November Days

November 2012 will go down in American history. Whatever the outcomes of the election on the 6th, our church at Elgin Covenant has plans to continue bringing God the glory through a number of special events.

  1. November 4th is our All Saints communion service, Pastor Jonathan will preach on Jeremiah 18:1-12.
  2. November 11th is Veterans Day, Pastor Greg will preach. We are also gathering sponsorships for “World Vision Congo Children.” See below the article ”Christ for the World.”
  3. November 18th is World Relief Sunday, Pastor Daryl will preach. The special offering for World Relief, including the special donation cans, will be received and dedicated.
  4. Wednesday, November 21st, our usual evening programs will be suspended for our special Thanksgiving Eve worship service and pie social. Worship begins at 7 PM.
  5. Thanksgiving Day, Pastor Henoch is coordinating a Thanksgiving Dinner for the needy at Family Restaurant in East Dundee. He is receiving donations toward the purchase of turkeys and hams.

Yes, your vote makes a difference and this November will go down in history. Your witness in worship to God’s glory also makes a difference, and so does your compassion on God’s behalf, for these go up to eternity.

Campaign Climate and Culture

Visitors of this site and especially readers of “Hot Topics” will get the idea quickly that the Evangelical Covenant affirms what today is called “traditional morality.” Defining marriage as a sacred, God-ordained institution between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:24) and esteeming human life as under the sovereign hand of God from conception on (Jeremiah 1:5) lines us up with the historic Christian faith and with the moral positions of many other faith groups beyond Christianity.

Faith is more than traditional morality, and more than traditional morality is at stake when a voting public gathers to elect its representative leaders. Therefore evangelicals and Christians of all kinds can vote their conscience on the whole array of issues, and still testify to the firm truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, who he is and where he comes from and the hope he brings to those who have received him as their Lord and Savior. Voters have the obligation to be informed, and candidates have the obligation to be ethical in what they promise and in what they criticize in each other.

It is not my interest nor is it the culture of the Evangelical Covenant at large to be religiously polemical or to show an angry persona when it comes to either religious distinction or traditional moral issues. It is my hope that seekers of God will find here a safe environment to pursue their quest, and to know that in that quest they are themselves pursued by God’s Spirit.

At the same time the gospel of Jesus Christ sets clear boundaries to faith and truth, and these are the “eternal” things, the weighty matters. On October 19 I wrote an online letter to the Billy Graham Association for taking a waffling and hypocritical position toward the Cult of Mormonism. The response among evangelicals and Christians of all denominations needs to be strong and unequivocal. To read more, please see “hot topics” and find “Mormonism” under “M.”

It will be pointed and polemical, but this post has nothing to do with how Christians and seekers should vote in November or the degree to which Mitt Romney, a Mormon, is qualified to be President of a nation that separates government from the establishment of any one religion. Our first concern as a church is  that we must witness in our life and faith to the truth of Jesus Christ that others might be saved.

The truth will be spoken in love, and, it will be the truth.

Christ for the World: Fall 2012

World Relief, World Vision, global reach for Christ.

With autumn upon us many stores are looking past the fall celebrations and decorating for Christmas. At Elgin Covenant we value especially the Thanksgiving Season; this uniquely American holiday gives believers in our land an opportunity to remember God with gratitude for our abundance, and to remember our mission from God to show compassion to those around the world and on our streets who are struggling.

We have two special opportunities to remember the poor through our missional partnership with the Evangelical Covenant denomination (covchurch.org). First, is a long-standing tradition to participate in the Covenant World Relief offering. Second, is a new opportunity made available through a new alliance with World Vision to sponsor children in the African nation of Congo, the poorest nation in the world.

Covenant World Relief, November 18. 
1.The Covenant World Relief Offering is being taken this Thanksgiving Season with a worship moment and dedication on Sunday November 18, and opportunities extended on Thanksgiving Eve November 21 and the final opportunity on November 25.

This year we have ordered “soup can labels” and lids (designed with permission of Campbell’s (R) Soup Company). Take an empty soup can, apply the new label and the lid on top, which has a slit to received bills and coins. This is your collection can. A good place to set it is on your dining room table, as part of the center-piece until Thanksgiving season arrives. When you think of it, drop money in the collection can as you sit to eat. The label is also printed with a dinner prayer. Give a little, give a lot, the can serves as a reminder to us all of the blessings that we enjoy and the needs experienced by others. Then bring the full can to church on November 18, or 21, or 25. Cans and labels will be visible and available to pick up from the church starting Wednesday evening October 17.

2. World Vision Congo Kids, Hope Sunday November 11.

The World Vision poster hangs above the water fountain in the main corridor between the restrooms. We are scheduled to have a “Hope Sunday” on November 11th. The church is being sent 10 (ten) profiles of children in areas of Congo being served by Evangelical Covenant missionaries. Our hope is that individuals, families and groups will choose to “adopt” a Congo child at the cost of $40/month. The council has approved the adoption of one child by the Missions Budget for 2013, to be supported by the whole body in various ways– for example the Children’s Church can make an emphasis to the children, write Christmas cards to the sponsored child. We also intend to place a special collections box near the water fountain which can be available throughout the week to all members, worshipers, and guest-users of the facility.

The relationship of the Evangelical Covenant to Congo reaches back to the 1920′s. It is hoped that through alliance with World Vision, 15,000 children in Congo will be given the unique opportunities of gospel-oriented redemption that sponsorship provides. If you would like to participate, our Hope Sunday for distributing the children’s profiles is on November 11th.