WHAT WE BELIEVE
As a congregation of ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians, we hold certain core values and subscribe to a set of essential tenets. Our name speaks to our commitments:
- Covenant: To connect leaders in accountable relationships and encourage collaboration.
- Order: To commit to a shared way of life as we unite around a shared theological core.
- Evangelical: To advance the gospel of Jesus Christ and plant new missional communities.
- Presbyterian: To stand within our Reformed heritage and celebrate the life of the mind.
ECO has nine core values that direct our ministry and mission. They are:
- Jesus-shaped Identity: We believe Jesus Christ must be at the center of our lives and making disciples of Jesus at the core of our ministry.
- Biblical Integrity: We believe the Bible is the unique and authoritative Word of God, which teaches all that is necessary for faith and life. The prominence of God's Word over our lives shapes our priorities, and the unrivaled authority of the Bible directs our actions to be in concert with Christ's very best for our lives.
- Thoughtful Theology: We believe in theological education, constant learning, and the life of the mind, and celebrate this as one of the treasures of our Reformed heritage.
- Accountable Community: We believe guidance is a corporate spiritual experience. We want to connect leaders to one another in healthy relationships of accountability, synergy, and care.
- Egalitarian Ministry: We believe in unleashing the ministry gifts of women, men, and every ethnic group.
- Missional Centrality: We believe in living out the whole of the Great Commission - including evangelism, spiritual formation, compassion, and redemptive justice- in our communities and around the world.
- Center-focused Spirituality: We believe in calling people to the core of what it means to be followers of Jesus - what "mere Christianity" is and does - and not fixate on the boundaries.
- Leadership Velocity: We believe identifying and developing gospel-centered leaders is critical for the church, and a great leadership culture is risk-taking, innovative, and organic.
- Kingdom Vitality: We believe congregations should vigorously reproduce new missional communities to expand the Kingdom of God.
The fundamentals to which we hold may be summarized as our belief in...
- God's Word: His authoritative self-revelation, both in the infallible Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments and also in the incarnation of God the Son... The Spirit will never prompt our conscience to conclusions that are at odds with the Scriptures that He has inspired.
- Trinity: With Christians everywhere, we worship the only true God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - who is both one essence and three persons.
- Incarnation: Jesus Christ is both truly God and truly human.
- God's grace in Christ: No part of human life is untouched by sin. In union with Christ, through the power of the Spirit, we are brought into right relationship with the Father, who receives us as His adopted children. Jesus Christ is the only Way to this adoption, the sole path by which sinners become children of God.
- Election for salvation and service: God chooses us for Himself in grace before the foundation of the world, not because of any merit on our part, but only because of His love and mercy... Through His regenerating and sanctifying work, the Holy Spirit grants us faith and enables holiness, so that we may be witnesses of God's gracious presence to those who are lost.
- Covenant life in the church: Within the covenant community of the church, God's grace is extended through preaching of the Word, administration of the sacraments, and the faithful practice of mutual discipline.
- Stewardship of all life: Men and women alike are called to all ministries of the church... Every Christian is called to a prophetic life, proclaiming the Good News to the world and enacting that Good News.
- Living in obedience to the Word of God: Progress in holiness is an expected response of gratitude to the grace of God by the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit... We hold one another accountable to:
1. Worship God alone.
2. Worship God in humility.
3. Avoid blasphemy, irreverence, and impurity.
4. Observe the Sabbath.
5. Honor those in authority.
6. Cultivate a spirit of peace and love.
7. Maintain chastity, being faithful to the covenant of marriage, between a man and a woman, as established by God.
8. Practice stewardship, showing charity and supporting the church.
9. Pursue and defend truth, even when costly.
10. Resist envy and greed, instead being content with God's gifts.
For a full statement of the Essential Tenets of ECO, please go here.