In our churches, each time we baptize a child of God, whether an infant or an adult, we renew our Baptismal Covenant and are reminded that our call as members of the body of Christ is to “seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor as ourselves” and to “strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being” (BCP 305). As the Body of Christ, we come together to form a loving, trusting community of believers committed to the promises of God in Jesus Christ. Whether we are lay or ordained, we are to treat members of our congregations, other staff members, and all in need who come to us, in such a manner that they may experience the healing ministry of Christ and be received with the same care and dignity our Lord showed to those who came to him.
Our churches are to be places of sanctuary for all of God’s people. The expectation of sanctuary in a sacred space is one of safety and community. To be a sanctuary, the Church must form itself as a pastoral community where trust is expected and upheld. Trust is fundamental to covenantal love and the well being of the Christian community. Christian people have the right to expect that those they choose as leaders, lay and ordained, are committed to standards of behavior that are trustworthy. Pastoral leadership in the Church is a calling that entails the highest standards of personal responsibility and integrity.