At the core of who we are as a church are two exhortations that we read from Jesus.
He tells us in Matthew 22:37-39 “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.'” (NIV)
And in Matthew 28:18-20, “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”” (NIV)
Emmanuel Evangelical Covenant Church is a member of the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC), a growing denomination in the United States, Canada, and around the world.
As a part of the ECC, Emmanuel identifies with the core of the denominational beliefs.
- Evangelical, but not exclusive
- Biblical, but not doctrinaire
- Traditional, but not rigid
- Congregational, but not independent.
The ECC has six affirmations that we believe, and that we work to exhibit in all areas of our church life together.
- We affirm the Centrality of the Word of God
- We affirm the Necessity of New Birth
- We affirm a Commitment to the Whole Mission of the Church
- We affirm the Church as a Fellowship of Believers
- We affirm a Conscious Dependence on the Holy Spirit
- We affirm the Reality of Freedom in Christ.
- Jesus – We believe Jesus is someone we follow with our whole lives, not just something we believe in our minds.
- Mission – We believe that in following Jesus we are called to care for our whole world
- Family – We believe that a church is a family of relationships, not a religion of rights and rules.
Our Visionary Initiatives
In the fall of 2015, our whole church body gathered together for a time of discerning what God wanted to do through Emmanuel in the coming months and years. From that event, we identified six Visionary Initiatives that we are committed to over the next five years.
Emmanuel Evangelical Covenant Church is committed to, in the next five years:
- Recognizing and serving our changing community (specifically in terms of immigrants, young families, and at risk youth)
- Broadening our worship service to include more contemporary music and forms of worship
- Raising our profile in the community
- Establishing an external meeting space
- Sponsor a refugee family
- Develop intergenerational relationships, involving people of all ages in all areas of the church’s mission and activities.
Our Emmanuel Creed
A key to cultivating authentic and fruitful community is a commitment to one another. This is our Emmanuel Creed that informs the ways we interact with one another in a way that honours God.
As a family of Christian believers, linked by our common faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, we at Emmanuel Evangelical Covenant Church stand together and affirm the following:
We affirm the centrality of the Word of God.
We affirm the necessity of new birth.
We affirm our commitment to the whole mission of the Church.
We affirm the church as a fellowship of believers.
We affirm our conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit.
We affirm the reality of freedom in Christ.
We also acknowledge that we together are the church, we each share equal ownership and leadership in it. Everyone’s opinion is valued, everyone’s questions are encouraged, and a kind of transparency that honours those around us is expected. We trust our leaders as steadfast, dependable men and women who strive to give account of their leadership. We will make every effort to ensure their work is a joy and not a burden, so that we may benefit in their leadership as well. (Hebrews 13:17-28, 1 Thessalonians 5:13)
We discipline ourselves to listen actively to one another, to choose listening over anger, walking away or argumentative debate. We will ask for help when we don’t understand something, and out of our respect for one another, we will always afford a response to one another’s enquiries. (James 1:19, Ephesians 4:3, Romans 12:17-18)
We acknowledge that life together as a church family is not easy, and we understand that peace is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to handle conflict peacefully. We are not afraid of conflict and we stand together on the power of prayer in the face of all conflict. (Colossians 4:2, Philippians 4:6-7). We accept conflict as a norma and natural part of life in community. We recognize the absence of conflict is not a sign of our health as a congregation, and see it as an opportunity to grow in Christ and in healthy authentic relationships with one another. (Ephesians 4:25-26, 29-32)
As such, we are committed to the high standard of always talking to one another lovingly, patiently, respectfully, calmly, gently and in any other way that will foster a safe environment for open dialogue. We accept our responsibility to always be moving towards resolution, understanding that restoring relationships will make our church family stronger. (Colossians 3:12-14)
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8 NIV)