On March 17 – the same day that the Marriage Amendment, 14-F, received the approval of a majority of the presbyteries – the Session of First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica, CA, signed on to the Call to Covenant Community. Citing “the great strides the PCUSA has made in matters that the Covenant Network has championed and worked so hard to achieve,” Pastor Bill Wood writes “we know there is still much work to be done. We want to be part of the ongoing work.”
The Session sees their commitment to the Covenant Network as consistent with their mission:
We Are a Welcoming and Caring Community of Christians Who:
~Worship God with beauty, warmth, and vitality, empowered by the presence of the Spirit of the living Christ
~Grow in faith, knowledge, and Christian commitment, equipping each other for ministry in all of life
~Give by living a life of loving service, reaching out with compassion for those in need and revealing to the world the good news of Jesus Christ
The Session of College Avenue Presbyterian Church, Alton, IL, endorsed the Call to Covenant Community on April 26. Pastor Dale Jackson reports that part of their discernment process included attendance by a number of congregants at the regional conference held last fall in Springfield, IL.
As a congregation we have a long history of working in the areas of Social Justice; our founding pastor was the martyred abolitionist Elijah Lovejoy. As soon as the Authoritative Interpretations were issued last year after the General Assembly the Session voted to allow same sex marriages on church property. We rejoiced when 14-F passed nationally and celebrated when Giddings-Lovejoy presbytery added their affirmative vote to the national numbers.
College Avenue affirms:
We believe in one God, known to us especially through the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, yet known to other traditions by different names. We seek to challenge injustice, discrimination and inequality wherever it exists, and to transform the world through the inclusive love of God. Beginning with ourselves and looking beyond our congregation, we celebrate the image of God in every person. When we gather in the presence of God, actively inviting and welcoming all into an inclusive community of love, a sacred space is created.
We welcome these two vital congregations to the Covenant Network!