can be—and much less than the maximally fulfilling ones that scripture tells us God wants for us.

 

We are told that, fortunately, we have not been left without an antidote to our self-inflicted “less than.”  God has provided a spiritual pathway to help us get back in touch with that which is most important for our personal happiness and that of others.  In our own tradition, Jesus of Nazareth taught us that our heavenly Parent gave him a mission that he accepted:  One of helping us to experience a more abundant life, life in all of its fullness—a less dysfunctional life that can lead to greater joy for us and for all people; and he promised to show us how to obtain it.  His helpful advice was simply to follow him and he would lead us into the more qualitative life that God wants to give us.  All we needed to do is to make that quest our magnificent obsession, our priority above all other priorities.

 

So, individually and collectively, we at the Community Church have answered affirmatively to his call to actualize our God-given potential, and to do it by engaging in a lifelong pilgrimage of becoming, by following the higher level of functioning to which Jesus pointed.

 

The Ultimate goal is this:

 

Unconditionally to love God,

Unconditionally to love others, and

Unconditionally to love ourselves

 

In other words, to love in the same way that God loves each of us.

 

In order to begin to realize that high goal and its reward of the abundant life that Jesus promised, we commit

To become theologically informed, bionically literate, personally open, and, as best we can, lovingly responsive in our every relationship—both at home and away from home.

To seek actively to grow and to enable constructive growth in others, both here and throughout the world;

To give priority to our important spiritual journey by our faithfulness:  faithful attendance, faithful worship, faithful study, faithful sharing of ourselves and our resources, faithful participation in fellowship, faithful helpfulness to our fellow human beings, and in-depth involvement in this progressive fellowship of faith.  In so doing, the way to a God-centered, fulfilling life becomes, progressively, a compelling, joy-filled reality order soma .

 

We believe that we are not here in the Community Church by chance.  We are in this progressive spiritual family because we have been given this incredible opportunity by the grace of God, that we might begin to experience the abundant life God intended for us—here, now!

 

So in the presence of God and one another, we commit ourselves to a meaningful spiritual journey by embracing these vital affirmations and this holy covenant.

 

 

Amen.