Covenant Affirmations are the values and principles that have guided the ECC since its founding in 1885.
The dynamic, transforming power of the word of God directs the church and the life of each Christian. This reliance on the Bible leads us to affirm both men and women as ordained ministers and at every level of leadership. It is the reason we pursue ethnic diversity in our church and is the inspiration for every act of compassion, mercy, and justice.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come” (2 Cor. 5:17, TNIV). New birth in Christ means committing ourselves to him and receiving forgiveness, acceptance, and eternal life. It means being alive in Christ, and this life has the qualities of love and righteousness, joy and peace. New birth is only the beginning. Growing to maturity in Christ is a lifelong process for both individuals and communities of believers. God forms and transforms us—and it is through people transformed by Christ that God transforms the world.
‘Mission’ for us includes evangelism, Christian formation, 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; The Great Commandment calls us to love the Lord our God and our neighbors as ourselves.
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 also affirm that God calls some men and women into professional, full-time ministry. The church is a grace-filled fellowship of believers who participate in the life and mission of Jesus Christ. It is a family of equals: within Christian community, we all are one in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:28).
We believe it is the Holy Spirit who instills in our hearts a desire to turn to Christ, and who assures us that Christ dwells within us. It is the Holy Spirit who enables our obedience to Christ and conforms us to his image, and it is the Spirit in us that enables us to continue Christ’s mission in the world. The Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to us as individuals and binds us together as Christ’s body.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Gal. 5:1, TNIV). This freedom is a gift of God in Christ, and it manifests itself in a right relationship with God and others. It is not a private gift to be used selfishly, but is given to serve the community and the world. United in Christ, we offer freedom to one another to differ on issues of belief or practice where the biblical and historical record seems to allow for a variety of interpretations of the will and purposes of God. We focus on what unites us as Christ followers, rather than on what divides us.