Just Peace Covenant
We, the members of the Guilford Community Church, UCC, declare ourselves to be a Just Peace congregation.
In describing the marks of a Just Peace theology, the pronouncement adopted by the Fifteenth General Synod of the United Church of Christ affirms that “a Just Peace is a basic gift of God and is the force and vision moving human history. The meaning of a Just Peace and God’s activity in human history, especially the life and witness of Jesus, is understood through the Bible, church history, and the voices of the oppressed and those in the struggle for justice and peace. Nonviolent conflict is a normal and healthy reflection of diversity; working through conflict constructively should lead to growth of both individuals and nations.”
As a congregation of the United Church of Christ, we recognize the importance of promoting justice and peace throughout the world, in our nation, in our community, and in ourselves. We therefore covenant among ourselves and with God to seek the ways of justice and peace in order to make a difference in our lives and the lives of all who experience injustice and violence.
As a community and as individuals, we commit ourselves to embodying Just Peace in the following ways:
- Supporting racial equality and indigenous rights
- Standing in solidarity with, and advocating for, the poor, the homeless, and the oppressed
- Embracing people of all backgrounds, abilities, and sexual orientations
- Working to promote the ethical use of environmental resources
- Engaging in self-reflection and honestly confronting our own privilege and shortcomings
- Finding effective ways to work through conflict
- Resisting divisiveness and injustice; rejecting violence
- Serving as witnesses for Just Peace in our community
- Acting as true neighbors to all people
We believe that peace is possible.
For Christ himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility. – Ephesians 2:14
Church Faith and Covenant
We are currently reviewing our Church Covenant and committed a recent meeting to discussing what it might mean to be able to stand secure in our faith as Christians all the while reaching out in respect and compassion to people of other faiths. Rev. Larry Crockett suggested we put it in these words, saying our GCC faith and covenant is:
An active seeking through the Spirit of God of what God is calling us to do and say today in the context of an open, welcoming, and diverse congregation which listens to and respects all the spiritual journeys, beliefs, and questions of its members.
We welcome your thoughts and suggestions!
Church Vision (written 1997)
We seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit; to love one another; to listen respectfully to each other; to be forgiving and kind; to respect diversity; to be down to earth and unpretentious as we strive to live out our faith and our Covenant.
Open and Affirming Agreement (May, 2003)
The Guilford Community Church, United Church of Christ, acknowledges that those who have become members and those who actively participate in the church community share a variety of beliefs, yet remain joined in Christian love and respect.
The Guilford Community Church is open to all. It affirms the spirit of God found in those who seek fellowship, comfort, and guidance here whatever their age, race, gender, ethnicity, education, disability, sexual orientation, financial situation, national origin, or any other circumstance that has historically been a barrier to a full life, participation, membership, mission, work, and ministry in the United Church of Christ. We embrace those brothers and sisters as equal partners in the Body of Christ with full access to every opportunity to serve God.
The pastor is confirmed in the discretion, after proper counseling of the couples, to perform weddings and civil unions at the Guilford Community Church.