Pastor’s Column

A Service of Healing

In the Covenant Book of Worship it states: “Healing is primary ministry of the Christian Church. Jesus was known as a healer and sent his disciples out to preach good news, cast out demons, and heal the sick (Mark 6:12-13)….Throughout the history of the Church, healing has been a core ministry and commitment. Mystery surrounds our prayers for healing. That not all are healed is evident….As Hebrews makes clear, some in spite of their faith are not delivered (Hebrews 11:35-40). Yet the Church is commanded to minister to and pray for the sick and cry out for their healing.” (“Service ...
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Get to Know…Our Vision

Quick! What’s our church’s vision statement?! Not on the tip of your tongue or in the forefront of your mind? No worries…. You’re not alone. As pastor, I haven’t done a particularly stellar job of reminding us or unpacking for us our new vision statement. Vision statements are a useful tool for distilling the essence, in a memorable way, the aspirational purpose of a group or organization. So here’s Edgebrook Covenant’s current vision statement. We adopted this new vision statement just over a year ago at our congregation’s Annual Business meeting in January of 2016: Edgebrook Covenant Church’s vision is ...
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We Appreciate You!

National Volunteer Week (also known as Volunteer Appreciation Week) was instituted in the United States by a Presidential proclamation issued by then President Richard M. Nixon in 1974. Its purpose was to honor and celebrate all the many volunteers who offer themselves in service to others. Well, your church staff at Edgebrook Covenant Church certainly appreciates all you do and the many hours you devote to the Lord’s work thru our church! You serve with faithfulness, humility, consistency and love. Thank you! National Volunteer Week is April 23 through April 29, 2017. However, we decided to celebrate Volunteer Appreciation Sunday ...
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Partners in Great Work!

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to lead our spring Newcomers/Inquirers’ Class. It is always a joy of mine to explore faith in Jesus Christ with others and to share about our particular expression of the Christian tradition, both our denomination (The Evangelical Covenant Church) and our specific church, Edgebrook Evangelical Covenant Church. I always get excited when I think about our shared ministry with other Evangelical Covenant Churches. Though small in North America (some 800 congregations) our impact for the Kingdom of God is tremendous! We partner with our Covenant brothers and sisters through prayer, participation and financial ...
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Why Reading (and Wrestling) with the Old Testament Matters

This past Sunday evening, I dropped in on the Community Bible Study small group that John & Debbie Ranieri host in their home. After feasting on Debbie’s homemade lasagna, the group began to discuss the previous week’s readings from 1st & 2nd Samuel. During our discussion, one of our group spoke about the struggle he was having with all the destruction and killing that was ordered by God in what we had been reading. He shared how many of the accounts he was reading in the Old Testament didn’t square with his understanding of who God is. It’s a sentiment ...
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Let’s Walk This Road Together

Today (Wednesday, March 1) is Ash Wednesday. Today we begin an intentional journey with Jesus through the cross to the empty tomb. Let’s walk this road together by: Worshipping together on Ash Wednesday tonight at 7:15 PM in our Chapel Daily reading the devotional, “Moving Toward the Cross,” given to each household by our deacons Attending each Sunday morning worship during this Lenten season (more on that in a moment) Many people find it helpful to try a new spiritual practice (“giving up something for Lent” is one expression of this) as a way of reminding them of Christ’s sacrifice on their behalf. Let ...
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How We Read the Bible

Our denomination, the Evangelical Covenant Church, believes in the centrality of God’s Word. One of our foundational Covenant Affirmations is the conviction that states that “the Holy Scripture, the Old and New Testament, is the Word of God and the only perfect rule for faith, doctrine and conduct.” It is our conviction and deep desire that “in all we believe, do and say, we place ourselves under the authority of God’s written word and seek its direction.” The above quote comes from a resource paper, commissioned by our denomination’s Annual Meeting entitled The Evangelical Covenant Church and the Bible. I ...
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Now’s the Time: Community Bible Experience (CBE)

We restarted our Community Bible Experience this past Monday. For the next eight weeks (February 6 thru April 7) we will be engaging God’s Word together, specifically the books of Joshua thru Samuel/Kings. I’ve heard that many of us struggled with consistently reading in part I of our Old Testament CBE (the books of Genesis thru Deuteronomy) this past fall. Please, don’t let that discourage you from starting afresh with part II of the CBE Bible reading program! Some things that will help: remember, the plan is set up so you read 5 days out of 7. If you miss ...
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My Sermon this Sunday

For several weeks now I have been thinking and praying about my sermon this Sunday (January 15th). I believe the Holy Spirit wants me to preach on how we can be a faithful community of followers of Jesus Christ in the midst of our currently polarized political climate. The texts that kept coming to my mind as I prayed about this Sunday’s sermon were Matthew 5:43-48 (Jesus’ command to love our enemies) and John 13:34-35 (Jesus’ command to his disciples to love one another). These texts will form the basis of this Sunday’s sermon. A big help in my sermon ...
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What Happens When We Pray?

Beginning this Sunday, we will once more share in a longstanding Covenant tradition of Prayer Week. Each January, Covenanters across North America are encouraged to spend a week focused on prayer. Our Evangelical Covenant Church resources us with a special Prayer Week devotional for this emphasis. At Edgebrook Covenant, we also provide a special prayer resource and special gatherings to encourage the ministry of intercessory prayer. Both these print resources will be available this Sunday, January 8th. What happens when we pray? That’s a really good question! Come to worship this Sunday at Edgebrook and let’s find some of the ...
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