From the Introduction and Suggestions for Use
“Your session is considering signing A Call to Covenant Community, the statement of commitment from the Covenant Network of Presbyterians. Or perhaps, your congregation is already committed to that cause. This study guide is designed to help sessions and congregations explore the scripture and theology undergirding A Call to Covenant Community, and to examine the actions and results it may bring about in your congregation.
“The study guide is divided into four study sessions, following the four primary sections in the beginning of A Call to Covenant Community:
- Jesus’ Radical Hospitality
- Church in Society
- Using the Bible
- Unity in Diversity
“Each study session has background information, group activities, and time for action planning. The material is designed to engage participants in studying new material, sharing their ideas, and exploring possibilities. That takes time! Time suggestions are given for an hour long session. All of the sessions, though, have much more material than can usually be adequately covered in an hour. Leaders will need to be selective in the activities they choose, and they must keep a watch on the time to proceed through the material. You will need to cut off discussion to move on to other topics. When you must do that, we suggest that you keep a running tally of ideas for further discussion of topics that arise which cannot be fully explored in a brief session. Jot these ideas on a piece of newsprint which you keep posted throughout the study period. At the end, pass these ideas along to your adult education planning team or pastor. Each session should leave time for action planning and an adequate closing.
“In each session, the leader’s guide is supplemented by handout sheets to be used by participants. In planning ahead, the leader should decide which handouts he or she will use and make copies for all the participants. The Bible is used in all the sessions, and participants should be encouraged to bring their own Bibles to the sessions; however, leaders should provide enough copies for those who do not bring one. Also, all participants should have a copy of A Call to Covenant Community, because we will refer to it frequently in all the sessions.
“At the end of each session, you will find ‘Ideas for Further Study.’ Along with the ideas you have jotted down from discussion, use these for further discussion which you might take up later in adult education, small group study, or sermons.”