March 2010 - Vol. 38

.Thanks Be to God for Forty Years of Life in Covenant Community
An Announcement for Members of the Sword of the Spirit

Our community life began in 1970 when the Word of God was formed by the commitment of its original members to a solemn covenant, thus inaugurating a new form of renewal community in the church – covenant community. In the following years the Word of God was in ongoing close relationship with other covenant communities around the world until in 1982 the coordinators of the Word of God expanded the international work which the Lord began through them by organizing an international community called the Sword of the Spirit. The members of  other communities were invited to join with them. The first group of communities did so because of a recognition that we all shared a common call from God to live as part of a single international, ecumenical community of communities, now called the Sword of the Spirit.

Gathering to Give Thanks to God
This year marks the fortieth anniversary of the inauguration of “Covenant Community” and it is fitting to celebrate that important event. The International Assembly of the Sword of the Spirit will be held in Ann Arbor from the 3rd through the 6th of May, and that provides us with an opportunity to commemorate the beginnings of covenant community, in the city where it began, with leaders representing many of our communities from around the world.

The Anniversary gathering will be held on Sunday 2 May at Knox Presbyterian Church in Ann Arbor from 4:30pm. – 6:30pm, followed by a time of fellowship and light refreshments. We will hear testimonies to the blessing of covenant community from various locations around the world, and spend time worshipping God and giving thanks. All members of the Sword of the Spirit are invited, although we recognize that not many from outside of Michigan will be able to attend. We will however video the event and make DVDs available to all member communities of The Sword of the Spirit.

Local Celebrations
We will designate the year from 1 May 2010 through 30 April 2011 as our fortieth anniversary year, and the International Executive Council of the Sword of the Spirit would like to encourages our member communities to celebrate this fortieth anniversary in your own locale community during that year. This could be an excellent opportunity to invite guests – church leaders and leaders of other movements and communities – to join with us and experience a taste of our community life.

Living Bulwark
During this year Living Bulwark, the online magazine of the Sword of the Spirit will feature regular contributions highlighting the great blessings of life in covenant community or aspects of our history. We would like to encourage local leaders to send in contributions, including the text of talks given at your own local celebration of the anniversary, photos of those gatherings, and perhaps some of your own local history.

Guest Arrangements for those attending the gathering in Ann Arbor on 2 May
Because of limited capacity in Knox Presbyterian church, Word of Life Community asks that if you are from outside of Michigan and plan to attend the gathering, you contact the community office so that they can keep an eye on expected numbers. 

Because of limited capacity in the local community (they will already be hosting the members of the International Assembly) Word of Life asks that if you plan to attend and need overnight accommodation, you arrange that accommodation yourself.

Word of Life community Office can be reached at:
2512 Carpenter Rd.
Suite 201-B
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
United States
Telephone: 1-734-667-3662
Fax:        1-734-973-5501
(c) copyright 2010  The Sword of the Spirit
publishing address: Park Royal Business Centre, 9-17 Park Royal Road, Suite 108, London NW10 7LQ, United Kingdom