MasterPiece Church meets at 10 a.m. every Sunday at 3623 W Dobbins Rd, Laveen (Southwest Phoenix).
What are your worship services like?
When you visit us you may find that you're sitting near a young business professional -- or a homeless man -- or an immigrant. We're a pretty casual bunch and we have a structured liturgy the worship is somewhat informal in style. We have retained some important traditional worship forms such as the Lord's Prayer and Bible reading. The music is an eclectic mix of contemporary and traditional -- perhaps weighted more toward the contemporary side. It's not uncommon that we'll attempt to sing a verse in Spanish, an African worship song, and something with an American country beat -- all in one service. We work hard to create a relaxed atmosphere of warmth and acceptance as we worship the Lord together.
How big is MasterPiece Church?
The short answer is that there isn't much chance that you'll get lost in a crowd. On any given Sunday we can have between 35-55 people. We are not large and while we expect to grow we do not intend to become a large church. (We plan to multiply before we hit 200 people.) Don't let our size intimidate you. We don't bite -- pressure -- or jump all over our visitors. We'll give you your space.
Is MasterPiece Church independent?
Our congregation is a part of an extended church family called the Evangelical Covenant Church. Each congregation in the Covenant is autonomous but we recognize that there are some things that we can do better if we're in association with other like-minded congregations. Together we send out missionaries, run Bible camps, start new churches, carry out disaster relief and community development, and operate health care and retirement facilities. We also own and administer North Park University and Theological Seminary in Chicago.
What is the Evangelical Covenant Church?
The Evangelical Covenant Church is an extended family of churches with about 180,000 people who worship in over 800 congregations in the US and Canada. In addition there are related Covenant churches in Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, Europe, and throughout Latin America. Our roots are firmly set in historical Christianity as it emerged in the Protestant Reformation, in the biblical instruction of the Lutheran State Church of Sweden, and in the great spiritual awakenings of the nineteenth century. The ECC is now, however, the most culturally and ethnically mixed denomination in the US.
Are there other Evangelical Covenant churches in the area?
There are eight Evangelical Covenant churches in Arizona -- five of them in the Phoenix area. Hope Covenant Church in Chandler was responsible for the birth of MasterPiece Church. Sanctuary Covenant Church in Prescott is the newest member of our extended church family.
We have more in common with other Christian churches than we have differences. The ECC affirms the historic doctrinal summaries contained in the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed. Like all of the churches which emerged out of the Protestant Reformation, we emphasize "justification by grace through faith." That is, our relationship with God is based solely on his grace (as opposed to how good we are). This gift is received with a response of faith.
There are six "Covenant Affirmations" which we use to summarize our essential beliefs:
- We affirm the centrality of the word of God.
- We affirm the necessity of the new birth.
- We affirm a commitment to the whole mission of the Church.
- We affirm the Church as a fellowship of believers.
- We affirm a conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit.
- We affirm the reality of freedom in Christ.
What makes us unique is the combination of conservative biblical theology with free-spirited acceptance of all who trust in Christ and seek to live under the authority of God's word. This acceptance doesn't require doctrinal conformity on issues such as mode of baptism, the nature of the Lord's Supper, or the chronology of the end times. In order to live with the tensions that this dynamic diversity creates we place a great deal of emphasis on our unity in Christ and on living out that unity in loving relationships.
What if I don’t know anything about the Bible?Welcome! We have some people who are outstanding Bible scholars but more of us are novices; so don’t feel intimidated.
Why have you started a new church in Laveen, of all places?
The initial impetus for starting a new church in the Laveen area came from two families. When Pastor Brad and Cheryl Boydston were returning to the States from Guam they heard about the enthusiasm of these families and decided to take a look at the community. They eventually bought a house near the heart of Laveen. Pastor Daisy Ho followed, moving from California to the house that she bought in Estrella village. One of the things which makes this area attractive is the unique mix of people living in the community.
What are you doing for children and youth?
Children are an important part of our worship -- serving as ushers and musicians. There is childcare for younger children and we have an excellent Sunday School in an adjoining room during the second half of our worship gatherings.
Where did your pastors get their training?
Pastor Brad Boydston has a BA from Arizona State University in Tempe. He is also a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, from which he holds MDiv and DMin graduate degrees. Brad has also studied at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago and New College in Berkeley, California.
Pastor Daisy Ho, originally from Hong Kong, is a volunteer pastor in residence. She has various responsibilities in our congregation and is a great encouragement to us. Daisy is a graduate of Biola University (BA music) and Fuller Theological Seminary (MDiv).
We are also committed to the training of student leaders. May Mei, a Chinese Bible student from Pacific Islands University in Guam, was our first intern during the fall of 2010. She graduated in May 2010 with a BA in biblical studies and has returned to Laveen to help us with our outreach efforts.