COVENANT TO PARTNER WITH THE CENTER
The Center’s model of connecting local congregations with visiting church groups requires a complex web of relationships. Please read the expectations and roles outlined below and fill out the required information as requested. After you have read the entire document, please sign and submit this form. Your congregation cannot be considered a partner for Summer mission weeks or school year partnerships until The Center has received the form below, signed by a representative of your congregation.
ROLES OF PARTNER CONGREGATIONS AND THE CENTER
Connecting visiting congregations with our local partner congregations is the cornerstone of our model of conducting short-term mission experiences with integrity. However, the relationships between the local partner congregation, the visiting church group, and The Center can get confusing. Below is a description of each partner’s role in this multi-partner model. The Center expects each party, as much as possible, to maintain appropriate boundaries and expectations.
The Center’s role is to connect visiting church groups with local partner congregations, provide for necessary logistics (housing, food, etc.), and plan and lead all educational programs, worship, and devotions during the mission experience. Furthermore, The Center provides one staff person per mission week or weekend (summer weeks are typically a seminary intern). The staff person’s role is to lead devotions and reflections with each visiting group, to be present during and to participate in the hands-on mission experience with the partner congregation, and to serve as a liaison between the visiting group, the partner congregation, and the rest of The Center’s staff and Steering Committee.
The Center realizes that often, visiting church groups and local partner congregations form relationships that they wish to continue beyond the end of the mission week. The Center’s role is as a connector for one weekend or one week – the weekend or week the visiting church group is staying at The Center and taking part in The Center’s mission experiences with the partner congregation. Any contact beyond the mission week or weekend is beyond the scope of The Center’s work and is the responsibility of the visiting church group and the partner congregation.
The partner congregation’s role is to act in collaboration with your community to make life in the community better for all people. Mission initiatives planned by partner congregations should grow out of the congregation’s year-round engagement with the community. The partner congregation is expected to organize a hands-on mission initiative for a week during the summer or a day or weekend during the school year, for which a visiting church group volunteers. Additionally, the partner congregation works with The Center’s staff person, who serves as the liaison between the partner congregation and the visiting group.
The Center realizes (and celebrates!) that often, visiting church groups and local partner congregations form relationships that they wish to continue beyond the end of the mission week. Any contact between congregations beyond the mission week in Baltimore is beyond the scope of The Center’s work and is the responsibility of the visiting church group and the partner congregation.
Visiting Church Group:
The Visiting Church Group’s role is to volunteer with the local partner congregation. The visiting church group is expected to follow the lead of the local partner congregation, fulfilling volunteer jobs designed by the local congregation and its neighborhood partners. Visiting church groups may choose to be in touch with the local partner congregation after the end of their mission week or weekend, but are not expected to. Groups may choose to return for a subsequent mission week or weekend, but there is no expectation of this, nor is a visiting group required to work with the same partner congregation should they wish to return.
If you are interested in partnering with The Center, please fill out, sign, and submit the form below.