These are the BIG questions that motivate the staff in the department of Christian Formation. We imagine they are questions that drive congregational leaders across the Covenant as well. The first question is being asked by pollsters in a variety of ways. Here’s the way we’ve framed it. Are we developing disciples of such depth and radical obedience that they are able to engage the current cultures, and address the profound brokenness we see around us? The second question addresses a necessary balance: Is our interior life of faith sufficient to sustain our focus on compassion, mercy and justice ? In other words…are we growing BOTH deeper in Christ AND further in mission?
And in order to accomplish our disciple-forming mission, we have to keep our focus clear and simple. MAKING DISCIPLES is the business of the WHOLE of the CHURCH. It’s not just for the spiritually elite…and it’s not just the job of the pastors and teachers. ALL Christians are expected to grow.
And there are many more resources to assist you in this process of transformation. To help you create environments in which people might lean more decisively and intentionally into the transforming work of the Spirit, it is our joyful mission to provide you with practical resources. These are just a few of the resources available at little or no cost to you. In this year when our denomination is focusing on The Necessity of the New Birth, we offer several practical ministry tools for living into the new life we’ve been given. Nueva Vida/New Life in Christ is a tool for mentoring those who have made a decision to follow Christ and need to now know how to live in that new reality. New Birth provides a 7 day or 7 week focus on prayer for individual or small group learning. (English, Spanish and Korean) CRECER/GROW offers a longer Bible study on what it means to live and grow in Christ. Available in Spanish and English. Mission Friends is our new curriculum for use with those who are interested in learning what it means to be a member in the Evangelical Covenant Church. There are many other learning and teaching tools available, both in English and Spanish. Check out our website to see what might meet your needs.
The Call-In Café is our way of bringing travel-free learning your way. With a different topic related to discipleship each month, we’re able to provide vital information as well as address your specific questions. Whether you are in dialogue with Christian Formation staff or another leader engaged on the front lines of ministry, you’ll be certain to be both challenged and equipped. Check out our website for future topics…and let us know what other topics you’d like to see us address.
At an event we’ve called CHIC – for more than 50 years – we’ve been introducing youth to Jesus and challenging them to radical discipleship. Though we were a bit nervous about the registration outcome during these difficult financial times, you are evidently still choosing to invest in the lives of students through this significant experience. We saw over 5200 students and leaders attending this past summer. More than $109,000 was given for Covenant World Relief projects in Thailand. If you’d like to read stories of the transforming work of the Spirit through this event, go to the chic2009 website. [Thank all churches represented who have ever sent students to CHIC for investing in the lives of youth through this significant life-changing experience.] [Ask those who have been to CHIC before to stand. Which CHIC is the earliest represented?] Who can attend CHIC 2012? High school students completing grades 9 -12 in the 2011-20012 school year and who are at least 15 years old by September 1, 2012.
Our next opportunity to worship and play and learn together as a WHOLE family takes place next summer (June 25-28, 2011). You won’t want to miss it! Stay tunes to our website for further details. [Show brief 3-minute promo video here?]
Break the Chains, led by the Department of Women Ministries, endeavors to equip the church to engage human trafficking. (CLICK) Donations in 2008 and 2009 now exceed $400,000! We want to thank all Covenanters who have so generously given to this initiative. These funds were equally divided between the Hindustani Covenant Church and International Justice Mission for work in India. Human trafficking is happening in North America as well. (CLICK) 2010 donations will help launch “New Day for Children”, an aftercare facility for freed sex slaves in California. (CLICK) To learn how to engage modern-day slavery, go to: www.covchurch.org/humantrafficking.
Donn, These figures might be outdated. Chris and/or Gary should be able to update these figures.
Donn, Another slide that the stats should be checked.
Pictures representing the five regions.
Short-term missionaries serve 1-3 years
Highlights/Talking points Dr. Jay Phelan is completing 14 years as Dean and President of North Park Theological Seminary. During that time seminary enrollment grew from 102 to almost 300 students and contributions to the seminary have doubled. A search committee anticipates presenting a candidate to be his successor to the 126 th Covenant Annual Meeting. A new initiative in cooperation with Covenant Conferences promises to regionalize the offering of courses for men and women seeking Covenant credentialing or who wish to benefit from theological education anchored in the Covenant tradition.
Talking Points/Highlights 450 undergraduate and 150 seminary students from Covenant Churches across the US, and around the world are enrolled at North Park. Pictured here are students from the Covenant Church of Congo, the Hindustani Covenant Church of India, and the Mission Covenant Church of Sweden, demonstrating how North Park is becoming the center for Christian higher education for the global Covenant church.
Whew! There’s a lot to know about this movement we call the Covenant. Resources and services and events and new ministry ideas. We want you to know about these “member benefits” but it can be challenging to keep it all straight, right? Here’s the most important thing to remember. Our website is the first place to check. And when you can’t find what you need or you’re not sure where to look, contact the Covenant Resource Center by phone or by email. The Resource Center is always ready to serve you.
“ In It Together” 2010 Covenant Mission and Ministry Partnership
The E ssential Covenant The Covenant has 819 churches in 44 states and 5 provinces.
… and it is expected that 22 new and adopted churched will be received as member churches at the 125th Annual Meeting this coming summer.
Regional Conferences and The Department of Church Growth & Evangelism are partnering together to encourage all Covenant Churches to become healthy and missional. In It Together… congregational vitality
Veritas, EPIC, PULSE and Navigate are resources available to each congregation to move toward greater vitality.
In It Together… evangelism whats your one step .com helps Covenant churches and their members provide prayer, care and share for people in their network who do not yet know Jesus Christ. for more info, visit whats your one step .com
One Step Closer Seminar at CHET, Bell Gardens CA 2009 In It Together… one step closer
In It T ogether… Supporting the S ervants of our Church
Between 2005 and 2009, a total of 965
individuals found resources for strengthening their ministries and relationships with Christ through Sustaining Pastoral Excellence .
“ I am deeply grateful for this opportunity. I am proud to be part of a denomination that wants to help their pastors make it in ministry long-term. I feel loved and supported.” (Sean Blomquist, pastor in California and SPE grant recipient)
In It Together With Christ’s Love For Those At R isk.
A cross-racial journey toward understanding past injustices and present realities, while envisioning hope for the future.
The next journey – Fall 2010 .
Invitation to Racial Righteousness (I2RR)
An engagement in multiethnic relationships for the local church; …confession, healing and love.
Journey to Mosaic (J2M)
A regional multiethnic experience incorporating the stories and experiences specific to a geographic area ( check with your local conference office ).
E thnicity of the ECC Number of all Ethnic and Multiethnic Churches
In It Together… for A LL of God’s world! Covenant missionary Jim Gustafson baptizes new believers in southern Thailand. Jim Gustafson (left)
M ission Regions Covenant missionaries serve in 25 countries, with additional international ministry partners in another 13 countries, for a mission presence in 38 countries. Africa Asia Latin America Europe
The new Covenant website will debut this Fall and feature a brand new look, simplified navigation, and a variety of user-friendly features including a revamped resources library, expanded search functions, and better interactivity.
All worship services and morning devotionals at the 125 th Annual Meeting will be broadcast live from the Covenant website, June 24-27.
Did you know that individuals and churches can order a wide range of free resources at CovenantBookstore.com?