Traveling as a group to visit, learn, and serve can be a thrilling, sometimes life-changing experience. Experiencing new things, encountering new people and their stories, is so very worthwhile. But as with all worthwhile things there can be challenges. Balancing our own needs with the needs of the group can make things hard.
So this week the group traveling to Honduras met to draw up a covenant. Our hope is that this covenant will help us remember what we want and need both individually and as a group, and that it will help us to keep in mind the gifts we have received and the ways we can pass on these gifts to help the group gets where it wants to go.
Covenant is a word used in scripture to describe God’s promise to be our loving and steadfast God. The covenant of God is dependent on God’s action alone. It is a gift to us—grace. It isn’t dependent on anything we do or don’t do. In the same way our covenant promises are all about what we promise to try to do. It isn’t dependent or conditional upon others and what they do. And at the same time we remember that we are not God—we will mess up. But again grace abounds so we accept our humanness, we reconcile, and we keep trying as we are able.
We wanted to share our covenant with you as it gives great insight to what people are looking to gain from this trip. It names some of the incredible gifts we have been given which we trust will together get us where we want to go. And for all of this we say thanks be to God.
We trust that in our heartfelt desires, the things that bring us joy, we get to glimpse something of what God desires for us and how we might bring life to the world. In terms of the trip to Honduras we desire to:
As we move together towards these desires we need to:
Be pushed out of our comfort zones and say yes more than we say no • listen for what we are learning about ourselves and what we have to do • communicate well, speaking up when we are sad or bothered • laugh together, bringing a lightness and ability to look for the good in things • be gentle and hear deeply • give each other space • be inclusive and inviting • take time to think • be vulnerable • be free from other’s expectations • be understood • process out loud • not do everything • take care of each other and try to act in a selfless way • be adventurous • be selfless • continue to rely on the ongoing support and prayers of our St Andrew community
On this journey towards the desires placed in our hearts and with the needs we carry together we covenant to share the following gifts:
Optimism and a positive attitude • a safe place to talk • an ability to speak plainly and name what needs to be named • a love of laughter and an ability to see the bright side • an ability to notice and pick up how others are feeling • quiet companionship: someone to take a walk with or craft with • an enjoyment of helping others • a love of soccer • an adventurous and unexpected spirit • problem-solving skills and a practical level-headed approach • a mom’s heart • compassion: the ability to feel with and do things alongside another • a fun-loving spirit • friendship • an open mind • an ability to speak Spanish (and a little German!) • a relaxed personality • a sense of Humor • organizational skills • an ability to notice details • a sensitivity to group processes • a tendency to get bored easily so always up for doing something with others • encouragement • patience • flexibility • energy • creativity • the hope and confidence made real through St. Andrew support and prayers