WHO ARE WE?
West Bay Covenant has been around for over 60 years. We are a smaller church, a family who cares for one another and the community around us. We are a reflection of the community we serve. You will find genuine people who love Jesus and one another. We take our faith serious, but not ourselves. The following are descriptions of who we are that you may find helpful.
- We are an apostolic church. We confess Jesus Christ and the faith of the apostles as recorded in the Holy Scriptures. We believe the authority of the Bible is supreme in all matters of faith, doctrine, conduct, and is to be trusted.
- We are a catholic church. The word catholic literally means universal. This means we understand ourselves to be part of the community of believers that began with Jesus' first followers, is alive today, and will continue until Christ comes again.
- We are a Reformation church. We stand in the mainstream of a church renewal movement of the sixteenth century called the Protestant Reformation. Especially important is the belief that we are saved by God's grace alone, through faith alone, not by anything that we can do. The Covenant Church is also shaped by Pietism a renewal movement that originated in seventeenth century Europe and emphasized the need for a life that is personally connected to Jesus Christ, a reliance on the Holy Spirit, and a call to service in the world.
- We are an evangelical church. Evangelicals historically have been characterized by a strong insistence on biblical authority, the absolute necessity of new birth, Christ's mandate to evangelize the world, the continuing need for education and formation in a Christian context, and a responsibility for benevolence and the advancement of social justice.
- We are a family. We are gathering of young and old. We are different, yet the same. We stand by one another and support each through all that life brings to us. We are connected through our relationship to Jesus Christ. We value every person in this family. And there is always room for one more.
We are a part of the Evangelical Covenant Church. The Evangelical Covenant Church is a rapidly growing, multi-ethnic denomination in the United States and Canada with ministries in five continents. Founded in 1885 by Swedish immigrants, the E.C.C. values the Bible as the Word of God, the gift of God’s grace and ever deepening spiritual life that comes through faith in Jesus Christ, the importance of extending God’s love and compassion to the hurting world, and the strength that comes from unity within diversity.
The following is a helpful description of our denominational family:
- The Evangelical Covenant Church is a communion of congregations gathered by God, united in Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit to obey the great commandment and the great commission. It affirms its companionship in faith with other church bodies and all those who fear God and keep God’s commandments.
- The Evangelical Covenant Church adheres to the affirmations of the Protestant Reformation regarding the Bible. It confesses that the Holy Scripture, the Old and the New Testament, is the Word of God and the only perfect rule for faith, doctrine, and conduct. It affirms the historic confessions of the Christian Church, particularly the Apostles’ Creed and Nicene Creed, while emphasizing the sovereignty of the Word of God over all creedal interpretations.
- In continuity with the renewal movements of historic Pietism, the Evangelical Covenant Church especially cherishes the dual emphasis on new birth and new life in Christ, believing that personal faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord is the foundation for our mission of evangelism and Christian nurture. Our common experience of God’s grace and love in Jesus Christ continues to sustain the Evangelical Covenant Church as an interdependent body of believers that recognizes but transcends our theological differences.
- The Evangelical Covenant Church celebrates two divinely ordained sacraments, baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Recognizing the reality of freedom in Christ, and in conscious dependence on the work of the Holy Spirit, we practice both the baptism of infants and believer baptism. The Evangelical Covenant Church embraces this freedom in Christ as a gift that preserves personal conviction, yet guards against an individualism that disregards the centrality of the Word of God and the mutual responsibilities and disciplines of the spiritual community.
- The Evangelical Covenant Church has its roots in historical Christianity, the Protestant Reformation, the biblical instruction of the Lutheran Church of Sweden, and the great spiritual awakenings of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. These influences, together with more recent North American renewal movements, continue to shape its development and distinctive spirit. The Evangelical Covenant Church is committed to reaching across boundaries of race, ethnicity, culture, gender, age, and status in the cultivation of communities of life and service.