Presented by the Commission on Christian Action, adopted by the delegate to the 119th Covenant Annual Meeting.
The shortest of the Psalms, at the center of the biblical witness, offers description of the length and breadth of God’s work and our identity.
“Praise the Lord, all you nations! Extol him, all you peoples! For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 117).
From the creation of things (Genesis 1:31) to the completion of things (Revelation 7:9, 10), Scripture pictures a God creating a community of faith that spans the entirety of the globe. Arising from the texts are God’s charge to stewardship of the earth (Genesis 1:28) and to love the stranger in our land (Deuteronomy 10:19), as well as Christ’s call to be light in the world (Matthew 5:14) and to go into all the earth with the Gospel (Matthew 28:19).
Our denominational family has been international from the beginning. As Mission Friends, the work of global evangelization has always been central. Being the by-product of immigrant movements we have, when at our best, extended compassion to the sojourner and the stranger. Recent expressions of this include generous giving to World Relief, genuine interest in the Persecuted Church, and welcoming ministry to refugee populations. The legacy of such saints as Covenant missionaries/martyrs (Paul Carlson, Martha Anderson, Alik Berg, and Esther Nordlund) speaks to the matter. Personal faith in Jesus was expressed at great cost and across both sea and culture.
The role in the world of the West and in particular the United States is an ongoing debate. Undebatable is the call of the church for the world. As loyal as we are called to be as far as our national identity, surpassing it is our citizenship in Christ’s Kingdom (Philippians 3:20). Therefore, be it
RESOLVED that we as congregations in the Evangelical Covenant Church intensify our focus on the international dimension of being God’s people. Be it further
RESOLVED that this includes not only our work (i.e., ministry with immigrants, World Relief, Persecuted Church, global mission), but also our worship life. Let us seize opportunities from our liturgical calendar to give tangible expression to this (i.e., World Communion Sunday, Baptism of Our Lord Sunday, the seasons of Epiphany and Pentecost), and let us unpack the meaning of both of our sacraments as they pertain to our citizenship in a global kingdom and our involvement in a worldwide movement.