What do I believe? Sometimes the response is shaped like “Credo” and other times it is shaped more like reflection on the journey. Here are three — the first from Aotearoa, the second from Great Britain, and the third, a liturgical version of the creed of Human Rights, represents many in Latin America and comes from Argentina.
Erice Fairbrother of Aotearoa/New Zealand shares her affirmation of faith …
We gather as people of the Way
Leaving paths that have brought us this far
To find new directions,
discover new stories,
daring to explore horizons and truth.
On the Way, life meets us, hungry for justice
for bread and for peace;
It calls us to see,
To hear and to act,
Finding new words and the courage to speak.
In our meeting together comes strength
To serve; the least and the little,
the unseen, the neglected,
the lost and rejected,
And love overcoming, fear of the cost.
We come celebrating the Way that we travel
The community created;
The joy of experience,
The love we walk,
And the peace, that never lets us rest.
For the way that stretches in front of us,
We say thank you.
For the way that lies behind us,
We say thank you.
For the Way that we will become,
We hope with thankful hearts. Amen.
Geoffrey Duncan of Great Britain adds his voice …
My Creed – My Beatitude
I believe in the precious nature of each individual.
Peace to the people who respect their challenging and exciting neighbours.
I believe in Justice for all people.
Peace to the people who support the right for people to be
accepted for who they are.
I believe in the acceptance of women and men of whatever
sexual orientation and persuasion.
Peace to the people who speak out against persecution, bullying,
verbal and physical abuse of individuals and groups of people.
I believe in an Inclusive Church.
Peace to the people who, with their love and desire for the wholeness
of humankind, create communities and churches where we are
enabled to worship in the spirit of diversity, honestly and love.
Gerardo Oberman of Argentina sent this liturgical setting for the 1948 statement —
A proposal for a service for churches, agencies, institutions in Latin America based on the Creed of Human Rights
We believe in you, God of Life, who created us free
and equal in dignity and rights.
We affirm that these rights, which given us in your grace,
are valid for every person without distinction of race, color,
sex, language, religion, political opinion, national or social origin,
property, birth or other status.
We believe we have the right to life
and to live that life in full freedom,
in an atmosphere of security and respect,
because everyone is equal
before the law of this world
equal in our thoughts and actions.
We affirm that no person should be held in slavery
nor to any form of bondage or oppression.
We believe in you, Mother Creator, and that no one
should not be subjected to torture
or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
We affirm that we cannot be arbitrarily arrested,
or detained or prosecuted or banished without a cause.
We believe we have the right to speak our truth
and be heard with respect and fairness.
We affirm that it is a sin to violate the privacy of others,
in order to attack their honor or reputation.
We believe that you, O God, who combines all the names,
give us the right to a name,
to a nationality, to freedom to raise a family
and to build a space where they can live.
We affirm that like all men and women, great and small,
we have a right to our thoughts and opinions,
we have a right to meet and to profess our faith,
to educate without economic barriers,
to grow and develop with equal opportunities,
to work and to participate in political life,
to receive freely care for our health,
to enjoy decent pay, fair and adequate
to enjoy an old age free from want,
to rest our body and spirit,
to create, to propose, to share,
without conditions of any kind.
We believe we have the right to play, sing and laugh,
because you, Infinite Wisdom, have created us to be happy.
We affirm that it is a sin to hoard what we have,
and live isolated from solidarity with others,
because when some have too much,
others are deprived of their right
to clothing, housing, health care and daily bread …
We believe that tolerance and understanding,
in political and religious issues,
in spite of ethnic, social economic differences
are the basis for blessed coexistence
and the path to a society
with room for all.
We affirm, as co-creators in your creative work
that a lasting peace and real justice
is only possible
if every person in every place on this Earth,
assumes as their personal obligation
each of these rights
that, in your eternal love, you gave us.