Using Covenant As A Verb

We covenant to learn from one another in our free and responsible search
for truth and meaning

                                                                      – Final Proposed Revision to Article II

Can you see and feel the difference in the language between our current principles and the proposed values? Under the Proposed Revision, to uphold Pluralism we are called not only to  value a free and responsible search for truth and meaning, but to learn from one another and not only learn, but covenant to learn.

To covenant is actually a big deal. When I first joined this faith, I was amazed at how often the word covenant sprung up everywhere. Being raised a Southern Baptist I was familiar with the theological covenants made between God and Israel in the Old Testament, but the modern application of relational covenants made between congregants was a new concept to me. Making a covenant with someone implies the intention of doing the work of maintaining that covenant. It is a binding agreement, not to be made lightly.

If we Covenant to learn from one another we allow a shift from individualism to communalism. We are no longer solitary seekers, but instead we become both students and teachers in this search for truth and meaning. None of this means we must adopt the beliefs of others, but we are responsible for nurturing within ourselves an eagerness to learn from others. And exactly how do we do that? We could welcome diversity with a fervor, committing ourselves to learning from the beliefs, experiences, and truths taught to us by our fellow seekers. Some of the lessons may be difficult for us to accept. Some truths may feel too painful, tempting us to turn away. This is why we covenant to learn and bind ourselves to one another, courageous in the practice of Love.

~Lisa Kiel

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1 Response to Using Covenant As A Verb

  1. Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones says:

    Oh, Lisa!! This is so exactly what I was trying to say with my homily last week! Thank you for naming so clearly this “structure” for our faith, this spiritual promise we make to each other as part of belonging to this faith! I’m excited about the ways we can renew our faith by taking these deeper dives–and the proposed new language for Article II really helps me to do that, without losing any of the underpinnings of those Principles. Hooray!

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