It’s easy to let this start sounding routine – more churches are joining Covenant Brethren Church. This is not the first article to share that information. There have been many, so it would be easy to yawn and think that this is nothing new.

Each of these churches which have made the decision to join CBC have done so after great thought, deliberation and prayer. It was not a simple decision for any of them. It involved changing the identity of the church. It forced people to struggle with family history where many of the families had their roots elsewhere. It involved struggling with unanswered questions about the future of this new denomination and involved things we are still trying to figure out.

This has been a major decision by each local church, maybe the biggest decision they have made in a long time. We dare not allow these decisions to become routine in our minds. Instead, we need to celebrate with these congregations, to welcome them, rejoice with them, and encourage them not only to become a part of the Covenant Brethren Church denomination but to thrive within it.

That being said, I would like to inform you of two more churches we need to celebrate. The first one is the Elk Run Covenant Brethren Church in Churchville, VA. On August 6, representatives from the CBC led a ceremony to present the church with their covenant agreement. Church board chair Kermit Roberts joined the team on the platform to sign the covenant agreement. CBC representatives Fred Shank, Leon Alt and Grover Duling presented Pastor Jonathan Farmer with his new ordination certificate. The church was excited to take this step into their future. There were many people visiting to witness this historic event. This event looks like it may be followed by several other Virginia-based churches. The service was followed by a delicious meal and enthusiastic fellowship.

The second church to come into the CBC fold was the Harman Covenant Brethren church in Harman, WV. Pastor John Moyers and board chair Rex Vance joined Grover Duling in the signing of the covenant agreement. The whole church joined in a fellowship meal to celebrate the occasion. It was a church filled with smiles at the new opportunities but some heartbreak over what they had to leave behind – an emotion most of us have felt at one time or another. Nevertheless, the spirit in the church was one of looking forward with an eye toward the upcoming Central Allegheny Regional Conference and the opportunities this new region and denomination will bring to their church.

So, let’s celebrate these new congregations and if you have a chance to drop them a letter or email tell them welcome.

Submitted by Craig Howard – Publications Committee