Today begins an interesting stage in my vocational journey. Pastors who serve churches in the Evangelical Covenant Church but who haven’t graduated from the denomination’s seminary, North Park Seminary, are required to take a few classes. These classes cover the ECC’s history, theology and the like. My theology class takes place within the denomination’s Midwinter Conference here in Chicago. As one whose most recent denominational experience can best be labeled “non”, the idea of spending time and energy on the specifics of any one denomination is taking some getting used to.
Those of you unfamiliar with the ECC’s place on the “family tree” can find it on the end of the second branch from the bottom on the right. (Click the photo for a larger view.)
On the bright side, the required reading for this class has been helpful. Particularly interesting has been the historic value of unity within the ECC. So important is unity that the denominations allows for both infant and believer’s baptism and takes a wide view of the atonement theories, believing each is necessary to even begin describing God’s victory through Christ’s death and resurrection. This, to me, is a hopeful sign.
Another thing I look forward to about this class is that my dad will also be taking it. I’m pretty sure this is the first time we’ve taken any class together… who knows what hi jinks will ensue?
I don’t expect too many Twitter-worthy moments over the next few days, but if there are they can be found on this blog’s sidebar.