Our Church Beliefs
As a member of the Evangelical Covenant Church, our church affirms the Covenant Affirmations:
- The Centrality of the Word of God.
- The Necessity of the New Birth
- A Commitment to the Whole Mission of the Church
- The Church as a Fellowship of Believers
- A Conscious Dependence on the Holy Spirit
- The Reality of Freedom in Christ
We affirm the centrality of the word of God. We believe the Bible is the only perfect rule for faith, doctrine, and conduct. The dynamic, transforming power of the word of God directs the church and the life of each Christian.
We affirm the necessity of the new birth. The Apostle Paul wrote, “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). We are born again when we enter “into Christ,” becoming united with him in his death and resurrection. When we acknowledge Jesus as Lord and Savior, we receive forgiveness, freedom from our slavery to sin, and eternal life. We are made alive in Christ and are filled by the Holy Spirit and the fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control – Galatians 5:22-23).
New birth is only the beginning. Growing to maturity in Christ is a lifelong process for both individuals and communities of believers.
We affirm a commitment to the whole mission of the Church. The early Covenanters were known as “Mission Friends”— people of shared faith who came together to carry out God’s mission both far and near. Mission for them and for us includes evangelism, Christian formation/discipleship, and ministries of compassion, mercy, and justice. We follow Christ’s two central calls: the Great Commission sends us out into all the world to make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20); the Great Commandment calls us to love the Lord our God and our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:36-40). God forms and transforms His children and then uses transformed people to transform this world.
We affirm the Church as a fellowship of believers. The church is not an institution, organization, or building. It is a grace-filled fellowship of believers who participate in the life and mission of Jesus Christ. It is a family of equals: as the New Testament teaches that within Christian community there is to be neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, but all are one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28).
Membership in the Covenant Church is by confession of personal faith in Jesus Christ and is open to all believers. We observe baptism and Holy Communion as sacraments commanded by Jesus. We practice both infant and believer baptism. We believe in the priesthood of all believers—that is, we all share in the ministry of the church.
We affirm a conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit. The Covenant Church affirms the Trinitarian understanding of one God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The New Testament tells us that the Holy Spirit works both within individuals and among them. We believe it is the Holy Spirit who both initiates in us a desire to turn to Christ and brings us to God. The Holy Spirit enables our obedience to Christ, conforms us to his image, equips us with the spiritual gifts, and empowers us to participate in Christ’s mission in the world.
We affirm the reality of freedom in Christ. The Apostle Paul wrote, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5:1). This freedom is both a freedom from and a freedom for. We are set free from the power of sin – which tends to enslave us in addictive and destructive behaviors that divide us from God and from one another. We are also set free for a purpose – to participate in God’s Kingdom work. We are not free to choose whatever we want or live for our own selfish purposes; rather, we find true freedom and abundant life when our purposes and actions align with God’s purposes and actions.
We as a church also offer freedom to one another to differ on issues of belief or practice in areas where the Bible allows for a variety of interpretations. As a Covenant church, we want to focus on what unites us rather than what divides us.