Welcome to ECO, First Presbyterian Church, Winston-Salem!
December 31st 2014
Dear Friends in Christ,
Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord Jesus! On behalf of our Synod Executive Council and staff I want to officially welcome you to ECO! We have been praying for you in your journey of discernment and transfer, and are thrilled that you found ECO to be a place where you feel you can best thrive in mission and ministry.
You join over 152 other congregations who have made the transition to ECO, and over 100 others who are on their way to becoming official ECO churches. We also have dozens of potential church plants on the map, including a pipeline of potential church planters waiting to be released into planting. It is certainly an exciting time for our denomination.
I know that the transition into ECO was not easy. You probably feel like you need to take a deep breath! I would encourage you, however, to not spend too long catching your breath, as there is a lot of work to be done for the Kingdom of God. As I tell all of our churches, transferring to ECO isn’t the goal. As you know, our vision is to “baptize more than we bury” by 2018. This goal is going to take the full partnership and ministry of all of our congregations! You are an important part of that mission.
I hope to find an opportunity sometime to visit you face to face so that, as Paul said to the Romans, we would be mutually encouraged by one another’s faith. Again, welcome to ECO and may God bless you deeply as you continue to faithfully serve Him!
In Christ, Dana
What is ECO?
ECO is a member of the World Council of Reformed Churches, an international interdenominational organization of churches who trace their origins to John Calvin.
The Session believes that our church is more aligned theologically and missionally with ECO than it is with the PCUSA. Many of the elders and lay members of our church have attended several conferences with ECO and the Fellowship of Presbyterians (FOP) during the past couple of years. At these gatherings our elders were able to see, hear and experience the vision and heart of this new denomination. The founders of ECO have a rich history in being Presbyterian, and this new denomination offers our congregation a place to give and receive encouragement, maintain good accountability, and be better equipped to serve our community and the world as we pursue our mission to
make disciples for Jesus Christ.
While ECO as a denomination is still new, our experience so far has been very rich. Those who have attended the conferences have witnessed ECO and FOP growing into the denomination’s vision and stated purpose in a meaningful way.
The name ECO is not an acronym. ECO stands for A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians, and speaks to the following core 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.
More About ECO: In 2012, a new Presbyterian denomination, A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians, was formed. ECO recently has been approved for membership in the World Communion of Reformed Churches. It currently has over 60 churches with the number expected to be 180 by the end of 2014. ECO has core values that line up with First Pres:
• A Jesus-shaped Identity that holds that Jesus Christ must be at the center of our lives and making disciples of Jesus at the core of our ministry based upon Scripture as the unique and authoritative Word of God.
• Missional Centrality: ECO believes in living out the whole of the Great Commission—including evangelism, spiritual formation, compassion, and redemptive justice—in our communities and around the world.
• Governance: ECO believes in accountable community and that guidance is a corporate spiritual experience. ECO wants to connect leaders to one another in healthy relationships of accountability, synergy, and care.
• Property: A local church owns its own property in ECO.
Discover more by clicking here – ECO: More Information.
To view the ECO website, click here.