Covenant Service

Methodists make a distinctive resolution at the start of the new year.

The Covenant Service, often celebrated on the first Sunday of the year, is at the heart of Methodists’ devotion and discipleship, and their dedication in working for social justice. In the service the Church joyfully celebrates God’s gracious offer to Israel that “I will be their God and they shall be my people”.

All are welcome to share in a Covenant Service.  You will be welcome, whether you are sharing in a Covenant Service for the first time, have done it annually for many years, or simply want to watch what others do without taking part yourself.  The service is a gift not a demand! And God will give you the grace to do it all. You are not alone!

This idea of Covenant was basic to John Wesley’s understanding of Christian discipleship. He saw the relationship with God in Covenant as being like a marriage between human beings (both as a community and as individuals) on the one side and God in Christ on the other (cf. Ephesians 5.21-33).

His original Covenant Prayer involved taking Christ as “my Head and Husband, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, for all times and conditions, to love, honour and obey thee before all others, and this to the death”.

The modern covenant has this version of Wesley’s covenant prayer:

‘IA covenant with God am no longer my own but yours.
Put me to what you will,
rank me with whom you will;
put me to doing,
put me to suffering;
let me be employed for you,
or laid aside for you,
exalted for you,
or brought low for you;
let me be full,
let me be empty,
let me have all things,
let me have nothing:
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things
to your pleasure and disposal.
And now, glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
you are mine and I am yours. So be it.
And the covenant now made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven.’

There is more information on the covenant service on the Methodist Church Website where the above information has been summarised from:

Methodist website on the Covenant Service