Mark 12:29 – “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” The second is this: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” “There is no commandment greater than these.”
What is E.C.H.O?
E.C.H.O. (Endorsing Cultural Humility & Oneness) is a ministry established by the Athens Church of Christ to support its ongoing transformation toward embodying its stated goal of “following Jesus together in community, with no racial, socio-economic, or cultural divisions.” Rooted in scripture and powered by the Spirit, we build up The Body by equipping members to exercise the fullness and diversity of our congregation throughout the leadership, ministries, worship gatherings and general activities of the church.
What are the goals of E.C.H.O?
These 9 Bible inspired virtues underpin ECHO’s initiatives:
1. Commitment to relationships across lines that can divide
Unity is built upon the foundation of committed relationships with those who are different from us. Among others, these could be cultural, racial, socioeconomic, gender, age, denominational or political differences.
Oneness does not fully materialize spontaneously or ambiguously by simply attending church together. Achieving God’s call to unity requires more than general intention, but rather purposeful, positive, planned activity that facilitates oneness.
Sincerity is the willingness to be vulnerable, including the self-disclosure of feelings, attitudes, differences and perceptions, with the goal of building trust and unity.
Sensitivity is the intentional acquisition of knowledge in order to relate empathically to a person of a different race, culture, age, gender, political stance or way of life.
Interdependence recognizes our differences, but also realizes we each offer something the other person needs. Embracing the complementary nature of relationships within The Body results in mutual respect, unity and equality among its parts.
Sacrifice is the willingness to relinquish an established status to genuinely adopt a lesser position in order to facilitate a relationship.
7. The Exercise of Repentance & Forgiveness in relationships
Repentance and forgiveness from all parties is needed to create complete freedom and harmony in a relationship.
All Christians are called to the ministry of reconciliation between God and man. Some are called to be instruments of peace in more specific ways bringing unity and acceptance where there is division and misunderstanding.
9. Christ Centered Approach
As we carry the message of Biblical justice and righteousness, we must value Christ, not any human philosophy, as the wisdom, motivation and power for change.
E.C.H.O is led by Chris Mayo and Gwendolyn Payton alongside the leadership team made up of Jeff & Grace Arthur, Oscar & Stephanie Copeland, and Shaun Jones.
For more information about E.C.H.O, contact Chris Mayo at email@example.com.