A rule of life
Adopted by the Third National Assembly of the Episcopal Urban Caucus, New York City, February 12, 1982
In our Baptismal Covenant, we, the members of the Episcopal Urban Caucus, like all Christians everywhere,
- believe in God, and the reign of God on earth as in Heaven, a kingdom of justice and peace;
- believe in Jesus Christ, the eternal Word of God made flesh for our salvation, and the Good News which he proclaimed to the poor and the oppressed, the year of the Lord’s jubilee;
- believe in the Holy Spirit and in the holy church, God’s power to reconcile and to liberate us as individuals and as a community.
In response to God’s creative, redeeming and sanctifying love for us, we commit ourselves to the mission of the Church with the poor. This mission is rooted in the gospel, and will only be sustained by the life of prayer. For mutual support and empowerment in the cause of God’s kingdom, we accept for ourselves, as Christians and as members of the Episcopal Urban Caucus, the following Rule of of life:
1. To continue in the Apostle’s Teaching
To commit ourselves to some form of regular study, centered in scripture; the Book of Common Prayer, and knowledge of the society in which we are called to ministry;
2. To continue in the fellowship
The discipline of community, openness and availability to one another, that recognizes and celebrates mutual dependence and strength in solidarity with the total human family;
3. To continue in the breaking of bread
And as we participate in each Eucharist, to carry its brokenness into the world that it may return to oneness.
4. To continue in the prayers
To seek and wait upon the Lord’s plan for the holy city, upholding one another in prayer, praying for ourselves and praying for the city in which we dwell, within the terrible urgencies of hunger, loneliness, violence and lost ness that come from our exile in a strange land;
5. To resist
As cosmic and social as well as individual dimensions. One arena of our resistance is every form of action for social change. The other is summarized in the three classic ascetical practices of fasting, praying and almsgiving. These are weapons in our struggle against “the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph.6:12). We accept our bishops’ call to fast one day each week as an assault upon these engines of destruction.
6. To repent and return to the Lord
As likewise corporate as well as individual. We confess to God and to the Church because our sins harm not only ourselves but the whole Body. We are committed by our Baptism continually to return to the Lord and to struggle for the liberation of all creation.
7. To proclaim the Gospel
Is integrally related to work and struggle. We cannot proclaim good news until we have shared the sufferings of the poor. Empowered by that sharing, we can proclaim by word and example the freedom and joy which is God’s purpose for all people. We act in the world in Jesus’ name. Our action is our proclamation.
8. To seek and serve Christ
Means more than religious exercises. Our life in family, in the larger community, and in our work place, is the arena of service to Christ. We must oppose those forms of work that further human suffering, and act in solidarity with all who work for human liberation.
To struggle for justice and peace
Always the task for Christians. Our struggle is a continuation of the struggle of Jesus–in the desert–in the Garden–on the cross. Our goal is his: the Kingdom of God, justice and dignity for every human being, and peace among nations. If there is no justice, there can be no peace. We will strive to be peace-makers, and advocates for all oppressed people.