from the July Chimes Messenger

2churches902At the last meeting of our church councils, it was decided to move forward with a covenant that will work to draw our congregations closer together. A covenant, we believe, is the best next step in making our congregation stronger and better able to function as a single entity. We are not looking at merger now because our FaithWorks partnership calls us to consider merger in the not too distant future, and the time expense and effort to do a merger and then do it again seems foolish.

The congregations will meet in a joint congregational meeting on September 14 to discuss and vote on the covenant. The vote will be separate.

The following are some highlights of the covenant:

  • Our common ministry will be known as Atonement-Our Saviors.
  • Our purpose, by this covenant, is to create a stronger parish whose resources are joined to better serve Jesus and to build God’s Kingdom.
  • We commit to following God’s will; worshiping and praying together; caring for one another; treating one another with respect; sharing our resources and spiritual gifts; working together.
  • Our common ministry will be managed by a joint council consisting of four members of each congregation’s council and two of our pastors.
  • Individual congregational councils will be maintained for the purpose of conducting corporate business unique to each congregation.
  • All reports, minutes, and financial records will be shared with the joint council.
  • Property owned by each congregation remains the sole responsibility of each congregation.
  • Our Savior’s adoption of this covenant will constitute a shared interim call to Atonement’s pastors.
  • Our Savior’s will compensate Atonement for that pastoral call at the rate they were compensating their previous 1/2-time interim (including benefits).
  • In the event of filling a pastoral vacancy, a call committee will be formed using members from each congregation.
  • Termination of the covenant may be accomplished by the vote of either congregation at a duly called special meeting, which has followed a three-month notice of the congregation’s intent to dissolve the covenant.

Because adoption of this covenant constitutes a pastoral call for the Our Savior’s congregation, a two-thirds majority will be necessary for approval. Atonement’s approval of the covenant will require a simple majority for approval.