When we talk about “what we believe,” we start to open up a big ol’ can of worms. You see, at Covenant, we don’t tell you what to believe, we walk with you on your journey with God as you (we) discern who it is God is calling us to be – today. We explore together the teachings from scripture – sacred and contemporary writings – – and are constantly realizing that God is still speaking to us and giving us new insights as we connect what we read and hear to what we live and experience.
Covenant is a proud and dedicated member congregation of The Presbyterian Church (USA). As a confessional church, which means that we are not only guided by Holy Scripture, but also by various confessions and statements of faith. One of the latest is A Brief Statement of Faith. It was adopted by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 1991. This statement is a good guide for the basic tenets of our reformed faith tradition.
You may also find our denominational web page: Presbyterian 101 to be a good summary of church history, theology and thoughts on social justice concerns.
St. Augustine said that the sacraments are visible signs of God’s acts of invisible grace. Put in more contemporary language, we could say they are outward ways to express what God is doing inwardly. The Presbyterian Church and most reformed traditions recognize two sacraments: Baptism and Holy Communion.
Baptism at Covenant
Baptism is the church’s way we welcome people into the love of God and the nurture of the congregation. In infant baptism we speak about the love of God that is present in each new life, we receive the commitment of the parents to give their child the love of the community of faith, and we promise to be “a family in Christ” for each child that is baptized. Baptism proclaims God’s love, honors the faith of the parents and the congregation, and recalls the grace, mercy and forgiveness of God that is available to all God’s children. We also baptize adults (believer’s baptism) who have never been baptized and would like to become members of the church.
Communion at Covenant
Communion, or The Lord’s Supper, is the church’s way to celebrate the community of Jesus Christ and his faithful people. All who follow Christ are welcome at the table. We share this sacrament with the wider Christian Church, believing that all are called to gather together to share the bread and cup in Christ’s name. We celebrate communion on the first Sunday of each month at the 11:00 service and weekly at the 8:30 service of worship.
Communion for Children
The Presbyterian tradition does not include a specific rite for first communion. Our parents decide when their children are ready to participate. This readiness includes realizing that communion is not a snack but a special meal that we share to remember Jesus. At Covenant, our children learn about communion in Sunday School in grades 1-5. We also have a special worship preparation class for first graders, scheduled annually.