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of the Evangelical Covenant Church

 

Churches working together to transform lives and communities by starting new churches, strengthening existing churches and developing missional leaders.

e-News • April 2016 • www.midwestcovenant.org
 

2016 AMC Registration Brochure
REGISTER ONLINE

Registration Deadline - April 10!
 
Ordinand Recognition
At this year's AMC, we wish to recognize the following individuals as we anticipate their Ordination to Word and Sacrament (OWSa) or Ordination to Word and Service (OWSe) at the Covenant Annual Meeting in June:


For Women who Happen to be Pastors
Katie Martinez, Associate Pastor of Crossroads Covenant Church in Loveland, invites women who happen to be pastors to join her for lunch and fellowship in Room 207 after the closing session of the AMC. Box lunches are provided for conference registrants. In addition to submitting your AMC registration, please RSVP to the MWC office at office@midwestcovenant.org if you plan to attend this lunch. For those of you who do not plan to attend the AMC but would like to attend the lunch for women pastors, please RSVP to the MWC office.

Friday Evening Worship
We invite those from Covenant churches in the surrounding area to join us for Friday evening worship on April 22 at 7:00 pm. An offering will be collected for the Pastoral Care and Crisis Fund. 

Ask the Lord of the Harvest
Be sure to send your church's Ask the Lord of the Harvest cards with your delegates. We will pray over these as part of the Friday evening worship service at the AMC.

Credential Cards
Churches, please be sure to send your credential card identifying your church's delegates to the conference office right away. Credential cards may be emailed to office@midwestcovenant.org or faxed to 402-334-3060.
 

Churches Working Together

In the month of February, Iowa pastors Matt King (ECC, Stanton) Tyler Johnson (ECC, Albert City) and Tim Hawkinson (Renew Covenant, Carroll) traded locations as part of a three-week pulpit swap. King and Johnson have met on a monthly basis for some time and when the former pastor of the Carroll church moved in August, they were joined by Hawkinson, Carroll’s interim.

"It was a blessing to spend time with the other congregations and see first-hand their worshiping community,” wrote King.

"It was so great to see Matt and Tyler's settings and to meet Covenanters from across the state who supported the church planting efforts at Renew and wanted to hear about how things are going. I am so glad that our people were able to gain a greater sense of our denominational family, as well,” said Hawkinson.

Over the three weeks, the pastors shared sermons relating to a thematic series covering Jesus' I Am statements in the gospel of John. The swap introduced new faces to the churches, deepened their denominational bond, and enabled each pastor to write two fewer sermons that month (the same message was preached in each location).

King added, "The church family is diverse but we all want to see God at work in our lives and community. We gained a new motivation to serve, worship, and grow together as congregations."

The three pastors are currently considering how the congregations can partner together for combined worship gatherings, service projects, and perhaps even an intergenerational camp experience this summer.


 

Developing Missional Leaders

Over the past several months, ten different church leadership teams and nearly 350 people have participated in leadership training for lay leaders throughout Northern Colorado and Omaha, Nebraska. This was truly a collaborative effort as Midwest Conference staff and clusters of Covenant churches worked together to help develop, host, and resource these gatherings. Training topics included:
  • leadership formation and development
  • values and identity
  • what leadership teams pay attention to in an era of ongoing change
  • imagination, creativity, and mission
Pastor Bert Wright of Council Tree Covenant Church in Fort Collins, CO, says, "The best indicator for me as to how effective a leadership training event has been is what happens after the event. My favorite story from an event Dan Pietrzyk hosted for us this past fall was that someone who actually did not attend the event walked through the material with someone who did go and got so fired up about it that she brought it to her small group and even used it with her extended family."

If you are interested in being part of a cohort to develop missional leaders within the Midwest Conference, contact any of the conference staff today!
 

Covenant Cohesion
Thoughts from our President about what it means to be in it together

I’m confident that our mission is going to remain strong. We have good leaders in a new streamlined structure, who are committed to serving our churches and uniting our churches in service together.

But Covenant strength is not just the strength of our mission, it is also the strength of our interconnectedness. It is, after all, the very character our name seeks to capture. My heart yearns around the importance of Covenant connectivity.

. . . 90,000 to 230,000. That is the growth that has taken place in the ECC over the past twenty-three years . . . At 230,000, denominational dynamics shift, just as they do in a growing congregation . . . But relational patterns change with growth. Relationships are still a huge part of our character—but they are not as inevitable, not as virtually guaranteed as they once were. Deep connection and cohesion is attainable and we all desire it, but it’s not the certainty it once might have been.

The implication is that when some of that previously predictable stickiness is not as easily produced, when stress comes it can be easier to pull away from each other because the relational glue might not be as bonded.

My challenge is this: Let us each ask, what am I contributing to the relational glue of the ECC? How can I more deeply engage, get to know, and support others?

. . . This is who we are at our best—with the mission going forward and relationships growing deeper. In that simple rhythm, this little corner of the kingdom will keep chugging along in fruitfulness and friendship—strengthened through the very character our name Covenant seeks to capture.

