What is a Covenant Church? The Evangelical Covenant Church is a voluntary association of churches committed to working together to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Covenant churches emphasize the Bible’s witness to new life in Jesus Christ expressed in a day-to-day walk with the Lord. A Covenant Church is:
- Evangelical, but not exclusive
- Biblical, but not doctrinaire
- Traditional, but not rigid
- Congregational, but not independent
Covenant Church Website
The Covenant Mission: We are united by Christ in a holy covenant of churches empowered by the Holy Spirit to obey the Great Commandments and the Great Commission:
- To love God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind.
- To love our neighbor as ourselves, and
- To go into all the world and make disciples.
- the centrality of the Word of God. The Holy Scripture, the Old and New Testament, is the Word of God and the only perfect rule for faith, doctrine, and conduct.
- the necessity of the new birth for entrance into the kingdom of God, and the importance of continuing growth, and knowledge of Jesus Christ for spiritual health.
- a commitment to the whole mission of the Church. We understand the work of mission to be evangelism and Christian formation, as well as the benevolent ministries of compassion andjustice in the face of suffering and oppression.
- the church as a fellowship of believers. Membership is by confession of personal faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; it is open to all believers, regardless of class or race, education or pedigree, wealth, or prestige.
- a conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit, Who with the Father and Son calls the church into being, empowers its witness, guides its mission, and supplies the gifts needed by the church and its members to exalt Christ.
- the reality of freedom in Christ. We allow for differences of theological opinion within the context of biblical guidelines and historical Christianity. Such freedom is to be distinguished from the radical individualism that disregards the centrality of the Word of God and the mutual responsibilities and disciplines of the church.
From the Preamble to the Constitution of the Evangelical Covenant Church
The Evangelical Covenant Church is a communion of congregations gathered by God, united in Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit to obey the great commandment and the great commission. It affirms its companionship in faith with other church bodies and all those who fear God and keep God's commandments.
The Evangelical Covenant Church adheres to the affirmations of the Protestant Reformation regarding the Bible. It confesses that the Holy Scripture, the Old and the New Testament, is the Word of God and the only perfect rule for faith, doctrine, and conduct. It affirms the historic confessions of the Christian Church, particularly the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed, while emphasizing the sovereignty of the Word of God over all creedal interpretations.
In continuity with the renewal movements of historic Pietism, the Evangelical Covenant Church especially cherishes the dual emphasis on new birth and new life in Christ, believing that personal faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord is the foundation for our mission of evangelism and Christian nurture. Our common experience of God's grace and love in Jesus Christ continues to sustain the Evangelical Covenant Church as an interdependent body of believers that recognizes but transcends our theological differences.
The Evangelical Covenant Church celebrates two divinely ordained sacraments, baptism and the Lord's Supper. Recognizing the reality of freedom in Christ, and in conscious dependence on the work of the Holy Spirit, we practice both the baptism of infants and believer baptism. The Evangelical Covenant Church embraces this freedom in Christ as a gift that preserves personal conviction, yet guards against an individualism that disregards the centrality of the Word of God and the mutual responsibilities and disciplines of the spiritual community.
The Evangelical Covenant Church has its roots in historical Christianity, the Protestant Reformation, the biblical instruction of the Lutheran Church of Sweden, and the great spiritual awakenings of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
These influences, together with more recent North American renewal movements, continue to shape its development and distinctive spirit. The Evangelical Covenant Church is committed to reaching across boundaries of race, ethnicity, culture, gender, age, and status in the cultivation of communities of life and service.