News Releases

President John Wenrich Prayerfully Withdraws from Reelection

Sept. 17, 2021

In a letter to the Presidential Nominating Committee and Covenant Executive Board, President John Wenrich announced that he has decided to purposefully withdraw from being considered for a second term as president of the Evangelical Covenant Church. He wrote:

“Thank you for the honor and privilege of serving as your president during this term. I am continually humbled and inspired by our gifted and dedicated leaders and pastors.

Through great prayer and discernment, I have decided to purposefully withdraw from being considered for nomination to a second term as president. I hope this advance notice before your process begins gives you the time and focus needed to complete the assignment of presenting a candidate at Gather 2022.

I know beyond a doubt that God called me for this presidential term, but I sincerely believe a different set of gifts may serve the Covenant better going forward. After prayerful consideration with my wife, Julie, my family, and close confidants, I do not sense God is calling me to a second term. I was elected to serve as the leader of the Covenant for a season. Now, we are ready for a new leader, for a new season. There are many gifted, potential candidates from across the mosaic—women and men of all backgrounds—who, like me, love the Covenant, its identity, history, mission, and potential.

I rejoice over all we have accomplished together. I have given of myself completely to our stated task: to join God in God’s mission to see more disciples among more populations in a more caring and just world. With the partnership and collaboration of Covenant leaders, I am grateful to leave a Christ-honoring legacy of fostering the flourishing of women, advancing the mission through the multiethnic mosaic of churches, the addition of ‘practicing solidarity’ to the Six-Fold Test, and a renewed emphasis on a conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 4:3 reminds us: ‘Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.’ May the conclusion of this discernment contribute in some way to the forward momentum and unity of our mission. The ethos of ‘mission friends’ is our roots; a mosaic of mission friends is our future.

I love the Evangelical Covenant Church in all our beauty and brokenness. Together, we will labor to complete the last months of my term with vigor. You can count on me to help orient a new president.

Be well, my beloved sisters and brothers. For God’s glory and neighbor’s good.”

Download the letter here >>

Wenrich will complete his four-year term as president in August 2022. The 27-member Presidential Nominating Committee will immediately begin its process to seek and identify a new candidate to present to the 136th Covenant Annual Meeting in June 2022.

Covenanters are being asked for their prayers as the committee commences discernment to carry out this important and arduous assignment. More information will be forthcoming on Wenrich’s departure as president including how to honor and thank him for his leadership. Comments may be submitted to presidentsearch@covchurch.org or mailed to the Presidential Nominating Committee at 8303 W. Higgins Road, Chicago, Illinois 60631.