Last night our church, Church of the Redeemer, was officially welcomed into the Evangelical Covenant Church at the conference annual meeting in Simi Valley. Doug stayed home with the kids so that I could go out and be a part of this, saying: “you worked really hard and gave a lot to see this day happen.” It was a great evening of celebration, and it was especially fun to see so many old (and newer) friends from within our denominational family. I even got teased by a former Seattle area youth pastor who could still name the boy from his youth group that I would flirt with mercilessly at retreats when I was in the eighth grade.
One of the evening’s highlights was receiving a message from the Word from Efrem Smith, Covenant pastor/church-planter in Minneapolis. It was exhilarating.
As I stood up on that stage with a small group of folks from our church and received the welcome of applause from those gathered, I was moved to consider how God has woven together our story as a church with the larger story of the Evangelical Covenant denomination. I know that denominations aren’t considered to be the hippest thing among a lot of folks, but I praise God for the family of “mission friends” that has embraced our little church, and for the ways that same family has embraced and affirmed me over the years. I certainly bear the mark of their love.