Covenant Network Undertakes New Initiatives in a New Day

The Covenant Network Board of Directors announced today that it is recommitting to its work seeking a more just and generous church, living into a new and expanded mission of seeking inclusion and affirmation for LGBTQ people and working for reconciliation among people of all races and ethnicities, sexual and gender identities, and theological perspectives in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

The Covenant Network’s priorities in coming months will include advocacy and organization around several overtures and recommendations crucial to LGBTQ inclusion and social witness at the General Assembly this June. The organization will host its popular commissioner convocation on the eve of the opening plenary and the Covenant Network luncheon, one of the most well-attended events at each Assembly.

The Covenant Network is also launching substantial new efforts, including production in the next few months of a marriage resources toolkit for congregations and work to translate existing advocacy materials into the cultural context and language of previously underaddressed groups in the church, such as Hispanic/Latino and Korean Presbyterians. Future plans will include national and regional conferences and new online publications, creating a forum and laying a foundation—as the Covenant Network has for 19 years—for progress and unity in the church.

“We celebrate the significant gains the denomination has made associated with full inclusion and marriage equality, and yet there remains vital work still to be done to strengthen the unity and justice-focused mission of our church,” said the Rev. Randy Bush, co-moderator of the board of directors and pastor of Pittsburgh’s East Liberty Presbyterian Church. “We are committed to providing resources, initiating dialogue, and serving as active partners in the next chapter unfolding for Covenant Network and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).”

As the organization seeks to strengthen its nationwide network of volunteers and local leaders, both Executive Director the Rev. Brian Ellison and National Organizer the Rev. Tricia Dykers Koenig will continue in their current roles, shifting from full-time to half-time status.  Ellison will expand his part-time work as a journalist at KCUR 89.3, the Kansas City NPR affiliate, where he hosts talk shows and podcasts and contributes to news coverage.

“We’re looking forward to this new phase in the life of the organization,” Ellison said. “Supporters can be excited about our evolving and ever more vibrant mission, and financial contributors can know they are continuing to support programs and projects that are steadily bringing about a church as generous and just as God’s grace.”

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To join us in helping build a church as generous and just as God’s grace, please consider making a financial contribution. You can give online here. To discuss special giving opportunities, including support for any of the projects described above, or if you would be willing to underwrite our presence and witness at this summer’s General Assembly, please email Brian Ellison at brian@covnetpres.org. And thank you!

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