The Evangelical Covenant Church is all about loving God and our neighbors. This is the “greatest commandment” God has given the world, confirmed in the word of Jesus Christ in Matthew 22:34-40.
We understand loving God to include a commitment to worshiping with the best we can offer, to learning from God’s Word, also to obeying God in what we are called to do. As Jesus said to his disciples in John 14:23, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching.”
Loving our neighbors is the great task of witness for the church. In everything from hosting community dinners to supporting missionaries overseas there is no end to the need to show God’s love and with that, no end to the opportunity to bring good news of hope for forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God for eternal life, in the name of Jesus Christ. But no one person can do everything, and neither can one church. We believe God has uniquely equipped us for particular priorities for witness, which we call “Our Mission.” As always, our mission and the way we frame it is a work in progress.
1. To open doors to all ages and nationalities in commuting distance of our church, that all who came may grow in Christ.
2. To meet the spiritual and practical needs of our neighbors (those who live within commuting distance).
3. To encourage joyful participation in the witness of what God is doing in and through Elgin Covenant.
To fulfill our mission we also affirm values for showing love to one another inside the church, promoting a safe environment for communication and growth. We desire to refresh each other with the spiritual fruits of Galatians 5:22-23, to set a culture of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We have articulated our values as a teaching resource, and they are summarized here along with some of the scriptural foundations.
We seek to build each other up. (Ephesians 4:29-32)
We seek to listen and communicate clearly, completely, and honestly. (James 1:19-20)
Believing the best in each other, we offer our opinions with charity and humility and are open to personal growth. (I Corinthians 13:7)
We accept that disagreement and evaluation are normal and natural. (2 Corinthians 13:5)
We seek to edify the whole church when we speak. (1 Corinthians 13:1-2)
We resolve our conflicts through the process prescribed by Jesus. (Matthew 18:15-17)
We foster input and ownership in the direction of the church. (I Corinthians 12:4-31)
We respect our pastor and lay leaders. (I Thessalonians 5:12-13)
We seek what is best for the church as a whole, not what may be best for an individual or a group. (Philippians 2:1-4)
We are committed to being inconvenienced for the sake of the gospel. (Luke 9:57-62)
As you can see our vision as a church is to be a fellowship of followers of Jesus who are guided by the word of God. The greatest commandment is that we are to love God and our neighbors as ourselves. Our mission translates that commandment into our context, and our values apply God’s word to remove the barriers that our own sin and weakness can put in the way. Then in the grace we display as we share our gospel, the world around us will know that here at Elgin Covenant the joy and presence of the Lord can be found.