Ethical Guidelines for Congregational/Clergy Conduct

UECC National, Anglican Apostolic Church, Ste. Genevieve Apostolic Church

Office of the Presiding Archbishop

 

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The following Ethical Guidelines For Congregational Conduct, while not to be construed as a set of rules or law, will help us to make specific application of our New Testament faith to our practices as a congregation.

May God guide us and give us strength and determination as we endeavor to understand and to fulfill the resolves mentioned in these guidelines.

 

 

I

OUR RELATIONSHIP AS MEMBERS TO ONE ANOTHER

  1. We will treat one another with courtesy and kindness. We will endeavor to maintain an attitude of Christian love in all our relationships.

  1. We will welcome the expression of differing viewpoints and will seek to create an atmosphere of trust and confidence that will encourage free discussion.

  1. We will seek to keep confidences and will refrain from gossip. We will seek in all we do and say to strengthen character and dignify personality.

  1. We will remember that our personal conduct gives evidence of our sincerity and reflects upon the good name of the Church, the Body of Christ.

  1. We will work within the framework of the constitution and by-laws of this church. These guidelines will not supersede our national church's constitution and by-laws but may be helpful in their revision.

  1. We will establish and follow a policy on receiving and using special gifts, memorials, trusts, and endowed funds in such a way as to be consistent with Christian stewardship. Reception of the gift entails a consideration of its appropriateness. The policy should also give consideration to when an item outlasts its usefulness.

 

 

II

OUR RELATIONSHIP AS MEMBERS TO OUR CHURCH OFFICERS AND LEADERS

  1. We will respect and support our church leaders. We understand the church is operated under the tutelage and will of the clergy/bishop, and all board members are selected through the appointments by the clergy/bishop.

  1. We will nurture through encouragement and prayer our officers, committees, classes, auxiliary groups and the board of the congregation.

  1. We will expect our officers to manifest Christian principles in their conduct.

  1. We will offer constructive support and feedback to our officers and leaders.

 

III

OUR RELATIONSHIP AS MEMBERS TO OUR CLERGY

  1. Our clergy will be provided by the national church, the diocese bishop or by the board of our church.

  1. We understand the philosophy of the national church that becoming a presbyter is a calling and not a business. While the priesthood of the national church is unpaid and the expectation of the clergy is to hold a secular job for self support, we may wish to strive (and reserve the right) to care for our clergy by our own means.

  1. We will provide our clergy with necessary facilities and equipment for his or her work and will respect study hours. We will be considerate of the need for rest and relaxation and will be sensitive to the need for time with family.

  1. We will respect the time and talents of members of the clergy's family and will have no greater expectations of them than of other lay people.

  1. We will grant our clergy responsible freedom of the pulpit and the right to present Christian convictions without fear.

  1. We will respect and cooperate with our clergy's spiritual and intellectual leadership.

  1. We will call on our present clergy for weddings, funerals and other special services. Any former clergy' or others unconnected with the congregation may be invited to participate in such services only when appropriate and at the present clergy's invitation.

  1. We will cooperate with our clergy to best utilize our congregation's talents in fulfilling the mission of the church.

  1. We will keep our clergy informed when pastoral services are needed.

  1. We will support our clergy's reasonable participation in Area, Diocese, National, International and/or General activities of the denomination, as well as civic and ecumenical activities.

  1. We will encourage and assist our clergy through constructive feedback, appropriate praise, constant prayer and faithful participation with him or her in ministry.

  1. Because the congregation is a priesthood of believers that clergy to one another (pastor to the congregation and congregation to the pastor), our relationships in the church will be covenantal as well as contractual, and we will maintain and conclude all pastoral relationships in a spirit of Christian love.

  1. The church will be sensitive and will voluntarily find specific ways to go the second mile in ministry with love, compassion and trust in the event of personal and/or family crisis, illness of the clergy or clergy's family, a death in the family, psychological or emotional difficulties or other extenuating circumstances.

 

 

IV

OUR RELATIONSHIP AS MEMBERS TO OUR COMMUNITY AND/OR COUNTRY

  1. We agree to live in a manner consistent with our Christian convictions.

  1. Because our Christian convictions set the standard for our citizenship, our faith will lead us to be informed and to respect the law.

  1. We will be attentive to the moral and ethical implications of every project we are asked to support.

  1. We will respect the rights and privileges of persons living near the church and will endeavor not to inconvenience our neighbors nor harm their property.

  1. We will establish no barriers that might prevent anyone from worshiping with us.

  1. We will work in a complementary way with community service agencies and organizations to most effectively serve and improve our community.

  2. The clergy soundly denounces all social injustices posed against any individual or group, not limited to race, creed, color, orientation, religious beliefs, general harassment or sexual harassment/improprieties.

 

 

V

OUR RELATIONSHIP AS MEMBERS TO THE CHURCHES IN OUR COMMUNITY

  1. We will seek to understand the beliefs and practices of others. While we may be constructively critical of their doctrine, we will refrain from unkind remarks about people who differ from us.

  1. We will encourage unity and harmony among the various communions of Christian peoples and will give evidence of our sincerity through participation at appropriate local, state/province, national and/or world levels.

  2. We will encourage unity and harmony among the various communions of non-Christian peoples

  1. We will not be part of proselytizing members from other congregations in our community, nor will we exploit the problems or crises of other congregations. We will present the witness of our congregation in a manner not injurious to others.

  1. We will respect the privilege of borrowing from other congregations.

 

 

VI

OUR RELATIONSHIP AS MEMBERS TO THE NATIONAL CHURCH AND DIOCESE

  1. We will seek to know and to understand the various points of view within the national church and diocese and will respect the opinions of those whose interpretations differ from our own.

  1. We will recognize our covenantal relationship with the church and will give generous and prayerful support to our programs at home and overseas.

  1. We will endeavor to understand and embrace the general principles of the church as set down by the canons and beliefs of the church.

     

      

    VII

    OUR RELATIONSHIP AS MEMBERS TO THE CHURCH UNIVERSAL

    1. With the church universal we proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior of the world, in his name and by his grace we accept our mission of witness and service to all people.

    1. We are bound to God and one another through covenant, and through baptism we are made one with the whole people of God.

    1. We are called to express the unity God bestows by ecumenical study, dialogue, cooperation and expression.

    1. Because all Christians in the church universal have the obligation to uphold the Christian life in the face of the evil forces of our day, we will cooperate with other church bodies in living the Christian witness.

    1. We will support acceptable agencies of Christian cooperation in local, national and global manifestations of the Church's life.

    1. So as to establish no barriers that might prevent any of Jesusʼ followers from communing with us; we will remember that our LORD invites his believers to the Lord’s Table in the spirit of Christian love and unity.

     

    These Ethical Guidelines for Congregational Conduct were adopted by the Board of Presbyters of the Ste. Genevieve Episcopal Catholic Church.