Economic Justice Covenant Program
process of becoming an Economic Justice Church or other setting begins with a
call. It may be a gentle nudging or an insistent demand that cannot be ignored.
It may begin in one person’s heart or be birthed through a social justice or mission
committee. The congregation may be new to such a call, or it may have been
engaged with issues of economic justice for years.
how the call begins or the type of setting where it begins, this Economic
Justice Covenant Program offers a number of resources, information, and useful
tools to go deeper. There are as many ways to become an Economic Justice Church
(or other setting) as there are churches and settings. What follows here are guidelines and resources
that may be helpful, especially if they are modified and adapted for each
someone or some group with the church feels called to explore becoming an
Economic Justice Church, they will probably need to gain the support of some
key people before moving forward. The pastor should be consulted, and possibly
the moderator and governing body. If the go-ahead is given, the next step might
be to set up a planning committee to shepherd the discernment process. This
committee could be part of an existing social justice group or a new entity
established just for this purpose.
public commitment to work for economic justice, to covenant with each other and
with God to engage in this ministry, will take reflection and preparation,
through worship, prayer, study, and exploration of the community within and
outside of the walls of the church. The planning committee, in consultation
with the pastor, programming bodies, Christian educators, worship planning
team, and others, can begin to plan a time of discernment. Expect it to take
about a year or maybe longer.
At the end
of the process, the congregation or other setting makes a public commitment to
work for economic justice, to covenant with each other and with God to engage
in this ministry. The congregation or other setting becomes an Economic Justice
Church (or Conference, Association, Seminary, or other setting).
congregation, the United Church of Chapel Hill in North Carolina has been
through this process. Their story and covenant are posted here. As churches and other settings write and
approve covenants, they will be posted here.
A Suggested Process
each congregation or setting is unique, the planning committee might create a
program comprised of the elements in the list below tailored to meet the needs
and interests of the members of the congregation.
the services with small-group study opportunities to learn about various issues
of economic justice. Learn more about these topics in Engaging the Issues.
groups from the congregation could explore the community, both within and
outside the walls of the church. See Engaging the Community.
these group activities are underway, individuals and families can be deepening
their personal spiritual journey using the resources in Engaging the Spirit.