Covenant

CHRISTIAN SALVATION

THIS WE BELIEVE
that God calls us to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour.

THIS WE COVENANT
that we have confessed our sin of unbelief and our sinning with heart and mind and body and that we have accepted God’s gift of salvation which is extended to us through God’s grace;

that we will continue to strive to live in holiness, not in our own strength but by the power of the Holy Spirit, and that we will continue to confess our sin and rely solely on God’s mercy for salvation;

that we will share this faith and forgiveness with our children so that they too will come to know the nature and reality of Christ’s love and that we will try to lead them to under- standing the human and the divine in the experience of salvation.

THIS WE BELIEVE
that the new life in Christ removes hate and unforgiveness and brings us peace, love and forgiveness in our relationships with God and others.

THIS WE COVENANT
that we want to pray for grace to remove hatred and envy from our thoughts and actions, and for grace to enable us to forgive and to love.

THIS WE BELIEVE
that as Jesus reconciled persons to God by returning good for evil, so also are Jesus’ followers to be reconcilers, to return good for evil, and to love their enemies as Christ loved persons.

THIS WE COVENANT
that we will be peacemakers in our community and larger society so that the reconciliation and love we have experienced in Christ can also be experienced by others.

As taught by Jesus (Matthew 5:44-45 and Paul (Romans 12:17,21), in our peacemaking: we will seek to stand in visible ways with those who are victims of hatred, injustice and conflict; we will attempt to relate to those who oppress in a manner that encourages them to pursue an alternative way; we will strive to transform thought forms and institutions that serve to enslave persons.

THIS WE BELIEVE
that war is contrary to God’s intent for everyone.

THIS WE COVENANT
that in case of war we will abstain from contributing to conflict on either side. Rather, we will work toward reconciliation where possible. In particular, we reject taking up arms against anyone because that would contradict our life in Christ and our mission as representatives of Christ’s love. We covenant to encourage and help each other to live up to this commitment.


CHURCH MEMBERSHIP

THIS WE BELIEVE
that we have been called to follow Jesus and to be part of his living body, the Church.

THIS WE COVENANT
that we want to follow Jesus Christ together, bound in common faith, identified with the same call, and committed to the same task; to that end we accept each other as members of the local fellowship and commit ourselves to this Covenant as an expression of what it means for us to be the Church.

THIS WE BELIEVE
that Christians have been added to and are the body, the Church, of which Christ is the head.

THIS WE COVENANT
that we want to be in fellowship with all those who count themselves part of the body of Christ, the spiritual, universal Church, spanning the nations and the ages.

THIS WE BELIEVE
that even as Christ’s life was limited by his physical being, so we, as the body of Christ, must begin our involvement in a physically limited local congregation.

THIS WE COVENANT
that as long as we live within driving distance of Fort Garry in the City of Winnipeg we consider ourselves to be part of the Fort Garry Mennonite Fellowship, privileged and held responsible to be and to build the body of Christ, the Church, and the community;

that should a change of residence take place we will strive to assume similar responsibility to the body of Christ in the congregation of our new place of residence and do this within a year of relocation.

THIS WE BELIEVE
that to grow in spiritual stature we promise to do what the Word teaches concerning the will of God.

THIS WE COVENANT
that we will strive to understand the Will of God and strive to live by it in the strength of the Spirit of Power. This will require reading the Word, listening to the Spirit and each other in the Fellowship, and being much in prayer where differences of opinion divide us. Christian discipline (discipleship) requires a holy life and to that end members will exhort and correct each other according to Matthew 18:15-18.


BAPTISM

THIS WE BELIEVE
that baptism is an act through which the Church proclaims Jesus’ life, minis- try and teaching. Through baptism the Church also proclaims that Jesus promised to accept those who come to God in faith.

THIS WE COVENANT
that we will continue to teach the importance of the act of baptism both as a means for re-calling the life, ministry and teaching of Jesus and as a means for laying specific claim to the promise of acceptance if we approach God in faith.

THIS WE BELIEVE
that in accepting baptism a commitment is made to join together with members of the Fellowship in order to do the will of Jesus who is the Saviour and Lord of this living body, the Church.

THIS WE COVENANT
that we will join with those who enquire about baptism and membership in a study of the nature of the Church and the importance of baptism as an act of mutual commitment in our continuous quest to know more clearly and to do more obediently the will of God. On the basis of this study of the Bible, a baptismal service will be planned which expresses the faith and mutual commitment as stated in this Covenant.

THIS WE BELIEVE
that in the act of baptism a commitment is made by the Fellowship to enlarge its circle to include the one being baptised as an essential part of this living body, the Church.

THIS WE COVENANT
to strive continuously to build the community within which the will of God, that persons become whole, can be realised. We commit ourselves to encourage, uphold in prayer and support all those desiring to accept the responsibility of becoming a part of our Fellowship.

