We had a meaningful and engaging weekend with Dr. Michelle Clifton-Soderstrom exploring important topics such as mass incarceration, anti-racism, and the Covenant Affirmation of Freedom in Christ. Links for audio files, slides, and referenced sources can be found below.
- September 14, 2019 - Love Mercy Do Justice (power point)
- September 15, 2019 - Worship Service (audio file)
- September 15, 2019 - Dehumanization and God's Grace (video shown in worship)
- September 15, 2019 - Spiritual Growth Hour (audio file)
- September 15, 2019 - Freedom in Christ (power point from Spiritual Growth Hour)
- "1963 Biblical Authority and Christian Freedom" resource paper (pdf)
- "Covenant Freedom for All or Free-For-All" Covenant Quarterly paper (pdf)
- "2019 Anti-Racism Resolution" present at 2019's ECC Annual Meeting (pdf)
Our church has had a committee called "Love Mercy, Do Justice (LMDJ)" for several years. The name is based on Micah 6:8, which says, "What does the Lord require of you? To act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God." The members have felt led to build bridges across cultures, especially racially, within our church and on the Greater East Side. Diversity, inclusion, and meaningful relationships have been emphasized.
Recently the committee has tried to encourage thoughtful and authentic, respectful discussion of how we as Christ followers relate to those in the LGBT community. We are a church made up of a variety of understandings of what the biblical call means to us; but we seek to create a respectful space where we can together seek God's calling to us in this area, which has been quite divisive. Let us commit to prayer for wisdom, direction, and unity amidst our differences.
The LMDJ Committee knows that God has put different passions and convictions to work in His people. Other areas, too, are important: poverty, homelessness, incarceration, sexism, hunger, and more. Our work is to facilitate connections and encourage our biblical calling from both Old and New Testaments to see the marginalized among us and do justice! May we continue to encourage and support one another to be the church God wants us to be. If you feel God putting something on your heart related to this issue, we'd love to hear from you!
As a church located in the midst of great racial, ethnic, and economic diversity, we embrace our mission to bring the hope and love of Jesus Christ to our immediate community. You might say that most of what we do can be included as “local mission.” As a community intent on living the whole Gospel, we follow the commands of Jesus to love our neighbor in tangible ways like:
- Partnering with Union Gospel Mission to collect Thanksgiving bags for their Thanksgiving meal ministry.
Partnering with our local schools with Giving Christmas Away, helping to ensure that community kids receive Christmas gifts each year.
Partnering with Family Values for Life, Clyde Turner Basketball Camps, and Sannah Soccer Camps to provide an entire summer’s worth of free day camps for kids and families.
Partnering with our local schools in our After School Program to provide a safe space for kids post-school and pre-evening activities that is enriching in the arts and supports kids meeting their educational goals.
- Utilizing our Benevolent Fund to support those in our community in critical moments. Our Benevolent Fund is supported by a retiring offering on the first Sunday of the month and is used by the pastor’s discretion to provide tangible, financial help in times of emergency or crisis for those in our community.
We are better when we are “in it together” - this partnership between First Covenant, Family Values for Life, and Contender for the Faith Church provides space and place for our communities to come together in prayer and relationship. During these prayer gatherings we are in it, together, to pray for our community, our world, and one another. These have been meaningful opportunities to grow in understanding and relationship with others on this journey of faith - even as the divides in our world today continue to deepen.