Our Faith Family
We are affiliated with the Evangelical Covenant Church, a rapidly growing multi-ethnic denomination in the United States and Canada with ministries on five continents of the world. Founded in 1885 by Swedish immigrants, the ECC values the Bible as the Word of God, the gift of God's grace and ever-deepening spiritual life that comes through faith in Jesus Christ, the importance of extending God's love and compassion to a hurting world, and the strength that comes from unity within diversity. The Evangelical Covenant Church is uniquely identified by the following markers.
- Evangelical, but not exclusive
- Biblical, but not doctrinaire
- Traditional, but not rigid
- Congregational, but not independent
If you'd like to read more about the Evangelical Covenant Church, its Affirmations, History, etc, you can visit the national website at www.covchurch.org.
The office of our regional network of Covenant churches, the Northwest Conference (which covers Minnesota, the Dakotas, and western Wisconsin) is based in Minneapolis. You can visit their website at www.northwestconference.org.
Based upon the authority of the Bible and the power of the Holy Spirit, the mission of the Bemidji Evangelical Covenant Church is to proclaim the gospel and provide a spiritual home where people belong to Jesus Christ, fellowship with God's people, grow in Him, and serve others throughout the world.
Our Core Values
- To define our worth by our identity in Jesus Christ.
- To be a community of prayer and worship empowered by the Holy Spirit.
- To build a people with a Biblical perspective on life, and prepare them for ministry.
- To be a caring congregation, responsive to the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of others.
- To be intentional in reaching unchurched people throughout the world with the love of Jesus Christ.
- To be responsible and accountable to God and others with dignity and love.
- To manage our time, abilities, resources and lifestyles responsibly.
- To pursue more effective ways to achieve our mission, here and around the world.
- To hold leadership and organizational structure subservient to the mission of the church.
- To see leadership as servanthood.
We affirm the centrality of the word of God.
We believe the Bible is the only perfect rule for faith, doctrine, and conduct. The dynamic, transforming power of the word of God directs the church and the life of each Christian. This reliance on the Bible leads us to affirm both men and women as ordained ministers and at every level of leadership. It is the reason we pursue ethnic diversity in our church and is the inspiration for every act of compassion, mercy, and justice.
Read : "The Covenant Church and the Bible"
We affirm the necessity of the new birth.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come” (2 Cor- inthians 5:17, TNIV). New birth in Christ means committing ourselves to him and receiving forgiveness, acceptance, and eternal life. It means being alive in Christ, and this life has the qualities of love and righteousness, joy and peace. New birth is only the beginning. Growing to maturity in Christ is a lifelong process for both individuals and communities of believers. God forms and transforms us—and it is through people transformed by Christ that God transforms the world.
We affirm a commitment to the whole mission of the Church.
The early Covenanters were known as “Mission Friends”— people of shared faith who came together to carry out God’s mission both far and near. Mission for them and for us includes evangelism, Christian formation, and ministries of compassion, mercy, and justice. We follow Christ’s two central calls. The Great Commission sends us out into all the world to make disciples. The Great Commandment calls us to love the Lord our God and our neighbors as ourselves.
Read : "The Covenant Church and the Ministries of Compassion, Mercy, and Justice"
We affirm the Church as a fellowship of believers.
Membership in the Covenant Church is by confession of personal faith in Jesus Christ and is open to all believers. We observe baptism and Holy Communion as sacraments commanded by Jesus. We practice both infant and believer baptism. We believe in the priesthood of all believers—that is, we all share in the ministry of the church. We also affirm that God calls some men and women into professional, full-time ministry. The church is not an institution, organization, or building. It is a grace-filled fellowship of believers who participate in the life and mission of Jesus Christ. It is a family of equals: as the New Testament teaches that within Christian community there is to
be neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, but all are one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28).
Read : "The Covenant Church and Baptism"
"Theology of the Child"
"Infant Baptism & Dedication"
Read : The Covenant Church and Women
"Called & Gifted" [booklet]
"A [Biblical] Case for the Unrestricted Ministry of Women"
We affirm a conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit.
The Covenant Church affirms the Trinitarian understanding of one God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The New Testament tells us that the Holy Spirit works both within individuals and among them. We believe it is the Holy Spirit who instills in our hearts a desire to turn to Christ, and who assures us that Christ dwells within us. It is the Holy Spirit who enables our obedience to Christ and conforms us to his image, and it is the Spirit in us that enables us to continue Christ’s mission in the world. The Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to us as individuals and binds us together as Christ’s body.
We affirm the reality of freedom in Christ.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5:1, TNIV). This freedom is a gift of God in Christ, and it manifests itself in a right relationship with God and others. It is not a private gift to be used selfishly, but is given to serve the community and the world. For Paul, this freedom means that we are set free from the power of those things that on their own tend to divide. United in Christ, we offer freedom to one another to differ on issues of belief or practice where the biblical and historical record seems to allow for a variety of interpretations of the will and purposes of God. We in the Covenant Church seek to focus on what unites us as followers of Christ, rather than on what divides us.