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Covenant on Justice

In the Image of God:
A Congregational Covenant on Justice
First Congregational United Church of Christ – Boise, Idaho
May 10th, 2015


Preamble

We, the congregation of Boise First Congregational United Church of Christ, enter into this covenant. This is a living document, representing an ongoing process of Christian discernment.

We humbly and gratefully proclaim that we are created in the image of God. 

We believe, in accordance with the Bible and our own consciences, that the image of God incorporates each of us and therefore, all people of all kinds and conditions.


Article One: Economic Justice

The image of God incorporates people of all economic conditions. We see people around us without enough food, warm clothes, adequate medical and mental care, the comfort of home, or adequate livable income. We confess that we are participants in materialism and are affected by society's staggering unequal distribution of wealth. 

The grace of God, the example of Jesus, and our love for one another require us to become more conscious of the economic inequities in our community and the world.

Our faith calls us to action. As Jesus' disciples, we covenant to stand in solidarity with those who are poor, homeless, vulnerable, and powerless. 

      We will work, speak out and act politically to assure their voices are heard.
        
      We will engage in ongoing education about economic injustice and the impact 
        of materialism to our spiritual well-being. 
        
      We will strive to live more simply so that others can simply live. 
        
      We will strive to be generous with our love, time and money.
        
All people are valued and welcome in this congregation.


Article Two: Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation Justice 

The image of God embraces all People. Being faithful to our Creator, we hear the voices of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-gender, queer and questioning persons, their families, friends and allies.  We recognize the pain of rejection, fear of discrimination and violence, and offer
our love and support.  The grace of God, the example of Jesus and our love for one another inspire us to speak and act bravely.

      We will advocate for legal justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-gender, queer, and 
        questioning persons.

All people are welcome and valued in this congregation.
 

Article Three: Racial, Cultural and Ethnic Justice 

The image of God incorporates people of all ethnicities , cultures  and races . We confess our prejudice  and racism  toward those whom we perceive as different. We proclaim and confess the need for ongoing discussion, education, and identification of our congregation's role in expressing God's inclusive love of all persons. This includes breaking down racial, ethnic and cultural walls which divide us. We acknowledge the danger and sinfulness of being silent, standing aside and taking no action, and of the privileges assumed by the majority white population. 

      Following Jesus' example we commit ourselves to take deliberate steps to establish 
        affirming relationships with people of different races and cultures. 

      We seek to break through our fear and discomfort created by geographies and 
        generations of separation and discrimination.  
        
All people are welcome and valued in this congregation.


Article Four: Environmental Justice

Because we are created in the image of God we have a special responsibility to care for all Creatures and Creation. God's creation with finite resources is intended not just for us in our time, but for all living things present and future. Our demands for convenience, material wealth, mobility and power are damaging our environment through pollution and consumption of limited resources. In particular, our excessive use of fossil fuels so pollutes the atmosphere that many areas on the Earth are inhospitable for the residents because of climate change. As God's stewards and followers of Jesus Christ we must change our lifestyles to uphold the common good. 

      We will reduce our carbon footprints in our daily and church lives. 

      We will learn better ways to live sustainably, advocate for public policies that 
        reduce pollution and reliance on fossil fuels.

      We will share our concerns with others in order to influence them to join us 
        in making these changes. 

All Creation is valued in this congregation.


Article Five: Religious Justice

God's embrace includes religious and spiritual expression, which compassionately upholds the dignity, equality and respect of all persons. Faith and freedom flourish when each one can believe and worship freely or not worship at all. We are all threatened when bigotry, religious and political extremism attacks even one of us.

      We oppose bigotry and hatred arising from religious and political extremism.

All expressions of faith are valued in this congregation. 


We pray that the God of Jesus, who calls us together, will help us faithfully discern and live fully this covenant in the days to come. May God grant us courage to endure the costs and celebrate the joys of our Christian discipleship.