Congregational Covenant of Non-Violence
Making peace starts within ourselves, in our families, and in our congregation. Each of us, members of <Church Name> , commit ourselves as best we can to acting as a nonviolent and peaceful community of faith. We dedicate ourselves to cultivating and, exhibiting the love of God in all of our relationships, may they be family, community or faith oriented. Therefore, we hereby covenant to prayerfully and watchfully do the following:
To reflect on our own attitudes and actions - Ask God to search us and know our hearts (Psalm 139:23), and to lead us in dealing with this issue. We dedicate ourselves not only to self-examination but to be accountable for and toward each other, understanding that faithful are the wounds of a friend (Proverbs 27:6).
To Respect Self and Others – The body is a temple housing the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and we all have been bought at a price (1 Corinthians 6:20). As we are not our own, we submit to honoring the personhood of ourselves and all of God’s people. We shall be mindful to avoid uncaring criticism, hateful words, physical attacks and self-destructive behavior.
To Communicate Better – We agree to speak the truth in love, aiming to grow in every respect into the mature body to which Jesus Christ is the head (Ephesians 4:15). We agree to share feeling honestly, to look for safe ways to express anger and disappointment and to work collectively to solve problem peacefully and amicably.
To Listen – We are called to be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger (James 1:19); therefore, we vow to listen attentively and carefully to one another before responding. We will be especially careful when dealing with those who disagree with us, and consider the feeling of others and their needs rather than insist and focus on our position solely.
To Forgive – To the merciful, God shows Himself merciful (Psalm 18:25). Since he has extended great mercy toward us, we shall extend mercy toward others. Hence, we agree to apologize, make amends, and extend concessions when we hurt another. We agree to forgive others without holding grudges. Likewise, we understand forgiveness does not necessarily mean we must trust, befriend and/or continue a relationship with those who have violated us. Importantly, however, in God’s magnificent grace, we pray for those who have hurt us.
To Be Courageous – Challenging violence in all forms is a difficult task. Just as God spoke to Joshua, we vow to be strong and courageous (Deuteronomy 31:6) when broaching and confronting violence in our homes, work places, congregations and in the community. We vow to acknowledge and stand for the “least of these” the “voiceless” and the broken. We vow not to do what is right in our own eyes, but to always look to the counsel of God’s word found in the Holy Bibles to address such issues.
This is our covenant. These are our goals. We will check on what we have agreed to at least once a year so that we can help each other become more peaceable, loving, people of God. We affirm to walk as wise persons of God listening to counsel (Proverbs 12:15). Our goal is always to be encouraging and to build one another up (1 Thessalonians 5:11). With Christ as our example we agree even when we must admonish one another to do so in the spirit of godliness (Colossians 3:16).