Community Covenant

Preface
Camp Roger is an organization that seeks to encounter and celebrate God’s love for his children through experiences and relationships in creation. We seek a world that loves God and appreciates His creation. For Camp Roger’s community covenant to serve its stated purpose, it is crucial that each member of the Camp family understands it clearly and embraces it sincerely. In joining this covenant we are, before the Lord, joining in a compact with other members of the Camp Roger community. If we do not wish to live under the provisions of this compact, we should not agree to it. But if we do agree to it, it should be with the full intention of living with integrity under its provisions both at and away from Camp.

Belief Statements
Because our unity is rooted in Christ’s calling of us, we affirm the traditional teachings of the Christian
church:

  • There is one true God who is revealed in the Trinity.
  • God the Father created, holds together, and is revealed in Creation.
  • Jesus Christ, God the Son, atones for our sin through His life, death, and resurrection.
  • God the Holy Spirit convicts us, sanctifies us, and dwells in us to equip us for service and witness.
  • The Bible is the divinely-inspired, infallible word of God, provided by God as the authority on all matters of faith and conduct.
  • The church is the one universal body of Christ, God’s redeemed people, called to be His disciples.

Our Community Covenant

The goal of community life at Camp Roger is to fellowship, work, serve, and worship together as a community centered on the Lord Jesus Christ. Along with the privileges and blessings of membership in such a community come responsibilities. The members of the Camp Roger community take these responsibilities seriously.

The biblical foundation of Christian community is expressed in Jesus’ two great commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,” and, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:37-40). Jesus himself perfectly demonstrated the pattern: love for God, acted out in love for others, in obedience to God’s Word. Acknowledging our dependence on the power and grace of God, the members of the Camp Roger community humbly covenant to live according to this ideal.

The purposes of this community covenant are…

  • to cultivate a camp atmosphere that encourages spiritual, moral, and personal growth.
  • to integrate our lives around Christian principles and devotion to Jesus Christ.
  • to remove whatever may hinder us from our calling as a Christ-centered camp community.
  • to remove whatever may hinder us from carrying out our mission as a camp.
  • to encourage one another to see that living for Christ involves dependence on God’s Spirit and obedience to his Word, rather than passive acceptance of prevailing practices.

Affirming Biblical Standards

We desire to build this covenant on basic biblical standards for godly Christian character and behavior. God’s Word guides how we live, we understand that our calling leads us to follow these truths.

  • Christ is Lord over all of life and thought. This includes our time, our possessions, our God-given capacities, and our opportunities (Deut. 6:5-6;1 Cor. 10:31; Col. 1:18; 3:17);
  • We are to love God with our whole being and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Therefore, Christ-like love should be the motive in all decisions, actions, and relationships (Matt. 22:37-40; Rom. 13:8-10; 1 John 4:7-12);
  • We are to pursue holiness in every aspect of our thought and behavior (2 Cor. 7:1; 1 Thess. 4:7; Heb. 12:14; 1 Pet. 1:15-16);
  • We are called to live in humble submission to one another with loving regard for the needs of others (1 Pet. 5:5; Eph. 5:21; Phil. 2:3-11; Rom. 14:1-23; 1 Thess. 4:9);
  • Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, to be treated with honor (1 Cor. 6:17-20);
  • God wants us to draw closer to him through prayer and meditation on His Word (Joshua 1:8, Ps. 1:2)

Living the Christian Life

We believe these biblical standards will show themselves in a distinctly Christian way of life, an approach to living we expect of ourselves and of one another. This lifestyle involves practicing those attitudes and actions the Bible portrays as virtues and avoiding those that the Bible portrays as sinful.

According to the Scriptures, followers of Jesus Christ will:

  • show evidence of the fruit of the Holy Spirit who lives within them and practice forgiveness (Gal. 5:22-23; Col. 3:12-14);
  • seek righteousness, mercy and justice, particularly for the disadvantaged (Prov. 21:3; 31:8-9; Micah 6:8; Matt. 23:23; Gal. 6:10);
  • love and side with what is good in God’s eyes (Amos 5:15; Rom. 12:9, 16:19);
  • uphold the God-given worth of every person as a unique image-bearer of God (Gen. 1:27; Psalm 8:3-8; 139:13-16);
  • pursue unity and embrace diversity as part of God’s design for humanity and practice reconciliation as one of his redemptive purposes in Christ (Isa. 56:6-7; John 17:20-23; Acts 17:26; Eph. 2:11-18; Col. 3:11; Rev. 7:9-10);
  • uphold chastity among the unmarried (1 Cor. 6:18) and the sanctity of marriage (Heb. 13:4);
  • be people of integrity whose word can be trusted (Psalm 15:4; Matt. 5:33-37);
  • give faithful witness to the Gospel (Acts 1:8; 1 Pet. 3:15), practice good works toward all (Gal. 6:10; Eph. 2:10; Heb. 10:24; 1 Pet. 2:11), and live lives of prayer and thanksgiving (1 Thess. 5:17-18; James 5:16; Titus 2:7-8).

