25 Traits of The Beloved Community

The beloved community manifests and protects agape love as its guiding principle and is expressed in the following ways:

  1. Offers radial hospitality to everyone; an inclusive family rather than exclusive club;
  2. Recognizes and honors the image of God in every human being;
  3. Exhibits personal authenticity, true respect, and validation of others;
  4. Recognition and affirmation, not eradication, of differences;
  5. Listens emotionally (i.e., with the heart) – fosters empathy and compassion for others;
  6. Tolerates ambiguity – realizes that sometimes a clear-cut answer is not readily available;
  7. Builds increasing levels of trust and works to avoid fear of difference and others;
  8. Acknowledges limitations, lack of knowledge, or understanding – and seeks to learn;
  9. Acknowledges conflict or pain in order to work on difficult issues;
  10. Speaks truth in love, always considering ways to be compassionate with one another;
  11. Avoids physical aggression and verbal abuse;
  12. Resolves conflicts peacefully, without violence, recognizing that peacefully doesn’t always mean comfortably for everybody;
  13. Releases resentment and bitterness through self-purification (i.e., avoidance of internal violence through spiritual, physical, and psychological care);
  14. Focuses energy on removing evil forces (unjust systems), not destroying persons;
  15. Unyielding persistence and unwavering commitment to justice;
  16. Achieves friendship and understanding through negotiation, compromise, or consensus – considering each circumstance to discern which will be most helpful;
  17. Righteously opposes and takes direct action against poverty, hunger, and homelessness;
  18. Advocates thoroughgoing, extensive neighborhood revitalization without displacement (this also applies to the Church – working toward responsible and equitable growth, discipleship, and worship);
  19. Blends faith and action to generate a commitment to defeating injustice (not forgetting that injustice can also be found within the Church);
  20. Encourages and embraces artistic expressions of faith from diverse perspectives;
  21. Fosters dynamic and active spirituality – recognizes that we serve a dynamic God who is not left behind by a changing world or people, and that a passive approach will not work;
  22. Gathers together regularly for table fellowship, and meets the needs of everyone in the community;
  23. Relies on scripture reading, prayer, and corporate worship for inner strength;
  24. Promotes human rights and works to create a non-racist society;
  25. Shares power and acknowledges the inescapable network of mutuality among the human family.