Pastor’s Blog for January: Promises For A New Year

Our world is in great need of people who know how to live in gracious community with one another, building and sustaining rich relationships through times of conflict. Our Christian faith teaches us just this skill! As we end 2018 and begin 2019, let’s review these biblical promises we made to each other a few years ago. A copy of this hangs framed in our Community Hall:

A Covenant of Holy Manners for Orchard Covenant Church

Why do this? This covenant answers the question: “How will we behave (how will we live together) when we don’t understand each other and when we don’t agree?” – Gil Rendle, Behavioral Covenants in Congregations

With God’s help, we will commit ourselves to Jesus’ call for unity among His people. We will order our lives by prayer, study of scripture, and encouraging one another. We will “clothe ourselves above all in love” (Colossians 3:14), practicing confession, repentance, and forgiveness, as Christ forgave us.

These are ways we will aspire, with God’s help, to love one another as Jesus has loved us (John 13:34-35) and live in peace with one another (1 Thess 5:12-26).

We will:
1. recognize that disagreements and conflict will sometimes occur in the church, even among people sincerely and prayerfully seeking God’s way. Philippians 4:2-3
be humble, gentle and patient with one another. Ephesians 4:1-6
3. look for the best in each person. 1 Thessalonians 5:12-26
4. look to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4
5. respect our servant leaders. 1 Thessalonians 5:12-26
6. in humility, consider others better than ourselves. Philippians 2:3-4
7. not become conceited or provoke or envy each other. Galatians 5:19-26
listen to one another and be slow to speak and slow to anger.
James 1:2-4, 19
keep our tongues from evil and our lips from deceitful speech.
1 Peter 3:10-17
refrain from quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arro-gance and disorder. 2 Corinthians 12:20
11. seek reconciliation at the first opportunity. Matthew 5:23-24
forgive whatever grievances we have with one another.
Colossians 3:12-17

As followers of Jesus, we believe the Bible is the Word of God and the only per-fect rule for faith, doctrine and conduct.
See you in Church in the New Year!

Pastor Nancy Ebner