THIS WE BELIEVE
that baptism is an act of celebration drawing together the reality and joy of conversion with the power of the Holy Spirit which is made manifest through the body of Christ as it responds in obedience to the Spirit’s leading.

THIS WE COVENANT
that with each celebration of baptism we renew our own joy in the Lord and commit ourselves to encourage each other to walk in the power of the resurrection.


COMMUNION

THIS WE BELIEVE
that communion is a common meal patterned on the Passover meal Jesus shared with his disciples. In the Lord’s supper Jesus broke bread and drank wine with his disciples. Jesus said, “As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (I Cor. 11:26). Communion points to Jesus Christ, whose body was given for all people and whose blood established the new covenant (I Cor. 11: 24 – 25). In communion the gathered body of believers recognises that its life is sustained by Christ, the bread of life (I Cor. 10:16)

THIS WE COVENANT
that we will celebrate communion a number of times each year. The Worship Committee will schedule communion services and ask Fellowship members to plan and lead them.

THIS WE BELIEVE
that the communion meal is a sign of the unity of members within our Fellowship (I Cor. 10:17). As believers we are to come to the Lord’s table in a worthy manner, without divisions among us (I Cor. 11:18 – 22, 27 – 34; Matt. 5: 23, 24). Our covenant with one another includes the pledge of love for sisters and brothers. This love includes mutual accountability, the confession and forgiveness of sins, and the sharing of material and spiritual resources as there is need. Such love and sharing extend around the world as we recognise our unity with all believers everywhere.

THIS WE COVENANT
that in celebrating the communion meal together we will renew our covenant with God and with each other. Where relationships are broken, attempts will be made to bring about reconciliation to that the communion meal truly may be a celebration of the unity of Christ’s body.

THIS WE BELIEVE
that communion is a celebration where we remember the death of Jesus and God’s act of deliverance, we give thanks for all of God’s acts of deliverance and for the new covenant established by Jesus, and we recommit ourselves to know and to do God’s will. The invitation to the communion celebration is extended to all who worship in our Fellowship and have, through baptism, made a public confession of faith in Christ.

THIS WE COVENANT
that our communion celebrations are open to all in the community of faith who are living at peace with God and with their sisters and brothers in the faith. Some of the communion meals will be celebrated in the presence of our children where the celebration can serve as a means of communicating the meaning of faith and church membership.


MULTIPLE TEAM MINISTRY

THIS WE BELIEVE
that the Word calls some to be preachers, teachers, visitors, counsellors, and to other tasks (Ephesians 4:11-12).

THIS WE COVENANT
that we will build the local congregation by assigning tasks to each other. This will be known as the team ministry. All will be involved in one aspect or another of this team ministry. We will need to assist each other and to study how to work together in order to give leadership in the areas of worship, pastoral care, Christian education and outreach. Included in these ministries are the strengthening of the home, joining on Sunday morning in experiences of worship, conducting of a creative church school hour, building a church library, and preparing everyone for service.


CHRISTIAN WORSHIP

THIS WE BELIEVE
that the Word of God invites us to worship God, to speak to God, to hear God’s voice; that worship is the most holy service creatures are privileged to perform before the Creator and Redeemer; that in worship we receive from God resources for our life in this world.

THIS WE COVENANT
that we will meet in worship every week, praising God for all gifts of love;

that from time to time we will study together what it means to prepare and lead in worship services so that more and more can share in this ministry and all of us can enter into this experience before God more fully;

that we will periodically conduct special services of worship, such as communion, baptism, child dedication, funeral, wedding;

that in our private life we will be in prayer and worship.


CHRISTIAN EDUCATION

THIS WE BELIEVE
that the Bible is the Word of God, the revelation of God in Jesus Christ, the message of salvation through faith in Christ, and the message for our life under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

THIS WE COVENANT
that we will study the Bible and meditate upon it in our homes as individuals and as families; that we will attend regularly the worship services where the Word is preached and taught; that we and our families will study the Word together on Sunday morning and in special small group meetings.


CHRISTIAN STEWARDSHIP

THIS WE BELIEVE
that the Word warns against greed and materialism, and teaches responsibility
to use time, gifts (talents) and money wisely for self and for others.

THIS WE COVENANT
that we agree the temptation to live for self and luxury is so great that of necessity we will encourage each other to give at least the minimum biblical tithe (10%) as an expression of devotion;

that we agree that each one of us have gifts to share and will be encouraged to share these gifts in service to the local congregation, the community, and society at large;
that in addition to devoting time to work, rest, leisure, and recreation, there will also be time dedicated to the work of the Church.


CHRISTIAN MISSION

THIS WE BELIEVE
that we have been called to continue Jesus’ work of healing, witnessing, serving, sharing humbly and with great joy, unafraid and unashamed.

THIS WE COVENANT
that we will follow and obey Jesus, beginning our witness and service at home, in the neighbourhood and community, and through prayers and gifts across the lands;

that should the Spirit call us, we will be prepared to extend our service and witness into other communities or nations.