Mission Covenant

The other day someone asked me for more information on the Evangelical Covenant Church and the driving-force behind it. It dawned on me that there might be a few other curious people out there so I jotted down a short summary.
MasterPiece Church is a part the Evangelical Covenant Church. The ECC has its roots in an awakening among Swedes and Swedish immigrants to North America in the second half of the 19th century. These people called themselves "Mission Friends."
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The Mission Friends formed and then re-formed churches when they arrived in their new world. In 1885 the Ansgar Evangelical Lutheran Synod and the Mission Evangelical Lutheran Synod dissolved themselves to form together into the Swedish Evangelical Mission Covenant Church.

Eventually the "Swedish" dropped out of the name just as had the Lutheran label been previously abandoned. The Mission Friends wanted to make it clear to the world that they were not just for Lutherans or Swedes.

In the 1950's the "Mission" portion of the name was removed to avoid institutional confusion with the emerging Rescue Mission movement. Even though the drive to be mission partners with God has remained a constant, the loss of "Mission" in the title is in some ways unfortunate; the word "mission" so clearly describes what we're about.

And by "mission" we're talking about the whole mission of God -- sharing God's Word and challenging people to become committed and growing followers of Christ, feeding the hungry, caring for refugees, the stranger, the afflicted, the addicted, the struggling -- and addressing the issues that keep people down. We are Mission Friends.

Gary Walter, the president of the ECC, is fond of describing the mission in this way -- "From our inception we have been in it together to see: more disciples among more populations in a more caring and just world."

As MasterPiece Church continues to develop we will drink deeply from these biblically hewn wells of history. It may be the 21st century and we're not so Swedish anymore. (We are now the most ethnically and culturally mixed denominational body in the US.) But the thing which has not changed is that we are still Mission Friends and a part of the Mission Covenant.
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Brad Boydston

Posted: 25-Oct-10

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