Sample Cooperating Church Resolution

Whereas, Jesus of Nazareth had just said that the whole law of God could be summed up in loving God with everything we are and have and in loving our neighbor as ourselves, when one in the crowd, who wanted to justify himself, asked him, “Who is my neighbor?” and Jesus answered him with a parable of the Samaritan traveler—a man called good because he placed the need of another before his own plans and convenience; and

Whereas, Jesus of Nazareth had just said “No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things and they ridiculed him. And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.” So he told them a parable of the rich man and Lazarus, how in life the rich man ignored his neighbor Lazarus as he hungered and suffered at his gate. So in death, the unrepentant rich man thirst and agonized in Hades, losing all reward from God, as his father Abraham comforted Lazarus in Sheol; and

Whereas, Peter and John were going up to the temple and a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple to ask alms of those entering the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple he asked them for money. And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth—rise up and walk!” And Peter took him by the hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong—and leaping up he stood and began to take his first and Next Steps, and entered the temple with them leaping and praising God; and

Whereas, we look upon the oppression and injustice suffered by so many living in poverty in South Carolina and we sense that the Lord is calling us to do the work of Good Samaritans in our communities, to serve the Lazarus’s living outside our Church doors, and—in the Name of Jesus Christ—helping our needy neighbore to make positive changes in their lives one step at a time; and

Whereas, Next Steps South Carolina is a community partnership bringing together homeless people and others in need in South Carolina cities and rural areas with volunteers and support from Episcopal and other Churches, in a cooperative effort to improve the lives of everybody involved, and pursues this mission by promoting awareness of community needs, fostering cooperation at all levels, breaking down barriers imposed by poverty, and developing Participants’ abilities to help themselves to better lives; and

Whereas, Next Steps South Carolina is guided by the following goals:

a. To emulate the compassion of Jesus by helping others through practical and efficient means;

b. To move people out of crisis into stability and dignity in a manner that fosters their growth, assists them in moving from dependence to independence, and empowers them—and to do this renouncing feelings of superiority and acts of paternalism;

c. To educate our community and raise the consciousness about the injustice of poverty in the midst of affluence and about public policies that lack compassion; and

d. To draw people to Christ through these ministries, as Christ’s agents, although never to make joining a Church a condition of giving help.

Now, therefore, we affirm our membership as a Cooperative Church in Next Steps South Carolina, pledging our parish’s support, involvement, and participation in the work of this ministry through:

· Prayer,

· Representation on its committees and teams,

· Mobilization of volunteers and other resources, and

· An annual parish pledge of financial support [which represents a significant portion of our call to outreach/mission]

Adopted this _________ day of _____________________ in the Year of Our Lord __________

by the Vestry/Governing Board of ________________________________________________.

Attest: _____________________________________________________________