EASTON, CT (May 4, 2012) – The East Coast Conference annual meeting celebrated how its churches have been living into the gathering’s theme, “Where do Justice and Evangelism Meet,” and encouraged delegates to continue expanding the good work.
Michael Carrion of Promised Land Covenant Church in Bronx, New York, shared how 400 men responded to an invitation to receive Christ during a special service at Riker’s Island Men’s Penitentiary.
The Annual Move Awards presented during the meeting witnessed to other ministry being done through conference churches that impacted populations as diverse as inner-city youth and villagers in the Alaskan Bush.
The seven were chosen for their “exceptionally courageous leadership and compassionate service:”
- Highrock Arlington Church in Arlington, Massachusetts, was honored for its evangelistic outreach that resulted in three church plants and the new church planting residency program. The congregation also provides financial support to the Town of Arlington that pays for a full-time social worker for their community.
- David Cairns, executive director of Pilgrim Pines Conference Center, successfully advanced the largest capital campaign in the camp’s history. “Bridging Generations” gained traction during the first phase of its project, a new $2 million dining hall at Camp Squanto.
- New York Covenant Church in New Rochelle operates Isaiah’s Room, which welcomes 60 people each Saturday to a stock of clothing, toiletries and a warm shared meal. The church projects the ministry to grow this year and anticipates serving 3,000 meals.
- Bob Lindquist was honored for serving as project manager for the East Coast Conference Koyuk Alaska summer 2011 trip.
- Jose Humphreys, Michael Carrion, and Efrain Alicea were recognized for their leadership in protesting the city’s decision to evict all houses of worship meeting in public schools. They helped lead the opposition even though their churches were not directly affected.
Delegates celebrated that church giving of $462,000 exceeded the budget by nine percent and is projected to grow to nearly $500,000 in 2012 and to $527,000 in 2013. Giving has steadily risen since 2007.
The churches were encouraged to continue the giving trend and received a multi-year challenge to stretch their investment in the conference to five percent and 10 percent to the denomination.
In other business:
- New Vision Community Church in Flushing, New York – a largely Korean-American congregation of about 150 attendees – was approved for adoption and will be officially welcomed into the Covenant during the ECC Annual Meeting in Irvine, California, in June. The church was started in 2001.
- Jason Condon, director of church planting, reported that the conference started six churches during the past year.
- Kreig Gammelgard was installed as the conference’s first director of congregational vitality.
- Miroslav Volf, professor at Yale Divinity School, spoke to the Conference Ministerium and based his session on his writings that focused on, “A Public Faith: Christianity and the Common Good.”
It was announced that St. Peter’s Covenant Church of Hilltown, Pennsylvania, and Christ Covenant Church of Harleysville will host the 2013 Annual Meeting.