where Christian faith intersects progressive values
 

The Mt. Carmel Covenant Community

We, the Mt. Carmel Lutheran Church Community, are a diverse group of people who know the joy of acceptance and affirmation by God and by one another.

We seek to live together in a community of different ages, genders, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, abilities, educational levels, and social classes. We recognize Jesus' welcoming love for all and affirm that every child of God is embraced within our community. We welcome all to share in the life, liturgy, and leadership of our congregation.

To ensure that everyone experiences belonging, inclusion and safety within our community we each promise, with God's grace and help, to adhere to this covenant in all of our dealings with each other. We therefore commit to the following:

To Center our life together on the Love of the Triune God. 

  • We will listen attentively and remain open to the vision God imparts for our community to bear witness to God’s creative, redeeming, and sanctifying activity in the world.

  • We will weave our lives together around the Word and the sacrament, centering worship as the purpose, calling and mission of our community.

  • We will encourage prayer, spiritual practice and scripture study as means of listening and following the guidance of the Holy Spirit in all church meetings, especially when decisions need to be made.

To Respect each other, ourselves and our neighbor.

  • We will uphold the dignity of each person in our congregation, including our church leaders. 

  • We will accept that there will be differences of opinion, perspective, style and culture. We choose to walk hand-in-hand even when we don’t see eye-to-eye, learning from one another without arrogance or condescension, instead of trying to enforce our particular point of view. 

  • We will respect the community God has called and knit together at Mt. Carmel and seek to avoid creating divisions or factions, celebrating the unity of our diverse spiritual family. 

To Communicate kindly, clearly and directly.

  • We will communicate directly, honestly, openly and sensitively, even when we disagree with someone’s assumptions, opinions, and decisions, avoiding passive-aggressive, sarcastic, defensive or hostile behavior. 

  • We will be quick to listen, slow to speak and mindful of the words we choose. We will ask questions to seek understanding. We will consider the impact of our words and actions on others as we seek to make our church a safe and life-giving place for all.

  • We will recognize that conflict is a part of life, including life in the church. We will accept disagreement and conflict as inevitable and we will use them as an opportunity for personal and collective growth. We will speak directly to those with whom we have conflict rather than complain about them to others. We will refrain from and discourage gossip. We will strive not to let conflicts diminish relationships. When we make mistakes, we will courageously confess our sin, ask for forgiveness, and seek repair and reconciliation to begin anew. 

 To Serve Others first and honor the journeys of all who enter our community.

  • We will serve each other using our time, talents and resources generously, knowing that sometimes we may be inconvenienced as we carry out God’s work in the world.

  • We will seek to discover what is best for our church as a whole, not just what is best for ourselves or those who think as we do, especially while serving on boards or committees. 

  • We will encourage each other to be healthy and whole, staying attentive to self-care and to our own strengths and limitations so we can best serve the church and those within it. 

Having committed ourselves to this covenant, we understand ourselves to simultaneously be sinners and saints. We therefore know that because of human brokenness and weakness, we will break this covenant and disappoint one another and the greater community. When we do, we rest in the promise that God beckons us to the cross, declares to us the forgiveness of all our sins on account of Christ, nurtures us with the grace of the Holy Spirit, and sends us to sin no more and to love one another as Jesus loved us.