News Releases

Evangelical Covenant Church Staffing Transitions

CHICAGO (July 3, 2020) — In recent months, the social and economic impact of COVID-19 has been felt across the Evangelical Covenant Church—from our local churches and camps to our conferences and affiliate ministries to Covenant Offices in Chicago. As the Covenant conducted long-range planning for the 2021 fiscal year, we recognized we would experience a budget deficit and, unfortunately, this deficit has been accelerated by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

During this time, the Covenant has endeavored to be good stewards of the resources entrusted to us and is committed to remaining financially viable and solvent. We are also committed to the mission and remaining responsive to our local churches and conferences, both now and in the future.

To care for staff during this time of uncertainty, the Covenant was able to secure a loan from the federal Paycheck Protection Program to help in the short term, but it was not a long-term financial solution. In order to safeguard the future of the Covenant’s mission, Covenant leadership decided to implement ministry-wide cost saving adjustments.

As part of the cost saving adjustments, in May we made the difficult decision to implement staffing changes across Covenant Offices’ mission areas, which impacted 35 staff positions. Some positions were closed, while others were modified, resulting in shifts in roles and responsibilities. These decisions were not easy, but were necessary in order for the Evangelical Covenant Church to best steward its resources in an uncertain economic climate.

The majority of the staffing transitions took effect on June 15, and we are grateful for the service and ministry of each staff member, including Steve Burger, Terry Marks, Joyce Viken, Luz Pagan, and Jill Ulven. If you would like to express your appreciation to these individuals, we encourage you to use the Kudoboard links that have been established for this purpose.

Longtime Covenant staff member Marti Burger will move from CovEvents to a new role with Develop Leaders, and James Brown will move from Make and Deepen Disciples to a leadership position at Cedarbrook Church in Wisconsin.

We also celebrated the retirement of Dave and Ronna Husby, who served the Covenant for more than 32 years with Dave most recently providing leadership as director of Covenant World Relief and Ronna with Serve Globally. In addition, we celebrated the retirement of Jane Swanson-Nystrom, who served as an editor on the Communications team for 40 years. We are deeply appreciative of their years of dedicated service to the Covenant.

Please join us as we continue to pray for the staff impacted, Covenant Offices, and the Evangelical Covenant Church as we adjust to these transitions.