At the beginning of every year, the student staff of the Service-Learning Center honkers down in a room for a couple of hours with the intention of creating a covenant. It’s quite the involved process. We grapple with the task of somehow developing a collective description, a sort of mission statement, with the hopes that it might best reflect upon the work we do and the nuances involved with doing it.
After hours of producing, we then attach ourselves to this covenant. Through revisiting it, creating visual representation, reminding each other, and pushing one another to put these words to action, the goal is to produce a living covenant.
The Covenant of the 2009-2010 S-LC Staff reads as follows:
“Rooted in the hope of what can be, together with conviction and humility, we practice. *Clap*
Asking for forgiveness
*Clap* Rooted in the hope of what can be, together with conviction and humility, we practice.”
Each person on staff has chosen one of these practices to focus on throughout the year. In order to better remind ourselves of these practices in our daily lives, we took some time during our staff retreat to create individual paintings of our practices. These will hang together in our office.
In order to work on these disciplines together, the group has decided to shape our staff weekly staff meetings around the covenant. Aside from beginning our meetings with it, we’ve been taking turns leading the meetings. Each week’s theme focuses on one of the practices, and the assigned staff member provides points of reflection, activities to bring to life some of its different aspects, and questions for discussion.
It’s been a challenging and humbling reminder of the different practices involved in a life of faith. It’s evident that some of us are more gifted in certain practices more than others, but that as we challenge one another to grow in new areas, these practices can come together to shape both us individually and as a whole community, in rather exciting ways.