Identity | Who we are
The East Coast Conference is a movement of God, organized in 1889 by an immigrant people with a pietist mission heritage known as ‘Mission Friends.’ Now a multi-cultural communion of Evangelical Covenant congregations, we are gathered by God, united in Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit to obey the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.
Territory | Where we serve
The conference is called to carry out our mission to the peoples in twelve east coast states and the District of Columbia: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, eastern New York, New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia.
Confession of Faith | What we believe
The Conference confesses that the Holy Scripture, the Old and New Testament, is the Word of God and the only perfect rule for faith, doctrine, and conduct.
Mission | What we do
Believing we are a MOVEMENT of God, our mission is to:
- Mobilize Church Planting (link)
- Organize Regional Networks (link)
- Vitalize Congregations (link)
- Equip Leaders (link)
- Make Disciples
- Engage Justice for the Poor
- Nurture Covenant Identity
- Tell the story of Jesus
Looking now towards 2025, in both expansion and refinement of our calling, we articulate and anticipate the expanding calling of the East Coast Conference by outlining eight threads that we believe weave together into a strong cord of missional practice in moving forward.
Mobilize Church Planting:
We foresee starting and strengthening no less than 50 new churches planted in partnership with our congregations and the larger ECC family, partners who provide prayer, personnel, assessment, training, leadership coaching and financial support. With our current congregations we plan towards being a flourishing body of 130+ vibrant congregations comprising 20,000+ followers of Jesus.
Organize Regional Networks:
We will organize and resource an array of active leadership networks that function both in person and in virtual settings to enhance the ministry and maturing of church leaders across the conference, where relationships, interests, experiences, skills, and resources intersect around common opportunities to multiply influence.
We will provide our churches with key opportunities and essential resources to journey on a vitality pathway, producing enhanced awareness, clarity, resolve, and capacity to become healthy and missional as benchmarked by the ECC’s ’10 Healthy Missional Markers’.
As a servant to our congregations and agencies, the Conference has long had a call to assist in leadership training, mentoring, and coaching. As we move towards 2025, we envision the formation of a mobile and virtual educational platform of basic and advanced leadership development resources, both practical and theological in nature, for clergy and laity. By creating key partnerships with churches, seminaries, ministries, and leaders we will sponsor a broad array of resources to equip leaders for mission.
The foundation of a spiritual movement is the quality and urgency of its discipleship. Our churches will be marked as earnest disciple making churches that exemplify Jesus’ core practices and confess his core convictions within a community of disciples – who make disciples. Some of our church planting projects will embrace an orienting strategy that builds from the start on a disciple-making model, while all our church plants have raised this as a value and key metric. The vibrancy of these practices will expand our footprint of influence to embrace and equip 10,000 new disciples for an active lay vocation to serve and bear witness in the world by 2025.
Engage justice for the poor:
The distinctives of divine justice, compassion and mercy towards the poor and oppressed is calling forth a stronger and more visible response from Jesus’ disciples and churches. By 2025 we envision an active network of justice-based ministries within and between our churches that focus on standing with people in need of advocacy and respect. This vision embraces congregational and agency level initiatives, including ministries with at risk children & youth, vulnerable seniors, immigrants, seafarers, prisoners, those with developmental challenges & Autism Spectrum Disorders, and those who lack adequate access to food, shelter, and health care services.
Nurture Covenant Identity:
As we grow larger in scope, broader in geography and more diverse culturally – and as we welcome new pastors and congregations into our fellowship, it becomes more important that we intentionally plant and nurture the ethos of the Covenant in those who join us. The core theological affirmations and practices of an ordered ministry practices are central to what makes us attractive to new pastors while providing stability to the flourishing of congregations. By rehearsing and reinterpreting our traditions we will help them remain meaningful, wise and distinctive as we face new opportunities and challenges. The Conference will play an essential role in helping tomorrow’s Covenanters to know, celebrate and reimagine our pietistic roots and missionary aspirations.
Tell the story of Jesus:
The beginnings of our life as a movement were centered in telling the story of Jesus, inviting those who hear to come and follow Him. We never outgrow the work of telling Jesus’ story. The Conference will continue to have strategic opportunities to tell the story of Jesus through demonstration and proclamation, through church sponsored outreach initiatives, training in personal witness, Christian camping and conferences (Pilgrim Pines and Camp Squanto), and the witness of New England Seafarers Mission. New conference wide or region specific initiatives will help focus and harness the faith of Covenanters to make the love of Christ visible and audible so that others may see, taste, and hear the goodness of the Lord.
What is the Evangelical Covenant Church?
The Evangelical Covenant Church is a rapidly growing multiethnic 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 a faith with 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:
- Evangelical, but not exclusive
- Biblical, but not doctrinaire
- Traditional, but not rigid
- Congregational, but not independent
Identity and Biblical Mission
We are united by Christ in a holy covenant of churches empowered by the Holy Spirit to obey the great commandments and the great commission: to love God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind, to love our neighbors as ourselves, and to go into all the world and make disciples.
Vision for Mission
- to cultivate communities of worship committed to: prayer, preaching, and study of the word; the celebration of the sacraments; and fellowship across gender, race, age, culture, and class.
- to equip loving, giving, growing Christians to reach out with the good news of Jesus Christ – evangelizing the lost, ministering to those in need, and seeking justice for the oppressed.
For more info about the Evangelical Covenant denomination, go to: http://www.covchurch.org