We are a non-creedal church in that we do not require our membership to assent to a specific doctrinal statement in order to belong. We have chosen to use the language of “affirmations” in order to say what we affirm to be true.
We affirm the truth of both the Apostle’s Creed and the Nicene Creed (full text below).
As a denomination, we have six core “Covenant Affirmations”
We affirm the centrality of the word of God.
We believe the Bible is the only perfect rule for faith, doctrine, and conduct. The dynamic transforming power of the word of God directs the church and the life of each Christian.
We affirm the necessity of new birth.
New birth in Christ means surrendering ourselves to him and receiving forgiveness, acceptance and eternal life. It also means dying to self and being made alive in Christ, and this life has the qualities of justice and righteousness, joy and peace.
We affirm a commitment to the whole mission of the Church.
The early covenanters were known as “Mission Friends” – people of shared faith who came together to carry God’s mission out both far and near. We follow Christ’s two central calls. The Great Commission sends us out into all the world to make disciples. The Great Commandment calls us to love the Lord our God and our neighbors as ourselves.
We affirm the Church as a fellowship of believers.
Membership in the Covenant Church is by confession of personal faith and is open to all believers. The church is to be understood as a family of equals where we all share in the ministry of the church.
We affirm a conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit.
The Covenant church affirms that it is the Holy Spirit who instills in our hearts a desire to turn to Christ, and who assures us that Christ dwells within us. It is the Holy Spirit who enables our obedience to God, conforms us to the image of Christ, and enables us to continue Christ’s mission in the world.
We affirm the reality of freedom in Christ.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” This freedom is a gift of God in Christ, and it manifests itself in a right relationship with God and others. It is not a private gift to be used selfishly, but is given to serve the community and the world. We in the Covenant Church seek to focus on what unites us as followers of Christ, rather than on what divides us.
The Apostles’ Creed. I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hades; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty, from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit; the holy Christian Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.
The Nicene Creed. We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly human. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. We believe in the one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.