Lockerbie Central UMC in Indianapolis was incredibly gracious host to the 2009 emergingumc2 gathering. But they're more than gracious hosts. They're also living examples of a congregation that lives at the fringe on purpose, and so that seeks, as a body, to hold its participants accountable-- as a body-- to engage and encounter the ministry of Jesus Christ in their daily lives and their neighborhoods. Below is the covenant they've developed as a living document for doing this. Thanks to Jordan Updike (musician extraordinaire, Earth House instigator, and more!) for sharing it.
Note all of the "we" language here. The questions aren't about whether each individual is doing all this perfectly. They're about discerning whether and then how God is doing these things in their midst and then how they can help each other see more of that through individual and collective vision and action.
What do you see here?
Lockerbie Central United Methodist Church Rule of Life: God, Self, Church, World
- We will be present to God, chasing after God’s heart with authenticity and vulnerability.
- We will be present to ourselves, seeking wellness for our minds, hearts, souls, and bodies.
- We will be present to our faith community, engaging in worship, fellowship and mission.
- We will be present to our neighbors and creation, paying attention to their needs.
- We will be in conversation with God through prayer.
- We will pray privately utilizing diverse spiritual disciplines (reflective reading of Scripture and other spiritual texts, fasting, journaling and contemplation etc.).
- We will pray with our faith community for God’s church (confession, in worship, intercession, song etc.)
- We will pray for our neighbors and for creation.
- We will embrace the creative, redeeming, and sustaining God, inviting others to share in God’s transforming love.
- We will seek to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God.
- We will study our ancient scriptures, church history, and Wesleyan tradition, seeking to understand their historical, political, and cultural context so that we may live more fully as the prophetic voice of Jesus the Christ.
- We will seek to resist evil and injustice, pursuing peace and justice with our neighbors and creation and practicing radical hospitality and reconciliation (racial, gender, cultural, faith, etc.).
- We will recognize that all gifts come from God, giving thanks appropriately.
- We will honor and care for the gift of our bodies, developing practices that support and sustain our wellness.
- We will share our gifts with our faith community, practicing generosity with our material resources, spiritual gifts, talents and abilities, and valuing the gift of each voice within the community as we seek to discern God’s will.
- We will honor the gifts of our neighbors and creation, practicing ecologically responsible living, striving for simplicity, and sharing our resources.
- We will partner in building God's dream of justice, mercy, and discipleship, striving for a world filled with peace, love, and laughter.
- We will practice regular Sabbath, renewing ourselves to live more fully.
- We will set aside selfish ambition and individualism to care for one another, taking responsibility for the health of the faith community and practicing mutual accountability within a covenant group.
- We will care for our neighbors and creation.
I commit to this rule of life and to the well-being of this faith community, out of gratitude to God who forgives, heals, and makes all things new. May my life be a blessing within and beyond God’s church, for the transformation of the world.