This is an excerpt from the March 4, 2016, Covenant Companion article, Compass Bearings: Covenant Cohesion. Click here to read the full article. Gary Walter serves as the President of the Evangelical Covenant Church.
 

Did you know...?

A lot is happening in Midwest Conference churches. Catch up on recent changes below!

Church Closing
IgniteKC.tv, a Covenant church in Olathe, KS, celebrated its many years of worship on March 13, 2016, before closing its doors. We praise God for his wonderful work throughout the life of this church.

Welcome Interim Pastor
Pastor Mike McInnis is now serving as Interim Pastor at Brantford Covenant Church in Clyde, KS. Please pray for Pastor Mike and Brantford Covenant as they discern God's calling for their church during this time of transition.

 
Do you have big news to share? Contact office@midwestcovenant.org to have your important event published in the e-News.
 

Understanding the Multi-ethnic, Intergenerational Church

Our churches are losing ground in an increasingly diverse society. But we can do something about it. Come join us for a morning of exploring the importance and process of our churches becoming more multicultural and intergenerational. You will learn how to grow your ministry by understanding and responding to the changes in the population and people you see around you.

          Understanding the Multi-ethnic, Intergenerational Church
          May 7, 2016, 9:00-11:30 am
          Fee:  $10
          The PEAK Community Center/Aurora Community Covenant Church
          3401 S. Chambers, Aurora, CO
          Registration Brochure


 

From Our Superintendent

Friends,

If you have not yet registered for the Annual Ministry Celebration, please take a moment to do so today. We look forward to celebrating 130 years of ministry as a conference!

In this issue, you will find a few thoughts from ECC President Gary Walter regarding Covenant cohesion. I encourage you to consider his words as we prepare to celebrate our shared ministry later this month at the AMC. The opening phrase of our mission statement, churches working together, emphasizes the interconnectedness we experience as we partner together in transforming lives and communities. You can see great evidence of this Covenant cohesion lived out in our MWC churches as you read about the amazing ways churches are collaborating throughout the conference.

There is no doubt we are better together!





Tammy

 

Donations

We invite you to consider a special gift for the mission of the Midwest Conference. Visit Midwest Conference Donations.
 

Prayer Calendar

Download the March-June 2016 Prayer Calendar, also available on our website.

Free m&m's!
Pastors, Superintendent Tammy would enjoy meeting with your leadership team to share about the MWC Mission & Ministry. She'll even provide a tasty visual that will encourage leaders to learn the conference mission statement! Contact Tammy at mwctammy@gmail.com to invite her to an upcoming meeting.
 

Sustaining Pastoral Excellence

Stepping away from ordinary rhythms...

Check out and apply for 2016 SPE opportunities here.

 

Covenant Orientation 2016

Click on the class name to register.

Vocational Excellence
May 16-20, Federal Way, WA
Jun 13-17, Blue Jay, CA
Aug 1-5, Colorado Springs, CO
Oct 17-21, Scotts Valley, CA

Mission & Ministry of ECC
Jul 18-22, Spring Valley, CA
Oct 16-18, Minneapolis, MN

Theology of ECC
Jun 27-Jul 1, Saint Paul, MN

History of ECC
Jun 6-10, Chicago, IL
 

Sankofa Journey

Registration opens April 16 for the next Sankofa journey, which will take place July 14-17, 2016. Visit the Sankofa website to register online or download a registration form. For more information, email Christine Buettgen at lmdj@covchurch.org or call (773) 596-2489.






 


 

What's Happening?

Are you celebrating an epic moment in the life of your church? Email office@midwestcovenant.org with pictures of your event to be shared in the e-News, or post directly to Facebook in the Midwest Conference group!


Spanish Translation Needed

The MWC would like to provide essential notifications in Spanish, when possible. If you or someone you know would be interested in joining a volunteer task force to help with this need, please contact the conference office at office@midwestcovenant.org or 888-871-3020.


Personal Retreats Available

Covenant Heights Camp and Covenant Cedars Bible Camp offer lodging and meals to full-time church staff of the Midwest Conference for personal retreats and family weekends at no cost. Availability is dependent upon season and camp schedule. For more information, contact Covenant Heights Camp at 970-586-2900 or info@CovenantHeights.org and Covenant Cedars Bible Camp at 402-757-3241 or info@cedars.org.

Twin Lakes Bible Camp provides free use of Haven 23, a house with full amenities, to anyone in ministry. Take advantage of this opportunity to relax and refresh! Contact 712-297-7714 or info@twinlakesbiblecamp.com for more information.
 

Employment Opportunities

Seeking Employment? See if any of these opportunities are right for you.

MWC camps are now accepting applications for 2016 summer staff. Apply today!
Covenant Heights Camp
Twin Lakes Bible Camp
Covenant Cedars Bible Camp
 

Quick Links

 

e-News Bulletin Insert

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Copyright © 2016 Midwest Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church, All rights reserved.


Phone: 402-334-3020 or 1-888-871-3020
E-mail: office@midwestcovenant.org
Website: www.midwestcovenant.org
The Midwest Conference is a mission association of Covenant churches in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, western Missouri, Nebraska, Wyoming
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