Muslim/Presbyterian Covenant

Rev. Joyce Shin and CIOGC Board Member Karen Danielson read the covenant to the Assembly on June 18, 2013

The Ecumenical and Interreligious Work Group has been working with The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC) to develop a covenant relationship between the two communities. The covenant was approved by the Presbytery Assembly on June 18, 2013.

Here are suggested activities to consider in living out the covenant established between the Presbytery of Chicago and the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago:

  • Convening Dinner: Attend a convening dinner for the covenant in October 2013 (to be announced).
  • Covenant Sunday: Encourage use of the covenant statement in worship.
  • Book Club: Organize a book club with members of your congregation and a local mosque or community center to discuss a recommended book relating Christianity and Islam.
  • Youth Group: Send your youth group on a service project with young Muslims from local mosques, communities and Islamic schools.
  • LEAD Event: Encourage clergy and members to learn about the challenges facing Muslim immigrants at the LEAD event in March 2014.
  • Celebration Dinner: Attend a celebration dinner highlighting the year of activities living out the covenant in October 2014 (location to be announced).

The text of the covenant, written to be read aloud, follows:

Covenant between the Presbytery of Chicago (POC)  and the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC)

As communities of faith, we, the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago and the  Presbytery of Chicago, believe that our religions are the rich wellsprings from which we draw  our commitments to serve, support, and benefit one another. Our religions teach us that God is  the creator and sustainer of the world and that responding faithfully to God requires us to  commit to serve God’s creation.

Responding to God requires us to strive together for the common good: the care of the earth for  the generations to come, the pursuit of justice for all and the protection of our rights to practice  and express our faiths as best we can. Responding to God requires us to take to heart a  genuine concern for the well-being of each other. Only when our neighbors’ well-being  becomes our own concern can we truly be faithful to God. So, consistent with our religious  teachings, we commit to stand together for those who are vulnerable and to speak up with those  whose voices are not heard. We commit to teach our children compassion for those whose  struggles are different from our own. We promise to become a force for good for each other  and for others.

In order to achieve this vision we recognize that our two communities in metropolitan Chicago  have much work to do. With sincere effort, we commit ourselves

  • to deepen our understanding of each other’s religions
  • to recognize that we do not agree on all things
  • to model respect for each other’s religions
  • to work together on issues of human equality and social justice, consistent with our  religious values.

Together we place our trust and hope in God, that God will bless and guide our efforts and that  God will turn our efforts into a blessing for us.

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