what is Evangelical Covenant?
- 1 decade agoFavorite Answer
The Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC) is an evangelical Christian denomination of more than 750 congregations in the United States and Canada with ministries on five continents of the world. Founded in 1885 by Swedish immigrants, the church is now one of the most rapidly growing and multi-ethnic denominations in North America. Historically Lutheran in theology and background they are now a broadly evangelical movement.
The ECC believes that the Bible is the inspired word of God and "the only perfect rule for faith, doctrine, and conduct." They also affirm the historic creeds of the church, especially the Nicene Creed and the Apostles' Creed, while maintaining that the Bible is sovereign over all creedal interpretations. Even though the church is non-confessional it often references six main affirmations:
1) the centrality of the word of God
2) the necessity of the new birth
3) the church as a fellowship of believers
4) a conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit
5) a commitment to the whole mission of the church
6) the reality of freedom in Christ
The church practices both infant baptism and believers baptism (by any method) and observes Holy Communion (monthly in most congregations). Both men and women can be ordained into the church's ordered ministry. According to the official pamphlet "Covenant Distinctives," the church is "evangelical, but not exclusive; biblical, but not doctrinaire; congregational, but not independent; traditional, but not rigid."
Recent annual meeting resolutions have demonstrated that the ECC opposes abortion (with a life of the mother exception, but as of 2004 no longer excepting cases of rape and incest), affirms marriage as between a man and a woman, and opposes assisted suicide. The ECC has been described as "non-dogmatic - open to differences of opinion while remaining orthodox."
As of 2006, membership was 115,811 in 735 congregations in the United States (42 states) and an estimated 1500 members in 22 congregations in Canada (5 provinces). Average attendance in 2005 was 160,915. The denomination also has ongoing missions work in 23 countries worldwide, with 105 career and project missionaries, 29 short-term missionaries. The ECC has a worldwide membership of almost 278,000.
- 1 decade ago