BELOVED COMMUNITY PROJECT (BCP) COVENANT
As a member of the BCP, I pledge to the following commitments:
1. I will meditate daily on the teachings and life of Jesus. I will pray daily to be used by God in order that racial equity, healing, and justice might come.
“...and he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us.” 2 Cor 5:19b-20
2. I will remember that working for racial equality, healing, and justice is a holy work of obedience and faithfulness to God’s call, not only on my life individually, but also on our shared life communally and institutionally. Therefore, while that work will require seeking transformation and life change in myself, my character and dispositions, that work will also necessitate striving for more equitable outcomes, healed relationships, and just institutional arrangements.
“...work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” Phil. 2:12-13
“He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8
3. I will walk and talk in the manner of love, for God is love. This means exercising grace for people for where they are in their journey--for some people, this is their first time learning to articulate themselves in a conversation about race. For other people, their lives have been invested in the study of and activism for racial justice for years.
“God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them…. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear...We love because he first loved us.” I John 4: 16b, 18a, 19
4. I will resist the forces of death and refrain from violence of tongue or heart, and lay my grievances before the Cross of Christ. With both friend and foe, I will respect the ordinary rules of courtesy.
“Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters in all the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering.” 1 Peter 5:6-9
5. I will affirm truth-telling, both as one offering and receiving it in love. I accept that challenging and sometimes uncomfortable conversations are part of the work of pursuing racial justice and understanding.
“You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31b-32
“My friends, if anyone is detected in a transgression, you who have received the Spirit should restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. Take care that you yourselves are not tempted.” Gal 6:1
6. I will sacrifice personal and positional status in order to allow mutual learning. The hierarchies that are built into our institutional context often create dynamics of power that prevent us from experiencing mutual respect, collaborative creativity and partnerships. In order for us to grow in honoring the dignity of each person in this community, individuals with status (e.g., whether it be through one’s position, office, seniority, gender, race, social class, or age) are asked to bring a posture of humility and openness towards those whom we may not typically have the opportunity to listen to or learn from.
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves.” Phil 2:3
7. I will work to self-educate and better understand the history and institutional contexts that shape my perspective, my way of communicating and relating, and my posture towards race matters. Also, I will devote time to learning and carefully considering the contexts and experiences of someone with a different racialized experience than myself. Because race is a social and political construct, I accept that standing for justice begins with recognizing the inherent value of each person and empathizing with the “other.”
“Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ….All must test their own work...For all must carry their own loads.” Gal 6:2, 4a, 5
8. I will accept others’ callings to live into their identities in this communal space as peacemaker, prophet, servant, activist, or something else. We are not all called to be the ear or the mouth in Christ’s Body. I will prepare myself to actively listen and watch, to examine myself and seek God for wisdom when responding to how others pursue equity, justice and healing in their decisions, words, and actions that may be different from mine.
“But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.” Eph. 4:15-16
By joining the BCP, I am agreeing to commit to these expectations. I am willing to have a member inform me if I am not adhering to these community expectations. I understand that not adhering to these expectations may make me subject to removal from this group.
Note: Several points in the BCP Covenant and Community Guidelines are inspired and adapted by the code of conduct governing the online group arising out of Latasha Morrison’s book and movement, "Be the Bridge."