As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you
and your descendants after you. (Gen. 9:9)
God makes covenants, or promises, with God’s people all throughout the Bible. These are an important part of our relationship with God – they help us to know God better, and even to help us better understand each other as fellow disciples of Christ.
Covenant relationships are an important part of our faith, and they are also an important part of our life as members of St. Martin. In 2010, we entered a covenant relationship with Bethlehem Lutheran Church on Plank Rd. This covenant serves several purposes, and also spiritual ones – it helps us to better serve God and the people of Webster, and helps us to grow deeper in faith in a variety of ways, including some shared worship and Bible studies, and sharing in ministry and fellowship. Below is our covenant agreement, signed November 2010.
Covenant Agreement between Bethlehem Lutheran Church of Penfield and St. Martin Lutheran Church, Webster
Believing that God has called our two churches together to common purpose and ministry to the people of the Webster-Penfield area and beyond, we, the congregations of Bethlehem Lutheran Church of Penfield and St. Martin Evangelical Lutheran Church, brothers and sisters to one another and of one Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, covenant and commit ourselves to work together, while honoring and retaining our unique identities and heritage:
- to build a stronger, more vital community of faithful and joyful disciples of Jesus through our congregations;
- to actively and publicly witness to God’s love in Jesus;
- to serve with and for others in the wider community, seeking the common good, letting Christ’s light shine in and through us together, that others may see and join us in giving glory and praise to God.
And to these ends, we covenant and commit ourselves
- to pray for each other and our shared and unique ministries;
- to learn together;
- to worship together;
- to play and build relationships with each other;
- to listen to each other’s concerns, fears, hopes, and dreams;
- to encourage, inspire, and help one another in discovering, using, and sharing our unique gifts for the ministry of both congregations;
- to share ideas, ministries, and resources of people, time, facilities, and wealth for outreach with God’s love to the community and beyond;
- to develop new shared ministries together;
- to develop and support shared structures and staff to support this;
- to be open to change;
- to be flexible with ourselves and one another;
- to be patient, kind, and gentle with ourselves and with each other;
- to confess faults and to forgive;
- to share burdens and disappointments;
- to be willing to fail, as we try new things; and
- to celebrate together successes and joys, both shared and individual.