American Baptist Churches of Metro Chicago

 

DECLARATION OF COVENANT

  

 

We, American Baptist Churches, united in Christ

And voluntarily associated in the Chicago area,

 

Covenant that we will proclaim the reign of God

Sharing our human, spiritual and financial

resources in order to serve Jesus Christ,

Loving one another as we are loved by God,

Telling the goods news of Jesus Christ

in word and deed,

Participating in our congregational

and regional life and mission,

Communicating with one another

and the American Baptist Churches

in the U.S.A.,

Sharing our joys and sorrows,

success and failures,

Rejoicing in our diversity

and celebrating our unity,

indeed  our very existence,

 

And doing all of this, as the Holy Spirit leads us

with passion of those

called by Jesus Christ

into life’s greatest vocation.

 

So saying,

We confirm we are united

To serve Jesus Christ

Through mission and celebration

in our metropolitan setting

with a global vision.

 

AMEN.

 


 

COVENANT OF RELATIONSHIP

 

PREAMBLE

We, the associated Churches, believe that we are called to unity in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and believe that we may discharge our mission in the Chicago area and to all the world more effectively together.Thus, we agree to provide through the American Baptist Churches of Metro Chicago certain resources, support and leadership.Furthermore, in order to insure the existence of these services we, the Associated Churches, make certain promises to each other.

 

SERVICES WE PROVIDE

The American Baptist Churches of Metro Chicago shall provide:

Congregational Support:

  • Counseling for Christian education programs and materials.
  • Counseling in the selection of pastoral and other staff. 
  • Stewardship counseling and implementation.
  • Assistance in local church planning to strengthen and enrich local efforts.
  • Evangelism programming and training.
  • Assistance in identifying and carrying out our mission to society.
  • Guidance in mission awareness and access to mission speakers and information.
Pastoral Support:
  • Service of the Executive Minister for pastoral counseling.
  • Programs for the well-being of pastors and other professional leaders.
  • Coordination of ordination, credentials for ordination, and recognition of prior ordination.
Communication:
  • A regular newsletter.
  • Access to resources, publications, and leadership of ABC/USA and the ABC of Metro Chicago.
  • ABC of Metro Chicago and church cluster meetings for the conduct of association business, worship, sharing concerns, receiving information and experiencing inspiration.
Leadership in Shared Endeavors:
  • Committee structures which will allow all churches a part in planning, decision-making and  responsibility for our common mission.
  • A variety of Christian camping experiences.
  • Enablement of American Baptist Women, youth activities, pastoral fellowship, older adult programming and other fellowship activities as desired and supported by our churches.
Denominational Relationships:
  • A channel for contributions to the mission of the ABC/USA, nationally and internationally, and the ABC of Metro Chicago.
  • Liaison with institutions participating in the American Baptist Institutional Support Process.
  • Validation of local ministries for ABC/USA recognition of support.
  • Liaison with Baptist and ecumenical groups in the Chicago area.

PROMISES LOCAL CHURCHES MAKE

To enable the American Baptist Churches of Metro Chicago to provide these services to each other, each of the Associated Churches promises to implement, or adopt a plan to fully implement these promises.

  • Adopt and publicize the mission of the American Baptist Churches of Metro Chicago.
  • Appoint its pastor and another church member as a Representative to the Family Council.
  • Make regular financial contributions toward the support of the American Baptist Churches of Metro Chicago and the other mission efforts of the American Baptist Churches in the USA.
  • Consult with the Executive Minister when seeking a pastor and/or other professional staff, however, reserving the right to make its own selection.
  • Participate, at least annually, in one Family Reunion, Family Council, committee meeting, program of a related organization, leadership training event or camping program.
  • Complete and file with the office of the American Baptist Churches of Metro Chicago an annual report and a self-evaluation of the fulfillment of these promises. 

LOCAL CHURCH AUTONOMY

Nothing in this Covenant of Relationship is intended by the Associated Churches to be construed as eliminating or compromising the autonomy of any church.  We affirm the interdependency of local churches.