By contrast, Scripture condemns the following:

  • pride, dishonesty, injustice, prejudice, immodesty in dress or behavior, slander, gossip; vulgar, obscene, or profane language; greed, covetousness and illegal activities (Prov. 16:18; 1 Cor. 6:10; Exod. 20:7; Rom. 13:9; Col. 3:8-9; James 2:1-13; Gal. 3:26-29; Rom. 13:1-2; 1 Tim. 2:8-10; Heb. 13:5-6);
  • hypocrisy, self-righteousness, and legalism (Acts 15:5-11; Matt. 16:6; 23:13-36);
  • sinful attitudes and behaviors that create disunity (Gal. 5:19-21);
  • sexual immorality, such as the use of pornography or any sexual relations outside the bounds of marriage (Matt. 5:27-28; Rom. 1:21-27; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Gen. 2:24; Eph. 5:31).

Because Christian interpretations of some of these passages may vary, where there are disagreements Camp defers to the teaching and practice of the Christian Reformed Church and its synodical decisions. With regard to homosexual Christians, the CRC affirms the use of every person’s gifts in the cause of the kingdom, and it affords all opportunities to serve. The church, however, finds explicit and overt homosexual practice to be incompatible with the will of God as revealed in Scripture.

Embracing Camp Standards

Beyond these explicit biblical issues, the Camp Roger community seeks to foster the practice of discipleship (Gal. 5:13-14; 1 Pet. 2:16-17). This requires a wise stewardship of mind, body, time, abilities and resources on the part of every member of the community. Responsible Christian living also requires thoughtful, biblically-guided choices in matters of behavior and interpersonal relationships.

To foster the kind of camp atmosphere most conducive to becoming the Christian community of living and serving that Camp Roger aspires to be, the camp has adopted the following institutional standards. These standards embody such foundational principles as self-control, avoidance of harmful practices, the responsible use of freedom, sensitivity to the heritage and practices of other Christians, and honoring the name of Jesus Christ in all we do. It is expected that employees of Camp Roger will adhere to these standards:

  • Staff members will strive to follow the example of Christ, putting the values of the Kingdom over selfish intent.
  • Staff members will not use controlled substances, including alcohol and tobacco, when on duty or on camp property. When off duty, staff members will drink only in moderation and will follow legal guidelines for use of any such substance.
  • Staff members will represent themselves and Camp Roger to the rest of the world in a way that reflects their commitment to be followers of Christ, restorers of His Kingdom and supporters of the values of Camp Roger. This applies in social media, in conversations, in appearance, and in any other avenue through which a staff member represents him or herself and Camp Roger.
  • Staff members’ appearance and dress will reflect their identities as Christians and reflect the values of Camp Roger in message and modesty.
  • Staff members will not use language that conveys disrespect or is offensive to others or to God.
  • Staff members will seek resolution to conflict with maturity and with a commitment to restoration and unity.
  • With regard to human sexuality, it is expected that staff members will abide by the teachings of the church.
  • Staff members agree to perform their work responsibilities with integrity and excellence, and to work alongside their coworkers beyond the confines of their stated job descriptions for the good of each other and for the mission of Camp Roger.

Conclusion

We, the Camp Roger community, desire to be a covenant community of Christians marked by integrity, responsible freedom, and dynamic, Christ-like love, a place where the name of Jesus Christ is honored in all we do. This requires that each of us keeps his or her word by taking the commitment to this covenant seriously as covenant keepers, whatever pressures we may face to do otherwise.

The issue of keeping one’s word is, for a Christian, an important one. Being faithful to one’s word is a matter of simple integrity and godliness. “Lord, who may live on your holy hill?” asks the Psalmist. “He who keeps his oath, even when it hurts” (15:4), comes the reply. Christian integrity dictates that if we have voluntarily placed ourselves under Camp Roger’s community covenant, we must make every effort to fulfill our commitment by living accordingly. Keeping our covenant may also on occasion require that we take steps to hold one another accountable, confronting one another in love as we work together to live in faithfulness both to God’s Word and to our own word. Such loving acts of confrontation are at times difficult, but when performed in the right spirit (Gal. 6:1), they serve to build godly character for both the individuals involved and the community as a whole (Matt. 18:15-17). Only in this way, as we are willing to speak the truth in love, will we “grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ” (Eph. 4:15). Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, . . . And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

— Colossians 3:16-17