How wonderful it is, how pleasant, for God's people to live together in harmony! 
Psalm 133:1

community fall festival
    We live in a special time of renewal in the Christian churches. A key sign of renewal is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit, people being brought into a revitalized relationship with God, and the emergence of Christian communities worldwide. When the Holy Spirit was poured out on the early disciples at Pentecost they were given a new power to live and to witness together as a community of disciples (see Acts 2 and 4). This visible sign of unity drew many people to the Lord and to Christian community. 

    A "shared life" in Christ

    What is Washtenaw Covenant Community? We are an ecumenical lay renewal community, composed of more than 400 individuals and families who have discovered the joy of a rich shared life in Christ. We have experienced a call from the Lord to serve Him together in the ordinary circumstances of our lives as a people in Washtenaw county (comprising the cities of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti) located in southeastern Michigan. Our call is to know and love Christ and to make him known and loved by others. And our mission includes the call to work for the transformation of society so that it reflects in greater and greater measure the kingdom of God. We are called to be a community of disciples who are radically committed to Jesus Christ. The call of our members is to live out their vocation as lay men and women in the world. Marriage and family, career and professions are the place of the transforming witness of our members.

    We come from many walks of life and from many traditions. We are multi-cultural, international, and ecumenical -- African-American, Asian, Hispanic, white, Middle-eastern, European, and yes, American. We are members of churches from many Christian traditions -- Roman Catholics, both Latin rite and Eastern rite Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants from Lutheran, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Methodist, Baptist, Free Church, Pentecostal and other evangelical and non-denominational Christian churches as well. While respecting our differences and while acknowledging that there are serious disagreements among the churches, we nonetheless believe that there is much we do share in common as Christians -- a common baptism and faith in Jesus Christ, the Scriptures, the gift of the Holy Spirit, prayer and worship, cooperative missionary work, evangelism, and work for social justice, to name a few.

    Links with other communities worldwide

    Washtenaw Covenant Community is a member community of The Sword of the Spirit, an international and ecumenical network of some 65 communities worldwide in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore, Fiji, India, Lebanon, Spain, Poland, Germany, Belgium, France, Ireland, Scotland, England, Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Colombia, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Canada, and in several cities throughout the United States. Our communities share a common vision and mission and are united through a covenant while retaining local autonomy.

    Our common purposes

    We share the following common purposes: (1.) to help support one another to live a fully converted life as mature Christians, (2.) to foster the love and worship of God and a life that is lived for his glory, (3.) to foster a committed life of worship, prayer and witness in the ordinary situations of daily life (in family and occupation), (4.) to develop a way of life where the gospel can be lived out more fully, (5.) to carry out a work of direct evangelization -- particularly reaching out to the unchurched and lapsed Christians, (7.) to help in the proclamation and defense of the gospel, and (8.) to foster Christian unity through collaboration among Christians from various traditions.

    What we are not

    We are not a commune. We do not all live under one roof nor do we hold all of our possessions in common. We encourage our members to live simply, to give liberally, and to share material possessions with those in need. Many of us do live near one another in neighborhoods. This makes it easier for us to pray, share, and serve together and to reach out to meet the needs of others around us. 

    We are not a church. Members of our community participate in local parishes and congregations. As a community, we pledge ourselves to support each other in our respective church commitments.

    [Written by Don Schwager (c) 2000 Washtenaw Covenant Community.]
If you would like more information, please write to:
      Washtenaw Covenant Community
      2512 Carpenter Road - Suite 201-B
      Ann Arbor, Michigan 48108
    Or you can FAX: (313) 973-5501.
    Or send email to: dschwager@rc.net
See related articles: "Our Vision and Mission", Interview by David Janzen, Community Photo Essays
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