The Covenant Church
The church functions through relationship. We live life together to be known, loved and healed. We think it is important for individual church communities to do the same. After 6 years of being on our own, we thought it would be wise to be part of something diverse, broader and historic. In 2011, we accepted the invitation to be a part of the Covenant Church.
The Covenant Church started as an Swedish immigrant denomination in the late 1800’s in Chicago. Here are a few reasons that make this community a healthy fit for Vox:
- Indigenous Culture. As Swedish immigrants to America, the early Covenant communities had a sense that God’s story needed to be told in a specific dialect and culture. The alternative is colonization, where an external culture is imposed onto a place in addition to God’s story. Vox exists in a unique American city with our own music and dialect. We share the Covenant ethos of living God’s story in a specific cultural expression.
- Theological humility. Since its origins, the Covenant ethos has been to hold to orthodoxy and agree to disagree on issues that others have split over. Within this larger community you will find a diversity of theological preferences. Vox shares this humble ecumenical posture.
- Diversity. Because Vox is a very (intentionally) specific expression of the Body of Christ, we wanted to be a part of something broader and older. Within the Covenant Church you will find a wide array of expressions of churches. From large suburban churches to urban monastic communities to historic churches filled with grey haired Swedes to even Vox a strange little church on Eastside of Austin, Texas. We try to be an intentionally diverse community including background, life stage socioeconomics, sexual orientation, and orthodoxy.
- Mercy. We receive love so that we can love well. One of the first expressions of the Covenant Church in Chicago in the late 1800’s were ministries to take care of the poor, orphans and the elderly. Ingrained in the DNA of the community is the reciprocation of God’s mercy. At Vox, we are still learning how to do this well in a sustainable way.
The Evangelical Covenant Church is:
- Evangelical, but not exclusive. Good news is always expanding our love, not vice versa.
- Biblical, but not doctrinaire. God’s story is relational not constitutional.
- Traditional, but not rigid. History informs us in how to live out new expressions of faith.
- Congregational, but not independent. Our unique voice is found in the context of community.
[Photo by Paula Aparicio @ Flickr]