Haddam Neck Covenant Church

Haddam Neck Covenant Church

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Sundays: 9:00am

The Covenant Church

The Evangelical Covenant Church as a denomiation could be described in many ways, but it is most meaningful to say that it  is the custodian of six values, which when taken together seem to be unique. Other denominations share many of these values as well, but no other group appears to hold all six with the degree of commitment that characterizes the Covenant. These values together then, make up the Covenant Affirmations or "distinctives". They are:

We affirm the centrality of the Word of God believing that the Bible is the only perfect rule for faith, doctrine and conduct, and which directs the life of the church and the life of each Christian.  This reliance leads us to affirm both men and women as ordained ministers and at every level of leadership, and is the reason we pursue ethnic diversity in the church.

We affirm the necessity of the new birth in Christ, meaning we commit ourselves to him and receive forgiveness, acceptance and eternal life.  This life in Christ has the qualities of love, righteousness, joy and peace, but this new birth is only the beginning. It is through people transformed by Christ that God transforms the world.

We affirm a commitment to the whole mission of the Church.  Our denomination was first known as "Mission Friends" as people of shared faith who carried out God's mission far and near.  Today this includes evangelism, Christian formation, and ministries of compassion, mercy, and justice.  We take seriously The Great Commission to send us out to make disciples AND The Great Commandment to love God and to love neighbors as ourselves.

We affirm the Church as a fellowship of believers, making membership in the church by way of a confession of personal faith and which is open to all believers.  We practice both infant and believer's baptism, and practice an open Holy Communion (open to all believers regardless of membership), both as sacraments commanded by Jesus.  We believe in the priesthood of all believers, knowing we all share in the ministry of the church.  The church is not an institution, organization, or building.  It is a grace-filled fellowship of believers.  It is a family of equals.

We affirm a conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit.  This afirms the Trinitarian understanding of one God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  We believe it is the Holy Spirit who instills in our hearts a desire to turn to Christ and who assures us that He dwells within us.  He also enables our obedience to Christ and conforms us to his image, enabling us to cotninue Christ's mission in the world.  He gives spiritual gifts to us as individuals and binds us together as Christ's body.

We affirm the reality of freedom in Christ, as the Apostle Paul wrote, "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free" (Galatians 5:1).  This gift of God manifests itself in a right relationship with God and others.  It is not a private gift to be used selfishly, but given to serve the community and the world.  United in Christ, we offer freedom to one another to differ on issues of belief or parctice where the biblical and historical record seems to allow for a variety of interpretations of the will and purposes of God.  We in the Covenant Church seek to focus on what unites us as followers of Christ, rather than on what divides us.

In conclusion, we are an evangelical church, characterized by a strong insistence on biblical authority (interpreted in an historical context), the absolute necessity of new birth, Christ's mandate to evangelize the world, the continuing need for education and formation in a Christian context, and a responsibility for benevolence and the advancement of social justice. 

For a full picture of the Covenant, please visit the denomination's website at:  www.covchurch.org.  A link is provided under "Resource Links" elsewhere on this church's website.




The statements above are the Covenant distinctives. The really important things of the Christian faith--salvation by faith and the incarnation, for example--are not Covenant distinctives. They are Christian distinctives. We hold these, and much more, in common with the whole Church of Jesus Christ. Covenant distinctives are not nearly as important as Christian distinctives, but they are important in describing the way we do things. They are values that have shaped our past--values that motivate and inspire us today. They are just one way of answering the question: "Just what is the Covenant Church anyway?"